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Rural Health Information Hub

Rural Project Examples: Wellness, health promotion, and disease prevention

Effective Examples

Kentucky Homeplace

Updated/reviewed October 2023

  • Need: Rural Appalachian Kentucky residents have deficits in health resources and health status, including high levels of cancer, heart disease, hypertension, asthma, and diabetes.
  • Intervention: Kentucky Homeplace was created as a community health worker initiative to provide health coaching, increased access to health screenings, and other services.
  • Results: From July 2001 to June 2023, over 189,338 rural residents were served. Preventive health strategies, screenings, educational services, and referrals are all offered at no charge to clients.

The Pacific Care Model: Charting the Course for Non-communicable Disease Prevention and Management

Updated/reviewed October 2023

  • Need: The U.S. Associated Pacific Islands (USAPI) needed an efficient, effective, integrated method to improve primary care services that addressed the increased rates of non-communicable disease (NCD), the regional-specific phrase designating chronic disease.
  • Intervention: Through specialized training, multidisciplinary teams from five of the region's health systems implemented the Chronic Care Model (CCM), an approach that targets healthcare system improvements, uses information technology, incorporates evidence-based disease management, and includes self-management support strengthened by community resources.
  • Results: Aimed at diabetes management, teams developed a regional, culturally-relevant Non-Communicable Disease Collaborative Initiative that addresses chronic disease management challenges and strengthens healthcare quality and outcomes.

Health Coaches for Hypertension Control

funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy

Updated/reviewed September 2023

  • Need: A cost-effective approach to help rural patients with hypertension learn to manage their condition.
  • Intervention: Community volunteers trained as health coaches provided an 8-session hypertension management training program to hypertension patients older than 60, with an optional supplemental 8 sessions focused on nutrition and physical activity.
  • Results: Just 16 weeks after the program, participants had improved systolic blood pressure, weight, and fasting glucose, greater knowledge of hypertension, and improved self-reported behaviors.

Meadows Diabetes Education Program

funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy

Updated/reviewed September 2023

  • Need: To provide diabetes care and education services to those in rural southeast Georgia.
  • Intervention: Diabetes outreach screening, education, and clinical care services were provided to participants in Toombs, Tattnall, and Montgomery counties.
  • Results: Patients successfully learned self-management skills to lower their blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure.

Regional Oral Health Pathway

funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy

Updated/reviewed August 2023

  • Need: To address the oral health needs of low-income uninsured and underinsured residents in rural Appalachia.
  • Intervention: An oral health education program was implemented in Appalachian Maryland, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.
  • Results: This program increased oral health visits in the area and provided residents with valuable information on oral health resources and services.

Farm Dinner Theater

Updated/reviewed August 2022

  • Need: To encourage farmers to make health and safety changes on their farms.
  • Intervention: Farm Dinner Theater is an event in which farmers and their families watch three 10-minute plays covering health and safety topics and then discuss solutions to the issues addressed in each.
  • Results: In a study, farmers who attended the plays were more likely to make changes and tell others what they learned, compared to farmers who received an educational packet with the same information.

Vivir Mejor! (Live Better!) System of Diabetes Prevention and Care

funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy

Updated/reviewed August 2022

  • Need: To address high rates of diabetes in rural Hispanic/Latino populations near the U.S.-Mexico border.
  • Intervention: A comprehensive, culturally competent diabetes education program was implemented in Santa Cruz County, Arizona.
  • Results: Since 2012, this program has helped participants better manage their diabetes and increase healthy living behaviors.

Trinity Hospital Twin City's Fit for Life

funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy

Updated/reviewed November 2018

  • Need: To reduce obesity among adults in rural east central Ohio.
  • Intervention: Fit for Life Replication Project for Expansion was developed to make it possible to lose weight through practicing healthier lifestyle behaviors.
  • Results: Out of the 443 adults who have completed the program, 81% experienced weight loss, a tangible result of the program's overarching goal to enhance levels of health and fitness.

Promising Examples

Northeast Louisiana Regional Pre-Diabetes Prevention Program

funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy

Updated/reviewed March 2024

  • Need: To prevent or slow the progression of diabetes for at-risk residents in Rural Northeast Louisiana.
  • Intervention: The North Louisiana Regional Alliance developed a program that offered screenings, education, and an intense course for participants throughout the Northeast Louisiana region to lower the risk of diabetes.
  • Results: The program saw an overall decrease in blood sugar levels in residents who participated in their initiatives.

Tomah Hearing Loss Prevention Outreach

Updated/reviewed November 2023

  • Need: Farmers are highly susceptible to permanent hearing loss due to prolonged exposure to loud machinery and livestock.
  • Intervention: Faculty and students from the audiology department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison supplied earplugs, free hearing testing, and hearing loss prevention education to attendees and participants at an annual tractor pull event.
  • Results: Between 2014 and 2019, the audiology team distributed more than 16,000 pairs of earplugs; attendees were receptive to the hearing loss prevention education provided by the team.