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Project ECHO

Project ECHO® (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) is a forum for delivering high-quality specialty care to underserved communities. Through monthly Zoom sessions on a variety of specialty care topics, physicians and other care team members from across the MaineHealth system connect for didactic presentations and case discussions.

Participants gain insight into specialty care treatment options and increase their capacity to deliver high-quality specialty care to MaineHealth patients, close to home. Session participants also receive free Continuing Medical Education (CME)/Continuing Education Units (CEUs). Join a growing network of qualified physicians sharing expertise and information that supports better patient outcomes in underserved/rural communities. 

Choose a clinical topic of interest below to register for one or more monthly sessions.

Cancer Genetics - Click to Register

ECHO Hub Team:

Schedule: First Wednesday of each month 12:00-1:00 pm

Overview: The Cancer Genetics ECHO program aims to increase access to cancer genetic services for patients with a diagnosis and/or family history of cancer. Our goal is to provide oncology clinicians with the support and tools needed to deliver point-of-care cancer genetic care to their patients. Monthly sessions include a didactic component led by the Jackson Laboratory Clinical and Continuing Education team, which covers topics from indications for a genetics assessment to genetic testing and management of patients with positive test results. This is followed by patient cases presented for in-depth group discussion facilitated by the Maine Medical Center Cancer Risk and Prevention team. The goal of these sessions is to empower clinicians and to build genetic counseling knowledge and capacity.

Learning Objectives:
  • Learn new information about hereditary cancer
  • Learn genetic counseling strategies to support patients
  • Gain confidence in identifying and meeting the needs of hereditary cancer patients and their families
Sample Curriculum Topics:
  • Identifying candidates for genetic testing for hereditary cancer risk
  • Pretesting counseling
  • Selecting the best genetic testing for the patient’s scenario
  • Identifying treatments and clinical trials for gene-positive patients
  • Interpreting and managing negative and VUS results

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Childhood Obesity - Click to Register

ECHO Hub Team:

  • Clinical Leaders: Tory Rogers, MD- Let’s Go!, Carrie Gordon, MD- Weight & Wellness Maine Medical Center, Mike Dedekian, MD- MMP Pediatric Specialty Care
  • ECHO Contact: ObesityECHO@mainehealth.org

Schedule: First Thursday of each month 12:00-1:00pm | November 2021 – September 2022

Overview: The Let’s Go! Childhood Obesity Project ECHO will connect providers and their care teams with specialists, new evidence, and guidance on the assessment and treatment of childhood obesity. This 11-month ECHO will consist of a brief presentation, followed by collaborative case presentations and discussion. These case discussions are the primary learning focus of the experience and each participating provider will bring cases for discussion during the 11-month process. The goal is to help support providers looking to optimize management of their patients with obesity.

Learning Objectives:

  • Increase the primary care provider and their teams’ knowledge of the disease and pathophysiology of childhood obesity.
  • Increase the primary care provider and their teams’ knowledge of the early identification and assessment of childhood obesity.
  • Increase the primary care provider and their teams’ knowledge of the treatment options for childhood obesity.
  • Increase the primary care provider’s confidence in caring for patients with obesity.

Sample Curriculum Topics:

  • The Disease of Obesity
  • Early Identification and Screening
  • Screening for Comorbidities of Obesity
  • Talking with Patients and Families about Nutrition
  • Treating Patients with Obesity
  • Lifestyle Modifications to Treat Obesity
  • The Role of Medications in Treating Obesity
  • Bariatric Surgery
  • Obesity Assessment and Treatment in the PCP setting

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Children's Health - Click to Register

ECHO Hub Team:

Schedule: 1st Wednesday of each month, 7:00 - 8:00 am

Overview: The Barbara Bush Children's Hospital and MaineHealth Telehealth have partnered to launch this Children's Health ECHO. The goal is to improve communication and knowledge, and to achieve consistency of approach in delivery of care and treatment for children in Maine. In addition to CME credit, physicians can earn MOC credit for attending sessions.

Learning Objectives:

  • Gain an increased understanding of the diagnosis and care of common conditions in the pediatric patient
  • Gain confidence in the management of common conditions in the pediatric patient
  • Utilize the Pediatric Referral Guidelines for Informed Primary Care Treatment before referral to specialty care

Sample Curriculum Topics:

  • Endocrinology: Abnormal onset or progression of puberty
  • Pulmonology: Asthma management
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder Screening and Recognition
  • Medication Management for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Pharmacologic Management of Constipation

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ECHO Hub Team:

  • Clinical Leader: Ivette Emery, Ph.D., Maine Medical Center Research Institute
  • ECHO Coordinator: Meredith Oestreicher, ResearchECHO@mmc.org

Schedule: Third Wednesday of each month 12:00-1:00pm

Overview and Learning Objectives: The Clinical Research ECHO will focus on all types of clinical research including investigator-initiated projects. Participants will learn how to:

  • Access the most current resources and support available for clinical research
  • Understand the responsibilities of the Principal Investigator and research team
  • Evaluate the feasibility and/or financial impact of your research idea
  • Identify knowledge gaps and choose the appropriate research type and study design
  • Learn what to expect from the IRB and ethical reviews

