AUGUSTA — Maine Quality Counts will hold its annual conference, Building Communities of Practice through Innovation, from 7:45 a.m. to noon Wednesday, April 4, at the Augusta Civic Center, 76 Community Drive.

Sanjeev Arora, MD, director and founder of Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) at the University of New Mexico, will be the keynote speaker, according to a news release from Maine Quality Counts. The ECHO model helps address the needs of the most vulnerable populations by equipping communities with the right knowledge, at the right place, at the right time.

Project ECHO has been called a disruptive innovation — one that dramatically improves both capacity and access to specialty care for rural and underserved populations. By linking expert, inter-disciplinary teams of specialists with primary care clinicians — a model that allows for the co-management of patient cases — this low-cost, high-impact intervention offers expert mentoring, guidance, feedback and didactic education to providers. To learn more about the ECHO model, visit youtu.be/2lBfyOlL4_s, according to the release.

The other conference breakout sessions will feature a broad spectrum of subject matter experts, including Dartmouth Family Health; Nate Morse from Maine CDC; Dr. Neil Korsen and others from the Maine Lung Cancer Coalition; Dr. Cliff Singer of Eastern Maine Medical Center-Acadia Hospital; and Elizabeth Mitchell, president and CEO of the Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement. Topics will include up-to-date information on chronic disease management, lung cancer screening, geriatric care, high-value care and healthcare affordability.

Full conference details are available at mainequalitycounts.org.

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