Educating and empowering community gastroenterologists to improve the health of patients living with inflammatory bowel disease in underserved areas.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Inequities
Inflammatory bowel disease, or IBD, refers to Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis — disorders where abnormal reactions of the immune system cause chronic inflammation and damage of the digestive tract leading to symptoms such as persistent diarrhea, abdominal pain, weight loss and fatigue. Approximately 1.6 million Americans live with IBD and there are roughly 70,000 new cases each year.
While there is no cure yet, modern medicine is rapidly evolving to give patients the highest quality of life. Unfortunately, the lack of access to subspecialists and multidisciplinary care creates disparities in IBD outcomes, especially for patients living in underserved areas.
To learn more about IBD, read this fact sheet by the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation.
What is Project ECHO IBD?
Project ECHO IBD uses the Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes (ECHO) Model™ to address the gaps in IBD care to ensure high-quality treatment can be delivered to underserved and geographically remote regions.
ECHO IBD works by connecting community gastroenterologists at ‘spoke’ sites with IBD specialists at the UF Health ‘hub’ site through ongoing, interactive, tele-mentoring sessions. These didactic sessions will give local providers access to expert opinion and a multidisciplinary virtual learning community to discuss modern IBD care. Additionally, IBD Health Liaisons will work with patients as health coaches to help equip them with the skills needed to navigate the healthcare system and manage chronic disease.
Our goal is to increase the capacity of general gastroenterologists and clinics to empower and safely and effectively manage underserved patients with IBD who do not receive routine subspecialty care.
To learn more about Project ECHO, please visit the Project ECHO website.
Benefits to Our Community:
- Health: Access to new treatments, continuous quality improvement, streamlined care, and enhanced monitoring of outcomes.
- IBD Patient Navigator: Dedicated care manager provides support to patients.
- Research: Patients are eligible for enrollment in research clinical trials within the UF Health IBD Program.
Benefits to Your Practice:
- Knowledge: Access resources on best practices, new IBD treatments and technology. Keep up-to-date on this fast-paced field with advice from IBD subspecialists.
- Management: Collaborate with IBD specialists, colorectal surgeons, radiologists, and pathologists at UF Health to enhance treatment of your patients. Receive information on navigating patient assistance programs and consult with our IBD pharmacist to ensure insurance coverage of weekly medications.
- Education: Opportunity to receive CME credit for participation in monthly, one-hour ECHO clinics.