(HELENA) Child and Adolescent psychiatrist, Dr. Eric Arzubi received a surprise $50,000 grant Tuesday morning for a kick-start on his ECHO project.

ECHO, Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes, is a project to help mental health care in rural and remote communities.

Chief Medical Officer of Blue Cross & Blue Shields of Montana Monica Berner said that in a state like Montana, it’s harder for mental health patients to get in contact with a primary care provider.

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“The program itself is a Hub and spoke model, in which you have mental health experts such as Dr. Azubi in the Hub that provide both lessons as well as patient-specific education to providers who may be out in remote or rural areas, caring for patients with mental health conditions,” said Berner

The grant that was awarded is part of Montana Blue Cross & Blue Shield’s “Healthy Kids, Healthy Families” Program.

Berner says the goal of this program is to “expand access to quality mental health services across the state, and also to facilitate and educate primary care providers, such that they can better manage their patients in a home setting.”

Dr. Arzubi has been introducing Project Echo to Montana and the Billings Clinic and has been very successful so far.


To learn more about Project Echo click the link below:

Reporter: Frances Lin