Skip to main content

Rural Project Examples: Community and faith-based initiatives

Promising Examples

funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Youth4Health
Updated/reviewed September 2017
  • Need: To educate youth about obesity and healthy lifestyle choices.
  • Intervention: An educational program about healthy living was implemented in Lincoln and Claiborne Parishes in Louisiana for youth ages 9-18.
  • Results: Youth4Health program produced greater awareness and participation in healthier lifestyles by target youth and their families, as well as church congregations.

Other Project Examples

Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota Abound Counseling
Updated/reviewed December 2017
  • Need: To provide mental health services to rural residents in North Dakota.
  • Intervention: Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota provides telehealth counseling through its offices and communities' Lutheran churches.
  • Results: In the first year of practice, Abound Counseling has brought greater access to quality mental healthcare for young children.
Partners in Health and Wholeness
Updated/reviewed September 2017
  • Need: To change the health profile of North Carolina.
  • Intervention: Partners in Health and Wholeness, an initiative of the NC Council of Churches, is a faith-based program that integrates healthy living within congregations while offering financial support to launch or expand health initiatives.
  • Results: Since its founding in 2009, over 475 churches have become certified with PHW, many in rural areas, and over 350 mini-grants have been awarded to congregations.
Tea Time with Teens
Updated/reviewed September 2017
  • Need: To lower teen pregnancy rates in Marlboro County, South Carolina, and develop teen leaders.
  • Intervention: Tea Time with Teens brings together community leaders, mothers, and daughters to build life skills and make healthy decisions.
  • Results: Over 50 teens participate in the Tea Time with Teens program in Marlboro County, and the program has served approximately 100 teens since its inception.
Health Motivator Program
Added July 2017
  • Need: To increase physical activity and other healthy habits for older adults in West Virginia.
  • Intervention: Members of the community called Health Motivators lead senior centers and community groups in a monthly educational activity.
  • Results: In a 2016 survey, 97% of Health Motivators and 92% of group members said that their health improved because of the program.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Project Renew
Added July 2017
  • Need: To reduce deaths due to opioid overdose in rural southeast West Virginia.
  • Intervention: Project Renew trains and certifies first responders, healthcare staff, and laypeople in naloxone administration.
  • Results: Project Renew has saved 10 lives since its inception.
Columbia Gorge Collective Impact Health Specialist
Added June 2017
  • Need: To address the specific health needs of north central Oregon and south central Washington.
  • Intervention: The Collective Impact Health Specialist identifies community needs, convenes community partners to design initiatives that address those needs, and secures funding for health-related initiatives.
  • Results: Thanks to the CIHS, the Columbia Gorge region has received more than $5 million in funding in 3 years.
Maryland Faith Health Network
Updated/reviewed May 2017
  • Need: To coordinate formal and informal community-based caregivers for optimal patient experience.
  • Intervention: The Maryland Faith Health Network unites places of worship and healthcare systems in Maryland. This program aims to decrease the amount of potentially avoidable hospitalizations, improve a patient's overall wellness, and cut down on the cost of medical services.
  • Results: This model is currently running in 3 hospitals that serve both rural and urban residents in central Maryland. So far, 68 Christian, Jewish, and Muslim congregations as well as 1,300 congregants have enrolled in the Network.
Neighbor to Neighbor
Added May 2017
  • Need: To reduce social isolation and its negative effects on health for women in rural Kansas.
  • Intervention: Neighbor to Neighbor is a day center where women can socialize, eat free meals, and take care of basic needs such as laundry and showers.
  • Results: An average of 24 women and children visit the center every day. Positive comments from visitors suggest that the day center helps reduce their social isolation.
Schools as a Hub for Health
Added March 2017
  • Need: To improve health outcomes in rural Appalachian Ohio.
  • Intervention: Schools as a Hub for Health promotes holistic wellness for the whole community by creating or bringing in programs that support physical, mental, and social health.
  • Results: The project has gained administrator buy-in and was featured in a December 2016 County Health Rankings & Roadmaps webinar.