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Public Health Rep. 2007;122 Suppl 2:74-7.

Project ECHO: linking university specialists with rural and prison-based clinicians to improve care for people with chronic hepatitis C in New Mexico.

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University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001, USA.


Project Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes (Project ECHO) is a telemedicine and distance-learning program designed to improve access to quality health care for New Mexicans with hepatitis C. Project ECHO links health-care providers from rural clinics, the Indian Health Service, and prisons with specialists at the University of New Mexico. At weekly clinics, partners present and discuss patients with hepatitis C with specialists. Partners can receive continuing education credits for participating. Since June 2003, 173 hepatitis C clinics have been conducted with 1,843 case presentations. Partners have received 390 hours of training and 2,997 hours of continuing education credits. And in 2006, the State Legislature approved $1.5 million in annual funding for the project. Project ECHO has increased access to state-of-the art hepatitis C virus care for patients living in rural areas or prisons. Because of its success with hepatitis C, this project is being expanded to other chronic medical conditions.

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