The U.S. United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) recently presented its 2010 International "21st Century Award for Best Practices in Distance Learning" award to the University of New Mexico’s Project Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes (Project ECHO) for its innovative healthcare program that helps provide care of chronic and complex diseases in rural and medically underserved areas of New Mexico.

Through the use of video distance-learning technology from Polycom, Inc. [Nasdaq: PLCM], Project ECHO bridges the gap between urban healthcare specialists and providers in rural settings.

The USDLA has been the world's premier distance learning association since 1987. Annually, the USDLA Distance Learning Awards program acknowledges major accomplishments in distance learning and highlights those distance learning instructors, programs and professionals who have achieved and demonstrated extraordinary results through the use of online, videoconferencing, satellite, and blended learning delivery technologies.

The awards were presented in conjunction with the 2010 National Conference in St. Louis. "As a premier organization for the entire distance learning profession, we are honoring the University of New Mexico Project ECHO as a leader in the industry," said Dr. John G. Flores, CEO of USDLA.

"Project ECHO has raised the bar of excellence, and we are truly honored by the company's contributions to the distance learning industry." “We are truly honored by this recognition,” said Wesley Pak, MBA, systems and programming manager for Project ECHO. “I know that that Project ECHO helps save lives and improves the quality of life for our patients every day. To date, we've enrolled tens of thousands of patients in our program – without video conferencing technology from Polycom, these patients would not have had access to treatment for their condition and their outcomes would have been negatively impacted.” 

About Project ECHOProject ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) at the University of New Mexico uses technology to bring access to care for chronic complex diseases to rural and underserved populations. The project builds knowledge networks based on best practice protocols and case based learning. To learn more about Project ECHO, visit http://echo.unm.edu/.

About United States Distance Learning Association

The United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) is a non-profit association formed in 1987 and is located in Boston, Massachusetts. The association reaches 20,000 people globally with sponsors and members operating in and influencing 46% of the $913 billion dollar U.S. education and training market. USDLA promotes the development and application of distance learning for education and training and serves the needs of the distance learning community by providing advocacy, information, networking and opportunity. Distance learning and training constituencies served include pre-k-12 education, higher and continuing education, home schooling as well as business, corporate, military, government and telehealth markets. The USDLA trademarked logo is the recognized worldwide symbol of dedicated professionals committed to the distance learning industry. For more information regarding the USDLA, visit www.usdla.org.

About Polycom

Polycom, Inc. (Nasdaq: PLCM) is the global leader in telepresence, video, and voice solutions and a visionary in communications that empower people to connect and collaborate everywhere. Visit http://www.polycom.com for more information and follow us on Twitter @AllAboutPolycom.


Contact: Cindy Foster, 272-3322