Rural Project Examples: Appalachia
Updated/reviewed October 2023
Need: Rural Appalachian Kentucky residents have deficits in health resources and health status, including high levels of cancer, heart disease, hypertension, asthma, and diabetes.
Intervention: Kentucky Homeplace was created as a community health worker initiative to provide health coaching, increased access to health screenings, and other services.
Results: From July 2001 to June 2023, over 189,338 rural residents were served. Preventive health strategies, screenings, educational services, and referrals are all offered at no charge to clients.
Regional Oral Health Pathway
Updated/reviewed August 2023
Need: To address the oral health needs of low-income uninsured and underinsured residents in rural Appalachia.
Intervention: An oral health education program was implemented in Appalachian Maryland, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.
Results: This program increased oral health visits in the area and provided residents with valuable information on oral health resources and services.
Updated/reviewed November 2021
Need: To reduce overdose-related deaths among prescription opioid users in rural Wilkes County, North Carolina
Intervention: Education and tools are provided for prescribers, patients and community members to lessen drug supply and demand, and to reduce harm in prescription opioid use
Results: Opioid overdose death rates have decreased in Wilkes County
Community-Based Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program
Updated/reviewed February 2021
Need: More evidenced-based chronic lower respiratory disease management options for rural Appalachia patients, where lung disease rates are among the highest in the country.
Intervention: Implementation of outpatient pulmonary rehabilitation programs in 2 Federally Qualified Health Centers and a Critical Access Hospital in West Virginia.
Results: Improved health outcomes for patients with chronic lower respiratory disease, including those with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Community Health Worker-based Chronic Care Management Program
Added May 2020
Need: Improve healthcare access and decrease chronic disease disparities in rural Appalachia.
Intervention: A community health worker-based Chronic Care Management program demonstrated such a level of success in a single West Virginia county that it was further scaled for implementation in a multi-center, 3-state area of Appalachia.
Results: When analysis of the disseminated program's results also demonstrated improved health outcomes and decreased healthcare costs, sustainability became possible due to innovative financial reimbursement models.
Trinity Hospital Twin City's Fit for Life
Updated/reviewed November 2018
Need: To reduce obesity among adults in rural east central Ohio.
Intervention: Fit for Life Replication Project for Expansion was developed to make it possible to lose weight through practicing healthier lifestyle behaviors.
Results: Out of the 443 adults who have completed the program, 81% experienced weight loss, a tangible result of the program's overarching goal to enhance levels of health and fitness. Promising Examples
Successfully Training and Educating Pre-medical Students (STEPS)
Updated/reviewed December 2022
Need: To increase the number of primary care providers in northeast Kentucky.
Intervention: STEPS provides support such as physician shadowing, mock interviews, and MCAT practice courses/exams for regional students applying to medical school.
Results: More than 70% of participants have been accepted into medical school. The program has been replicated among most of Kentucky's regional AHECs.
Contingency Management Smoking Cessation in Appalachia
Updated/reviewed June 2022
Need: To reduce smoking rates of pregnant women and adolescents in Appalachian regions of eastern Kentucky and Ohio.
Intervention: A web-based smoking cessation program that offered monetary incentives to reducing smoking.
Results: Participants significantly reduced smoking rates or quit altogether. Other Project Examples
School-Based Drug Misuse Prevention Program
Updated/reviewed July 2023
Need: School-based drug misuse prevention program in Appalachian Ohio, a need triggered by a high school student's overdose death.
Intervention: Implementation of the HOPE curriculum, an age-appropriate K through 12th grade drug abuse prevention program.
Results: No further drug overdose deaths after curriculum initiated.
MIST: Mothers and Infants Sober Together
Updated/reviewed May 2023
Need: To address the needs of pregnant women who are using substances and infants born into drug-positive families.
Intervention: The Mothers and Infants Sober Together (MIST) program assisted mothers who used substances get treatment and provide a safe, drug-free home for themselves and their newborn.
Results: MIST has helped mothers find treatment and education and has helped children grow up in safe and healthy homes.
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