Need: Population-based rates of adult vaccinations and cancer screenings are low. Delivery rates are lower still in low-income and minority communities.
Intervention: SPARC was established to develop and test new community-wide strategies to increase the delivery of clinical preventive services.
Results: Across the United States in both rural and urban communities, SPARC programs, which broaden the delivery of potentially life-saving preventive services, have been successfully launched, improving residents' health.
Need: To develop sustainable, community-wide prevention methods for cardiovascular diseases in order to change behaviors and healthcare outcomes in rural Maine.
Intervention: Local community groups and Franklin Memorial Hospital staff studied mortality and hospitalization rates for 40 years in this rural, low-income area of Farmington to seek intervention methods that could address cardiovascular diseases.
Results: A decline in cardiovascular-related mortality rates and improved prevention methods for hypertension, high cholesterol, and smoking.
Need: Hispanic women have the highest incidence rates of cervical cancer among any ethnicity in the United States.
Intervention: The development of a lay health worker (promotora) curriculum that provided information on cervical cancer, HPV, and the HPV vaccine to Hispanic farmworker women living in rural southern Georgia and South Carolina.
Results: Significant increases in post-test scores relating to cervical cancer knowledge and increases in positive self-efficacy among promotoras.
Need: Farmers are highly susceptible to permanent hearing loss due to prolonged exposure to loud machinery and livestock.
Intervention: Faculty and students from the audiology department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison supplied earplugs, free hearing testing, and hearing loss prevention education to attendees and participants at an annual tractor pull event.
Results: Between 2014 and 2019, the audiology team distributed more than 16,000 pairs of earplugs; attendees were receptive to the hearing loss prevention education provided by the team.
Need: Improve screening rates for rural uninsured/underinsured patients in counties surrounding Bryan-College Station, Texas.
Intervention: An academic center's nursing and family medicine training programs partnered with its public health program to obtain state grant funds for execution of a coordinated cancer prevention and detection program.
Results: In 5 years of colorectal screening efforts, 18 cases of colorectal cancer were diagnosed in addition to detection of precancerous lesions in 25% of nearly 2000 screening colonoscopies. In 3 years of women's health screening, 18 cases of breast cancer and 141 precancerous cervical lesions were also detected. Due to the initial success of the project, the program continues.
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.
Need: Because of the benefits associated with early identification of conditions causing memory problems, Florida's rural populations will benefit from access to screening for possible Alzheimer's Disease and other types of dementia.
Intervention: A state university uses a state health department grant to develop a cognitive impairment screening program implemented by rural Community Health Workers. An additional grant provides rural medical practitioners with a free online continuing education module covering cognitive impairment and dementia.
Results: To date, over 400 individuals have completed health screenings and over 900 referrals have been made to community social and medical services. At grant cycle completion, formal analysis of cognitive screening and referral to medical services will be shared.