E-cigarette use among students is a significant public health concern in the U.S. However, schools have limited resources to address this problem, especially in rural and frontier areas.
The Project Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes – trademarked as Project ECHO® – is a collaborative model that aims to build workforce capacity in rural and underserved areas. The model has four foundational principles: using technology to leverage scarce resources, sharing best practices to reduce disparities, employing case-based learning and guided practice to support participants mastering complexity, and monitoring program outcomes.
In collaboration with the Vaping Task Force convened by the Kansas State Board of Education, the Kansas Health Institute provides coordination, facilitation and evaluation services to schools across Kansas for a pilot project (2020-2024) which uses the Project ECHO® model to disseminate evidence-based strategies for e-cigarette prevention and cessation among youth.
This report, Evaluation of the Vaping ECHO for Education Pilot Initiative in Kansas, presents findings from evaluating the first year of the three-year Vaping ECHO for Education Pilot Initiative in Kansas. The evaluation finds that the program has successfully equipped critical school staff with valuable e-cigarette cessation resources, tools and techniques.
For additional background on the program structure and implementation, read this article in the journal Frontiers: Development and implementation of the ECHO model in a school setting to address youth electronic cigarette use in Kansas: A protocol.