The mission of Project ECHO® is to develop the capacity to safely and effectively treat chronic, common, and complex diseases in rural and underserved areas, and to monitor outcomes of this treatment.
Project ECHO® is funded in part by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and has received support from the New Mexico Legislature, the University of New Mexico, and the New Mexico Department of Public Health.
CHWs get rigorous training with broad applicability
ECHO Community Health Worker Training Initiative (KNME)
The mission of Project ECHO is to develop the capacity to safely and effectively treat chronic, common and complex diseases in rural and underserved areas and to monitor outcomes.
We developed ECHO Community Health Worker (CHW) training models for several health and medical conditions based on the needs of providers and underserved communities around New Mexico. The models were created and implemented with input from experienced CHWs, serving as ECHO's community training facilitators.
There are many effective CHW training programs, and many studies demonstrating the effectiveness of CHWs as chronic disease managers (especially in diabetes). What is different about our model?
Our program has a broad spectrum of training participants: rural, urban, Native American, Hispanic, Caucasian, etc. all within the same cohort. They are also highly diverse by education level, experience level, age and language.
We have three modes of delivery:
Face-to-face training, allowing for hands-on training and practice of skills ;
Weekly teleconferences (with participants on both video and phone), which include presenting and discussing patient cases, resource sharing, networking and strategic didactic presentations by experts, and participant learning loops; and
Video modules for material that doesn't require much interactive Q & A.
There is no cost to participants (no tuition, travel reimbursement, free IT support). The program also includes extensive evaluation.
Community Health Workers: An Introduction
Not a train-the-trainer model
CHWs participate in didactic and case-based learning, and then share and network with one another, reducing isolation and sharing culturally-appropriate solutions.
We are not training for a specific intervention protocol. Rather, we have created a highly rigorous training with broad applicability. For example, this approach allows diabetes specialists to serve within a wide variety of contexts (clinics, diabetes or heart health programs, home visits, elder care or assisted living centers, etc.), perform a wide variety of roles, and move within roles in their employment and improve their employment opportunities.
This isn't "one and done" - quality assurance and ongoing learning are provided by weekly teleconferences during and following training period. We provide basic certification and added “endorsements” in specific skills they have mastered.
Project ECHO Focus Group Training
"Introduction to Motivational Interviewing"
(Presentation by Keri Bolton Oetzel, PhD)
Videos from the New Mexico Department of Health
The Transition to Medical Case Management
Infectious Disease Bureau
Presentation by Linda Gorgos, MD, MSc, Medical Director, New Mexico Department of Health Part 1 (PDF) | Part 2 (PDF)