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“[AASTEC Partners in Good Health and Wellness Program] was one of the greatest and funniest training’s about health and wellness that I have been to. It was very interactive and informative, but most important it was to the point and easy to learn.”

Carmen Raell
Community Health Representative (CHR)

“The case presentations gave me the tools to deal with some of the same issues that my patients go through.”
Opioid Addiction Treatment ECHO Participant
“The staff is incredible.”
Opioid Addiction Treatment ECHO Participant

“I am so excited and passionate about Project ECHO because it allows me to work with other professionals whose contributions as Community Health Workers (CHW) and Certified Peer Support Workers have an invaluable impact on the field of Substance Use Disorders!”

Nanette Herrera
EHDOC Service Coordinator

Opioid Addiction Treatment ECHO for CHWs and Medical Assistants Participant

Venice Ceballos MetaECHO Talk:

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Community Health Worker Training Initiative

 

Innovative Care Models

CHW Training Programs

Project ECHO is applying the ECHO model™ in several innovative care-delivery models. Each of these models supports primary care teams that are intensely involved in providing specialized patient care with support and mentorship through Project ECHO. These intensive models allow the clinical teams to gain expertise rapidly and provide greatly expanded patient access to care. In each case, additional financial support is provided to the primary care team in order to allow them to focus intensively on delivery of specialized care.
 
CHWs participate in multidisciplinary teams located at sites throughout the state. Teams may include a Primary Care Physician (PCP), Nurse Practitioner, Physician’s Assistant, Medical Assistant and/or behavioral health specialist as well as CHWs. Teams are trained together through the following training models:

  • 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, expert presentations, and participant learning loops; and
  • Video modules for material that doesn’t require interactive Q & A.

Teams use holistic approaches to address the social determinants of health in rural and traditionally underserved populations.

To support and improve the skills of CHWs, we developed ECHO® Community Health Worker training models for several health and medical conditions, based on the needs of providers and underserved communities around New Mexico. We created and implemented the models with input from experienced CHWs who served as ECHO’s community training facilitators.
 
Like our Innovative Care Models, Specialty training for CHWs includes:

  • 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, expert presentations, and participant learning loops; and
  • Video modules for material that doesn’t require interactive Q & A.

 
CHWs are trained for specialized interventions with a high level of rigor -using best practices and a robust curriculum- but are taught to use their skills in a broad application that allows CHWs to serve in a variety of contexts (e.g., clinics, diabetes or heart health programs, home visits, elder care or assisted living centers), perform a variety of roles, learn new roles and improve their employment opportunities.
 
There is no cost to participants (no tuition, free IT support). Programs also includes extensive evaluation.
 
We provide quality assurance and ongoing learning via weekly teleconferences during and following the training period. We provide both basic certification and added endorsements for specific skills that are mastered during training.

 

Incorporation Principles of Adult and Popular Education in CHW Programs

ALL of our CHW programs include best practices from adult learning and popular education models.

Adult Education

Popular Education

 
Six Principles of Adult Learning (Knowles):

  • Adults are internally motivated and self-directed
  • Adults bring life experience and knowledge to learning experiences
  • Adults are goal oriented
  • Adults are relevancy oriented
  • Adults are practical
  • Adult learners like to be respected
 
The process of popular education has the following general characteristics:

  • Curriculum is built out of the concrete experience and material interests of people in communities of resistance and struggle
  • Pedagogy is collective, focused primarily on group as distinct from individual learning and development
  • Educational standards attempt, wherever possible, to forge a direct link between education and social action
 
IN PRACTICE:

  • PowerPoint: few to none. If PowerPoints are absolutely necessary, they must be highly interactive.
  • Majority of content should be hands-on, case-based and require active involvement.
  • Ongoing evaluation and assessment of understanding incorporated into activities and didactics.

 

 

How do our training programs fit with state certification?

  • Project ECHO plans to have specialty track curriculums endorsed by 2017.
  • We maintain a close relationship with our NMDOH CHW advisory Council & our NMCHWA, and are responsible for the design of 6 of the core competencies for the generalist role.
  • We follow the same curriculum format and align our core competencies with the state standards

NM CHW/CHR Core Competencies

ECHO Specialty Track Competencies

 

 

Interested in Replicating a CHW Training Program?

Do you want more information about replicating a CHW Training Program? Or using ECHO to train your CHWs? Join the ECHO Movement and contact Ray Baca!
 

R Baca

Raymond Baca, BSW

 
 

Articles and Publications

Komaromy, M., Ceballos, V., Zurawski, A., Bodenheimer, T., Thom, D., and Arora, S. (2017) Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes (ECHO): a new model for community health worker training and support. Journal of Public Health Policy, 1-14. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1057/s41271-017-0114-8
 
Zurawski, A., Komaromy, M., Ceballos, V., McAuley, C., and Arora., S. (2016). Project ECHO brings innovation to community health worker training and support. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, 27(4), 53-61. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1353/hpu.2016.0186
 
Colleran, K., Harding, E., Kipp, B., Zurawski, A., MacMillan, B., Jenlinkova, L., Kaslishman, S., Dion, D., Som, D., and Arora, S. (2012). Building Capacity to Reduce Disparities in Diabetes Training Community Health Workers Using an Integrated Distance Learning Model. Diabetes Educator, 38(3), 386-396. DOI: 10.1177/0145721712441523
 
Another Way Forward: Grassroots Solutions from New Mexico by Dede Feldman. http://www.dedefeldman.com/another/

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