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Penn State Project ECHO Past Topics

Penn State Project ECHO has supported knowledge networks in the following topics:

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4Ms of Age- and Dementia-Friendly Care

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The 4Ms of Age-and Dementia-Friendly Care seeks to enroll providers who are interested in improving health outcomes for patients in a rural health care setting facing challenges related to age and dementia. Care for older adults can become more complex, and they risk suffering harm while in the health system.

Providing a reliable system to train health care providers in caring for older patients and those with dementia has important implications for individuals and is a critical health care need. The 4Ms of Age-and Dementia-Friendly Care ECHO provides an innovative and evidence-based approach to increasing high-quality care for patients by bringing together specialists and non-specialists using a web-based platform to improve care for patients in the communities where they live and work.

Sessions will be delivered by a group of multi-disciplinary specialists from Penn State College of Nursing and The Primary Health Network. Sessions include short didactic and case presentations so participants gain confidence and competence in providing age- and dementia-friendly care for their patients.

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Curriculum Expand answer

The 4Ms of Age-and Dementia-Friendly Care ECHO consists of 10 one-hour sessions; free continuing education credits will be provided to attendees.

Each session begins with participant introductions, followed by a brief presentation on a topic related to the 4Ms of age- and dementia-friendly care (what matters, medication, mentation and mobility).

The formal presentation curriculum for the sessions in this program was developed by Penn State College of Nursing faculty using evidence-based resources and the latest research findings.

Topics include:

  • Overview of the 4Ms and goals/preferences
  • Age-friendly medications
  • Mentation
  • Mobility
  • What matters: End-of-life care
  • COVID-19 vaccination plans
  • Climate adaptation for older adults
  • Dementia in primary care
  • Caring for LGBTQ+ individuals
  • Loneliness and social isolation
  • Talking to patients about deprescribing

Participants can present de-identified cases for consideration and discussion by the entire group. All participants are encouraged to contribute actively to case discussions. Recommendations are summarized verbally after each case presentation and forwarded in writing to the provider whose case was discussed.

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BSA Summer Camp Revamped

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Stemming from engagement on the Boy Scouts of America’s National Presidential Task Force to Address Childhood Obesity, Penn State PRO Wellness has partnered with summer camps across the United States to implement Summer Camp Revamped – working with 67,000 Scouts at 26 camps in 2018 alone.

Summer Camp Revamped promotes healthful practices and proven changes to the camp environment such as messaging, new dining hall menus and rearrangement of food displays in the Trading Post, which encourage Scouts and adults to make choices for improved health. To date, troop leaders and Scouts have expressed overwhelming support for the Summer Camp Revamped program with favorable results realized in improved nutrition content of dining hall meals, satisfaction with food choices and increased activity.

The newly launched Summer Camp Revamped Virtual Network provides a learning community where a team of experts and participating camp leaders share tips, tricks and lessons learned while implementing Summer Camp Revamped initiatives.

An expert specialist team will be available to provide mentoring and feedback at Project ECHO, and will comprise camp leadership who have implemented changes in their camps already, as well as Penn State staff, registered dietitians and chefs. Together, the specialists, along with camp leaders new to the program, will collaborate to discuss a variety of situations and develop recommendations toward an improved culture of health at camp.

Over time, camp leaders become experts themselves – engaged in a wider community of learners. As a result, summer camps get the high-quality assistance they need while paving new ground for others to follow while serving scouts.

Participation is free and is open to BSA camp staff across the United States.

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Bucks County: Psychiatry/Behavioral Health for PCPs

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Positive behavioral and mental health allows people to work more productively, cope better with everyday stress, maintain a positive outlook, and engage in healthy habits. Individuals living with mental/behavioral health disorders frequently turn to their Primary Care Physician as their first line of defense. That is why Magellan Healthcare and Bucks County Department of Behavioral Health/Developmental Programs partnered with us to launch a Psychiatry/Behavioral Health learning network.

