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Marshall University has launched a new program to help primary care providers treat conditions associated with endocrinology and cardiology issues.

ECHO Clinics, in partnership with Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) will be held the first Tuesday of each month at 12 p.m. with alternating endocrinology and cardiology sessions.

Project ECHO uses a telehealth model to bridge the gap in health care for rural and underserved communities.

Contact Jennifer Plymale at plymale@marshall.edu to learn more or if you are interested in participating in ECHO clinics.

Participation in teleECHO clinics is free. Participants who join teleECHO clinics receive free Continuing Medical Education credits for the total time spent participating, including didactics and patient-case presentations.

What is Project ECHO?

The ECHO model is not ‘traditional telemedicine’ where the specialist assumes care of the patient, but instead a guided practice model where the primary care provider retains responsibility for managing the patient.

During a teleECHO clinic, using video technology, primary care providers in multiple locations present patient cases to a multidisciplinary team of specialists to determine treatment. These specialists serve as mentors, training community providers to provide care in clinical areas that were previously outside their expertise.

Over time the primary care providers operate with increased independence as their skills and self-efficacy grow. A teleECHO clinic is, essentially, virtual grand rounds. Primary care providers from multiple locations connect at regularly scheduled times with a team of specialists using low cost, multi-point videoconferencing.

During teleECHO clinics providers present patient cases to specialist expert teams who mentor the providers to manage patients with common, complex conditions. These case based discussions are supplemented with short didactic presentations to improve content knowledge and share evidence based best practices.

Geriatrics ECHO

Elderly patients are a unique and growing population in Central Appalachia and can benefit tremendously from advanced treatment techniques.

Marshall Health’s Geriatrics ECHO will provide education and support to rural and suburban providers on the challenges faced by these important patients.

Shirley Neitch, MD, FACP, AGSF, Chief of Marshall’s Section of Geriatrics, will provide didactic instruction on emerging issues in geriatrics care and lead discussions on sample case studies provided by real clinics.

The initial ECHOs will focus on responsible benzodiazepine administration and deprescribing and future events will explore other areas of geriatric care, including dementia.

Geriatric ECHOs will be held via videoconference on the third Tuesday of each month starting Feb. 19.

For more information or to register your organization to participate, contact J.T. Schneider at 304-691-8982 or schneider7@marshall.edu.

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