Improving Access To Best Practice Health Care In Underserved Communities

Collaboration and Special Projects

The Hepatitis C Community Alliance to Test and Treat (HepCCATT) is an unprecedented public health collaboration. Our mission is to significantly reduce the number of people with undiagnosed and untreated hepatitis C infections among Chicago’s most highly affected communities.

A model initiative, HepCCATT is funded by a cooperative agreement between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes Chicago (ECHO-Chicago) program at the University of Chicago Medicine.

By leveraging the strengths and diversity of our partners, HepCCATT works to significantly reduce the number of undiagnosed and untreated hepatitis C infections in Chicago—and to establish a model for public health collaborations to expand and improve hepatitis C testing and care nationwide.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)
ECHO-Chicago partnered with the American Academy of Pediatrics on the Child & Youth Epilepsy (CYE) demonstration project. The aim of the project is to improve access to supports and services that children and youth with epilepsy require for optimal health outcomes and improved quality of life. The CYE ECHO-Chicago series provides training to providers in the primary care setting, including physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants, as well as providers who deliver care in a school-based setting, including school nurses. To learn more about the program please visit the AAP website here.

The Illinois Association of Free and Charitable Clinics
ECHO-Chicago is collaborating with the Illinois Association of Free and Charitable Clinics (IAFCC), Americares, and the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) to conduct a statewide demonstration in Illinois with five free and charitable clinics. ECHO-Chicago is hosting a hypertension series to bring state of the art care for treating hypertension to free and charitable clinics, including proper techniques for obtaining accurate BP readings, medication management, dietary changes, and patient adherence. The goal of this project is to determine how best to introduce the ECHO model in the free and charitable clinic setting and to expand capacity to treat hypertension safely and effectively for patients in these clinics. For more information about the IAFCC and the project please visit their website here.

South Side Healthy Aging Resource Experts (SHARE Network)
ECHO-Chicago is part of the South Side Healthy Aging Resource Experts (SHARE Network) to improve health outcomes for older adults on Chicago’s South Side by creating a network of care providers who share resources and education. Under the direction of PI Dr. Kate Thompson, the project received funding from HRSA under the Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program (GWEP). The South Side is one of the greatest medically underserved communities across the United States with the ratio of primary care providers to residents in neighborhoods being less than half of the Chicago average. The SHARE Network aims to close the gaps between geriatric specialty care and the community.

The Improving Diagnosis of Hypertension in Children (IDHC) program
The Improving Diagnosis of Hypertension in Children (IDHC) program, led by Dr. Goutham Rao, is a HRSA-funded collaboration that aims to increase the rate of accurate HTN diagnosis in children through clinician education and training, patient education, and clinical decision support. The project includes case-based ECHO training for primary care providers on the epidemiology, screening, diagnosis, evaluation, and management of HTN in children, expanding on the existing ECHO-Chicago childhood obesity and comorbidities series. The intervention will be evaluated by a 15-month cluster randomized trial where half of participants are randomized to the intervention and half to a control intervention of basic training alone. If successful, the program can be implemented in a variety of other settings thus dramatically impacting the health of a large proportion of children.