This series covered topics such as:

  • Managing Medications
  • ADHD
  • Geriatric Behavioral Disturbances
  • Assessing and Managing Suicide Risk
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Collaborative Care Relationships
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Psychotropic Medications
  • Postpartum Depression

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Caregivers Enhancing Recovery

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Research shows that support from loved ones can play a major role in helping with prevention and recovery from substance use disorder (SUD). Caregivers may be more likely to notice when their loved ones are experiencing changes in mood or behavior. Being able to offer support, caregivers can connect those in need with treatment, resources, and services to begin and stay on their recovery journey.

The unique challenges that come from being a caregiver can be taxing. That is we partnered with CMC:Foundation for Change to launch this series, built around the evidence-based practices of the Invitation to Change Approach.

This ECHO series covered Invitation to Change topics such as:

  • Communication Tools
  • Self-Awareness
  • Behaviors
  • Reducing Caregiver Strain
  • Supporting Strategies
  • Self-Compassion
  • Ambivalence

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COVID-19

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Project ECHO at Penn State has launched a COVID-19 ECHO series to inform health care providers, administrators, the community and others of the latest best practices in emergency preparedness and patient treatment for COVID-19.

This series is designed to equip health care providers, administrators and the community with strategies to address challenges presented as a result of the novel coronavirus pandemic. Together, experts and providers will collaborate to discuss patient and clinic/hospital system cases and develop recommendations for care and/or improvement.

The program welcomes case discussions from registered participants that involve common clinical scenarios related to care as well as difficult, complex or challenging presentations of scenarios.

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COVID-19 in Regional Skilled Nursing Facilities

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The COVID-19 in Regional Skilled Nursing Facilities ECHO is being offered with support from the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services and in partnership with the Regional Response Health Collaboration Program.

This ECHO is designed to empower post-acute and long-term care providers, administration and care teams with strategies to improve resident care during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sessions seek to equip skilled nursing facilities in southcentral Pennsylvania with the latest best practices in COVID-19 preparedness, including infection prevention and leveraging clinical resources.

This nine-session series is open to skilled nursing facilities in Adams, Bedford, Blair, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Fulton, Huntingdon, Juniata, Lebanon, Mifflin, Perry and York counties.

The COVID-19 in Regional Skilled Nursing Facilities series is delivered by an experienced interdisciplinary team including geriatric and palliative care physicians, an infectious disease prevention and control adviser and an industry relations coordinator.

Sessions include brief lectures on topics related to COVID-19 in skilled nursing facilities, as well as question-and-answer discussions for participants to gain confidence and competence related to resident care during the pandemic.

Curriculum Expand answer

These ECHO sessions occur biweekly, with nine sessions in total; free continuing medical education credits will be provided to attendees.

The formal presentation curriculum for the sessions in this program was developed by Penn State Project ECHO’s specialist team, using evidence-based resources, to provide thorough guidance on COVID-19 preparedness and infection prevention in skilled nursing facilities.

Current topics include:

  • When to discontinue transmission-based precautions in patients
  • Testing challenges in nursing homes
  • How to open your facility for visitors safely
  • You have your first COVID-19 case: What now?
  • Managing end-of-life care incidental to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Managing medication in COVID-19
  • Personal protective equipment and cohorting: Learning from our mistakes
  • Managing COVID-19 disruptions on dementia floors
  • The use of telehealth during the pandemic

Additionally, there will be question-and-answer periods during each session. All participants are encouraged to contribute to discussions and to ask any questions they have concerning the pandemic. Answers will be summarized verbally and forwarded in writing to the series participants for record-keeping.

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Kidney Health for the Non-Nephrologist

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According to the CDC, kidney diseases are the ninth leading cause of death in the United States and affect an estimated 37 million people. The Kidney Health for the Non-Nephrologist ECHO series seeks to connect community physicians with a team of nephrology specialists to promote education and awareness among the primary care medical community.

Penn State Project ECHO is launching a no-cost CME-eligible ECHO series designed to equip primary care providers with the best practices in the treatment and care of kidney health to improve the management of patients with kidney disease. Providing a reliable system to enhance patient care and address the barriers related to specialist care for kidney disease is a critical health care need. Sessions will be delivered by an interdisciplinary group of specialists who will provide brief lectures on topics related to kidney health.

