Peer-to-Peer Learning: Building Meaningful Relationships through NaRCAD’s Peer Connection Program
An interview with Cheryl Radeloff, Senior Health Educator at the Southern Nevada Health District in the Office of Disease Surveillance.
By Aanchal Gupta, Program Coordinator, NaRCAD
Tags: Detailing Visits, HIV/AIDS, PrEP
Aanchal: Hi Cheryl, we’re looking forward to hearing more about your experience in the NaRCAD Peer Connection Program! How did you hear about the program and what encouraged you to sign up?
Cheryl: I found out about the 2021 Peer Connection Program from a NaRCAD e-blast and was intrigued with the idea of joining a learning community. I instantly knew that I wanted to sign up since it would be a place where I could feel comfortable asking questions. I gravitated to the fact that I would be communicating with other peers in the field during cohort gatherings and learning about approaches that we could emulate in our program.
Aanchal: Yes, having that 1:1 time with your peer, as well as the cohort gatherings where other participants in the program come together, are added ways to network with the detailing community. Would you recommend this program to others that are interested in signing up?
Cheryl: Absolutely! You should sign up even if you're a seasoned academic detailer or new to detailing. You're going to get tips, insights, and resources to get you started in a welcoming environment. This is a field where you never stop learning so it’s not only an opportunity to share lessons learned, but to learn from others as well. There are people from across the world who have different experiences and expertise that you can take back to your program.
Aanchal: One of the special aspects of the program is the sharing of resources and ideas. Are there any conversations that you had with your peer that made an impact on your detailing work or changed the way you thought about your program?
Cheryl: The time spent with my peer was invaluable. During changing times with COVID-19, it can be daunting, and you tend to wonder if you’re doing things right or where you should even start. She was so generous in talking through challenges such as funding, recruiting providers, and more with me. She even shared a PowerPoint that they developed to educate pharmacy students about academic detailing.
During the mid-point peer connection gathering, I was able to learn about a program in Chicago. They were very innovative; if they didn’t have an approach in place for their program, they designed it. Although my clinical topic may not be the same as others, there are still concepts and tools that I can model after these programs.
Aanchal: It’s great to hear about these fruitful conversations you had and how there’s always something to learn from others in the detailing community. How would you describe your experience overall with the peer connection program?
Cheryl: Every time I attended a peer gathering, I always learned something and never had to question what I was gaining from these meetings. I think it’s essential to hear about what’s going on in the field. It’s difficult as we’re all busy people, yet it’s important not only for learning and development, but a necessary element to have peers to consult.
I found the structure of this program to be helpful as we were given the reins to set up 1:1 meetings with our peer match over several months. In addition to that, there were gatherings where the entire cohort could come together and connect which I appreciated.
Aanchal: Those are some great takeaways, and we are glad to hear about the impact the program has had on your work! To wrap up, we’d love to learn more about what you’ve been up to at the Southern Nevada Health District.
Cheryl: I’ve been with the Southern Nevada Health District for 13 years. Along with being a detailer, I’m also the public health co-chair for our HIV prevention planning group. We meet a few times a year to talk about HIV prevention initiatives, as required by the CDC. I also work with many of our community-based organizations to talk about the fundamentals of HIV.
Academic detailing has been an important strategy for the work that we do. Our main AD initiatives we've been working on are uptake of PrEP and PEP. We have two PrEP navigators who've been educating the community about these initiatives. Lastly, congenital syphilis has been a big topic for us as we’re currently fourth in the country for the highest rates of syphilis.
Aanchal: Thank you so much for sharing your experience, Cheryl. We’re so glad that the Peer Connection Program has had a positive impact on your detailing work and can’t wait to hear more about your program’s AD initiatives in the future. We look forward to continuing these connections with our 2022 cohort!
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Biography: Cheryl Radeloff is currently a Senior Health Educator with the Southern Nevada Health District Office of Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance. Formerly she was Disease Investigation and Intervention Specialist II. She is also an adjunct professor of Sociology at UNLV as well as Women’s Studies at the College of Southern Nevada. She received her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 2004. Her dissertation “Vectors, Polluters, and Murderers: HIV Testing Policies toward Prostitutes in Nevada” explored the development of mandatory testing laws for legal and non-legal sex workers in the state of Nevada. Her work duties include serving as the public health co-chair for the Southern Nevada HIV/AIDS Prevention Planning Group as well as training community providers on Rapid HIV Testing. She is the co-author of multiple editions of Transforming Scholarship: Why Women’s and Gender Studies Students are Changing Themselves and the World with Michele T. Berger for Routledge Press.
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