Peer Coaching Hed

What is Peer Connections?

Program Name Change!
The Peer Coaching Planning Team is in the process of modifying the program. To start, we are changing the program name from "Peer Coaching" to "Peer Connections" as we feel it better fits the goals and objectives of the program. Stay tuned for future additions such as more committee opportunities and program offerings! 
The Peer Connections Program is a free opportunity for staff and faculty to connect and collaborate with colleagues from various midwestern regional medical schools. The program hosts a variety of networking opportunities throughout the year for peer connections participants and the medical school community. This Peer Connections Program annually matches colleagues from different medical schools who have similar interests in research and/or teaching. Participants complete a survey and select potential matches by reviewing the goals and interests of other participants. Peer Connections enrollment renews every summer for new and existing peer coaching groups. The Peer Connections Collaborative Committee will reach out to the coaching groups throughout the year to foster enriching group experiences.
Potential Peer Connections Group Outcomes: 
  • Build meaningful connections with colleagues from other medical schools
  • Collaborate on teaching methodologies
  • Accountability partner to help achieve SMART goals
  • Build connections for promotion dossier references
  • Inter-school collaboration for scholarship
  • Invitations to teach or present your work
  • Insight into methodologies and solutions utilized by other medical schools
  • Reflect on professional challenges and strengths
  • Support in solving career related problems

Peer Connections Newsletter Signup

Calendar Events

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In 2015, Jean Bailey from Central Michigan School of Medicine and Ann Voorheis-Sargent from OUWB School of Medicine had an idea for a connection program between our medical schools. Since OUWB and Central Michigan were both newer medical schools and had mostly junior faculty, Jean and Ann thought that a way to build connections for junior faculty members with similar teaching and research interests might support opportunities for collaboration. In 2016, the Peer Coaching program was launched. In the first year, it was advertised to only faculty at our two medical schools. The program matched interested faculty by disciplines. In the spring, they held a small networking event.

Due to the success of the connections that were built, Jean and Ann reached out to the other 5 medical schools in Michigan and invited them to participate in the program. The following year, they offered a networking program at Michigan State University for all medical schools. Since then, the tradition continues and the program has grown. Two new annual networking events have been added to the annual programming. Some peer groups stay together for longer than one year, other groups might dissolve and new groups will be formed, some faculty have more than one coach, and staff members are now invited to participate.

Read more about Dr. Bailey and Dr. Voorheis-Sargent’s start to the “Regional Peer Coaching Program for Basic Science Faculty

Read an August 2020 article on the Peer Coaching Program.


The Peer Connections Newsletter is a bimonthly email that includes peer connections tips, event information, and a platform to share Michigan Medical School bulletins. Newsletter recipients are invited to share their institution’s professional development programming and calls for research collaboration between institutions.

January 2024 Newsletter

February 2024 Newsletter

April 2024 Newsletter


The video testimonial above features Judy Blebea, M.D., Associate Dean, Faculty Development and Faculty Affairs, Professor of Radiology - Diagnostic, Central Michigan University College of Medicine, and J. M. Monica van de Ridder, Ph.D., MSc, Assistant Professor Department of Emergency Medicine, Michigan State University College of Human Medicine.

Another testimonial

"Participating in the peer coaching program enabled me to network with colleagues in a meaningful way from medical schools across Michigan. The peer coaching experience goes beyond a single networking event, as you meet with colleagues regularly throughout the year to build solid relationships. Within my peer coaching group, we shared challenges and advice, collaborated on scholarship, and developed friendships. These relationships will last beyond the coaching experience, broadening my network of colleagues on whom I can rely on to help guide and support my career. 

Peer coaching is a method of supporting reflection, learning, goal setting, and problem-solving for professional growth. Goals can vary for each participant and may change during the coaching process, as challenges are overcome and new hurdles are encountered. Goals can relate to any aspect of professional work, including scholarly pursuits, improving teaching performance, interpersonal challenges, networking, or solving “wicked” problems." 

– Laura Bauler, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine



Contact Us

The Peer Connections Planning Team

Tori ArnoldOUWB School of Medicine[email protected]
Taylor BattagliaOUWB School of Medicine[email protected]
Amy GyorkosWMU Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine[email protected]
Jyotsna PandeyCMU College of Medicine[email protected]
Carol RestiniMSU College of Osteopathic Medicine[email protected]
Georgette RussellMSU Health Sciences[email protected]
Ann Voorheis-Sargent, Ph.D., LPCOUWB School of Medicine[email protected]
Katie WeyandOUWB School of Medicine[email protected]