In addition to brief lectures, the main focus of these sessions will include discussion of de-identified case presentations given by participants to gain confidence and competence in providing specialized care to patients.

Register for this series

Curriculum Expand answer

The formal presentation curriculum for the sessions in this program was developed by Penn State Project ECHO’s specialist team, using evidence-based resources to provide thorough guidance on addiction medicine.

Current topics include:

  • When is renal replacement therapy indicated on an outpatient basis?
  • Dialysis access
  • Peritoneal dialysis
  • Pre-kidney-transplant evaluation
  • Post-kidney transplant
  • Nephrologists’ and primary care providers’ management of end-stage renal disease
  • Diet in end-stage renal disease
  • Secondary hyperparathyroidism
  • Medication management (ACE/ARB) in advanced chronic kidney disease (CKD)
  • Goals of care/medical management where dialysis is contraindicated or refused
  • Uncontrolled hypertension
  • Outpatient management of acute kidney injury (AKI) or subacute kidney injury

Additionally, participants will present de-identified patient cases for discussion by the entire group. All participants are encouraged to contribute actively to case discussions. Recommendations are summarized verbally after each case presentation and forwarded to the health care provider whose case was discussed.

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Lessons Learned in Implementing Telehealth

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Penn State Project ECHO and the Pennsylvania Area Health Education Center (AHEC) have partnered to provide an ECHO series to equip primary care providers with telehealth care strategies to prevent, prepare for and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The series consists of six one-hour sessions taking place every other week. This series provides participants with the latest resources and best practices for leveraging virtual services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sessions are delivered by an interdisciplinary group of specialists, including experienced health care providers and educators, and provides brief lectures on topics related to telehealth in primary care clinics.

In addition to brief lectures, question-and-answer discussions will be facilitated at each session – empowering participants to provide access to high-quality care while limiting the spread of COVID-19.

Curriculum Expand answer

These ECHO sessions occur biweekly, with six sessions in total; free continuing medical education credits will be provided to attendees.

The formal presentation curriculum for the sessions in this program was developed by Penn State Project ECHO and Pennsylvania AHEC’s specialist team, using evidence-based resources, to provide thorough guidance on implementing telehealth services and leveraging virtual care strategies.

Current topics include:

  • Lessons learned and where it works best
  • Workflows, documentation and billing
  • Making telehealth part of the “new normal”
  • Art of the telephysical exam: Troubleshooting exams, building rapport and etiquette

Additionally, there is a question-and-answer period during each session. All participants are encouraged to contribute to discussions and to ask any questions they have concerning the implementation and facilitation of telehealth services. Answers will be summarized verbally and forwarded in writing to the series participants for record keeping.

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Managing Gut Health

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Gut health is vital to physical and mental health, immunity and more. This series seeks to train primary care providers, nurse practitioners, certified registered nurse practitioners and physician assistants on diagnosis and treatment of digestive diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome, celiac disease, colitis and exocrine pancreatic insufficiency.

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Curriculum Expand answer

Current topics include:

  • Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI)
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome-Diarrhea (IBS-D)
  • Gluten Sensitivity and Celiac Disease
  • Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)
  • Microscopic Colitis
  • Post-surgical Altered Bowel Movements

Additionally, participants will present de-identified patient cases for discussion by the entire group. All participants are encouraged to contribute actively to case discussions. Recommendations are summarized verbally after each case presentation and forwarded to the health care provider whose case was discussed.

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Managing Patient Mental Health

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While the total number of general psychiatry residents has been steadily increasing since 2012, according to the AAMC, only 4.18 percent of active residents in 2017-18 specialized in psychiatry. With nearly one in five adults in the United States affected by a mental illness, it is highly probable that physicians in other specialties will often encounter patients living with mental health conditions.

The Managing Patient Mental Health ECHO is designed to empower medical students and internal medicine residents to manage a wide range of patient mental health conditions to improve overall patient care. Sessions will be delivered by an experienced team consisting of faculty members from the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health at Penn State College of Medicine. Sessions include brief lectures as well as case discussion to help participants gain confidence and competence in providing specialized care to patients with mental health conditions.

