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Project ECHO

Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes designed to improve physician training, patient care

The Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences rolled out new physician-to-physician training for providers in psychiatry. This free training will allow primary care physicians access to specialist consultation and training.

What this means for patients, is less travel time and expense by receiving treatment from their family doctor rather than being referred to someone else  possibly requiring travel to a metropolitan area.

Dr. William Pettit was visiting Lawton Thursday to promote Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes). He said this is a model for medical education to help primary care physicians provide better healthcare to their patients.

Pettit is Provost for the OSU Center for Health Sciences in Tulsa.

This project began in 2003 in New Mexico by Dr. Sanjeev Arora, a tenured Professor of Medicine, in the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, according to Pettit.

"It was a way to improve healthcare, primarily to help people suffering from Hepatitis C," Pettit said. "ECHO is an educational model to provide increased knowledge to primary doctors, those that are on the frontline treating patients. Specialists can give educational programs about a particular disease. The Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences is the first location in Oklahoma."

The Lawton Constitution

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