Director, Project ECHO
Professor of Medicine
University of New Mexico Health Science Center
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131 USA
Sanjeev Arora, MD, is director of Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes). He is also professor of medicine, director of the Office of Clinical Affairs, and executive vice chair for the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center (UNMHSC). He has been involved in management of viral hepatitis for over 15 years, and he led the development and implementation of the Hepatitis C Disease Management Program at UNMHSC. Dr. Arora developed the Project ECHO model as a platform for service delivery, education, and evaluation. Using video conferencing technology and case-based learning, primary care providers from rural and underserved areas and prisons are trained and mentored by ECHO’s medical specialists to deliver best-practice management of complex health conditions in their communities or correctional institutions. A key component of the ECHO model is an innovation known as Knowledge Networks, in which the expertise of a single specialist is shared with numerous primary providers through telehealth clinics, thereby increasing access to care in rural areas without having to recruit, retain and fund additional providers. In 2007, Project ECHO came in first among more than 300 entries from 27 countries in winning the Changemakers award. This international competition was sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson and Ashoka Foundations to identify programs that are changing the paradigm of how medicine is practiced. In 2009, Project ECHO received grant funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for demonstration and replication of the ECHO model as a robust paradigm to expand best practice care for vulnerable populations.