Request for Proposal
Feb 15, 2017 Virginia Department of Health

Virginia Project ECHO

Virginia Department of Health RFP

What is Project ECHO?

Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes or “Project ECHO” increases access to specialist providers in underserved communities via a tele-consultation and continuous learning process for providers. The Project ECHO Integrated Addictions and Psychiatry Tele ECHO Clinic have made significant progress in using tele-consultation to expand substance use disorder treatment capacity in remote and underserved areas. This model enables primary care clinicians to develop the skills and knowledge to treat patients with common, complex diseases in their own communities, reducing travel costs, wait times and avoidable complications, overall resulting in a higher percentage of patients being managed by the primary care clinician and referrals to specialists reserved for complex, high-risk patients. The ECHO model™ is not “telemedicine” where the specialist team assumes the care of the patient, rather, it is a collaborative practice model where the primary care clinician retains responsibility for patient care, operating with increasing independence as their skills and confidence grow. Sessions allow for a team of “Hub” specialists in Addiction Disease Management to consult on de-identified real patient cases via video conferencing to primary and other providers across the state. Sessions also includes a brief didactic session on pre-determined lessons and CME is available for free to all participants. This model fosters knowledge sharing, collaboration, building up the confidence and capacity of providers to provide Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) and treat addiction and substance use disorder.


Project Summary

The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) is developing a statewide Project ECHO to help build the capacity of providers in the Commonwealth to provide MAT and Addiction Disease Management to patients, primarily in underserved and rural areas. VDH is looking for a partner to become the Project ECHO site for Virginia and provide the primary home to the project for the coming years. Project sites are typically academic medical centers house and coordinate the team of specialists in house. In Virginia, we are also looking for our Project ECHO site to be willing to partner and include other specialists from other medical centers and health systems in the state to provide a diverse and full roster of specialists to participate in the program.

The vision statement for Virginia’s ECHO project states:

Serving as a national model, Virginia will contribute to reducing the statewide opioid addiction crisis burden and resulting adverse health consequences by establishing a Virginia specific, collaborative opioid and disease prevention tele-consultative specialty Project ECHO, building on the capacity of primary care provider teams with the overarching goals of integrating addiction disease management, disease prevention strategies, and behavioral health care into primary care settings, increasing access for patients to Substance Use Disorder (SUD) services in their local communities and in culturally appropriate settings, and promoting comprehensive, coordinated, cost efficient, and best-practice care by 2018.


Project ECHO Site Roles and Responsibilities:

  1. Provide assistance in scheduling and facilitation for each ECHO session.
  2. Provide facility space for the interdisciplinary specialist panel to meet for ECHO sessions.
  3. Have a passion for promoting knowledge sharing, improving access to care, and building the capacity of Virginia’s workforce.

Virginia Department of Health Roles and Responsibilities:

The Virginia Department of Health and its partners will look to provide and secure primary funding for this program.  Primary funding may consist of: Costs for administrative support and management of the tele-ECHO sessions, costs for staffing the interdisciplinary specialist panel, transcription of ECHO sessions, transmission equipment and broadcast fees, program evaluation and miscellaneous costs. 

In addition, the Virginia Department of Health will provide:



Please provide a brief (2-3 pages) proposal regarding your interest and framework for becoming the Project ECHO site for the Virginia Project ECHO.

Please address the following areas in your proposal:


Selection Criteria

When selecting a Project ECHO site for this project, we will be evaluating candidates on the following criteria:

The chart below indicates how proposals will be factored and evaluated. Proposals will be evaluated on “best value” based on the evaluation criteria as stated below.


 Criteria Possible Points
  • Addresses all aspects of assignment; Substantive response;
  • Extends discussion;
  • As question dictates, identifies evidence based and promising practice;
  • Identifies as potential statewide leader in current practice
  • Addresses aspects of assignment with minor gaps;
  • No compromise;
  • As question dictates, identifies evidence based and promising practice;
  • Identifies as potential statewide leader with mentoring
  • Addresses aspects of assignment with moderate gaps;
  • Some compromise;
  • As question dictates, identifies evidence based and promising practice;
  • Identifies as potential statewide leader with mentoring
  • Addresses aspects of assignment with significant gaps;
  • Significant compromise;
  • As question dictates, does not identify evidence based and promising practice;
  • Does not address aspects of assignment;
  • Lack of integrity;
  • As question dictates, does not identify evidence based and promising practice
  • Does not meet structural criteria



Highest total=25 points.

 Factor Weight
Question and Structure Response 100%


Contact Information

If you have any questions or follow up responses, please contact VDH at:

Mike Mallon
Community Health Specialist
Virginia Department of Health
Lisa Wooten
Injury and Violence Prevention Program Supervisor
Virginia Department of Health