We just finished our first collaboration with Project ECHO at Penn State, a webinar series devoted to substance use topics. This collaboration brought something new for both of us: for CMC:Foundation for Change, it meant adapting our Invitation to Change workshops to a new model; meanwhile, it was the first time that Project ECHO at Penn State created a series not for healthcare professionals, but for community members.
The ECHO model is based in the idea that “all teach, all learn”––but that was somewhat modified for our group, considering we had a specific set of ideas to teach. Still, week after week, we were moved by the wisdom of the group: we brought the learning objectives, and they brought intelligent and thoughtful insights. They also showed profound support for one another during group discussions and in the Zoom chat, sharing personal experiences, resources, and useful interpretations of ITC concepts.
We are grateful to all these participants for creating such a collaborative spirit, and we hope we will see them again at future workshops. More, we hope that the experience will stay with them, bring connection with each other and with their families, and help them see change in their loved ones and their relationships.
We also found great support from the team at Penn State, who passed along these kind words:
“[We] felt honored to be a part of this project and to be able to share in the amazing wisdom and grace of those battling to support loved ones for years on end. What warriors they are! And, your approach and thoughtful help clearly provides a path of hope for them.” In turn, we are enormously grateful for the new home they offered to ITC, and the opportunity they created for these families to learn together and with us.
It is so great to find new partnerships, new ideas, and new ways of doing the most important work: helping families. Here’s to the next great venture!