- Project ECHO, a program to ensure that people in underserved areas have access to complex medical care, has received a $14-million grant from the GE Foundation.
- The money is to be used to extend the program to federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) nationwide.
- Project ECHO uses videoconferencing to train primary care providers in unserserved areas to provide specialty services.
Erika Harding, Project ECHO’s director of replication, told the Albuquerque Journal that the GE Foundation is looking to Project ECHO to transform the way health care is delivered at FQHCs nationwide. "Federally qualified health centers are really the main healthcare delivery system for the underserved in the United States," Harding said. "They really are America's front-line healthcare service."
Project Echo was started by UNM physician Dr. Sanjeev Arora in an effort to enlist primary care clinicians statewide to help him treat hepatitis C patients. The model has since been expanded to include 46 diseases, including HIV/AIDS, diabetes, substance abuse, mental illness, chronic pain, heart disease and high-risk pregnancy.