The SAFEST Choice Learning Collaborative aims to reduce the incidence of prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE) and improve outcomes in children with suspected or diagnosed fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs).
This program, a partnership between Boston Medical Center and Proof Alliance, will use Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes (ECHO®) virtual education to engage healthcare teams at community health centers (CHCs) and health centers serving Native American/tribal communities in New England and the Upper Midwest in FASD education.
Participation costs are completely covered by this program funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).
Health centers will participate in Prenatal and/or Pediatric ECHO® cohorts to learn FASD-specific core competencies. The Prenatal Cohort will learn how to screen for and counsel patients about the risks of alcohol use during pregnancy. The Pediatric Cohort will learn how to identify and care for children and adolescents with suspected or diagnosed FASD. Participation in both cohorts provides a streamlined approach for healthcare teams to address prevention of FASD and management of individuals with an FASD across the lifespan. Each health center will have a Champion who will be in communication with the SAFEST Choice team.
The University of New Mexico (wherefrom the ECHO® model is based) describes how the this learning model works:
Using proven adult learning techniques and interactive video technology, the ECHO Model™ connects groups of community providers with specialists at centers of excellence in regular real-time collaborative sessions.
The sessions, designed around case-based learning and mentorship, help local workers gain the expertise required to provide needed services.
Providers gain skills and confidence; specialists learn new approaches for applying their knowledge across diverse cultural and geographical contexts. As the capacity of the local workforce increases, lives improve.
This Learning Collaborative is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $986,500 with 100 percentage funded by HRSA/HHS and $0 amount and 0 percentage funded by nongovernment source(s). The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA/HHS, or the U.S. Government.