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Trainers Corner

Latest news from Peer Workforce Development

The Importance of CPR Training in the Workplace

Peer Washington Workforce Development Team May 2022

Per Washington cares deeply about its employees and one way of showing staff
appreciation is twice-yearly bonuses (lol) but it also shows up in other ways like a fully
paid CPR training for all staff. CPR isn’t sexy or brand new but it does save lives and
when the Peer Washington Workforce Development team toured the sites and
gathered information in the fall of 2021, all the sites put CPR at the top of the list. So
within 6 months, the Workforce Development team, in partnership with Peer WA
management, researched and purchased a CPR training system. We would like to invite
you to take a CPR course.

For more information on our CPR class offerings, please email Michelle Tinkler at

Making the case for CPR in the workplace

Accidents can happen anytime and anywhere. One of the basic trainings that Peer
Washington offers is cardiopulmonary resuscitation, better known as CPR. It is an
emergency procedure that uses chest compressions and artificial ventilation to help a
person suffering from cardiac arrest recover. Looking at it, CPR seems rather simple
and straightforward. However, there’s a reason why professionals are put to the task of
teaching how to do it properly.

1. It Saves Lives

This is perhaps the most significant benefit of giving our employees proper CPR training. Cardiac arrests are a matter of life and death. According to recent data, 90% of
people who suffer from cardiac arrest die before they reach a hospital or medical care

CPR is intended to keep the patient’s organ systems and blood circulation stable while
they are yet to be examined by a medical professional. Having an employee die in the
workplace is an extremely traumatic event. We don’t want anyone on our team wishing
that they could’ve done something to prevent their co-worker’s condition from getting

2. It Lessens the Worries of People In the Workplace

There is a general sense of safety and relief knowing that if something unfortunate did
happen in the workplace, it is a high probability that one of your co-workers can save
your life.

3. Reduces Workplace Accidents

Looking at it long-term, CPR and first aid training also provide you with the knowledge
to avoid accidents in the workplace. Part of the training phase teaches them about the
impact of cardiac arrests and certain accidents on their bodies. Thus, they will make the
extra effort to ensure that these incidences will never happen again.

4. Reduces the Recovery Time

Even if the employee who suffered from a cardiac arrest makes it to the hospital in
time, there is a strong chance that they will take a long time to recover. Aside from
saving lives, CPR also lessens the impact of cardiac arrests on the person. The longer
the person suffers from the condition, the bigger its toll on their body.

If an individual receives CPR seconds after the cardiac arrest happens, not only will
their life be saved, but their body will also suffer less. This means the person will pay less on medical bills, and they can get back to working as soon as they can. Of
course, since the patient's heart is saved from taking too much damage, the chances of the cardiac arrest recurring are potentially minimalized too.

5. Peer Washington cares about you and your health

We hope that providing incentives like free CPR trainings will motivate people to work
for a Peer Washington site. Peer WA is concerned for the people that work so hard in
a sometimes thankless job. We believe that Incorporating CPR training into our
company's safety culture can help increase employee morale. Providing our
employees with CPR and first aid training is just one of the many ways we can show
that we care for the health and well-being of our employees. Workforce Development
wants to know if there are any other trainings or activities that we can do to improve
our company culture (not just the safety culture). Please let us know by emailing Jenna
Cook at

Quarter 1: 2022


Hello Everyone! Welcome to 2022! We feel like this is going to be an amazing and a challenging year for our team. We are excited to take on that challenge! Our goal as a team is to be able to bring our community high-quality trainings that are meaningful and assist with workforce development. We have shifted our focus from internal trainings to external trainings and projects only. We would like to take the time to let you know what we are up to. We currently have 3 staff members, and we subcontract with several trainers to assist us in our external projects. Stephanie Lane is the Chief Workforce Development Officer and oversees getting new projects and making sure the team has what they need to get the job done. Michelle Tinkler oversees internal administrative duties like preparing deliverables to be invoiced, the hiring process, and the Behavioral Health Ombuds Contract for training. Jenna is currently in charge of both external projects and trainings. We are looking to hire a seasoned Program Manager to take over the external training development. We will be hiring 2 Program Managers, 1 Program Director, and 1 PSS within the next two months, so if you know of anyone who is amazing at community organizing, training, and/or has a veteran or first responder background please let us know at We are looking forward to growing our staff with positive enthusiastic individuals who love peer support.

We have several projects underway. If you read about a project that we are working on and wish to know more, please do not hesitate to contact us at


New Policy


Any Peer Washington site Director may request a training from us from our training catalog. Email if you are interested in one of Peer Workforce Development (PWD) trainings. There may be fees and travel costs associated with any training you request from PWD. We understand that all sites are different and have unique training needs that may be best met with external trainers focused on the specific needs of the site. We are primarily focused on external trainings and new exciting projects at this time. If you are interested in becoming a Certified Peer Counselor (CPC), we can help you understand the process and assist with links to the application and prerequisite.


*We do provide Recovery Coach trainings which will be reimbursed by the new Recovery Coach grant that Peer Washington received. The number of trainings is limited and must be approved by Cody West.

Team Spotlight


Jenna Cook


Please see our interview with Jenna Cook! Our

employee interviews are a great way to get to know

your fellow peers better and where they come from.

