The Annual Learning Collaborative

On October 22, 2019, Rutgers Project ECHO held its 2nd Annual Learning Collaborative at the Rutgers University Inn & Conference Center in New Brunswick. The goals for this year’s Learning Collaborative were to demonstrate the impact of Project ECHO on providers and the communities they serve and to strengthen the Project ECHO culture of learning and collaboration. We met and exceeded those goals, according to our survey results and write-in comments which answered the question, “What was the most valuable aspect of the Learning Collaborative?”

“From my perspective, it was coming together as a team and knowing that we are all working for the same goal.”
“Hearing from others about what works best and what doesn’t.”
“Meeting the fellow participants face-to-face will serve for better communication when we are on the (video) calls.”

The key messages of the 2019 Learning Collaborative were based on an accumulation of learning and collaboration from our 3+ year history of working with specialists, providers and communities throughout New Jersey’s 21 counties. The speakers were proud to frame their remarks within the agenda topics around these messages:

  • Project ECHO enables the ability to improve access to care without disparity;
  • Project ECHO wants to help participants strengthen and make more effective the peer relationships they have developed through a video interface;
  • Inspire hope in the movement of Project ECHO, hope that encourages ideas and funding opportunities;
  • Achieve a broader understanding of the range of ECHO clinics currently available to participants;
  • Sharpen our clinic focus by determining, in discussions and through a collaboration session, other areas of impact that are most important to ECHO participants and their colleagues; and,
  • Encourage and instill understanding with providers that with ECHO’s help, they can meet patients where they are.

The evening included a networking opportunity and dinner, and a robust agenda of speaking topics:

  • Welcoming remarks by Kathy Dodsworth-Rugani, Executive Director, Rutgers Project ECHO;
  • Panel of ECHO Participants moderated by Raquel Mazon Jeffers, Sr. Program Officer, The Nicholson Foundation – Impact of Rutgers Project ECHO;
  • Keynote from NJ Senator Joseph F. Vitale, Chair of NJ Legislature’s Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee;
  • Participatory, lively table discussions for peer-to-peer collaboration led by Rachel Born, Program Director, Rutgers Project ECHO; and,
  • Closing remarks by Eric Jahn, MD – RWJMS Faculty Advisor for Rutgers Project ECHO.