PPW Project Echo: Building capacity to provide care for pregnant and postpartum women with substance use disorders

February 21, 2017

Sarah Knopf-Amelung, MA-R
Senior Project Manager
ATTC Center of Excellence on Behavioral Health for Pregnant and Postpartum Women and Their Families 




Providing evidence-based, family-centered care to pregnant and postpartum women with substance use disorders is extremely complex. In addition to the pressing medical concerns associated with substance use during pregnancy, it also has far-reaching impacts on family members, necessitating providers to care for the whole family. Recognizing the need for training, technical assistance, and support for the behavioral health workforce serving this population, the ATTC Center of Excellence on Behavioral Health for Pregnant and Postpartum Women and Their Families (CoE-PPW) and the ATTC Network Coordinating Office partnered to develop the PPW Project ECHO. This ECHO is the first of its kind to address the behavioral health needs of pregnant and postpartum women, taking a family-centered approach to the recovery process that is inclusive of family members ranging from the infant to older children, fathers to extended family.

Project ECHO—a telehealth hub and spoke model developed by the University of New Mexico—seeks to democratize medical knowledge and get best practice care to those who need it. Through virtual clinics using multipoint videoconferencing, Project ECHO connects those with specialty knowledge (hub) and community providers (spokes) to build their capacity to treat complex health conditions. A case-based learning approach allows providers to receive real-time consultation on de-identified client cases, building a knowledge-sharing network among hub and spoke members. Project ECHO aims to reduce health disparities, increase access to care, improve quality, and reduce cost.  Watch this two-minute video to see how it works:



See  related story from the December 2016 ATTC Messenger: Project Echo: Expanding Access to Treatment

The first phase of the PPW Project ECHO, which is currently open to SAMHSA PPW grantees, will run February 21 to August 15, 2017 on a twice-monthly schedule. The hub team is composed of 14 nationally recognized interdisciplinary consultants. In addition to providing participants with the opportunity to present a client case and receive consultation, each ECHO clinic will begin with a 15-minute didactic. Topics include family-centered care, younger children’s services, trauma-informed/specific services, services for fathers/partners, engaging extended family, parenting, women’s health/family planning, cultural competency and spirituality, special considerations during pregnancy, medication-assisted treatment, older children’s services, and fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. NAADAC continuing education will be provided.

Following the first phase of implementation, the PPW Project ECHO will be opened to a broader audience of participants, including behavioral health agencies that are not currently SAMHSA PPW grantees and the broader primary care and medical community. If you would like more information on PPW Project ECHO, please contact Senior Project Manager, Sarah Knopf-Amelung, at knopfsm@umkc.edu.

About our guest blogger 


Sarah Knopf-Amelung, MA-R, is a Senior Project Manager with the ATTC Center of Excellence on Behavioral Health for Pregnant and Postpartum Women and Their Families, part of Mid-America ATTC. She is also Project Coordinator of an SBIRT training grant for health professions students and evaluator on an interprofessional education grant focusing on medically underserved veterans with multiple chronic conditions. She is a peer reviewer for the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, and has published her research in the American Journal of Public Health; Journal of Addictive Behaviors, Therapy, and Rehabilitation; and International Journal of Higher Education.

1 comment:

  1. Info is implausible, I would want to see more and more from your writers.
    custom ecommerce website service

    ReplyDelete