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Rural Project Examples: Health workforce education and training

Effective Examples

MU-AHEC Summer Community Program
Updated/reviewed August 2017
  • Need: Lack of healthcare providers, specifically physicians, in rural Missouri.
  • Intervention: Rising second-year medical students at University of Missouri's School of Medicine are given the opportunity to participate in a clinical program in a rural community setting.
  • Results: Almost half of the participants from 1996-2010 chose to practice in rural locations upon graduation.
OHSU Rural Surgery Training
Updated/reviewed March 2017
  • Need: General surgeons are needed in rural communities.
  • Intervention: Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) is sending residents to complete a one-year general surgery rotation in southern rural Oregon.
  • Results: Almost half of the graduates of the Grants Pass rural residency program are now practicing in a rural setting, and the residents are more likely to enter general surgery practice and serve in a community of less than 50,000 people.
funded by the Health Resources Services Administration Appalachian Preceptorship Program
Updated/reviewed October 2016
  • Need: To prepare future physicians for practicing in rural southern Appalachia.
  • Intervention: The Appalachian Preceptorship Program offers medical students clinical preceptorships to give them experience practicing in rural, underserved communities of southern Appalachia.
  • Results: Students who participate in this preceptorship are more than 3 times as likely to practice medicine in a rural location.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Livingston County Help For Seniors
Updated/reviewed August 2016
  • Need: Meeting the health needs of geriatric patients in rural Livingston County, New York.
  • Intervention: The Help for Seniors program was developed and using its “vodcasts,’ local EMTs were trained in geriatric screening methods and health needs treatment.
  • Results: In addition to developing a successful model for educating EMS personnel, the program screened over 1200 individuals and identified various risks among the geriatric population.

Promising Examples

funded by the Health Resources Services Administration Learning Exchange Reverse Demonstration (LERD) Model
Updated/reviewed July 2017
  • Need: To make it easier for rural nurses to continue their education by decreasing the need to travel.
  • Intervention: An innovative, online health assessment course uses telehealth to allow rural RN-BSN students to demonstrate skills acquisition.
  • Results: Rural participants had similar learning outcomes to those participating in the onsite version of the course, with fewer travel costs, less time away from work, and higher overall satisfaction.

Other Project Examples

funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Great Basin College Emergency Medical Services Program
Updated/reviewed December 2017
  • Need: Recognizing the need to increase emergency response times, rural Nevada struggled to recruit and retain EMTs, AEMTs, and Paramedics.
  • Intervention: Great Basin College created the EMS program to recruit and train new EMTs and paramedics.
  • Results: The program has now trained hundreds of state-certified EMTs and AEMTs in rural Nevada.
Mississippi Rural Health Fellowship Certification
Added October 2017
  • Need: A way to recognize Mississippi healthcare professionals and medical students for their rural-specific experience and expertise.
  • Intervention: The Mississippi Rural Health Association created 2 certifications that recognize rural health experience and also foster a greater understanding of rural-specific policies, regulations, and needs in the healthcare field.
  • Results: Fellowship recipients receive statewide recognition for the time and dedication they have put into improving rural health in Mississippi.
NEON Community Health Worker Training Program
Updated/reviewed September 2017
  • Need: To train, equip and prepare Community Health Workers for certification to practice in Oregon’s rural settings
  • Intervention: Development of a 90-hour training program that requires an additional 80 hours of seat time, written summaries, and a final skills evaluation.
  • Results: With its original program, NEON trained 83 CHWs, with 38 currently registered with the state. Of those initially certified and registered, 8 are hospital or clinic-based, 8 are embedded in mental health organizations, 10 are in community-based organizations and 7 are in health departments or with the Department of Human Services.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Stone Mountain Health Services Behavioral Health Internship
Updated/reviewed September 2017
  • Need: Increase behavioral health services and providers in rural Appalachian communities of Southwest Virginia.
  • Intervention: Implementing a behavioral health internship that is a partnership of 2 universities and a community health center, with infrastructure to also support a social work internship.
  • Results: Behavioral health services now available in the 7-county area served by the health center, with designated behavioral health staff to supervise psychology and social work interns.
funded by the Health Resources Services Administration Regional Initiatives in Dental Education (RIDE)
Updated/reviewed August 2017
  • Need: Address oral health disparities in Washington’s rural and underserved communities.
  • Intervention: The University of Washington School of Dentistry developed the Regional Initiatives in Dental Education (RIDE) program preparing dentists for practice in rural and underserved areas.
  • Results: Since the first graduating cohort in 2012, more than 70% of RIDE graduates are practicing in rural and underserved areas.