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it starts with me!  education & support campaign
It Starts with Me Logo

Patients are inundated with information, forms, and stressors making education difficult. Facilities are overwhelmed doing more with less making it challenging to maintain ongoing patient-centered education. This campaign encouraged healthcare staff and patients to develop a culture of education and support to patients by recruiting patient peer mentors for each treatment shift, and creating opportunities for patients to be more involved at the patient, facility, and governance levels of care. An emphasis was placed on issues related to coping and quality of life.
The It Starts With ME! Campaign was implemented in 2014 and 2015 with great success. Facilities developed skills to better engage patients, and patients benefited from sharing their experiences and knowledge with others.


To create a culture among staff and patients that ensures all patients are provided with support and information focused on their concerns and interest to improve experience of care and health outcomes.


Best Practices

  • Support groups- including asking patients about topics desired and having patients lead discussions
  • PEERs identifying troubled patients, such as those who miss treatments, and working to befriend and encourage them
  • PEERs helping to educate others, such as sharing their experiences with home options and transplant referral/surgery, and access washing demonstrations
  • PEERs involved in in-service training for dialysis and extension services, such as NH/rehab staff
  • Arranging special seating to encourage patient interactions
  • Including patients in QA activities
  • Collection of activities patients do OUTSIDE of clinic to promote overall wellbeing/having PEERs assist with the creation of the collection template
  • Compliance competition teams to encourage bonding/friendships to motivate for better choices
  • Bulletin boards with patients sharing education, resources, encouragement, fun facts about themselves.
  • Taste testing supplements and renal recipes
  • Patients doing newsletter
  • Inclusion of PEERs as sources of ideas for tips, information, and ways to distribute information
  • PEERs recruiting PEERs


Visit the It Starts with ME! Education & Support Campaign resource page.