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Curriculum Expand answer

The formal presentation curriculum for the sessions in this program was developed specifically to address the educational needs of trainees in the Internal Medicine Residency at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, as well as medical students in Penn State College of Medicine’s University Park Curriculum, to provide guidance to these learners on managing patient mental health.

For Residents

The Managing Patient Mental Health for Residents ECHO series consists of two one-hour sessions available to participants in the four sections listed below:

  • Group A: 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. Nov. 2, 2020, and April 12, 2021
  • Group B: 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. Nov. 16, 2020, and April 26, 2021
  • Group C: 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. Nov. 30, 2020, and May 10, 2021
  • Group D: 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. Dec. 14, 2020, and May 24, 2021

For Medical Students

The Managing Patient Mental Health for Medical Students ECHO series consists of 10 one-hour sessions.

Topics include:

  • Assessing and managing suicide risk
  • Starting and switching antidepressants
  • Psychotropic medications: Side effects/monitoring/adverse interactions
  • Identification and management of delirium
  • Assessing and managing symptoms of alcohol and opioid withdrawal
  • Functional neurological symptom disorders/factitious disorders
  • Assessing decision-making capacity
  • Approach to management of behavioral disturbances in children
  • ADHD diagnosis and management
  • Autism diagnosis and management
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Neonatal Care

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Since the 1960s, the age of viability in newborns has decreased by a week for each decade. This has resulted in an explosion of research, innovation and quality improvement that has revolutionized obstetrics and neonatal-perinatal medicine. Those in the field are learning something new every day.

Penn State Project ECHO is launching a no-cost, CME-eligible ECHO series for all providers who care for mothers of neonates or high-risk newborns. The Neonatal Care ECHO series will have six one-hour sessions and will provide participants with the most up-to-date and evidence-based care to improve health outcomes for neonates and high-risk newborns. Sessions will be delivered by an interdisciplinary group of specialists who will provide brief lectures on topics related to neonatal care.

In addition to brief lectures, the main focus of these sessions will include discussion of de-identified case presentations given by participants to gain confidence and competence in providing specialized care to patients.

Curriculum Expand answer

The Neonatal Care ECHO series includes six one-hour sessions in total; free continuing medical education credits will be provided to attendees.

The formal presentation curriculum for the sessions in this program was developed by Penn State Project ECHO’s specialist team, using evidence-based resources to provide thorough guidance on caring for neonates and high-risk newborns. Topics include:

  • Care of the hypoglycemic newborn
  • Safe sleep
  • Developmental support in the NICU and beyond
  • Nutrition preterm and on discharge

Additionally, participants will present de-identified patient cases for discussion by the entire group. All participants are encouraged to contribute actively to case discussions. Recommendations are summarized verbally after each case presentation and forwarded to the health care provider whose case was discussed.

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PA Death Certification Peer Learning Network

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The PA Death Certification Peer Learning Network ECHO series is a collaborative partnership with the National Nurse-Led Care Consortium, Penn State University and Penn State College of Medicine.

Coroners, medical examiners and professionals involved in the death certification process are essential members of both the criminal justice and healthcare system. Providing causes of mortality is a critical tool for understanding drug-related deaths to address the opioid epidemic and the COVID-19 pandemic in Pennsylvania and across the country.

Penn State Project ECHO is taking steps to equip death certifiers with resources and strategies to increase accuracy and response mechanisms of death reporting, with a focus on reporting drugs associated with accidental overdose. The main focus of these sessions comes from participants who present de-identified cases to each other and our multi-disciplinary specialist team to increase education and awareness to death certifiers across the Commonwealth. Additionally, these sessions provide brief lectures covering topics related to death reporting.

Bringing together death certifiers to discuss best practices and challenges in a safe space is a critical professional development need. Developing a network of support fosters peer connections and learning communities to decrease professional isolation – especially prevalent in rural communities.

Curriculum Expand answer

The formal presentation curriculum for the sessions in this program was developed using evidence-based resources to provide thorough guidance on death reporting.

