Healthcare professionals stand as stalwart guardians of a better future for patients, dedicating themselves to the noble mission of improving well-being. Through their expertise, compassion, and tireless efforts, they navigate the intricate landscape of healthcare, offering not just treatment but also a pathway to lasting vitality. These professionals serve as architects of hope, working diligently to enhance patient outcomes, alleviate suffering, and pave the way for a future where health is not just a commodity but a fundamental right. In their compassionate care and commitment to advancing medical knowledge, healthcare professionals illuminate a brighter and healthier tomorrow for individuals and communities alike.
The ECHO Project Management Group, founded by Dee Armstrong, may not have revolutionized the world, but it undeniably contributes to the enhancement of patient healthcare services. Motivated by the personal losses of her grandmother and uncle, Dee felt compelled to make a difference for patients facing terminal and mental illnesses. Her grandmother’s battle with Alzheimer’s disease and her uncle Don’s struggle with severe schizophrenia highlighted the inadequacies in the care they received from healthcare providers.
Upon their passing, Dee made a solemn promise to alter the dynamics of patient-provider interactions in the healthcare industry, one study at a time. The inception of ECHO stands as a testament to her unwavering commitment to fulfilling this vow and bringing about positive change in the healthcare landscape.
Advancing Healthcare for Patients
Through the recruitment of patients and caregivers willing to share their experiences with uncommon illnesses, medical issues, and mental health conditions, Dee spearheaded the development of ECHO. Dedicated to advancing patient-centered medical research, ECHO has emerged as a vital link between patients and the healthcare community, forging connections and providing visibility for individuals who have often felt marginalized in the past.
ECHO’s innovative platform empowers patients, transforming them from mere statistics into voices that resonate within the healthcare landscape. The wealth of shared information, encompassing diagnoses and treatment journeys, serves as a valuable resource for doctors, drug manufacturers, and other healthcare entities. This collaborative effort not only enhances patient care but also propels the healthcare industry forward.
With unwavering commitment to its core principles, the ECHO team diligently applies them in their daily operations. By prioritizing the individual experiences of patients and caregivers, ECHO continues to make a significant impact, ensuring that every voice is heard and contributing to the collective progress of medical research and patient care.
ECHO Project Management Group
The ECHO team is dedicated to cultivating a compassionate environment that transcends the boundaries set by uncommon medical disorders or diseases, recognizing that these conditions should not define an individual or dictate the course of their life. Going above and beyond, the organization passionately advocates on behalf of those facing rare illnesses and conditions, with a particular emphasis on cancer and mental health. In their relentless pursuit of progress within the healthcare industry, ECHO recruits individuals for a myriad of research initiatives, leveraging diverse data-specific approaches to propel advancements in understanding and treatment modalities.
Driven by a commitment to dismantling the stigma associated with unique medical challenges, ECHO’s advocacy extends beyond the individual to encompass broader systemic changes within healthcare. The organization’s comprehensive and innovative study approaches not only contribute to scientific knowledge but also empower individuals to navigate their health journeys with resilience and hope. ECHO stands as a beacon, pushing the boundaries of what is possible in medical research and reinforcing the idea that every person, irrespective of their health condition, deserves a life defined by compassion, support, and a vision for a brighter future.
Distinctive Services provided by ECHO:
- TDI’s/WATI’s– Nationwide telephone interviews, where patients are invited to share their experiences through telephone and web-assisted telephone interviews with their computer to view stimuli. They are asked pertinent questions relating to their diagnosis and asked to provide individualized insight regarding how to better help those with their medical condition.
- IDI’s – In-depth interviews face-to-face with experienced strategists
- In-Facility – Patients are invited to join one or more interviewers at a medical facility to share their healthcare story. They are encouraged to share additional feedback and expertise regarding their respective diagnosis.
- In-Home Ethnography – Patients consent for an interviewer to come to their home for an in-depth personalized interview regarding their diagnosis. Patients are given the opportunity to show in greater detail how their chronic condition has affected their life, including what they have done to improve their overall daily wellbeing and what tools and assistance are lacking.
