Season’s Greetings & Happy New Year!
As 2012 draws to a close, we want to take a moment to highlight the milestones of the past year with the Phoenix Society and the SOAR program. The changes and growth we have experienced this year are very exciting! Five additional burn centers have partnered to bring in the Phoenix Society’s SOAR program to their hospitals. This brings the total number of SOAR burn centers to 55. In 2012 there have been 136 burn survivors and family members trained as SOAR Peer Supporters as well as 46 Coordinators added to facilitate the matching and program administration with our partnering SOAR affiliated hospitals. The growing interest in Peer Support is phenomenal. More professionals than ever are realizing the difference that “talking to someone who has been there” can make. Thank you for your investment in the Phoenix Society’s SOAR program – Your devotion truly reflects your belief in the power of peer support.
A new resource this year to the Phoenix Society is the Online Social Skills Training module which offers burn survivors, family members and burn care professionals the opportunity to learn strategies to better cope with the social challenges they face post-burn injury. Burn survivors and their families will learn:
• How to answer uncomfortable questions
• How to start conversations
• What to do when people stare
• How to handle teasing and bullying
• How to apply makeup to even skin tones.
Our goal for the SOAR Coordinators and Peer Supporters is to become familiar with the Online Social Skills Training program and to utilize it to empower burn survivors and family members in their recovery process. No one affected by a burn injury need leave the burn center or their home without being prepared for social interactions. Social competence is only a click away.
Another addition to the Phoenix Society online programming this year is the introduction of The Journey Back Resources to Assist School Reentry after Burn Injury or Traumatic Loss to the website. The online module is now available on our website and will be a significant asset to the burn support community and beyond. They will be able to find tips and instruction for maximizing use of the Journey Back program. The first quarter of 2013 will bring a roll-out of the updated Journey Back manual in an online format, making the content and tools more accessible and user-friendly than ever before.
As we look forward to 2013, the expansion of the firefighter peer support component of the Phoenix Society’s SOAR Program is already in progress. A 2013 Educational Peer
Support Summit will take place at the end of January to further promote the benefits of Peer Support within the firefighter community as well as the partnership between The Phoenix Society, The IAFF Burn Foundation, and the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. We are grateful to the firefighter community as we join together in this venture to support burn injured firefighters and their families in the burn trauma recovery process.
I wish you and your family a safe and Happy Holiday Season and a bright and cheerful New Year. I look forward to the upcoming growth of our Peer Supporter Network around the country in 2013. It is with deep appreciation I applaud you for your continued dedication and support of those affected by a burn injury.
Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors