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Rural Health Information Hub

Rural Project Examples: Community engagement and volunteerism

Other Project Examples

Healthy Adams County

Updated/reviewed August 2023

  • Need: Health initiatives in rural Pennsylvania communities to address locally-identified health disparities.
  • Intervention: Healthy Adams County was created by its rural community members to promote community-wide health.
  • Results: Community task forces have been formed to address breast cancer prevention, food policies, behavioral health, health literacy, oral health, tobacco prevention, and other rural, community-identified needs.

Energy Capital Cooperative Child Care (ECCCC)

Updated/reviewed July 2023

  • Need: To bring needed child care to rural Mercer County, North Dakota.
  • Intervention: A nonprofit cooperative provides part-time and full-time child care.
  • Results: ECCCC currently has about 60 children enrolled, but it had 86 children at the height of its enrollment history.

HopeWest

Updated/reviewed July 2023

  • Need: To provide accessible and affordable services to address the challenges associated with aging, serious illness, and grief across rural western Colorado.
  • Intervention: A nonprofit, community-sustained healthcare model was created to provide the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), hospice care and palliative care, as well as grief support services for individuals of all ages.
  • Results: Since 1993, HopeWest has grown to serve more than 3,000 people annually across five counties in western Colorado.

The Sapling Center

Updated/reviewed June 2023

  • 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.

The Minnesota Integrative Behavioral Health Program

Updated/reviewed May 2023

  • 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.

Together With Veterans Rural Suicide Prevention Program

Updated/reviewed February 2023

  • Need: Suicide among veterans has been steadily increasing, and rural veterans have an 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: Data collection is ongoing.

Win With Wellness

funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy

Updated/reviewed October 2022

  • Need: To reduce risk of obesity and chronic disease in rural northwest Illinois.
  • Intervention: Win With Wellness (WWW) collaborates with community organizations and worksites to improve physical activity and eating behaviors and reduce weight among adults using a multi-component approach.
  • Results: From 2015 to 2018, the two participating counties initiated 28 Take Off Pounds Sensibly (TOPS) groups with 367 participants. In the second round of funding, WWW recruited 183 participants for 9 TOPS groups and 8 community Heart-to-Heart sites.

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.