ECHO-Chicago aims to establish and cultivate a robust knowledge network that builds community-based primary care capacity to reduce the serious health disparities affecting children and adults in underserved communities.
The Extension for Community Health Outcomes (ECHO) is an innovative workforce development model developed at the University of New Mexico for expanding primary care capacity in underserved communities.
In 2010, the University of Chicago Medicine spearheaded the use of this model in an urban setting with the launch of ECHO-Chicago, the longest-running urban ECHO program in the world. ECHO-Chicago leverages existing assets by bringing together community health centers (CHCs) and academic medical centers for collaborative, curriculum-based, iterative, case-based learning. Using video-conference technology, ECHO-Chicago provides “telementoring” for community-based providers in managing common chronic physical and mental health conditions.
Unlike a webinar, participants and facilitators alike can see, hear, and learn from each other, fostering a more engaging and interactive learning experience. ECHO-Chicago series are guided by curricula that focus on providing providers with the knowledge and skills they need to implement clinical guidelines and navigate real-life clinical challenges, especially in under-resourced settings. As a result, providers are able to integrate evidence-based practice into care and patients are able to receive state-of-the-art care in their primary medical home.