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Rural Project Examples: Human services

Effective Examples

Medical Legal Partnership of Southern Illinois
Updated/reviewed June 2019
  • Need: Legal barriers often prevent economically disadvantaged people in Southern Illinois from obtaining positive health outcomes despite receiving medical care.
  • Intervention: The Medical Legal Partnership of Southern Illinois (MLPSI) was formed to create a system where medical providers can refer patients in need of legal assistance to local attorneys.
  • Results: Over 4,300 patients have utilized MLPSI since its founding in 2002. The program has relieved over $8.1 million in medical debt for both hospitals and patients.

Other Project Examples

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.
Minnesota Farm & Rural Helpline
Updated/reviewed June 2020
  • Need: To connect farmers in stress with needed resources.
  • Intervention: The Minnesota Farm & Rural Helpline and website connect callers with counselors, help with daily living (like childcare or food assistance), and financial/legal advice.
  • Results: In 2019, the helpline received 95 calls, and the website had nearly 4,600 visits.
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.
HealthStreet Cognitive Screening Project
Added March 2020
  • 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.
funded by the Health Resources Services Administration Outer Cape Health Services Community Resource Navigator Program
Updated/reviewed December 2019
  • Need: Improving outcomes for Outer and Lower Cape Cod residents in need of social, behavioral health, and substance use disorder services while reducing the burden and costs to town agencies and hospital emergency rooms.
  • Intervention: The Community Resource Navigator Program works with local social services, town agencies, faith-based institutions, hospitals, the criminal justice system, and others to identify and connect clients to needed services.
  • Results: Clients are gaining access to the care they were once lacking, as measured by improvements in self-sufficiency. The program also helps community partners and stakeholders work together to reduce the impact of risks associated with behavioral health symptoms, substance use disorder, and social determinants of health.
Together for Beaufort County
Updated/reviewed September 2019
  • Need: A community-wide collaborative process to identify and address specific quality-of-life challenges confronting the citizens of Beaufort County, South Carolina.
  • Intervention: Together for Beaufort County facilitates the coordination of nearly 2 dozen coalitions that address economic, social, health, educational, and environmental factors through data sharing and goal setting of like-minded community agencies.
  • Results: Out of 46 counties in South Carolina, Beaufort County has reached the top ranking in health outcomes.
Project VISION
Updated/reviewed July 2019
  • 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.
HCC of Rural Missouri's Project Connect Event
Updated/reviewed April 2019
  • Need: To expand public health and human services to adults living in rural West Central Missouri.
  • Intervention: The Health Care Collaborative of Rural Missouri's Network organizes Project Connect events, a 1-day public health event that offers free public health and human services to underserved adults.
  • Results: In 2018 alone, Project Connect events provided a total of 8,870 incidents of services to guests, a $302,000 value.
Pathways Vermont Housing First Program
Updated/reviewed February 2017
  • Need: To provide housing for the chronically homeless who face mental health and/or substance abuse challenges in the rural areas of Vermont.
  • Intervention: Pathways Vermont initiated a rural version of the Housing First program that provides access to permanent rental housing and numerous services to help sustain housing stability.
  • Results: Participants reported decreased time spent homeless, a significant improvement in their standard of living, and hundreds of thousands of dollars were saved on behalf of Vermont.