Project ECHO at The University of New Mexico Health Sciences is launching a new program to improve care for patients who are facing life-threatening illnesses or nearing the end of life.
“The need for palliative care expertise, across New Mexico, is staggering,” says Lisa Marr, MD, chief of the UNM Division of Palliative Medicine, who leads with program with associate professor Chris Piromalli, DO, MPH. “Through the New Mexico Palliative Care ECHO Program, we hope to improve access and support for primary palliative care throughout the state.”
Palliative care is specialized medical care for people living with a serious illness, and is focused on providing relief from the symptoms and stress of the illness. The Center to Advance Palliative Care gives New Mexico a “D” for access to palliative care, one of the lowest grades nationally.
Leveraging Project ECHO’s model, the new program will prepare health care providers with best practices in palliative medicine, so they can treat patients where they live. ECHO’s tele-mentoring model empowers practitioners and professionals from rural and under-resourced areas to access expert knowledge, helping build local capacity and stronger communities.
Led by an interdisciplinary team – including physicians, advanced practice providers, a pharmacist, a social worker and a chaplain – health care providers will learn the most effective treatment options for this stage of life, including integrative approaches for treating pain, complex symptom management and care coordination, spiritual and existential suffering and communication strategies.
“The people of New Mexico deserve to have access to the best practice care to make them and their loved ones comfortable in the late stages of their life,” said Sanjeev Arora, MD, founder and director of Project ECHO. “We are very proud to be using ECHO to help health care workers across the state learn and develop the skills they need to help their patients and communities.”
Interested participants can register online, at no cost. Physicians, nurses, advanced practice providers, social workers, community health workers, chaplains, pharmacists and other health care workers are welcome. Continuing education credits will be provided for several disciplines.
About the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center
The University of New Mexico’s Health Sciences Center is New Mexico’s health care and academic medicine leader. UNM HSC serves our uniquely diverse population, ensuring New Mexicans in all parts of the state have access to quality, cutting-edge health care when and where they need it. UNM HSC changes lives in our community while forwarding medical research and innovation on a national level.
About Project ECHO
In 2023, Project ECHO is celebrating 20 years of disseminating knowledge in rural and under resourced areas. Founded and headquartered at The University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center in Albuquerque, N.M., Project ECHO empowers local community providers to improve the well-being of people in New Mexico and around the world.