Topics include:

  • Specificity of Language on Report of Death
  • Use of Drug Delivery Resulting in Death
  • Overview of Death Reporting Process
  • Public Health Tools that Benefit Coroners
  • Coroner and Medical Examiner Legal Responsibilities Regarding Report of Death

Additionally, participants will present de-identified patient cases for discussion by the entire group. All participants are encouraged to contribute actively to case discussions. Recommendations are summarized verbally after each case presentation and forwarded to the death certifier whose case was discussed.

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Palliative Care

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The Palliative Care ECHO is designed for primary care clinicians and hospitalists with limited access to palliative care specialists to address care strategies for improving the quality of life for patients living with serious illness. This eight-session series seeks to equip health care providers with the knowledge to determine patient needs and goals, including end-of-life care.

Sessions will be delivered by an experienced palliative care interdisciplinary team and palliative care researcher. Sessions include brief lectures on palliative care topics chosen by participants, as well as de-identified case presentations given by participants for group discussion to gain confidence and competence in providing specialized care to patients with a serious illness.

Participation is free and is open to all health care providers in Pennsylvania.

Curriculum Expand answer

The Palliative Care ECHO sessions occur biweekly, with eight sessions in total; free continuing education credits will be provided to attendees.

The formal presentation curriculum for the sessions in this program was developed by Penn State Project ECHO’s specialist team, using evidence-based resources, to provide a thorough introduction to palliative care. Topics include:

  • Palliative care and hospice
  • Assessment of frailty in older patients
  • Opioid use and conversions
  • Prognostication
  • Recognizing and caring for the imminently dying patient
  • Goals of care and advance directives

Additionally, participants present de-identified patient cases for discussion by the entire group. In order to protect patient confidentiality, all participants are encouraged to contribute actively to the case discussions. Recommendations are summarized verbally at the conclusion of each case presentation, and forwarded in writing to the health care provider whose case was discussed.

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Parkinson's Disease and Dementia

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The Parkinson’s Disease and Dementia ECHO addresses diagnostic and care strategies for these conditions. These sessions also provide brief lectures covering topics of interest to the ECHO group, such as pseudodementias, Parkinsonism and factors in care.

In addition, the main thrust of the sessions will come from participants who will present de-identified cases to each other and the specialist team in order to gain confidence and competence in treating Parkinson’s disease and dementia.

Curriculum Expand answer

The Parkinson’s Disease and Dementia ECHO consists of seven one-hour sessions that take place every other week. The sessions are CME-eligible.

Each session begins with participant introductions, followed by a brief presentation on a topic related to the care of patients with dementia or Parkinson’s disease.

The formal presentation curriculum for the sessions in this program was developed by Penn State Project ECHO’s specialist team to provide a thorough introduction to treatment and care. Topics include:

  • Pseudodementia
  • Mild cognitive impairment Alzheimer’s
  • Factors in care
  • Non-Alzheimer’s dementia
  • Initial Parkinson’s disease evaluation
  • Parkinsonism
  • Surgical options

Additionally, community providers present de-identified patient cases for discussion by the entire group. In order to protect patient confidentiality, all participants are encouraged to contribute actively to the case discussions. Recommendations are summarized verbally at the conclusion of each case presentation, and forwarded in writing to the health care provider whose case was discussed.

Pediatric Dermatology

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This Penn State Project ECHO no-cost, CME-eligible series is designed to empower pediatricians and primary care providers to treat common pediatric skin conditions and navigate related administrative burdens.

The series consists of six one-hour sessions taking place every other week. It is designed to equip providers with the knowledge to treat pediatric dermatologic diseases in their practice to enhance provider satisfaction and improve access to care.

Sessions are delivered by an interdisciplinary group of specialists, including experienced pediatric dermatology physicians and educators, who will provide brief lectures on topics related to dermatology in primary care clinics.

In addition to brief lectures, sessions include de-identified patient case discussions for participants to gain confidence and competence in providing specialized care.

Curriculum Expand answer

These ECHO sessions occur biweekly, with six sessions in total; free continuing medical education credits will be provided to attendees.

The formal presentation curriculum for the sessions in this program was developed by Penn State Project ECHO, using evidence-based resources to provide thorough guidance on caring for pediatric patients with common skin conditions.

