Operation House Call is a course formed in partnership with The Arc of Massachusetts. In 1991 Boston University became a pioneer in this training when Dr. David Coulter, a neurologist whose brother has developmental disability, together with Dr. Ben Siegel, Director of Pediatric Training, approached The Arc to create the course. Their point of view was that families could effectively teach future doctors and health care professionals important information about living with an intellectual and/or developmental disability (IDD).
In 2015-2016 Yale School of Nursing piloted Operation House Call for their graduate entry program nurses (affectionately known as GEPN’s). It is now a requirement for incoming classes of GEPN students, 120 students a year.
The OHC course includes class time with an OHC Parent Instructor, meeting a young co-teacher with IDD, review of the OHC Website materials, a two hour home visit to a volunteer family, and student comments in the OHC Website Class Forum about their home visit learning. Feedback, support and further resources are provided in the forum by the OHC team.
The OHC Website has course readings, videos and weblinks to community supports. These resources are accessible to the students throughout the academic year. Peer learning and discussion is encouraged in class and in the class forums as participants learn from various family experiences.
Key to this program’s success is the support of Connecticut OHC volunteer families who agree to host a pair of students in their home. Families act as educators, providing the students with personal experiences outside of a clinical setting. Warmth, honesty, and the sharing of personal experience make these families excellent teachers.
YSN OHC Program Contacts:
Susanna Peyton RN MSN, Program Director, firstname.lastname@example.org
Carolyn Cappiello RN, CT Family Coordinator and Parent Instructor, email@example.com
Kristina DaCosta, CT Parent Instructor, firstname.lastname@example.org
Andrea Finnegan, CT Parent Instructor, email@example.com