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Sanjeev Arora

Project ECHO
Sanjeev Arora, MD, FACP, FACGBiosketch Sanjeev Arora, MD, FACP, FACG, is the Director of Project ECHO® (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes). He is a tenured Professor of Medicine, in 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 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 clinicians 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 clinicians through teleECHO clinics, thereby increasing access to care in rural areas without having to recruit, retain and fund additional clinicians. 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. In May 2012, it was announced that Project ECHO® was awarded nearly $8.5 million over three years from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Health Care Innovation awards. The award is administered through HHS’s Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, and estimated to save more than $11 million in health care costs over the same time period. Under the grant, UNM will identify 5,000 high-cost, high-utilization, high-severity patients in New Mexico and Washington State, and use a team of primary care “intensivists” trained to care for complex patients with multiple chronic diseases, working with area managed care organizations and care providers. Project ECHO® will train as many as 300 workers to help increase primary care clinicians’ capacity to treat and manage complex patients.