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Rural Project Examples: Networking and collaboration

Effective Examples

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.
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 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

Morrison County Accountable Community for Health
Updated/reviewed September 2021
  • Need: To combat prescription drug misuse in rural Morrison County, Minnesota.
  • Intervention: The Morrison County ACH brings together primary care, social services, law enforcement, and other partners to make sure that patients receive treatment and support.
  • Results: One pharmacy saw a 40% reduction in the number of prescribed opioids, and the ACH was able to taper 684 patients off opioids completely.
Wisconsin Collaborative for Rural Graduate Medical Education
Updated/reviewed September 2021
  • Need: Family physicians in the rural areas of Wisconsin.
  • Intervention: A collaborative was created that provides leadership, technical assistance, and training for expanding rural graduate medical education in Wisconsin.
  • Results: The collaborative expanded rural graduate medical education rotations, residencies, and fellowship opportunities for training rural family physicians in Wisconsin.
Columbia Gorge Collective Impact Health Specialist
Updated/reviewed June 2021
  • 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 2021
  • 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 with chronic medical disabilities, including chronic and rare conditions. The HAS also facilitates programming such as the Crohn's and Colitis Young Adults Network.
  • Results: The HAS facilitates about six virtual meetings per month in addition to programming around higher education, civic engagement, and more. The HAS also facilitates an Virtual International Summit for young adults with chronic and rare conditions.
Health Profession Rural Summer Immersion Program
Updated/reviewed June 2021
  • 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 2021
  • 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.
Prairie Lakes Healthcare System Physician Recruitment Model
Updated/reviewed February 2021
  • Need: Localized specialty and surgery services for residents in rural northeastern South Dakota and western Minnesota.
  • Intervention: Prairie Lakes Healthcare System expanded their services by recruiting specialty physicians and networking with regional community hospitals to increase patient referrals.
  • Results: Patients receive surgery and specialized care closer to home through Prairie Lakes' specialty medical providers and specialty services.