Current topics include:

  • Eczema
  • Acne
  • Nevi (moles)
  • Warts/molluscum contagiosum
  • Seborrheic dermatitis
  • Hemangiomas

Additionally, participants present de-identified patient cases for discussion by the entire group. All participants are encouraged to contribute actively to case discussions. Recommendations are summarized verbally after each case presentation and forwarded to the health care provider whose case was discussed.

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Perinatal Mental Health

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Perinatal mood and anxiety disorders are among the most common mental health conditions encountered by women of reproductive age. Early identification and treatment of perinatal mood and anxiety disorders are critical to ensure optimal infant development and future mental health.

Penn State Project ECHO is launching a no-cost, CME-eligible ECHO series for anyone caring for women who experience perinatal mental health problems, including providers, advanced practice providers, trainees, nurses and social workers.

The Perinatal Mental Health ECHO series is designed to equip participants with the best practices in diagnosis and treatment related to mental health during the perinatal period to improve women’s health outcomes and mother-infant relationships. Sessions are delivered by an interdisciplinary group of specialists who provide brief lectures on topics related to perinatal mental health.

In addition to brief lectures, sessions will include de-identified case presentations given by participants for group discussion to gain confidence and competence in providing specialized care to patients.

Curriculum Expand answer

This ECHO series includes seven one-hour sessions; free continuing medical education credits will be provided to attendees.

The formal presentation curriculum for the sessions in this program was developed by Penn State Project ECHO’s specialist team, using evidence-based resources to provide thorough guidance on caring for patients with perinatal mood and anxiety disorders.

Current topics include:

  • Management of peripartum depression
  • Anxiety disorders in pregnancy and postpartum period
  • Bipolar disorder and pregnancy
  • Treatment of insomnia in pregnancy and postpartum
  • Suicide risk assessment
  • ADHD in pregnancy
  • Alternative and non-pharmacological interventions for better mental health in pregnancy and postpartum

Additionally, participants will present de-identified patient cases for discussion by the entire group. All participants are encouraged to contribute actively to case discussions. Recommendations are summarized verbally after each case presentation and forwarded to the health care provider whose case was discussed.

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Polyneuropathy and Musculoskeletal Pain

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The Polyneuropathy and Musculoskeletal Pain ECHO addresses diagnostics and management strategies for common and rare neurological conditions. These sessions also provide brief lectures covering topics of interest to the ECHO group, such as peripheral nervous system conditions, neurological vs. non-neurological musculoskeletal pain, management of back pain/lumbosacral radiculopathy and headaches/migraines.

In addition, the main thrust of the sessions will come from participants who will present de-identified cases to each other and the specialist team in order to gain confidence and competence in treating neurological conditions.

Curriculum Expand answer

The Polyneuropathy and Musculoskeletal Pain ECHO consists of eight one-hour sessions that take place every other week. The sessions are CME-eligible.

Each session begins with participant introductions, followed by a brief presentation on a topic related to the care of patients with common or complex neurological conditions.

The formal presentation curriculum for the sessions in this program was developed by Penn State Project ECHO’s specialist team to provide a thorough introduction to treatment and care. Topics include:

  • Sudden progressive weakness after a cold
  • Numb and unsteady legs
  • Numbness, tingling and syncope
  • “My back hurts!”
  • Musculoskeletal disorders: Do I need to see a neurologist?
  • Unilateral hand or foot numbness or weakness
  • Migraine headaches

Additionally, community providers present de-identified patient cases for discussion by the entire group. In order to protect patient confidentiality, all participants are encouraged to contribute actively to the case discussions. Recommendations are summarized verbally at the conclusion of each case presentation, and forwarded in writing to the health care provider whose case was discussed.

SAP Liaisons: Mental Health and Substance Use

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As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, demand for mental health and substance use services is increasing, especially for our nation’s youth who have faced social isolation, loss of routine, and traumatic grief. Data now show alarming rates of behavioral health needs among school-age youth, with significant increases in the number experiencing moderate to severe anxiety and depression.

That is why we partnered with Penn State PRO Wellness and the Pennsylvania Network for Student Assistance Services (PNSAS) to launch an educational series for SAP liaisons on how to build capacity to effectively identify and respond to adolescent needs related to behavioral health.

