Project ECHO

Project ECHO®

MSC07 4245
1001 Medical Arts Ave. NE
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87102
Help Desk: (505) 750-3246 (ECHO)
IT: (505) 750-4897
Fax: (505) 272-6906

Sanjeev Arora

Sanjeev Arora,
MD, Director


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.

Prisoner Health is Community Health: The NM Peer Education Project


The New Mexico Peer Education Project (NM PEP) is a collaboration with the New Mexico Corrections Department and the New Mexico Department of Health. PEP was developed by Project ECHO thru the University of New Mexico's Department of Internal Medicine, and was adapted from Wall Talk, a successful prison-based peer education program focusing on HIV in the Texas prisons. The PEP Pilot Program was launched in July 2009.

PEP programs for the general prison population include 10-hour peer educator led health classes and mandatory 1½-hour training for all incoming male inmates on hepatitis C and hand-washing.

Forty percent of incarcerated people in New Mexico test positive for hepatitis C. PEP seeks to train peer educations, with the goals to increase knowledge of key health issues, increase general health literacy, reduce risky behaviors, and increase job readiness in peer educators upon release.

PEP logo

PEP Peer Educator training

Peer Educators are inmates who have successfully completed an intensive 40-hour training on specific health topics and facilitation skills. These inmates then conduct interactive health education workshops for their peers.

PEP Peer Educator training includes:

  • 40-hour intensive training led by Project ECHO staff;
  • Monthly site visit with Project ECHO staff to increase skills and knowledge;
  • 1½-hour monthly video-conferences;
  • Continuing education credits from UNM/Project ECHO.

Training topics:

  • Key Health Topics: Hepatitis C, Substance Use and Addiction, Sexually Transmitted Infections, HIV/AIDS, Staph/MRSA, Diabetes;
  • Harm Reduction;
  • Motivational Interviewing and Behavior Change;
  • Exploration of health related behaviors and values;
  • Skill building in public speaking and facilitation.

The Parking Lot is a tool specifically designed for peer educators to communicate with Project ECHO. Responses to unanswered questions during peer educator led training are sent to peer educators within one or two days.

NM PEP Peer Educators in the Community

What happens upon reentry? Project ECHO links Peer Educators to services, including HCV treatment, testing, etc. Project ECHO provides a letter of support for peer educators and assists with job search. Project ECHO is compiling a directory of volunteer opportunities. Peer Educators may take additional CHW training thru Project ECHO or elsewhere. Peer Educators also educate family and friends.

Karla Thornton

Karla Thornton, MD, MPH

Associate Medical Director of Project ECHO
Medical Director, PEP

Miranda Haynes

Miranda Haynes

Project Coordinator
Phone: (505)750-3246
or (505)272-0102

Participating facilities

PEP facilities