Need: Obesity is a widespread epidemic in the United States, especially in rural areas. Due to small profit margins and fear of losing customers, small owner-operated rural restaurants hesitate to make health-conscious changes to their menus.
Intervention: The Healthy Options Program offered an economical and low-maintenance program for owner-operated restaurants in Iowa to increase awareness of already existing healthy menu options and substitutions.
Results: Restaurants received positive feedback and experienced no financial loss. Customers noticed and appreciated the healthy option reminders, and ordering behavior improved.
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.
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.
Need: To improve awareness of behavioral and mental health issues by students in rural, east central Mississippi.
Intervention: An intensive community mental health outreach program was implemented for students in rural Mississippi.
Results: As of 2018 and on a yearly basis, 6,000 7th and 8th grade students receive mental health education on a variety of topics which improves their ability to recognize mental health issues, high risk behaviors, and their self-concept.
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 address the lifestyle choices, inadequate health insurance, and environmental factors that are believed to contribute to these diseases.
Results: From July 2001 to June 2019, over 166,464 rural residents were served. Preventive health strategies, screenings, educational services, and referrals are all offered at no charge to clients.
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.