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The Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes (ECHO) project is a videoconferencing, case-based learning platform that can feed a knowledge-sharing network. ECHO's goal is to create and foster telementoring between front-line caregivers in rural and underserved settings with experts and other health care professionals who are able to share necessary information to improve patient and public health outcomes. 

USD’s School of Health Sciences serves as one of two South Dakota ECHO “hubs." A "hub" is the source of health care information that is dispensed via webinar-type presentations. The “spokes” in the model are the local communities that receive telementoring and become part of the learning community.

A teleECHO clinic includes a short didactic, followed by case presentations from “Spoke” sites and discussion of the learning community. In many instances, those participating are able to earn continuing education credits.

One ECHO project highlights and combats opioid abuse. USD health care experts from the departments of Addiction Counseling and Prevention, Social Work and Physical Therapy utilize ECHO technologies to train addiction counselors from around South Dakota using a pain assessment curriculum. Counselors will benefit by the training to better understand pain assessment and treatment alternatives. USD’s School of Health Sciences is using the ECHO model to engage professionals working with deaf and hard-of-hearing children. Other applications for ECHO are being planned that relate to palliative care and trauma informed care. 

Learn More About ECHO

Contact the School of Health Sciences if you are interested in getting involved or if you have any questions at

News In Brief

  • The Project ECHO logo
    VERMILLION, S.D. – The University of South Dakota School of Health Sciences’ video-conferencing platform, the Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes (ECHO), is now offering informational guidance about the COVID-19 pandemic to South Dakota’s healt...
  • Parents, We Need You

    If you would you like to help create awareness about early childhood hearing screening in South Dakota, please join us for the SD EHDI Project ECHO parent sessions. There will be a session, once a month, for one hour in the evening. The session will include an educational talk, followed by an example case and discussion. All you need to join the sessions is internet connection and a device that is internet accessible.

    For more information, please email

  • Addiction counseling, mental health and social work professionals: Would you like to learn more about maximizing telehealth in South Dakota? Join us for the Project ECHO: USD Maximizing Rural Telehealth in South Dakota sessions June 18 – Aug. 6. 

    You can join each session via Zoom from your computer, tablet or phone. Continuing education credits are available through the South Dakota Board of Addiction and Prevention Professionals. 

    Register by emailing