MIRECC Matters - Fall 2022
MIRECC Peer Specialist selected VISN 5 Peer of the Year
Each year VA Peer Specialists are nominated locally for their achievements, and one is selected as Peer Specialist of the Year for their VA’s. These Peers go on to be nominated for VISN wide recognition and if selected, are among Peers nominated nationally for VA Peer Specialist of the year.
This year, VISN5 MIRECC Peer Specialist, Tracy Robertson, was nominated and selected as both VA Maryland Health Care System (VAMHCS), and as VISN 5, Peer Specialist of the Year. Her work at the MIRECC and with the VAMHCS has been invaluable.
Peers selected for this honor demonstrate skills as an exemplary role model of recovery for other Veterans. They show highly effective communication skills and an above average ability to build productive collaborative relationships with colleagues and fellow Veterans. They display a wide breadth of knowledge about VHA community resources and adeptly share that information with Veterans and colleagues to be of benefit to Veterans interests and goals. They demonstrate advanced skills in empowering Veterans and encouraging Veterans to advocate for themselves in service of their personal goals and interests.
Tracy works on a small team of Peer Specialists at the VISN5 MIRECC that lend their knowledge and skills on a variety of MIRECC research studies, educational activities and clinical demonstration projects. They are often called upon to be interventionists in the implementation of peer-led recovery-oriented interventions, with Veteran participants in MIRECC research. They also provide input on the development and implementation of these studies. Tracy also facilitates groups at the Baltimore PRRC and provides individual Peer Support via telehealth as part of the VAMHCS Tele-mental health Hub. Recently, Tracy was asked to be part of a national work group focused on making the VA Beyond MST (Military Sexual Trauma) app more accessible to Veterans via the help of Peers.
Colleagues and fellow Veterans have praised her work. She has simultaneously demonstrated great skill connecting with Veterans and speaking up effectively on interdisciplinary teams. She has taken initiative on multiple occasions to carve out her own role in various efforts, and continues to operate with humility, emphasizing her lived experience as a Veteran in recovery and relating well to everybody. We are delighted to recognize her efforts, and indeed to acknowledge the extraordinary work performed across VA by the Peer workforce on behalf Veterans.
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