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Rural Health Information Hub

Rural Project Examples: Community engagement and volunteerism

Other Project Examples

The Minnesota Integrative Behavioral Health Program
Updated/reviewed January 2022
  • Need: Out of 79 Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) surveyed in Minnesota in 2015, behavioral health was the most frequently cited service requested.
  • Intervention: In response, Rural Health Innovations launched the Minnesota Integrative Behavioral Health Program. This initiative engaged representatives across all sectors in health integration between hospital, primary care, and community services.
  • Results: Strategy sessions resulted in the creation of resource directories to improve care coordination, evaluation measurements to document results, and an overall better understanding of integrative care challenges.
Project VISION
Updated/reviewed December 2021
  • Need: To reduce opioid use and increase quality of life in Rutland, Vermont.
  • Intervention: Project VISION works to reduce opioid use through community engagement.
  • Results: Since 2012, Project VISION has collected and disposed of 550 pounds of unused medications, reduced thefts by over 32%, and had a 50% improvement on a neighborhood quality of life survey.
Tea Time with Teens
Updated/reviewed November 2021
  • 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: Since 2009, the program has been educating teens on making healthy choices and adults on having meaningful conversations with teens.
Generation Patient
Updated/reviewed June 2021
  • Need: To help young adults with chronic or rare conditions access health and educational resources and build a community of peers and advocates.
  • Intervention: Generation Patient summits bring together young adults with chronic medical disabilities, including chronic and rare conditions. The nonprofit organization also facilitates programming such as the Crohn's and Colitis Young Adults Network.
  • Results: Generation Patient facilitates about six virtual meetings per month in addition to programming around higher education, civic engagement, and more. The organization also facilitates a Virtual International Summit for young adults with chronic and rare conditions.
The Sapling Center
Updated/reviewed March 2021
  • Need: To create a safe space for youth and young adults, ages 14 to 25, in rural eastern Kentucky.
  • Intervention: The Sapling Center provides independent living skills education and offers a wide array of services as well as fun activities in a supportive environment.
  • Results: The Sapling Center serves 50-75 teens and young adults every day. Increasing demand for services led to the opening of more centers in the region.
Great Plains Senior Services Collaborative
Updated/reviewed November 2020
  • Need: To help rural, low-income older adults in rural Minnesota, Montana, and North Dakota maintain their independence and improve their health and well-being.
  • Intervention: The Great Plains Senior Services Collaborative improves service coordination, promotes social engagement, and provides programs like healthy cooking classes and caregiver support.
  • Results: Phase I served more than 1,550 vulnerable older adults in 80 communities, who reported lower stress and better quality of life.
Smiles for Life
Updated/reviewed November 2020
  • Need: Oral healthcare for low-income adults and children unable to obtain dental care in the Mid-Ohio Valley of West Virginia.
  • Intervention: Public health dental hygienists act as gatekeepers, screening low-income clients and placing them with area dental providers who volunteer from their private practices to provide needed dental treatment.
  • Results: Reduces the number of emergency department visits for dental pain and infections and provides a safety net for those unable to afford dental treatment.
Together With Veterans Rural Suicide Prevention Program
Added December 2019
  • Need: Suicide among veterans has been steadily increasing, and rural veterans have a 20% increased risk of death by suicide compared to urban veterans.
  • Intervention: A program called Together With Veterans was formed to help rural communities address and prevent suicides among veterans. The initiative is veteran-led, collaborative, evidence-based, and community-centered.
  • Results: The program is currently in 6 states and reaches over 1,500 veterans every quarter while nurturing connections between agencies and community members.
HopeWest
Updated/reviewed May 2019
  • Need: To provide easily-accessible and affordable services to address the challenges associated with aging, serious illness and grief across Western Colorado's rural counties.
  • Intervention: A nonprofit, community-sustained healthcare model was created to address serious illness care and grief needs of adults and children.
  • Results: Since 1993, HopeWest has helped more than 22,000 hospice patients and families in need and has grown to serve five counties.