Peer Mentor Program

Our mentors share their own experiences from a peer perspective, and listen to our patients and caregivers. They understand the toll a serious health issue can take on our families. Our participants say this one-on-one communication with another patient or caregiver has been extremely beneficial.
Peer Mentors can:
  • Provide information, guidance and emotional support to patients who have experienced a serious health issue.
  • Help patients confront challenging issues and emotions.
  • Offer a network of peers to help those experiencing a health issue to not feel alone.
  • Encourage patients to partner in their care.
All peer mentors are volunteers of the Michigan Medicine who have received extensive training. Conversations are kept in strict confidence. You can connect with a mentor in person or by phone, have a single conversation or more – whatever you find most helpful!

Check this video highlighting the benefits of having a peer mentor program. 

This video was made possible by funding from the Mott Golf Classic. 

Current Peer Mentor Programs

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Peer Mentor Program

Sandy Lemkin, Clinical Care Coordinator & Mentor Coordinator 


Bone Marrow Transplant Peer Mentor Program

Kathryn Hudacek, Nurse & Mentor Coordinator


Cardiac Rehab Peer Mentor Program

Diane Perry, Exercise Physiologist & Mentor Coordinator


Cochlear Implant Peer Mentor Program

Heidi Slager, Audiologist & Mentor Coordinator

Kelly Starr, Speech/Language Pathologist & Mentor Coordinator 


Community Amputee Network (U-CAN) Peer Visitor Program

Carla Vollmer, Limb Loss Support & Mentor Coordinator


Congenital Heart Center Peer Mentor Program

Chris Kozel, Social Worker & Mentor Coordinator 


COVID Peer Mentor Program

Mari Pitcher, Social Worker & Mentor Coordinator 


Cystic Fibrosis Peer Mentor Program 

Katie Hall, Social Worker & Mentor Coordinator


Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) Peer Mentor Program

Elizabeth Boggs, Social Worker & Mentor Coordinator

Gloria Patterson, Social Worker & Mentor Coordinator


Epilepsy-Pediatric Peer Mentor Program 

Ashley Barnes, Peds Epilepsy Coordinator & Mentor Coordinator 


Heart Failure Peer Mentor Program

Melissa Cunningham, Volunteer Coordinator


Heart Transplant & LVAD Peer Mentor Program

Jessica Singer, Social Worker & Mentor Coordinator 

Jack Harrington


HATP Peer Mentor Program

Toia Dennis, Social Worker & Mentor 


IBD-Pediatric Peer Mentor Program

Nicole Hall, Social Worker & Mentor 


Implantable Cardiac Device Peer Mentor Program

Melissa Cunningham, Volunteer Coordinator 


Kidney Transplant (Donor and Recipient) Peer Mentor Program 

Stacy Brand, Transplant Center Outreach Manager & Mentor Coordinator


Kidney Transplant Pediatric Peer Mentor Program

Matt Butler, Social Worker & Mentor Coordinator


Liver Transplant (Donor and Recipient) Mentor Program

Jennifer Smith, Social Worker & Mentor Coordinator


Liver Transplant Pediatric Peer Mentor Program

Tanya Smith, Social Worker & Mentor Coordinator 


Lung Transplant Peer Mentor Program 

Amy Van Zee, Social Worker & Mentor Coordinator


Neurology/Epilepsy Pediatric Peer Mentor Program

Ashley Barnes, Social Worker & Mentor Coordinator


NICU Peer Mentor Program

Michele Martin, Nursing Supervisor & Mentor Coordinator 

Corrie Ziegman


Ortho-Shoulder/Knee Replacement Peer Mentor Program

Melissa Cunningham, Volunteer Coordinator


Pregnancy and Newborn Loss Peer Mentor Program

Lisbeth Harbcourt, Social Worker & Mentor Coordinator


Prostate Cancer Center Peer Mentor Program

[email protected]


Pulmonary Hypertension Peer Mentor Program

Melissa Cunningham, Volunteer Coordinator


Radiation Oncology Peer Mentor Program

Deanna Carr-West, Radiation Therapist & Mentor Coordinator

Tayler Lashbrook, Radiation Therapist & Mentor Coordinator


Same Sex Surrogacy Birth Peer Mentor Program

Melissa Cantrell, Clinical Care & Mentor Coordinator


Scleroderma Peer Mentor Program

Maya Sabbagh, Mentor Coordinator


Scoliosis Peer Mentor Program

Marisa Rhodes, Manager Peds Orhopedics & Mentor Coordinator


Spinal Cord Injury & PM&R Peer Mentor Program

Patricia Zuba, Spinal Injury Clinical Specialist & Mentor Coordinator


Stroke Peer Mentor Program

Melissa Cunningham, Volunteer Coordinator


Throat, Neck, & Head Cancer Peer Mentor Program

Melissa Cunningham, Volunteer Coordinator


Urology Peer Mentor Program

Lisa Mathias, Clinical Care & Mentor Coordinator