Ambassador Program

Triumph Foundation has a team of 80 professionally trained Community Health Advocates (CHA) that we call Ambassadors. As public health workers, our Ambassador CHAs are trusted members of the Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) community who have been injured a minimum of two years and successfully reintegrated back into the community. They are a diverse group of qualified men and women who vary in age, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and injury level. Triumph's Ambassador CHAs practice cultural humility, engaging in lifelong learning and self-reflection to develop meaningful connections and provide culturally sensitive support to people with new injuries to their spinal cord.

Our unique community has its own culture that includes a native language and needs that only other community members can genuinely relate to and understand. Our Ambassador CHAs empower individuals to become self-sufficient while facilitating access to services, advocating for other members, and providing education to enhance wellness.

The National SCI Statistics Center reports the length of stay in an average acute inpatient rehabilitation has gone from 98 to 35 days and outpatient rehab from 20 to 12 days. This discrepancy leaves people with spinal cord injuries with more questions and fewer skills when reintegrating into their communities.

Triumph's Ambassador CHAs help bridge this gap while helping prevent secondary health conditions, which are primary contributors to emergency room visits, readmissions, and institutionalizations for people with SCI. Prevention of secondary health conditions such as urinary tract infections (UTI) and pressure ulcers (PU) can help reduce per capita cost for hospitals while improving health outcomes within our community.

Our Ambassador CHAs aim to reduce secondary health conditions by providing health education, peer mentorship, family and caregiver support, referrals to resources, skill reinforcement, and a connection to the SCI community.

Ambassador CHAs at Triumph are recruited through participation in our support groups located throughout Southern California. They are identified as distinguished attendees that are selected by demonstrating exemplary social skills, temperaments, and personality traits. Recruitments are then trained at our annual Ambassador CHW Training conference, monthly web conferences for continuing education, and required to complete a minimum of 15 service hours each year.

The annual Ambassador CHA Training conference is an intensive 10-hour day led by Triumph’s dedicated team of model peer mentors and other qualified instructors such as psychologists specializing in SCI, social workers, and other healthcare professionals.

The competency-based training covers:

  • Communication skills
  • Interpersonal and relationship-building skills
  • Knowledge base resources (community services, specific-health issues, support systems)
  • Service coordination skills
  • Capacity building skills
  • Advocacy skills
  • Education and facilitation skills
  • Organizational skills
  • Hospital policies (HIPPA)
  • Triumph’s Code of Conduct

Once all requirements are completed, Ambassador CHAs are added to our peer mentorship roster. Each Ambassador CHA is carefully matched to participants in our Newly Injured Support program based on the compatibility of many characteristics such as injury level, age, sex, ethnicity, etc., to foster a quality relationship in which individuals can relate to each other.