College of Nursing Establishes Widespread Community Health Interprofessional Virtual Education
Posted on May 12, 2023 by College of Nursing
The University of South Alabama College of Nursing has established widespread virtual professional education to community healthcare providers. Initiated by the College of Nursing, USA entered into a partner agreement with the University of New Mexico’s Project ECHO® (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) to use and implement the pioneering ECHO® model of telementoring and case-based learning by subject matter experts on a variety of health topics.
Through the College of Nursing’s competitive achievement of HRSA grant funding, this innovative learning strategy was proposed to improve patient care and serve as a primer for exponential growth of the workforce in community underserved and disparate areas.
Principal investigators of four current and one former multiple year grants, Kimberly Williams, DNS, RN, ANP-BC, PMHNP-BC, PHNA-BC; Carolyn Dolan, JD, MSN, FNP-BC, PPCNP-BC, SANE-A, SANE-P; and Emily Bentley, DNP, FNP-C, AGACNP-BC included designated ECHO® programs to address topics of integrated behavioral health including substance use disorder and team-based trauma informed care, medical forensic nursing care and sexual assault nurse examiner training, and nurse-led mobile health unit care and enhanced curriculum related to social determinants of health and health equity concepts.
The University of New Mexico Project ECHO® was established as a virtual community of practice 20 years ago and provides free training and support to partner organizations who use their model. The ECHO® model encourages healthcare providers globally to democratize evidence-based knowledge. With over 3,000 ECHO® programs established in the focus areas of health, education and civics, this model is the subject of research and evidence-based literature reporting on its efficacy and sustainability.
The goal of the USA College of Nursing ECHO® programs is to create centers of excellence dedicated to increasing knowledge and awareness of healthcare treatment in primary care. The College of Nursing ECHO® programs are provided free and offer certificates of attendance. Using Zoom technology, participants need only a computer or phone to connect to the ECHO® virtually. The College of Nursing ECHO® programs are a series of nurse-led sessions that are offered monthly during peak academic months, 90 minutes in duration, and designed as active-learning experiences for the healthcare provider.