Project ECHO Is Awarded $6.4 Million Grant for Diabetes and Endocrinology Care to New Mexico Underserved

July 23rd, 2014

The University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center’s Project ECHO, funded in part by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is already a nationally recognized model that links community-based clinicians with specialists at university medical centers to help patients in rural and underserved areas manage chronic, common, and complex conditions such as diabetes.

But with a recent $6.4 million grant from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, Project ECHO will expand this work to a pilot program called Endocrinology teleECHO (Endo ECHO), the starting point for a national model that could help provide care for the more than 25 million Americans living with diabetes and other hormonal disorders.


Endo ECHO will apply the proven methodology of Project ECHO to train and support clinicians and their teams to provide access to care for patients in rural and underserved areas of New Mexico who are combating Type 1 and complex Type 2 diabetes and other hormonal disorders. Endo ECHO is the first program to provide support for multiple endocrine disorders, such as thyroid, pituitary, and adrenal diseases.

As the sole funder of Endo ECHO, the Helmsley Charitable Trust’s Type 1 Diabetes Program is interested in the pilot program’s impact on the quality of care for those living with diabetes and other endocrinologic disorders. Read the rest of this entry »

The RWJF’s Culture of Health Prize Awarded to Six Localities

July 17th, 2014

This post originally appeared on our sister blog, Health Affairs Blog, on June 25.

Recently, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation awarded its 2014 Culture of Health Prize to six communities. These communities– Brownsville, TexasBuncombe County, North CarolinaDurham County, North CarolinaSpokane County, WashingtonTaos Pueblo, New Mexico; and Williamson, West Virginia–were selected for the work they have done to place a high priority on health and bring partners together to drive local change.

Read the rest of this entry »

Health Policy Fellows Program in a Southern State Helps to Inform Legislators

July 16th, 2014

The development of a nonpartisan program to help elected officials increase knowledge and dialogue around health, health care, and health policy issues has been well received in South Carolina.

To take on the mammoth task of making policy decisions about state laws, regulations, budgets, etc., legislators must study a wide range of issues such as the environment, education, health care, and so forth. Elected officials are often bombarded by constituents and special interest groups who voice perfectly timed, individual (and frequently competing) positions on bills immediately prior to a crucial vote. No doubt the legislative process, which is set up to provide a means to balance different and competing interests and to find compromise in the best interest of the entire state, can be daunting.

The issues and policy decisions surrounding health and the delivery of health care, particularly in today’s changing health care environment, are complex and have far-reaching impact. To help South Carolina’s new, as well as seasoned, elected officials be better positioned to make informed decisions, the South Carolina Institute of Medicine and Public Health, a health policy institute, developed a health policy educational program with funding from the Duke Endowment. The program has been well received.

The Duke Endowment, a private foundation established in 1924, is dedicated to improving the lives of individuals by promoting disease prevention and improving access to affordable and high-quality health care. It awards grants in North and South Carolina.

In 2011 the endowment supported the establishment of the South Carolina Institute of Medicine and Public Health with a three-year grant totaling $725,000. In 2012 the endowment provided the institute a two-year, $340,000 grant to develop and implement the Health Policy Fellows Program, with the goal of educating South Carolina legislators on health and health care topics. Prior to development, the Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina, in Columbia, funded a feasibility study to gauge interest. Read the rest of this entry »

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