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Rural Health Information Hub

Rural Project Examples: Networking and collaboration

Effective Examples

Medical Legal Partnership of Southern Illinois
Updated/reviewed July 2022
  • 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 5,100 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.
Pharmacists for Patient Safety Network
Updated/reviewed September 2021
  • Need: Pharmacists in rural Nebraska are often isolated and find it difficult to communicate with others about safety concerns.
  • Intervention: The Pharmacists for Patient Safety Network was a communication network in which pharmacists identified safety concerns and shared solutions.
  • Results: After one year of implementation, 30 of the 38 participating pharmacies reported that the network encouraged new safety practices and reinforced existing safety strategies.

Promising Examples

Maryland Faith Health Network
Updated/reviewed December 2020
  • Need: To coordinate formal and informal community-based caregivers for optimal patient experience.
  • Intervention: The Maryland Faith Health Network unites places of worship and healthcare systems in Maryland. This program aims to decrease the amount of potentially avoidable hospitalizations, improve a patient's overall wellness, and cut down on the cost of medical services.
  • Results: This model is currently running in 3 hospitals that serve both rural and urban residents in central Maryland. So far, 1,300 congregants from 70 congregations representing Christian, Jewish, and Muslim faiths have enrolled in the Network.

Other Project Examples

funded by the Health Resources Services Administration Alaska Health Workforce Coalition
Updated/reviewed July 2022
  • Need: To ensure a well-qualified and sustainable Alaskan workforce to meet the current and future health care needs of its residents.
  • Intervention: Establishment of the Alaska Health Workforce Coalition (AHWC), a public-private partnership to develop, facilitate, implement, and support a statewide health workforce system.
  • Results: Coalition efforts impacted multiple state policies and programs, included a loan repayment and incentives program, and completed a health vacancy study in order to expand and further develop health-related education programs.
Columbia Gorge Collective Impact Health Specialist
Updated/reviewed June 2022
  • Need: To address the specific health needs of north central Oregon and south central Washington.
  • Intervention: The Collective Impact Health Specialist identifies community needs, convenes community partners to design initiatives that address those needs, and secures funding for health-related initiatives.
  • Results: Thanks to the CIHS, the Columbia Gorge region has received $20.5 million since 2014.
Eastern Plains Sexual Assault Response Team (EPSART)
Updated/reviewed June 2022
  • Need: To provide support and resources to victims of sexual assault and to collaborate and streamline processes for victim-centered care.
  • Intervention: The EPSART holds quarterly team meetings, case review, and opportunities for team training.
  • Results: Enhanced victim and public safety by facilitating investigations and enhancing prosecutions.
Health Profession Rural Summer Immersion Program
Updated/reviewed June 2022
  • 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.
Regional Behavioral Health Network
Updated/reviewed April 2022
  • 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.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy funded by the Health Resources Services Administration Florissa
Updated/reviewed February 2022
  • Need: To address the developmental, behavioral, and social/emotional needs of rural children ages 0-18 in northwest Illinois.
  • Intervention: A centralized facility for children and families facing developmental, behavioral, and social/emotional issues.
  • Results: Florissa continues to increase its referral numbers, expand its sessions and service offerings, and provide more information resources. It also co-located with the KSB Hospital pediatric department and became certified as a pediatric patient-centered medical home (PCMH).
Healthy Monadnock Alliance
Updated/reviewed February 2022
  • Need: Improved health outcomes for Monadnock Region, a rural area of New Hampshire.
  • Intervention: A wide-scale effort across multiple sectors is aiming to improve health outcomes throughout the region.
  • Results: Community health trends have been tracked over time, and progress on goals such as increasing the number of residents with healthcare coverage, opportunities for physical activity, access to healthy foods, and smoking cessation has been made.