United Spinal completes Peer Mentoring training day in San Jose

A group of 27 persons with a spinal cord injury and disorder and medical professionals in the SCI field gathered this past Saturday for the largest one-day Peer Mentoring training held in Northern California.  The training was led by United Spinal Association’s trainer, Jane Wierbicky, who has been an RN for over 30 years, and was organized by NorCal SCI.

Participants at the Peer Mentoring training day

Participants at the Peer Mentoring training day

The day-long event attracted participants from as far as Fresno, Sacramento and San Francisco and had a mix of current peer supporters and those aspiring to become one, a family member, and medical professionals and was held at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center.  It was also an incredible opportunity to make new friends and learn about each other’s challenges and ultimately how to better serve the SCI community.


Multiple role-playing sessions were held to illustrate how to deal with the many difficult situations that tend to arise from SCI that a peer mentor can effectively assist with.  Following introductions, Dr. James Crew, Chief of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at SCVMC, shared with the attendees the critical role a peer mentor plays in the recovery process of a newly-injured person and expressed his appreciation to everyone in attendance for their commitment.

All 27 attendees will receive their certificate of completion of the training from United Spinal.  NorCal SCI is proud of its collaboration with United Spinal and SCVMC to host this event.  Our hope is to hold training events like this on annual basis to increase the number of peer mentors throughout Northern California.