Sample Curriculum Topics:

  • Evaluating whether a sponsored clinical study is a good fit for your practice
  • Investigator and research team responsibilities
  • Communication strategies for keeping your study running smoothly
  • Common reasons for delays in IRB approval and how to avoid them
  • Best recruitment strategies

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Clinical Leader:

  • Elizabeth (Vinny) Seiverling, MD – Maine Medical Partners Dermatology
  • Email: ESeiverlin@mmc.org

Schedule: 1st Monday of each month, 12:00 – 1:00pm

Target Audience: Primary care providers wanting to increase their knowledge of dermatologic conditions & benefits of using a dermatoscope 

Overview: Many patients present to their primary care physician for evaluation of a skin condition. Dermatology training in medical school and residency is not always robust or comprehensive. We aim to improve primary care knowledge with respect to dermatologic conditions via project ECHO. One major area of emphasis for this ECHO is skin cancer detection. Early detection of skin cancer allows for cure of even the most deadly type of skin cancer, melanoma. This ECHO will incorporate new technology, dermoscopy, and build on prior training primary care physicians have had with respect to the benefits of dermoscopy for skin growths.

Learning Objectives:

  • Increase the use of dermoscopy
  • Become more confident in the ability to detect skin cancer
  • Reinforce dermoscopic knowledge from the TADA training

Sample Curriculum Topics:

  • Building on TADA: Basal Cell Carcinoma
  • Common Benign Skin Growths: Introduction to TADA and How to operate a dermatoscope
  • TADA Dermoscopy: Skin Cancer
  • Staph, Fungi, Pox, and other common skin infections
  • Psoriasis and other pink scaly rashes

ECHO Session Archive

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ECHO Hub Team:

  • Clinical Leader: Irwin Brodsky, MD; Maine Medical Partners Endocrinology and Diabetes Center
  • ECHO Facilitator Alicia Webb, Administrative Specialist, MHEndoECHO@mainehealth.org

Schedule: 2nd Tuesday of each month, 7:30-8:30 am

Overview: Endo ECHO sessions provide primary care physicians and other clinicians with the opportunity to learn about and discuss a broad range of disorders in the fields of endocrinology and diabetes. Participants will discuss nuanced solutions to commonly-encountered problems, such as methods for choosing the appropriate osteoporosis therapy or methods for using new diabetes drugs and technology in the primary care environment. Complex patient cases will be presented at each session for in-depth discussion by the group.

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will learn new information about treating/managing diabetes and endocrine conditions.
  • Participants will learn about criteria for referring or not referring patients with diabetes and endocrine conditions.
  • Participants will learn about treatment and management of diabetes and endocrine conditions through actual case examples.

Sample Curriculum Topics:

  • Choosing medications for type 2 diabetes
  • Therapy of type 1 diabetes, including diabetes technologies
  • Thyroid nodules and thyroid cancer
  • Evaluating hypercalcemia
  • Osteoporosis-diagnosis and treatment

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ECHO Hub Team:

Schedule: 2nd Wednesday of the month, 7:30 - 8:30 am

Target Audience: Primary care providers and care teams

Overview: The overarching goal of the Geriatrics Project ECHO is to increase knowledge and ability to manage older adults within their own communities using the IHI Age Friendly Health System framework of the 4Ms:

  • What Matters
  • Mentation
  • Mobility
  • Medications

By bringing together clinicians working with older adults, we will provide an opportunity to better manage the complex issues associated with aging. We expect to improve the care of older adults within their communities by promoting evidenced-based attention on areas that are particularly challenging to manage including dementia, depression, and functional decline. This collaboration will include health care providers, but will also provide relevant linkages to community-based organizations and include consideration of social determinants as well as caregiver needs that impact ability to aging in place.

Learning Objectives:

  • Improved understanding of illness in the context of aging and multiple co-morbidities
  • Incorporate the 4Ms of age-friendly health care into the approach of caring for older adults
  • Understand health system and community resources available to promote healthy aging

Sample Curriculum Topics:

  • Dementia (MCI, early, middle, late)
  • Tools for cognitive assessment
  • Driving
  • Medications (for treatment and avoidance)
  • Safety/Prevention in Dementia (Falls, wandering, hospitalization/delirium, etc)
  • Depression and other “behaviors” associated with Dementia
  • Advanced care planning at different stages

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ECHO Hub Team:

Schedule: Second Tuesday of each month 12:00-1:00pm (September 2021 – February 2022)

Overview: With the goal of promoting health equity, effective communication, and improved patient care for immigrant communities in Maine, this 6-month ECHO series will be led by community health workers and others involved in immigrant healthcare in our state. This ProjectECHO taps into the wealth of knowledge that exists in the community to better understand the cultural barriers that impact patient care and experience. Participants will learn from experts in the field, collaborate with community health workers, and develop long-term solutions to barriers to health.

