Accelerating Best Practices in Peer Support Around the World

National Peer Support Network



The National Peer Support Collaborative Learning Network is a joint initiative by Peers for Progress and the National Council of La Raza (NCLR). The Network focuses on developing and sharing evidence of benefits of peer support programs, best practices, effective evaluation methods, models of organizing peer support within health systems as well as effective models of advocacy. The Network is supported through the Together on Diabetes Initiative of the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation.

Open to individuals and organizations interested in learning more about and collaborating around peer support, the Network builds on Peers for Progress’s domestic network of demonstration sites and peer support organizations, NCLR’s affiliate network of 300 community-based organizations, and grantees of the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation’s Together on Diabetes Initiative. The Network continues to reach out to other organizations interested in peer support programs in health, health care, and public health. Non-profit organizations, healthcare organizations, local health departments, clinical providers and similar organizations are welcome to join.

The Network holds regularly scheduled webinars, co-hosted by Peers for Progress and NCLR, to present on topics of interest and engage with network members. Topics are jointly decided by webinar participants and network members.

Network members have the opportunity to collaborate in work groups addressing issues of shared interest, such as addressing depression and emotional distress in peer support programs, or opportunities for support of programs through the Affordable Care Act.

Work Groups and Webinars

Use the tabs below to learn about NPSCLN work groups and webinars.


1 Recruitment, Training, Retention and Backup of Peer Supporters Manuela McDonough Focused on analyzing best practices for recruitment, training, retention and backup of peer supporters (including provisions for dealing with stressful situations). Peer Health Promoter Quality Assurance Case Study.
2 Quality Improvement & Evaluation Dane Emmerling Focused on developing tools and resources that can help practitioners utilize evaluation and quality improvement in their peer support programs. Overview of designing QI processes and a compilation of resources.
3 Ongoing Support Shelagh Mulvaney Martha Funnell Focused on analyzing ongoing support for diabetes, including varied communication modalities, technologies, and formats. Literature review for ongoing support interventions, focusing on U.S.-based diabetes research reports.
4 Behavioral Health & Peer Support Interventions Joan Thompson Interested in behavioral health interventions by peer supporters for multiple chronic conditions and mental health. (1) Toolkit for Advocating and Planning for a Behavioral Health Peer Support Program; (2) Brochure for Prospective Clients; (3) Brochure for Prospective Organizations.
5 Organizational & System Factors Maggy Coufal Interested in issues and approaches to integrating peer support with an organization or system, including community-based organizations and health care settings. Issue brief analyzing integration of peer support and primary care
6 Sustainability & Advocacy Tracy Sbrocco       Juana Ballesteros Building a business case for local adoption or national policy, economic analysis of peer support programs, opportunities through the Affordable Care Act and healthcare reform, and effective models of advocacy. (1) The Case for Peer Support in Diabetes Self-Management; (2) State Advocacy Template to Reach Immigrant Populations with CHWs in Illinois; (3) Examples of State and Local Integration of CHWs; (4) CHW Advocacy Toolkit


Interactive Webinar:
Peers for SafeTalk: Can a Motivational Interviewing-based Safer Sex Program for Persons Living with HIV be adapted for Peer Delivery?
Thursday, January 30, 2014
4:00 – 5:00 EDT

Featuring Carol E. Golin, MD, UNC Chapel Hill & Marlyn Allicock, PhD, University of Texas

This webinar discussed how “SafeTalk”, a program utilizing motivational interviewing with trained counselors, could be adapted for peer delivery. Dr. Carol Golin and Dr. Marlyn Allicock:

  • Presented the results of the SafeTalk program
  • Explained Motivational Interviewing and how it was used in the program, and
  • Led a discussion on how SafeTalk could be adapted for delivery by peers

Download the slides

Watch the webinar


Interactive Webinar:
Resources for Outreach and Enrollment in the Health Insurance Marketplace with CMS
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
3:00 – 4:30 pm EDT

Featuring Jeanette Contreras, MPP
Partner Relations Group
Office of Communications
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
Washington, D.C.

One of the most important accomplishments of the Affordable Care Act is the creation of the Health Insurance Marketplace (Marketplace). Beginning October 1, 2013, millions of families, individuals, and small businesses will be able to find health insurance that fits their budgets and meets their needs through the Marketplace.

In this webinar, participants learned more about:

  • How the new Marketplace will work
  • The role of the Certified Application Counselor (CAC) organizations to assist individuals with enrollment
  • Where to find Marketplace resources

Key resources:

Download a summary of this webinar


Interactive Webinar:
Lessons in State and Local Advocacy for Program Development
Thursday, June 27, 2013
3:00 – 4:30 pm EDT

Featuring Carmen Velásquez, MA
Founder & Executive Director
Alivio Medical Center, Chicago, IL

During this interactive webinar, Ms. Velásquez discussed how community mobilization and advocacy contributed to the creation and continued success of Alivio Medical Center, including:

  • How her passionate vision, strong partnerships and the crucial need for bilingual, bicultural medical providers for the uninsured and undocumented led to Alivio Medical Center opening its doors in 1989. Today, Alivio serves uninsured, working poor families and individuals who have historically not accessed healthcare due to factors such as language and cultural barriers, intimidation of traditional healthcare institutions, or little awareness of available resources.
  • Discussing how she has engaged local and state policy makers in through advocacy and education on issues of importance to the community.

Download this brochure to learn more about Alivio Medical Center.

Get to know the community that makes Alivio Medical Center so great in this short video.

Watch the Webinar


Interactive Webinar:
Peer Support in U.S. Health Reform: Opportunities under the Affordable Care Act
Thursday, March 28, 2013
3:00 – 4:30 pm EST

Featuring Maggie Morgan and Amy Katzen
Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation
Harvard Law School

This interactive webinar provided an overview of:

  • Affordable Care Act (ACA) in the U.S., and
  • Opportunities it offers for the work of peer supporters (community health workers, promotores de salud, health coaches, etc.) and others engaged in the treatment or prevention of chronic conditions such as diabetes.

Ms. Morgan and Ms. Katzen are part of a team working with the Together on Diabetes Initiative to develop strategic law and policy reform initiatives aimed at strengthening state-based efforts to improve access to diabetes treatment and prevention services.

Download the Slides

Watch the Webinar


Webinar Meeting
Discussion of Work Groups and Products for 2013
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
3:00 – 4:30 pm EST

During this meeting, participants discussed and finalized Work Groups, topics, and products.

Download the Slides


Interactive Webinar:
Diabetes, Depression, Multi-Morbidity and Health in the 21st Century
Thursday, December 13, 2012
3:00 – 4:30 pm EST

This webinar also included an overview of the Network’s objectives and plans for 2013.

Featuring Edwin Fisher, PhD
Global Director, Peers for Progress
Professor, Gillings School of Global Public Health, UNC-Chapel Hill

Download the Slides

Watch the Webinar Highlights

Watch the Complete Webinar




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