Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) is a collaborative model of medical education that empowers all types of health care professionals to provide better care to more people in their own communities. Wait times to see specialists can be lengthy and those in remote communities may have challenges being able to travel long distances to these appointments. Project ECHO was first launched in New Mexico for better access to Hepatitis C treatments and recently came to Ontario, focusing on: Hepatitis C, pain, mental health. In January, ProjectECHO added rheumatology as a new speciality focus where family physicians, nurses, pharmacists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, and chiropractors from over 20 sites across the province access a live video conference for a two-hour weekly session. A team of experts in rheumatology, called “the hub,” share their knowledge through a brief weekly lecture, followed by group discussion and problem solving of cases brought forward by the participating community members. It is a wonderful learning community.
Our pharmacist Carolyn Whiskin is the pharmacist expert on the Rheumatology “hub”. We encourage health professionals from across the province to join this wonderful government sponsored learning opportunity.