The Support Team Network’s mission is to enable volunteers to come together to offer intentional support to persons with healthcare needs.
A Team Approach allows people to do what they love, when they can, in a coordinated way, with a built-in support system.
The team approach also makes it easier for the recipient to receive care by communicating all activities through one trusted person.
We start teams in two ways. One, we begin with a person who needs support and build a team around them from their congregation, co-workers, neighbors or friends.
Two, we offer free orientation to groups in congregations and organizations so that they can start teams for persons they know, or reach out to others in the community who do not have anyone.
Examples of what a Support Team can do includes: a friendly visitor at home or in the hospital, a telephone call of encouragement, a handwritten note of hope, cutting someone’s grass, taking them to a doctor’s appointment, preparing and delivering a meal, picking up medicines from the pharmacy, sharing reading materials or a prayer, and much more.
The Support Team Network is coordinated by the UAB Pastoral Care department and works with “Support Team Champions” in the UAB Health System as well as with community members. This is the first program of its kind to be offered by an academic University Medical Center or public hospital as an education outreach program.
Brief History: The Support Team Network has taught persons to develop volunteer teams through 125 two-day trainings located in 37 states. Over 5,000 persons have attended the two-day trainings, and an estimated 10,000 teams have been created.
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.
- Best Practices of Support Teams – Learn abou the flexibility of Support Teams
- Discovery Events – One hour introductory workshops about Support Teams.
- Support Team Orientation – Preparation to be on a Support Team.
- Support Team Development Training – Two-day training to learn how to start Support Teams for any need.
- Support Team Development Guidebook – How to develop Support Teams.
- Support Team Videos – Training resources for Support Team development.
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.