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Dementia Training & Tele-Mentoring Program

What is Project ECHO®?

Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) is a guided-practice model that aims to increase workforce capacity by sharing knowledge. Specialists at the central site, which is called the hub, meet regularly with healthcare professionals in local communities via videoconferencing to provide training in the delivery of specialty care services.

The ECHO model, developed at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, does not actually provide care directly to patients. Instead, it provides front-line healthcare professionals with the knowledge and support they need to manage patients with complex conditions—in their own communities. This dramatically increases access to specialty treatment in rural and underserved areas.

How does it work?

A Dementia ECHO is a virtual, collaborative training and mentoring program. Health care professionals from multiple locations connect with a team of specialists through videoconferencing at regularly scheduled times approximately every other week over a six-month period. Several series are offered throughout the year.

During Dementia ECHO sessions, providers present de-identified patient cases to expert teams who mentor the providers to manage patients with complex conditions. These case-based discussions are supplemented with short didactic presentations to improve content knowledge and share evidence-based practices.

Participants in the Banner Alzheimer’s Institute: Dementia ECHO can:

  • Enhance your ability to extend specialty care to your patients
  • Reduce your patients’ travel time and wait time for specialty care
  • Reduce patient crises, travel, and wait times for specialty care.
  • Optimize care, improve outcomes and lower health care costs.
  • Health care providers from all professions are welcome to participate in the Banner Alzheimer’s Institute: Dementia ECHO. There is no cost to participate, and CME and CEU credits are available.


Designed to provide the specialty knowledge required to effectively diagnosis and manage cognitive disorders. The curriculum will address topics such as:

  • Alzheimer’s and related dementias: definitions, epidemiology, risk factors, differentiating from age-related changes
  • Mild cognitive impairment and dementia
  • Diagnostic evaluation of cognitive disorders and differential diagnosis
  • When and how to use office/remote testing
  • How to convey diagnosis, prognosis, and management plan
  • Primary care dementia care workflow and when to refer to a specialist
  • Use of cognitive-enhancing medications
  • Use of psychotropic medications
  • Non-medication disease management techniques, behavioral management interventions
  • Caregiver burden, education, support, and resources
  • As dementia progresses the moderate to advanced stages and delirium
  • Medico-legal issues in dementia: driving, advanced directives, and end of life care

Moving Knowledge, Not Patients

Dementia is a growing public concern. Nearly 6 million of Americans have Alzheimer’s or a related dementia. As the size and proportion of our aging population continues to rise, the number of persons living with Alzheimer’s and related dementias is expected to grow.

Delayed diagnosis and management of the dementia syndrome results in poor outcomes for patients and families including high levels of caregiver stress and burden, as well as delayed, fragmented, and redundant use of resources at nearly every encounter with the health care system.

A shortage of aging specialists places a strong burden on other health care providers to effectively manage care. Even if existing dementia specialists worked at full capacity, they would not be able to care for even 10% of all persons with dementia in the U.S.

With limited medical and pharmaceutical treatments available, disease management requires extensive non-pharmacological approaches to care, care management strategies, advanced care planning and access to education, support, counseling, and community resources.

The goal of the Banner Alzheimer’s Institute: Dementia ECHO program is to equip health care professionals with the specialty knowledge and tools needed to effectively manage these patients to improve their care.

Multidisciplinary health care professionals involved in the management of care for aging adults are encouraged to participate. By registering, you:

  • Attend regular sessions twice monthly.
  • Conveniently join from a computer or video enabled device.
  • Consider presenting difficult patient cases.
  • Participate in brief lectures and presentations.
  • Complete periodic surveys evaluating the program and confidence in treating dementia.

When are the Dementia ECHO series scheduled?

Two Dementia ECHO series are scheduled for 2024, with 1-hour sessions held every 2 weeks for 12 total sessions.

To contact the Banner Alzheimer’s Institute: Dementia ECHO Team, please fill out the form below.