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Penn State Project ECHO Topics

Penn State Project ECHO currently supports knowledge networks in the following topics:

  • 4Ms of Age- and Dementia-Friendly Care
  • ASERT Adult Autism (ASD)
  • BSA Summer Camp Revamped
  • COVID-19
  • COVID-19 in Regional Skilled Nursing Facilities
  • Ehlers-Danlos Syndromes
  • HPV Vaccine Communication
  • Lessons Learned in Implementing Telehealth
  • Managing Patient Mental Health
  • Medication for Opioid Use Disorder
  • Palliative Care
  • Parkinson’s Disease and Dementia
  • Pediatric Dermatology
  • Perinatal Mental Health
  • Polyneuropathy and Musculoskeletal Pain
  • SBIRT for Adolescents
  • Supporting Employers, Supporting Employees in Recovery

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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
  • What matters: Setting goals and preferences for care
  • What matters: End-of-Life care and decision-making
  • Mentation: Depression, delirium and dementia
  • Mentation: Dementia and primary care
  • Medication: Opioid use and support resources
  • Medication: Age-friendly medications and deprescribing
  • Mobility: Maintaining function
  • Mobility: Maintaining strength to reduce falls
  • Climate change: Adaptations for older adults

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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ASERT Adult Autism (ASD)

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The ASERT Adult Autism (ASD) ECHO is designed for providers from agencies serving adults with autism.

This series addresses issues and behavioral strategies for these conditions and also includes brief lectures covering topics of interest to the ECHO group, such as clinical features of ASD, managing common co-occurring conditions and promoting self-advocacy.

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 providing direct supports to adults with ASD.

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Curriculum Expand answer

These ECHO sessions occur every other week, with 12 sessions in total. Each one-hour session begins with participant introductions, followed by a brief presentation on a topic related to the care of adults with autism spectrum disorder.

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:

  • Clinical features of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in adults (Part A)
  • Clinical features of ASD in adults (Part B)
  • Co-occurring physical conditions
  • Co-occurring mental health conditions
  • Behaviors
  • Managing behaviors
  • Promoting activities of daily living
  • Identifying individual and family supports
  • Promoting healthy relationships (Part A)
  • Promoting healthy relationships (Part B)
  • Barriers to community participation
  • Promoting self-advocacy

Additionally, agency 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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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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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.

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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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Ehlers-Danlos Syndromes

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Ehlers-Danlos syndromes are a set of clinically and genetically heterogeneous heritable disorders of connective tissue with high disease burden and complex, overlapping comorbidities that are challenging for practitioners to manage.

Primary-care physicians with expertise in treating Ehlers-Danlos are difficult to find, and specialists have long wait lists.

To address this problem, Project ECHO launched the first ECHO sessions in Ehlers-Danlos syndromes in September 2019. The program is a series of 12 ECHO sessions over the course of the year. CME credits are offered to participants.

This is a research-based ECHO with a goal of increasing treatment capacity by addressing research gaps.

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HPV Vaccine Communication

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The HPV Vaccine Communication ECHO is for pediatricians and family medicine providers who are interested in increasing HPV vaccination rates in their clinics. This six-session ECHO series provides health care providers training on communication best practices and evidence-based strategies for improving HPV vaccination among adolescents, especially those with vaccine-hesitant parents. Its goal is to reduce HPV-related cancers and diseases in Pennsylvania.

Sessions will be delivered by a group of HPV vaccine specialists, including experienced health care providers and health communication experts. Sessions include short didactic presentations and case presentations, so participants gain confidence and competence in recommending HPV vaccination and communicating to families the importance of HPV vaccination.

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Curriculum Expand answer

The HPV Vaccine Communication ECHO consists of six one-hour sessions; free continuing education credits will be provided to attendees.

Each session will begin with participant introductions, followed by a brief presentation on a topic related to patient and family communication strategies for increasing HPV vaccination.

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 HPV vaccine communication best practices.

Topics include:

  • Evidence for HPV vaccination
  • Cancer prevention through HPV vaccination
  • Making strong recommendations for HPV vaccination
  • Communicating with vaccine-hesitant parents
  • Answering parent questions and concerns about HPV vaccination (Part 1 and Part 2)
  • Practice-level interventions for HPV vaccination
  • Team-based communication approaches

Additionally, participants will present de-identified 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 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.

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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 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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For Residents

For Students

Medication for Opioid Use Disorder

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The Medication for Opioid Use Disorder (MOUD) ECHO, in partnership with the RASE Project, has been made possible through a grant awarded to Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Health care providers face many barriers when treating opioid use disorder and implementing medication-assisted treatment (MAT). Many providers do not feel confident or skilled in utilizing MAT to treat patients with opioid use disorder. This series may provide the needed knowledge and confidence to improve patient care.

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

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Curriculum Expand answer

These ECHO sessions occur every other week, with 12 sessions in total. Each session begins with participant introductions, followed by a brief presentation on a topic related to the care of patients with opioid use disorder.

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:

  • Introduction to opioid use disorder
  • Risk reduction and safe use of opioids
  • Medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder
  • Peer recovery support services
  • Evidence-based screening and SBIRT (screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment)
  • Introduction to motivational interviewing
  • ACEs and addiction
  • Office management of opioid use disorder (Part 1 and Part 2)
  • Co-occurring physical and mental health
  • Management of pain in patients with opioid use disorder
  • Pregnancy and care of adolescents

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

SBIRT for Adolescents

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Fewer than 10 percent of adolescents in need of substance abuse treatment receive it. Additionally, a barrier to addressing underage drinking is the lack of appropriate screening, intervention and referral for alcohol use among youth.

Penn State Project ECHO is taking steps to equip primary care providers, pediatricians and school nurses with strategies to address underage drinking through the training and delivery of steps collectively referred to as the screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment (SBIRT) technique.

The SBIRT for Adolescents ECHO has been made possible through a grant awarded to Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

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Curriculum Expand answer

The SBIRT for Adolescents ECHO consists of 10 biweekly, hour-long sessions.

A brief presentation on a topic related to underage drinking and adolescent substance use will be given within the last 15 minutes of each session.

The formal presentation curriculum for the sessions in this program was developed by Penn State Project ECHO’s specialist team. Topics include:

  • Introduction to SBIRT and brief interventions
  • Addressing vulnerability during life transitions
  • Identifying substance abuse in adolescence
  • Adolescent risk factors versus protective factors
  • Adolescent progress of substance use
  • How alcohol affects human biology
  • Referral to psychosocial and medication treatment
  • Beyond alcohol: Substance use prevention
  • Positive development: Building good habits
  • Review of brief interventions

Additionally, pediatricians will present de-identified 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 participant 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.

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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