Project Spotlight


Crisis Awareness and Communication in Peer Settings


This is a two-year grant, contracted with Health Care Authority (HCA), with weekly stakeholder meetings. We created the pre-requisite at the Washington State University Peer Workforce Alliance in the summer of 2021. This 40-hour curriculum builds on that training. We will create a curriculum, train the trainer event, and put on the first pilot training by June 2022.

Technical Assistance for organizations that want to become a Recovery Community Organization (RCO)

This is a contract with the Healthcare Authority that focuses on Josh Wallace as a leader and his vision for the RCO community. This is a partnership with Brad Berry from Community Voices are Born (CVAB) and David Coffee from the Seattle Recovery Café. There will be several webinars introducing all the types of organizations and their vision. Organizations that attend the webinars will be able to identify the type of organization they want to become and then they will be mentored by that particular agency. We are currently working with 3 agencies providing them technical assistance about how to become an RCO. Blue Mountain (Walla Walla), Trilogy (Walla Walla), and Okanogan Behavioral Health have asked us to have a conversation about how to build and sustain a peer ran organization.

First Responder Peer Support Program with Mason County Sheriff’s Department

Mason County Sheriff’s department has hired us to create a first responder peer support program. In January 2022, we had our first training with 26 participants representing 12 first responder agencies (mostly police agencies). The Department of Corrections (DOC) director was in attendance to see if this is a program they would like to adopt state-wide. The DOC has asked us to create a peer support program for them. The Washington Association of Sherriff and Police Chiefs have requested funding to begin an annual peer support training program. This training was co-developed over several months with the Mason County Sheriff’s department and contains a full day of Mental Health First Aid certification. We are now revamping the pilot peer support program and getting ready for a second training.


Joint Base Lewis McChord (JBLM) Active-Duty Certified Peer Counseling Project

We are currently in contract negotiation with JBLM to create a peer support program for US Army active-duty soldiers. We have a training scheduled for the end of April 2022. This training is in collaboration with HCA and the soldiers that participate will be taking the CPC exam at the end of this training. This training is a result of a training that was done in May of 2020 where JBLM invited 2 chaplains from bases around the country to introduce them to the Washington State Certified Peer Counseling program. JBLM are starting their own peer support program and have chosen Peer WA as the agency to deliver this training.

Behavioral Health Institute (BHI) Apprenticeship Paid Program for Peers

BHI has contracted with Peer WA PWD to create a college course and paid internship track for peer support specialists. We are busy getting a stakeholder group together and we are basing the curriculum on the HCA’s Certified Peer Counseling (CPC) training. Many peers will be happy to know that this is an enhancement and not a replacement for the current CPC training. As of now, the current CPC program will remain the same excellent workforce development program that has always been available. We are enhancing the peer support opportunities for growth and empowerment through the development of a community college credential and paid apprenticeship program for peers.

CHOICE Health Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) Certified Peer Counseling Program

We are creating a specialized OUD CPC training for rural SouthWest Washington. We will be inviting anyone in recovery from opioid use disorder to attend the 5 day CPC training with job placement assistance after the training. Individuals with criminal justice involvement are highly encouraged to apply. This training will be held in June 2022.

Community Integration Training

Last year we sent several individuals to a Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) training for first responders. We are looking forward to getting that program up and running. We are forming a peer-led CIT training cohort to train police officers on peer values and core competencies. We hope to do our first training by November 2022.

Department of Corrections Peer Support Program Development and Implementation

The Department of Corrections Director attended the first responder peer support training and has asked Peer WA PWD division to start discussing what it would take to create a peer support program for correction staff at all levels. This is a complimentary program to another program that is creating a peer support program for incarcerated individuals being done by another agency.

Muckleshoot Indian Tribe Bridge Trainings

We are contracted to bring 3 BRIDGE trainings to Muckleshoot Indian Tribe. A BRIDGE training is a two-and-a-half-day Certified Peer Counseling (CPC) training for individuals who already have their Recovery Coach Certificate. It saves time and money for folks who can’t afford to take five full days off to take a CPC class. There is an exam associated with this training.

Valley Cities Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) Trainings

PWD is contracted with Valley Cities to teach WRAP refreshers, WRAP II and WRAP I trainings.


Mentoring new Certified Peer Counseling Trainers

We are starting a new mentorship program for individuals interested in becoming a CPC trainer. Mentees meet monthly and participate as trainers in CPC and Bridge trainings. They are mentored for a year, required to attend a Train the Trainer by CVAB and then they will be able to train the CPC training on their own.

Request for Proposal (RFP) and Grants Spotlight


We are currently in the process of writing the following proposals:

Recovery Coach Training

This proposal is for 50K (1 year) for 4 Recovery Coach Academy trainings. This will allow more flexibility and create a funding stream for the much-needed Recovery Coach trainings each site is required to hold. Proposal Won!

Emotional Support Network

This proposal is for 500K for 2 years renewable for up to 6 years and is for creating an emotional support network for peers in Washington State. We are designing an emotional support network that we will be renaming with input from the advisory group. It is in the beginning stages of development. Proposal Won!

Peer Pathways Conference (200K)

The Peer Pathways conference is coming, and we are applying for it this year. We hope it will be in person, but we may have to plan for a hybrid or one more year online. Peer WA is a perfect home for the largest state-wide peer conference! Rainbow Makers LLC won this bid.

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