This series covered topics such as:

  • Social Media Influence
  • Family Impact of Substance Use
  • Marijuana Use/Misuse
  • Mental Health
  • Substance Use among Special Populations
  • Popular Substances

Learn more about this topic

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Severe Acute Pancreatitis

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Pancreatitis affects more than 200,000 people per year in the United States, and severe acute pancreatitis (SAP) develops in about 25% of those affected. Providing a network to connect regional providers will establish access to timely acute recurrent supportive care, including the ability to intervene in patient care without repeat hospital admission.

Penn State Project ECHO is launching a no-cost CME-eligible ECHO series for all Penn State Health-affiliated physicians, including family and community medicine providers, gastroenterologists and internal medicine providers.

The Severe Acute Pancreatitis ECHO series consists of nine one-hour sessions. This series will provide participants with the best practices in the treatment and care for severe acute pancreatitis after initial patient hospitalization.

Sessions will be delivered by an interdisciplinary group of specialists who will provide brief lectures on topics related to identifying key assessments and treatment steps for severe acute pancreatitis.

In addition to brief lectures, sessions will include de-identified case presentations given by participants for group discussion to gain confidence and competence in providing specialized care to patients.

Curriculum Expand answer

This ECHO series includes nine one-hour sessions in total; free continuing medical education credits will be provided to attendees.

The formal presentation curriculum for the sessions in this program was developed by Penn State Project ECHO’s specialist team, using evidence-based resources to provide thorough guidance on caring for patients with severe acute pancreatitis.

Current topics include:

  • Pathophysiology and traditional outcomes, including mortality
  • Acute fluid collections and necrosis
  • Nutrition through index hospitalization
  • Procedural interventions for symptom control
  • Acute outpatient care links and site evolution
  • Staged hospital management interventions for pancreatic necrosis
  • Surgical interventions for subacute and chronic disease
  • Chronic care steps including managing pain, diabetes and exocrine insufficiency
  • Differentiation and management of neoplastic cysts

Additionally, participants will present de-identified patient cases for discussion by the entire group. All participants are encouraged to contribute actively to case discussions. Recommendations are summarized verbally after each case presentation and forwarded to the health care provider whose case was discussed.

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Supporting Employers, Supporting Employees in Recovery

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The Supporting Employers, Supporting Employees in Recovery ECHO is taking place in partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry and Pennsylvania CareerLink. This series is supported in part by a DOL-ETA National Health Emergency Demonstration Grant to Address the Opioid Crisis. See details here.

This 10-session series is designed to provide employers and all levels of staff working with employees in an administrative capacity with the knowledge, resources and best practices to support employees in recovery.

Sessions will be delivered by an experienced interdisciplinary team including addiction medicine physicians, social workers, drug court and enforcement representatives, legal and advocacy advisors, and human resources personnel. Sessions include brief lectures on topics related to supporting employees in recovery, as well as systematic or de-identified employee case presentations given by participants in order to increase education and awareness across the Commonwealth to encourage the success of employees in recovery.

Participation is free and is open to all employers and administrative staff in Pennsylvania.

Curriculum Expand answer

These ECHO sessions occur biweekly, with 10 sessions in total.

The formal presentation curriculum for the sessions in this program was developed by Penn State Project ECHO’s specialist team, using evidence-based resources, to provide a thorough introduction to supporting employees in recovery.

Topics include:

  • Shared recovery story
  • Medical marijuana in the workplace
  • Employer concerns with medication-assisted treatment (MAT)
  • Drug screens (types and fails, false positives)
  • Educating employers on how methadone works as well as the different levels of recovery
  • Hiring do’s and don’ts
  • HR policies
  • Recovery-friendly workplace
  • PA CareerLink services
  • Stigma and bias

Additionally, participants will present systematic or de-identified employee cases for discussion by the entire group. All participants are encouraged to contribute actively to case discussions. Recommendations are summarized verbally after each case presentation and forwarded in writing to the participant whose case was discussed.

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Upcoming Project ECHO Events and Training