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Enhancing Country Health Outcomes (ECHO)
The Enhancing Country Health Outcomes (ECHO) grant program aims to improve health outcomes for people living in rural, regional and remote Victoria and New South Wales.
The program provides targeted funds for charitable initiatives delivered by not-for-profit organisations that strengthen, improve accessibility and retain quality and contextually appropriate primary health care services in local communities.
Despite the many positive aspects of living in rural, regional and remote communities, there are distinct challenges associated with distance and isolation, which place these communities at greater risk of poorer health outcomes and management.
ECHO has been established with funding from Beyond Medical Education and grants of between $50,000 and $150,000 are available for projects to be delivered over two years from October 2018. There will be approximately $349,000 available in this second and final round.
Priority funding areas
Priority will be given to locally driven initiatives, based in rural, regional and remote Victorian and New South Wales communities that:
- Improve accessibility and availability of innovative public primary health service delivery that while publicly available, is difficult to access;
- Enable communities to attract and retain a multi-disciplinary health workforce, including General Practitioners and allied health workers, through innovative and novel approaches;
- Support the rural, regional and remote health workforce in being prepared for living and thriving in their / these communities;
- Provide innovative responses to local health needs that are collaborative, integrated and help create systemic change;
- Develop and implement evidence-based, best-practice models of care that are affordable, acceptable and appropriate to meeting the primary health care needs of people living in rural, regional and remote areas.
Projects must clearly demonstrate a focus on one activity from the following activity areas. Click on the activity to reveal examples of what could be funded.
1. Building community resilience
For example, projects that facilitate community health connectedness, develop health leadership capacity within the community, improve local community health infrastructure, supporting the development or operation of collaborative, integrated and culturally accessible local community health networks, or coordinating alliances that help link primary and allied health services up within the community.
2. Developing organisational resilience and capacity
For example, projects that invest in vital primary and/or allied heath infrastructure / equipment where none currently exist, to deliver improved and measurable community health outcomes; develop and support robust organisational networks / alliances, or strengthen the resourcing / delivery capacity of community-based services focused on primary and/or allied health outcomes.
3. Enhancing environmental sustainability (Not available via this program)
4. Fostering cultural vibrancy (Not available via this program)
5. Lifelong education and training (Not available via this program)
6. Economic strength
For example, projects that enable communities to attract and retain a multi-disciplinary health workforce, including General Practitioners and allied health workers, through innovative and novel approaches; and projects that help attract, support and retain primary and allied health care professionals to live and thrive in rural, regional and remote communities.
7. Improving community health and social wellbeing
For example, projects that develop and implement evidence-based, best practice models of care that are affordable, acceptable and appropriate to meeting the primary health care needs of people living in rural, regional and remote areas, improve accessibility and availability of innovative primary health care service delivery that while publicly available, is difficult to access, and projects that support the primary health care needs for the local community.
The kinds of projects that could be funded through ECHO include (but are not limited to):
- Support for primary health care and training in a rural, regional or remote setting;
- Purchasing equipment or resources to enable a local primary health program, service or activity;
- Culturally-appropriate activities, leading edge professional development or community resources;
- Strengthening retention rates of primary healthcare services in rural and remote locations;
- Collaborating with other local, state or industry services focused on improving primary health;
- Fostering local partnerships that help to strengthen primary health care services for local residents;
- Exploring existing models of best practice to support communities around the provision of affordable and accessible primary health care services in rural, regional and remote communities.
- Salaries and wages may be supported if linked to the delivery of the project and where ongoing funding for the position is not required.
Preference will be given to projects that:
- Respond to specific population health issues within a local community;
- Serve communities with populations under 20,000 in Victoria and New South Wales;
- Are collaborative, multi-disciplinary and integrated in nature;
- Demonstrate innovative and novel approaches to achieve program objectives;
- Are sustainable beyond the period of the grant - long-term, scalable and capable of being adapted to meet the primary health care needs of other communities;
- Can clearly measure and report on project outcomes.
The Enhancing Country Health Outcomes (ECHO) program is now closed.
NOTE: To apply, read the guidelines below carefully. Applicants must contact the FRRR Senior Programs Officer, Jeanice Henderson, via email with a brief outline of their project. Applicants with suitable projects will then be provided with a link to the application form.
Applications are invited from not-for-profit, community-based organisations with an ABN or Incorporation Certificate that aim to strengthen, improve accessibility and retain quality primary health care services in local communities. Projects are to start from October 2020.
FRRR uses an online grants administration system. All applications for the Enhancing Country Health Outcomes (ECHO) program will be submitted via FRRR's Grants Gateway online portal.
A link to the application form will be forwarded to applicants by the
FRRR Senior Programs Manager,
if your project is deemed suitable for funding.
Please download and save the How-To Guide and the Grants Gateway FAQs to your desktop, and read through them thoroughly to help get you started. You may need to refer to them during the application process. We also encourage you to watch this introductory clip about the 'Activity Tree', which you'll need to understand to apply.
PLEASE NOTE: Ensure there are only numbers in your budget, or the auto-calculate function won't work - i.e. do not include commas, full stops or dollar signs - only numbers.
Let us know if you have any problems by calling 1800 170 020, or emailing email@example.com.
For more information on this process, please read the following documents:
- Enhancing Country Health Outcomes (ECHO) - 2020 Program Guidelines
- Grants Gateway How-To Guide
- Grants Gateway FAQs
- FRRR Activity Tree
- Introduction to using the Activity Tree
Before applying, please read the Guidelines and supporting information carefully. If you have any queries or wish to discuss your project, please contact us on 1800 170 020 or email.