The University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus is honored to announce a $3.3 million gift in renewal funding from the Colorado Health Foundation (TCHF) in support of the continued success of ECHO Colorado (Extensions for Community Health Outcomes) and to recognize the positive impact of the program center located here on campus.

“This funding allows ECHO Colorado to continue changing the way Coloradans receive healthcare with an innovative approach to the well-known model,” said CU Anschutz Chancellor Don Elliman. “I am proud to stand behind and beside the work of ECHO Colorado and hope you will join me in celebrating their extended program efforts.”   

The ECHO Model

John F. "Fred" Thomas
John F. “Fred” Thomas, PhD, Primary Investigator for the grant and Executive Director of ECHO Colorado

The ECHO model bridges specialty and primary care by linking expert specialist with providers in local communities. Together they participate in ongoing learning sessions, which operate like virtual grand rounds combining didactic presentations, mentoring and peer-presented case review.

ECHO brings ongoing learning and specialty knowledge to rural providers and their patients at no cost. They create ongoing learning communities where providers receive support and develop the skills they need to provide comprehensive, best-practice care to patients with complex health conditions, in their own neighborhood.

“What is often needed to help patients facing barriers to care is an efficient mechanism to share data and knowledge as opposed to hours of driving and the many inefficiencies of our current health care delivery model,” said Duane Pearson, MD, Medical Director of ECHO Colorado.

ECHO Colorado redefines Project ECHO

ECHO Colorado is responding to a statewide crisis: across Colorado, health care outcomes continue to be heavily influenced by zip code as an undeniable reflection of the accessibility to quality health care and specialty care. By focusing on building a virtual center to support ongoing learning, community, connection, and peer collaboration, ECHO provides the infrastructure to democratize knowledge, reduce professional isolation and improve health outcomes.

“We believe in continuously expanding our opportunities for collaboration and believe our partnerships are the pulse of what we do,” said Kory Thomas, Assistant Director of ECHO Colorado. “Working toward a common goal for health equity allows us to reduce redundancies, maximize impact, and act as a force multiplier connecting resources to those that need it most. Together, we pave a more practical pathway to achieve our goals.”

Duane Pearson, MD
Duane Pearson, MD, Medical Director of ECHO Colorado

ECHO Colorado continues to grow and innovate and is part of a larger national discussion about re-envisioning and reshaping health care delivery. “We are extremely proud of what we have accomplished over these two years and, in light of the ECHO Act and the national spotlight that has been placed on the ECHO model for the next couple of years, we are well-positioned to continue to demonstrate the effectiveness and efficiency of ECHO Colorado,” said John F. “Fred” Thomas, Ph.D., Primary Investigator of the grant and Executive Director of ECHO Colorado. “We truly appreciate the support of Chancellor Elliman, and we cannot begin to thank the Colorado Health Foundation enough for their continued commitment to our efforts.”

Changing the future of health in Colorado and beyond

ECHO Colorado was established in 2015 with the belief that it would change how health care is accessed and delivered, and it is doing just that. “This initiative will not only improve the health and quality of life for countless citizens of Colorado, but it enables the university to expand and elevate its educational outreach to medical professionals across the state by leveraging our partnerships with state and regional health offices,” said John J. Reilly, MD, Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs and Dean of the School of Medicine.

This grant allows ECHO Colorado to continue program center operations, partner on efforts prioritized with collaborating organizations across the state, and examine the reach and impact of ECHO in light of the ECHO Act passed by Congress in late 2016.

The ECHO Act was approved following the Senate’s unanimous vote and signed into law by President Obama. Congratulations to the ECHO Colorado team!

For information on becoming an ECHO Colorado partner, click here to contact Kory Thomas, Assistant Director.

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