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Rural Project Examples: Healthcare workforce

Promising Examples

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.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy funded by the Health Resources Services Administration Health without Borders
Updated/reviewed June 2018
  • Need: To improve the health of communities in the south central region of New Mexico.
  • Intervention: A program was developed to specifically address diabetes prevention and control, behavioral healthcare, and immunization in Luna County.
  • Results: During the program, 1,500 immunizations were distributed, baseline measurements of participants improved, and 935 new patients were seen for behavioral health issues.

Other Project Examples

CAPABLE (Community Aging in Place—Advancing Better Living for Elders)
Updated/reviewed July 2020
  • Need: To help older adults age in place.
  • Intervention: For five months, CAPABLE participants receive home visits from a registered nurse, occupational therapist, and home repair services.
  • Results: The CAPABLE site in rural Bath, Maine, has helped 15 clients so far, one of whom went from 15 falls and one hospitalization in the 6 months prior to starting the program to one fall and no hospitalizations. The site in Hawaii has served three clients in the last year and has reconnected clients with their families and communities.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy NEON Pathways Community Hub
Updated/reviewed July 2020
  • Need: Connect individuals to services that address health barriers.
  • Intervention: A pay-for-outcomes model utilizing Community Health Workers who help provide community members with tools to address needs associated with improving health.
  • Results: Trained Community Health Workers help patients navigate the healthcare and social service systems and provide education about community healthcare resources.
Health Profession Rural Summer Immersion Program
Added June 2020
  • Need: To expose medical and physician assistant students to rural healthcare practices and a rural lifestyle.
  • Intervention: A two-week immersion program for second-year students to experience rural healthcare and rural life in Connecticut and New York.
  • Results: In post-program evaluations from 2016 to 2018, 50% of students reported being very likely to practice in a rural setting, compared to just over 10% of students before the program.
funded by the Health Resources Services Administration Implementation of a Nursing Veterans' Initiative to Transform Education (INVITE)
Updated/reviewed June 2020
  • Need: To support rural veterans pursuing a career in nursing.
  • Intervention: The INVITE program improved the curriculum and reworked admission requirements to better support veteran students' experiences in the College of St. Scholastica undergraduate nursing program.
  • Results: The number of veterans pursuing nursing has more than doubled since program implementation, and all students have reported an increased interest in serving rural communities.
Rehoboth McKinley Christian Health Care Services Alcohol and Substance Abuse Treatment Program
Updated/reviewed June 2020
  • Need: Treatment and rehabilitation for those with alcohol and substance use disorder in a rural area of New Mexico that has high rates of alcohol-related deaths.
  • Intervention: A health center reestablished a 90-day inpatient Alcohol and Substance Abuse Treatment Program that offers career readiness and work placement for clients.
  • Results: The program has grown from 3 to 69 clients enrolled in inpatient treatment and 32 in the work rehabilitation program. Many of the clients are now employed by local businesses. Additionally, organizational and program success has contributed to development of new graduate medical education programs.
Rescue Divas EMT Recruitment
Updated/reviewed June 2020
  • Need: Increased number of emergency medical technicians in rural northern Wisconsin.
  • Intervention: Creation of a program, Rescue Divas, for middle school girls to spark interest in emergency medical services careers.
  • Results: Post-participation results demonstrate the camp increases interest in an emergency medical services career.
Disabled Adults Oral Health Initiative
Updated/reviewed May 2020
  • Need: To help rural Maryland adults with disabilities learn more about oral health and access care.
  • Intervention: Health Right community health workers gave educational presentations at agencies serving those with disabilities.
  • Results: From March 2014 to February 2016, educational presentations reached 1,084 adults with disabilities and 344 staff and caregivers, and 256 people received dental treatment.
Regional Behavioral Health Network
Updated/reviewed May 2020
  • Need: Multiple organizations in rural east central Illinois were struggling with how to treat patients with behavioral health issues or how to access services for them in a timely manner.
  • Intervention: The Regional Behavioral Health Network was established with a 24-hour toll-free crisis line, providing immediate access to trained crisis clinicians.
  • Results: Improved access to and a higher quality of behavioral healthcare for patients in rural east central Illinois.