I-PEER Project

The Interprofessional Peer Education and Evidence for Recovery program provides enhanced interdisciplinary education for social workers, occupational therapists and peer specialists in evidence-based practices in behavioral health. The long-term goal of I-PEER is to provide workforce training in best practices to better serve rural and medically underserved communities in state psychiatric hospitals and community mental health providers in medically underserved and rural Southwest Michigan. 

I-PEER is federally funded through a four-year, $1.8 million grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration, awarded to WMU professors Dr. Ann Chapleau, Department of Occupational Therapy, and Dr. Jennifer Harrison, School of Social Work. Drs. Harrison and Chapleau collaborated with community partners at Kalamazoo Psychiatric Hospital, Recovery Institute of Southwest Michigan and community mental health programs in Allegan, Barry, Berrien, Branch, Cass, Calhoun, Kalamazoo, Ottawa, St. Joseph and Van Buren counties to implement this workforce development training model.

I-PEER COMPONENTS

  • Expanded field placements in medically underserved community mental health and SUD treatment settings for WMU social work and OT students
  • Specialized Interprofessional training on topics including motivational interviewing, goal attainment scaling and recovery orientation
  • Interprofessional student supervision that joins social work, occupational therapy and peer support students and clinical faculty  
    • Collaborative student research producing presentations and professional posters
    • Case-based learning modules
  • Stipends of $10,000 for WMU student participants
  • A Rapid Continuous Quality Improvement process including an interagency, interprofessional team of faculty researchers, staff and students to monitor progress, evaluate outcomes and provide program modifications to reflect evaluation findings

OUTCOME MEASURES

  • Completion of pretest/posttest following specialty training
  • Focus groups
  • Goal Attainment Scaling for individualized student goals

PROGRAM GOALS

  1. Prepare a diverse and culturally humble workforce with skills in behavioral health care and interprofessional team operation
  2. Improve the workforce distribution of peer specialists, occupational therapists and social workers to rural Southwest Michigan
  3. Transform the way health care is delivered by enhancing the provision of evidence-based practices and interdisciplinary behavioral health, involving professionals, paraprofessionals and the people and communities they serve

Our ultimate goal is to facilitate lives of recovery and wellness for all of our underserved and vulnerable community members with behavioral health needs in rural Southwest Michigan with the help of sufficient numbers of treatment providers who are skilled in interprofessional best practices, processes, and evaluation methods. 

APPLICATION INFORMATION

All students who are placed in fieldwork at an eligible I-PEER site will be invited to apply for the stipends. Applicants will be interviewed by CHHS faculty. There is no GPA requirement associated with the program. All students at I-PEER sites may participate in the training, whether they receive the stipend or not.

I-PEER ACTIVITY UPDATES

  • In Year One (2017-18 academic year), Dr. Harrison and Chapleau presented research related to I-PEER at the Joint World Conference on Social Work, Education and Social Development 2018 in Dublin, Ireland and at the Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association’s 2018 Wellness and Recovery Summit in Denver, Colorado.
  • I-PEER student participants complete training in Goal Attainment Scaling (GAS). Participants use GAS to develop and monitor professional and personal development goals throughout their six-month program.

Events

February 18

Involuntary treatment and consent
Two (2) CEU credits offered at NO cost. RSVP and request parking to swrk_ipeer@wmich.edu by Feb. 11.
3 to 5 p.m.  | CHHS room 4010

March 18

Addressing homelessness and housing needs in behavioral health
Two (2) CEU credits offered at NO cost. RSVP to swrk_ipeer@wmich.edu by March 11.
3 to 5 p.m.  | CHHS room 4010

May 13

Human Travicking and Recovery
Seven (7) Social Work and Occupational Therapy CEU credits offered at NO cost. RSVP to swrk_ipeer@wmich.edu by May 1.
8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  | CHHS room 4010

June 3

Global Recovery: Constructs and Documentation
Seven (7) Social Work, Occupational Therapy and MCBAP CEU credits offered at NO cost. RSVP to swrk_ipeer@wmich.edu by May 13.
8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  | CHHS room 4010

Click here for a list of previous I-PEER related events.

Partner organizations

The WMU School of Social Work and Department of Occupational Therapy are always looking for opportunities to partner with behavioral health organizations in the Kalamazoo community and region. For more information on working with WMU social work or occupational therapy students, please contact:

Co-PIs of I-PEER, Drs. Harrison and Chapleau

  • Dr. Ann Chapleauann.chapleau@wmich.edu | (269) 387-7242

    Ann Chapleau, DHS, OTR/L, is an associate professor of occupational therapy at WMU. She has more than 30 years of clinical, administrative and research experience in the behavioral health field. Ann’s current research includes outcome measurement using Goal Attainment Scaling and development of a GAS mobile and web-based application. She is also working with a research team to develop HIPAA-compliant technology for digitization of historical psychiatric records.

  • Dr. Jennifer Harrison | jennifer.harrison@wmich.edu | (269) 387-2556
    Jennifer Harrison, PhD, LMSW, CAADC is a social worker, chemical addictions counselor and assistant professor for the School of Social Work at WMU. Jennifer has been in clinical, research and administrative practice for more than 25 years. Her clinical work focuses on integrated health at Behavioral Health Services. Her research interests include international social justice, co-occurring mental health, substance abuse and medical needs among adults, peer services in behavioral health services.