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify the barriers to health faced by immigrant communities in Maine
  • Develop and demonstrate proficiency in utilizing community health workers in the healthcare setting
  • Apply knowledge to culturally appropriate implementation of care plans for patients that experience barriers to health
  • Assess appropriate situations for referral to community health workers

Sample Curriculum Topics: 

  • How language barriers affect care
  • How gaps in information and other forms of access influence care and care plans
  • System Literacy: how lack of familiarity with the healthcare system affects care

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ECHO Hub Team:

  • Clinical Leader: Rebecca Hutchinson, MD, Program Director, Hospice & Palliative Medicine Fellowship at Maine Medical Center
  • ECHO Facilitator: Peter Baker, LCSW, PalliativeCareECHO@mainehealth.org

Schedule: 1st Thursday of each month, 7:30 - 8:30 am

Overview: The goal of the Palliative Care Project ECHO is to increase access to palliative care knowledge and skills in under-served areas throughout the MaineHealth service area. By exposing primary and specialty care providers to this new sub-specialty, it is hoped that patients and families living with serious illness will achieve the best possible quality of life, consistent with their self-reported goals. An overarching goal is to foster the development of a regional palliative care learning community through:

  • Formation of collaborative relationships
  • Exploration of interdisciplinary richness
  • Sharing of evidence-based and best practices

This new field of practice focuses on living well, in spite of serious and life-limiting illness.

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will learn new information about Palliative Care
  • Participants will learn palliative care strategies to support patients
  • Participants will gain confidence in identifying and meeting the palliative care needs of patients and their families

Sample Curriculum Topics:

  • What is palliative care?
  • Pain Management
  • Pediatric Palliative Care: Children are not just small adults.
  • What is spiritual pain?
  • Communication Part I: What are the critical elements of communicating serious news?

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ECHO Hub Team:

  • Clinical Leaders: Gina Quinn-Skillings, MD- MaineHealth, Robyn Ostrander, MD- Maine Medical Center, Scott Mills, MD- MaineHealth
  • ECHO Facilitator: Leah Schneckloth lschnecklo@mainehealth.org

Schedule: 3rd Thursday of each month, 7:00 - 8:00 am

Overview: The planning committee utilizes experience developing training materials and directly teaching cohorts of PLDF over the last 4 years to create an ECHO that meets ongoing leadership development needs of system medical leaders. We reviewed participant evaluations and training materials to find lessons most suitable to the ECHO format and pertinent to today’s medical leaders. This ECHO uses a closed-cohort model to facilitate deeper discussions and peer mentoring. The didactic portions are delivered by content experts but case discussions are led by a consistent facilitator, Dr. Quinn-Skillings, Dr. Mills or Dr. Ostrander, each working exclusively with a third of the larger cohort.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand a framework for leading people through change and transitions
  • Adapt your communication to utilize coaching, mentoring or managing styles as circumstances dictate.
  • Incorporate reflection and self-awareness into your leadership approach

Sample Curriculum Topics:

  • Critical Conversations
  • Coaching
  • Mentoring
  • Feedback

ECHO Hub Team:

  • Clinical Leader: Kristen Silvia, MD; Maine Medical Center Addiction Medicine Fellowship Program Director
  • ECHO Facilitator: Adele Hays, Senior Project Manager, IMATECHO@mainehealth.org

Schedule: 4th Thursday of each month 12:00-1:00pm

Overview: Through didactic and case-based learning, IMAT ECHO sessions focus on the pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic evidence-based treatment of patients with opioid use disorder. It is open to MaineHealth system hospitals and affiliates interested in, or already, providing IMAT in our "hub-and-spoke" system.

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will learn behavioral strategies for working with patients with opioid use disorder (OUD).
  • Participants will enhance their understanding of using medications (buprenorphine and naltrexone) to treat OUD.
  • Participants will gain an understanding of MaineHealth's hub and spoke approach to providing a continuum of care for patients with OUD.

Sample Curriculum Topics: 

  • Buprenorphine formulations
  • Care of the pregnant patient
  • Marijuana and MAT
  • Health screening and vaccination recommendations
  • Addressing stigma in the care of people with SUDs

ECHO Hub Team:

  • Clinical Leader: Alan Kilby, MD; Portland Gastroenterology
  • ECHO Facilitator: Jamie Johnston, RN, HepECHO@mainehealth.org

Schedule: 3rd Thursday of each month, 12:00 - 1:00 pm

Overview: Hepatitis/HIV ECHO sessions provide education, support, and recommendations to clinicians caring for people with Hepatitis/HIV. Our goal is to share best practices for hepatitis/HIV care in areas where virology specialists may not be available - enabling primary care providers to care for their patients close to home.

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will learn to manage their patients diagnosed with Hepatitis C or HIV
  • Participants will learn about treatment options and guidelines through actual case examples.
  • Participants will learn best practices and up-to-date information regarding Hepatitis C and HIV/AIDS

Sample Curriculum Topics:

  • Chronic hepatitis C-the basics
  • Managing injection drug use in the primary care office
  • Acute viral hepatitis
  • Nutrition and liver disease
  • Chronic hepatitis C – when to refer to a specialist

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Project ECHO infographic