Support Teams

Logo UAB Medicine Pastoral Care Support Team Network

Visit our new Support Team Network website at for more information and updates.


Every person with a health care need will have a loving and supportive community.


The Support Team Network teaches volunteer teams how to work together to meet the practical, emotional, and spiritual concerns of persons with health care needs.

Team Approach

A team approach makes it easier for a patient (and caregiver) to receive support because all activities are communicated through regular, informal conversations with just one or two trusted persons.

Second, a team approach makes it easier for persons on the team to do what they love to do, when they can, in a coordinated way, with a built-in support system.

What does a Support Team do?

Examples of what a Support Team can do includes: a friendly visitor, a telephone call of encouragement, a handwritten note of hope, a ride to the doctor, preparing and delivering a nutritious meal that the person loves to eat, picking up medicines from the pharmacy, sharing reading materials or a prayer, and much more.  The key is coordinating this care so that it is best for the person receiving it, and most practical for those offering it.

We start teams in a couple of ways.

We begin with a person who needs and wants support, and then build a team around him/her from a congregation, co-workers, neighbors, friends, or a combination of these relationships.

Two, we train Support Team “Coaches” in congregations so they can start teams for anyone they already know, or so they can reach out to persons who they do not know or who do not have enough support in their community.

Community Partners and UAB Medicine

UAB Medicine and faith communities share a calling to care for persons who have health care needs in Alabama, and so we work together with “Partner Congregations” throughout the state.  This educational program is available to anyone and is not limited to UAB patients.

Support Teams reflect UAB Medicine’s core values:

  • Always care – Listen with empathy, be compassionate and support those in need.
  • Own it – Be accountable, take action and make it happen.
  • Work together – Think win-win, build consensus and play your role on the team.
  • Do right – Follow through, work with principles, and do no harm.

More information:

Drexel Rayford, Ph.D., Support Team Network Program Manager, at or call 205-934-1234 for more information.

Disclaimer: UAB Medicine provides training and materials for the community to organize volunteer Support Teams. This Support Team model is one of many ways a community can work together to care for one another. Each team is responsible for its own actions and relationships.