- Online Forums – Online Focus Groups allow for free-flowing conversation between the moderator and all participants. Patients are invited to share their stories, as well as offer feedback and insight. Different aspects of the diagnosis may be explored to better understand the patient experience.
- Additional Avenues – Some studies utilize alternative research collection in order to better understand the patient’s journey. Some examples may include short home video descriptions, video blog diaries, or written stories in an essay form
- Hybrid Methods (Two or more study options)
Driving Positive Change
Motivated by the entrepreneurial success of her parents during her formative years, Dee internalized two fundamental values—integrity and a strong work ethic. These principles served as the bedrock of her achievements. Fueled by a profound desire to effect positive change, she embarked on a journey with a resolute commitment to her vision. Her dynamic aspirations are underscored by a keen focus on the ultimate outcome, emphasizing the pivotal role each individual’s experience plays in advancing healthcare and enhancing the well-being of the community.
Dee enjoys challenges because they put one to the test and compel people to either advance and adapt or retreat and stay the same. She says, “What fun is life if you can’t learn and grow? Here at ECHO, we love challenges, as we are known for our passion and persistence to recruit rare medical condition audiences.” She further adds, “To be able to get a rare audience of people HEARD is life changing for them, us, and the healthcare industry.”
Leading to Make a Difference
Dee’s main role at ECHO is to inspire and instill passion on a daily basis. She finds, “We all have good and bad days, and we are all very different people.” The team allocates a dedicated time each week for a collective conference call, aimed at realigning and addressing personal matters.
Their focus is on providing mutual support amidst the various life challenges encountered as women, wives, mothers, daughters, and sisters. She says, “We aren’t just coworkers; we are also each other’s biggest supporters and mentors.”
ECHO distinguishes itself by according personalized attention to every panelist. The dedicated staff invests considerable effort in maintaining robust connections with each patient, caregiver, and medical specialist within its network. Dee states, “We aren’t your traditional medical research company.” She further adds, “We go the extra mile each and every time, whether it be growing our panel organically or simply maintaining the strong relationships we have formed within our panel, support groups, foundations and network of external recruitment avenues.”
The team consistently finds themselves immersed in 45-minute conversations with the panelists, particularly in the medical industry, where they long for a genuine human connection. Their distinctiveness lies in their unwavering commitment—WE CARE and WE WANT to make a difference in each person’s life for their future healthcare needs.
The Fine art of Work-Life Balance
Work is a fine balancing act, much like life. Dee observes that while taking a break is something everyone should do, company owners often feel bad about not working when their doors are open. She says, “You eat, sleep, and breathe your company. You take it from a concept, a baby if you will, and teach it how to eat and walk on its own.”
Dee considers that one has to relinquish control as he or she passes it off to the babysitter, aka coworkers, for care. She mentions, “I had to learn that you must stop and recharge on your days off, and this is a MUST. I also drill this into the team as well. Rest when you can, as everyone needs to recharge and reset, and you must have time for self-care, family, and friends.”
Women in Healthcare
Women have come a long way. Women are now able to dream of their future desires and make them happen! Dee asserts, “We can do anything we set our minds to do. This was not always the case, as we all know.” Women are now being heard, and in a big way. ECHO is a woman-owned and operated company.
As a female leader, Dee believes that rethinking how ECHO reaches medical patients with rare conditions has been the organization’s most significant achievement in implementing referrals from the healthcare arena. It has found a niche in providing high quality pre-vetted respondents to physicians and its end clients. She says, “We have many wonderful plans in the works. We are adding services that will connect patients across their conditions to offer support and feedback. I guess you will have to stay tuned for the reveal!” She further adds that ECHO is a small but powerful company that is making huge strides in the future of healthcare, whether it is medication, devices, or simply feedback to healthcare professionals on how to better a patient’s experience.
“WE are not another number. WE are human. WE need to be HEARD!”