ECHO Idaho Launches New Online Training for School-Based Professionals
August 21, 2023
MOSCOW, Idaho — In September, ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) Idaho will launch a free, online K-12 education training series, providing learning opportunities for school-based professionals across Idaho. Participants can also claim free professional development and continuing education credits through a partnership with University of Idaho College of Education, Health and Human Sciences.
The new ECHO for Education training is comprised of three K-12 series with different areas of focus, including Behavioral Health, Substance Use Prevention and Treatment, and School Nurses. The sessions are specially designed for school-based professionals and classroom educators to learn best practices for supporting students.
“Idaho schools are ready to lead, and we invite everyone to join us in this online learning community,” said Eric Studebaker, ECHO Idaho’s director. “Our initial K-12 Education series will place a powerful tool in the hands of our educators and school administrators, giving them access to the latest information and research from experts in youth behavioral health, school nursing and substance use prevention and treatment.”
The Behavioral Health series and Substance Use Prevention and Treatment series were funded through a donation from Optum Idaho.
“ECHO Idaho’s new K-12 series focusing on additional education and support for classroom teachers who are struggling with the increasing demands of child stressors is a critical step to allow teachers to do what they do best — teach,” said Georganne Benjamin, executive director of Optum Idaho.
Optum Idaho awarded $150,000 to Project ECHO for this 2023 school staff training, following previous donations to Project ECHO totaling $400,000 since 2021. They have supported free online training for primary care providers in rural Idaho — trainings aimed at increasing mental health care access statewide for adults, children and families.
“We are proud to partner with ECHO to combine our efforts in the enhancement of mental health resources and access to timely behavioral health services in schools for Idaho children,” Benjamin said. “The upcoming courses represent an important extension of the ongoing work Optum and other community stakeholders have identified as key to a healthier future for all Idaho children.”
ECHO Idaho’s three new K-12 series underscore U of I's commitment to supporting excellence, quality and empowerment in Idaho K-12 education.
“We’re grateful for the generous support from Idaho health care and education-focused organizations to launch this new, no-cost training opportunity for educational professionals,” Studebaker said.
Established in 2018 within the University of Idaho WWAMI Medical Education Program, ECHO Idaho addresses urgent healthcare needs across the state by connecting specialists with local health care providers online. Each hour-long ECHO session is intended to help healthcare professionals gain the expertise required to meet the needs of their patients.
More information about the K-12 Education series and how to register for ECHO Idaho’s free professional development and continuing education opportunities is available at uidaho.edu/echo.
ECHO Idaho training opportunities are made possible by generous donations from several Idaho organizations. A full list of ECHO Idaho’s funders is available at uidaho.edu/academics/wwami/echo#funders.
Marketing and Communications Manager
University of Idaho Boise and ECHO Idaho
About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho, home of the Vandals, is Idaho’s land-grant, national research university. From its residential campus in Moscow, U of I serves the state of Idaho through educational centers in Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls, nine research and Extension centers, plus Extension offices in 42 counties. Home to nearly 11,000 students statewide, U of I is a leader in student-centered learning and excels at interdisciplinary research, service to businesses and communities, and in advancing diversity, citizenship and global outreach. U of I competes in the Big Sky and Western Athletic conferences. Learn more at uidaho.edu.
About Project ECHO Idaho
Utilized worldwide, the Project ECHO model is an educational resource that empowers healthcare professionals in remote or underserved communities to treat complex conditions and disorders with specialist-level expertise. At ECHO Idaho, clinicians statewide join via video conferencing for one-hour sessions that include brief lectures, case reviews, resource sharing, and discussion. In this way, the ECHO model exponentially increases workforce capacity to provide best practice specialty care and reduce health disparities. Learn more at uidaho.edu/echo.
About Optum Idaho
Optum Idaho manages outpatient behavioral health benefits for Idaho Medicaid members. Optum is part of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH). For more information, visit optumidaho.com.