July 2020December 2022
Australian Government, Department of Health: Indigenous Australians’ Health Programme Emerging Priorities grant

In collaboration with the Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council (QAIHC) and Metro South Health, a Queensland-wide dementia telementoring program (DementiaECHO) is being developed. This program is part of the worldwide Project ECHO program, a global initiative that connects community healthcare providers with specialists.  Project ECHO is committed to addressing the needs of underserved communities through the exchange of information.

DementiaECHO has a focus on dementia case-based learning, aimed at enhancing care for people with complex dementia needs. It involves health professionals in Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Community Controlled Health Organisations connecting (by videoconference) for regular sessions with a multi-disciplinary team of dementia specialists. These sessions create a knowledge-sharing network where community healthcare providers learn from each other and from specialists and, in turn, specialists learn from community providers. Through this learning-loop, the patient receives best practice care.

The aim of this research is to evaluate the uptake and effectiveness of DementiaECHO in: increasing awareness and knowledge of dementia; improving clinical support and peer connections; upskilling the local health workforce and; increasing specialists’ knowledge regarding dementia in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Engagement with QAIHC sites throughout Queensland is underway. DementiaECHO sessions commenced in June 2021.


Go to DementiaECHO website

QAIHC Collaborators

The following QAIHC employees are working with the COH to plan, deliver and evaluate the DementiaECHO services:

Kelly Dingli, Manager, Research and Evidence
Rod Wright, Project Officer
Rachel Doolan, Policy Officer, Policy team

Metro South Health Collaborators

DementiaECHO is supported by a team of specialists at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane:

Associate Professor Paul Varghese, Director of Geriatric Medicine, Geriatric and Rehabilitation Unit (GARU), PA Hospital, Brisbane
Dr Phil Aitkens, Consultant Geriatrician, GARU
Michelle Cordell, Clinical Nurse, GARU
Therese Nieddu, Clincal Nurse, GARU
Maria Draper, Clinical Nurse Consultant and Program Manager, GARU

Further information about QAIHC

Further information about Metro South Geriatric Services

Download the DementiaECHO project brochure


Project members

Dr Helen Haydon

Research Fellow
Centre for Health Services Research

Associate Professor Liam Caffery

Principal Research Fellow
Centre for Health Services Research

Dr Centaine Snoswell

Research Fellow Health Economics
Centre for Health Services Research

Ms Monica Taylor

Senior Research Assistant
Centre for Health Services Research
Outdoor portrait of Dr Emma Thomas

Dr Emma Thomas

Research Fellow
Centre for Health Services Research

Mrs Lisa Garner

Telehealth Service Manager
Centre for Health Services Research