Monday, July 6, 2015

$3.3M grant creates ECHO Colorado program to improve health care and public health in underserved areas

The University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus will partner with several health care and public health organizations across the state to develop ECHO (Extension for Community Health Outcomes) Colorado, funded by a nearly $3.3 million grant over two years from the Colorado Health Foundation. First developed at the University of New Mexico, the ECHO model is a system of peer learning networks using video teleconferencing designed to improve both primary health care and public health programs. 

This new statewide program will support the growth of clinical capabilities of rural primary care providers, thus increasing access for patients needing specialty care for complex chronic conditions like autism, hepatitis, diabetes or epilepsy. ECHO Colorado will also support the growth and performance of public health programs in areas such as obesity, tobacco control, infectious disease control and community health worker effectiveness. ECHO Colorado will engage many different sectors, including primary care, mental health and public health; many different disciplines, including medicine, nursing, oral health, community health workers and pharmacy; and many different organizations, including hospitals, community clinics, local health agencies and schools.

The program is designed to confront a major health care problem common in Colorado and other states with substantial urban/rural disparities. Patients in rural or underserved areas face long distances and travel expenses just to have appointments with specialists who are typically located closer to urban areas. ECHO Colorado will make specialty expertise more available to rural general practitioners, enabling rural physicians to keep their training up-to-date with the latest medical treatments and innovations. The goal is to improve the ability of rural providers to treat diverse health challenges on-site, so more patients will receive timely care in their home communities throughout Colorado.

No comments:

Post a Comment