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Rural Project Examples: Networking and collaboration

Effective Examples

Pharmacists for Patient Safety Network
Updated/reviewed August 2019
  • 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 is a communication network in which pharmacists can identify safety concerns and share 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.
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.

Promising Examples

Maryland Faith Health Network
Updated/reviewed May 2018
  • 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 MORE Care
Updated/reviewed July 2020
  • Need: To improve rural residents' oral healthcare.
  • Intervention: MORE Care creates interprofessional oral health networks to 1) better integrate oral health into primary healthcare and 2) coordinate oral health between primary and dental healthcare.
  • Results: MORE Care has led to increases in fluoride varnish administration, improvement in interprofessional communication, and patients' improved self-management of their daily oral health.
Alabama Partnership for TeleHealth
Updated/reviewed June 2020
  • Need: To increase access to healthcare via telehealth in the rural, underserved areas of Alabama.
  • Intervention: A nonprofit organization that promotes and supports telehealth programs across Alabama.
  • Results: The establishment and support of telehealth networks at multiple sites across Alabama providing clinical telehealth services including behavioral health, stroke/neurology, and cardiology.
Columbia Gorge Collective Impact Health Specialist
Updated/reviewed June 2020
  • 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 $12.5 million since 2014.
Health Advocacy Summit
Updated/reviewed June 2020
  • Need: To help young adults with chronic or rare conditions access health and educational resources and build a community of peers and advocates.
  • Intervention: Health Advocacy Summits bring together young adults, medical professionals, patient advocates, and others for a free one-day conference. HAS also facilitates programming such as the Crohn's and Colitis Young Adults Network.
  • Results: HAS currently has summits in six states. HAS reported that it was one of the first advocacy interventions for young adults with chronic conditions in south Texas.
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.
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.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Garrett County Regional Cancer Patient Navigator Program
Updated/reviewed March 2020
  • Need: Comprehensive cancer services for residents of an 8-county, 3-state area in Appalachia.
  • Intervention: Using a Cancer Patient Navigation Tool Kit, a Maryland acute care facility led a multidisciplinary collaboration that provided the area's patients with expanded cancer treatment services.
  • Results: In addition to several new cancer-related programs, expanded services are now available for cancer patients, families, and cancer survivors.