Project ECHO

Joe Zapata, Brenda Hoffman and Student Presenting Poster

Project ECHO

Developed by the University of New Mexico in 2003, Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) is a collaborative model of health education and care management that builds capacity among health care providers everywhere to deliver better care to more people, right in their own community. The ECHO model does not actually provide care to patients. Instead, it provides cost-effective knowledge and support to front-line providers so they can manage patients and clients with complex conditions


In 2018, after attending Project ECHO’s Immersion Program in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the South Texas AHEC Program collaboratively adapted an existing Project ECHO on Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) for CHWs to make it relevant for our South Texas communities.


In the Spring of 2019, we launched our first Project ECHO on OUD for CHWs with great reception from the participants. The program consists of 11 sessions, each lasting 90 minutes conducted via Zoom video conferencing platform. Sessions include a didactic presentation on a specific topic, conducted by a team of CHW Instructors and other content experts. Following the didactic portion, participants present case studies, which are discussed in detail with the entire team, including addiction prevention and intervention specialist.

CHW-OUD Project ECHO (Spanish)

Since language was seen as a potential barrier, the third cohort of the CHW-OUD was translated into Spanish. Launched in late January 2021, the Spanish version of the CHW-OUD ECHO program anticipates repeating the recent successes of the previous cohorts.

CHW-COVID-19 Health Equity Project ECHO

Started in the spring of 2021, the CHW-COVID-19 ECHO program is aimed at training CHWs in South Texas about COVID-19 prevention and preparation measures. Thus far, three English and one Spanish language CHW-COVID-19 Program ECHO programs have been completed, with a second Spanish cohort starting in the spring of 2023.

In our CHW programs (English and Spanish), CHWs are able to claim FREE Texas DSHS Continuing Education Credits for each of the sessions attended.

For more information on ST-AHEC’s Project ECHO for CHWs, please contact Joe Zapata. Check out Project ECHO to learn more. To learn more about other Project ECHOs at UT Health check out the UT Health Project ECHO Homepage.

Joe Zapata, MSS