Through the launch of Project ECHO, in North Dakota, we aim to develop a broad and flexible continuum of care
delivery specifically to treat opioid use disorders, offering both medication assisted treatment (MAT) and
psychosocial treatments, and to stretch the limited resources as effectively as possible.
North Dakota’s rural geography creates unique challenges for access to care and translation of new
evidence-based practices to the rural practice setting. Resource limitations exist and the burgeoning opioid
epidemic is stretching treatment resources more all the time, with only increasing demand on the foreseeable
horizon. Project ECHO can be part of the statewide effort to expand treatment of substance use disorders and
stretch the limited resources as broadly and effectively as possible.
People need access to specialty care for their complex health conditions.
There aren't enough specialists to treat everyone who needs care, especially in rural and underserved
ECHO trains primary care clinicians to provide specialty care services. This means more people can get
the care they need.
Patients get the right care, in the right place, at the right time. This improves outcomes and reduces
To address the opioid epidemic, Project ECHO is considered the “next step” in support of continued education for
North Dakota providers, integrating with the Champion
Project ECHO is an educational Hub and Spoke model.
Champion Prescribers is a clinical Hub and Spoke model.
Project ECHO Is a Collaboration Among
Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) is being launched in North Dakota through a
collaboration between the Center for Rural Health, Departments of Family and Community Medicine and Psychiatry
and Behavioral Sciences, University of North Dakota, School of Medicine & Health Sciences, Blue Cross Blue
Shield of North Dakota, and the North Dakota Department of Human Services.
Project ECHO and the Champion Prescribers are both components of North Dakota’s State Targeted Response
(STR) to the Opioid Crisis grant, funded by the federal Department Health and Human Services (DHHS),
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), administered through the North Dakota
Department of Human Services.
Most Recent Publications
Project ECHO: Changing North Dakota Fast
Project ECHO is using video technology to address the
opioid epidemic by connecting specialists at academic or
specialty health center "hub sites" with community-based
primary care teams.
Author(s): Kusler, S. Publication: Focus on Rural Health
Date: March 2018