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Rural Project Examples: Access

Promising Examples

funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy TeleStroke/Vascular Neurology Patient Navigator Program
Added March 2019
  • Need: Improve post-hospital stroke care access in order to improve physical function and well-being for stroke patients living in a 6-county area in rural Minnesota.
  • Intervention: Implementation of an evidence-based patient navigator program paired with telehealth services for post-hospital care of rural stroke patients.
  • Results: In addition to other successes, more than 120 individuals enrolled in the navigator program, the Modified Rankin Score assessments at baseline and 6 months showed functional improvements.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy The Health-able Communities Program
Added March 2019
  • Need: Expand healthcare access for the more remote residents of 3 frontier counties in north central Idaho.
  • Intervention: Consortium of healthcare providers and community agencies used a hybrid Community Health Worker model to augment traditional healthcare delivery services in order to offer a diverse set of healthcare offerings to frontier area residents.
  • Results: Increased healthcare access, especially for cancer and chronic disease screening, along with providing education on a diverse array of health topics.
Health Extension Rural Offices (HEROs)
Updated/reviewed October 2018
  • Need: People in rural New Mexico often found it difficult to find and utilize needed resources from the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center (UNMHSC).
  • Intervention: UNMHSC created Health Extension Rural Offices (HEROs), in which HERO agents live in the communities they serve, help identify health and social needs, and link them with UNMHSC and other university resources.
  • Results: In their regions, HERO agents' activities have been diverse, including recruiting physicians, mobilizing research funds to address local priorities, working on economic development, training laypeople in Mental Health First Aid, and helping local institutions access UNMHSC resources.

Other Project Examples

funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy My Virtual Clinic School-Based Telehealth Program
Updated/reviewed May 2020
  • Need: Improve healthcare access for school-aged children in a rural and underserved Indiana county.
  • Intervention: Working with several rural school districts and the state's rural health association, an Indiana county healthcare system used school-based telehealth to expand access for acute illness.
  • Results: As of May 2019, Greene County General Hospital in rural Linton, Indiana, has expanded primary care access by offering school-based telehealth in 2 elementary and 1 middle school in 3 of the county's 5 school districts.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Garrett County Regional Cancer Patient Navigator Program
Updated/reviewed March 2020
  • Need: Comprehensive cancer services for residents of an 8-county, 3-state area in Appalachia.
  • Intervention: Using a Cancer Patient Navigation Tool Kit, a Maryland acute care facility led a multidisciplinary collaboration that provided the area's patients with expanded cancer treatment services.
  • Results: In addition to several new cancer-related programs, expanded services are now available for cancer patients, families, and cancer survivors.
New Horizons Geriatric Counseling Program
Updated/reviewed February 2020
  • Need: Improved behavioral health care offerings for a community after losing 5 senior-aged men to suicide.
  • Intervention: A Critical Access Hospital in Yoakum, Texas, created a community-based program focusing on inpatient and outpatient behavioral health care for area residents age 50 and older.
  • Results: A financially-sustainable behavioral health care delivery model demonstrating positive impacts on physical health conditions, healthcare service utilization, and high patient satisfaction rates.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Northern Dental Access Center Medical-Legal Partnership
Updated/reviewed January 2020
  • Need: To help low-income patients in rural Minnesota overcome legal barriers to oral healthcare and self-sufficiency.
  • Intervention: The medical-legal partnership of Northern Dental Access Center and Legal Services of Northwest Minnesota provides free consultations and support services.
  • Results: The innovative and collaborative approach has been recognized regionally and nationally, and over 9,000 new patients have been screened for legal issues.
Angel Flight West
Updated/reviewed December 2019
  • Need: Free, non-emergency air travel for people of all ages with serious medical issues or other compelling needs.
  • Intervention: A network of more than 1,400 pilots donate their piloting skills, aircraft, and all costs associated with flying to help families and individuals in need in the 13 western states of the United States.
  • Results: Families are able to receive vital medical treatment and have other needs met that might not otherwise be possible because of financial, medical, or geographic limitations.
funded by the Health Resources Services Administration Cavity Free at Three
Updated/reviewed December 2019
  • Need: In Colorado, 31% of children have experienced dental decay by the time they reach kindergarten. With several frontier and rural counties in Colorado considered dental deserts, options for oral healthcare are limited.
  • Intervention: Cavity Free at Three (CF3) works to improve access to preventive oral health for pregnant women and young children. While CF3 is a statewide effort, 87% of the program's target counties are considered rural or frontier.
  • Results: CF3 has trained over 5,000 medical and dental professionals in performing preventive dental health. The percentage of children who received oral healthcare from a medical or dental provider before the age of 2 has progressively increased, and fewer Colorado children have cavities now than they did 10 years ago.
Healthy Monadnock
Added December 2019
  • Need: Improved health outcomes for Monadnock Region, a rural area of New Hampshire.
  • Intervention: A wide-scale effort across multiple sectors is aiming to make the region the "healthiest community in the nation."
  • Results: Indicators were established to track health tends in the community. Progress on their goals such as diabetes reduction, increasing the number of residents with healthcare coverage, and smoking cessation have been made.

For examples from other sources, see: