With Project ECHO, the U.S. Army Takes a Team Approach to Combating Pain

Feb 11, 2014, 11:30 AM, Posted by

RWJF grantee Project ECHO is helping the U.S. Army treat service members all over the world who are suffering from chronic pain–a huge, complex, and growing problem for the military. Project ECHO is a collaborative model of medical education and care management that dramatically expands the capacity of primary care clinicians.

The lack of pain specialists in remote areas has been part of the challenge.  Now, primary care providers, such as family doctors and nurse practitioners, are learning to fill this void through Project ECHO, bringing an integrated, holistic approach to pain management that includes massage, acupuncture, biofeedback, and yoga.  At ECHO “boot camps,” specialists and primary care providers learn how to work together as a team.

“It is the ‘teach a man to fish rather than hand him a fish’ mentality that allows us to build champions and build capacity in remote areas,” Col. Kevin Galloway, chief of staff for the U.S. Army Pain Management Task Force, explains in a new video produced by the Army and the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, where the ECHO Institute is based.

Dr. Sanjeev Arora, the social innovator and creator of Project ECHO, notes that the partnership with the Army demonstrates how the ECHO model can be applied in large health systems to bring needed care to more patients with complex, chronic conditions.  Watch the video below to see how Project ECHO is helping to make a difference for America’s wounded warriors.

U.S. Army adapts HSC's ECHO model

This commentary originally appeared on the RWJF Pioneering Ideas blog.