Need: Difficulties obtaining healthcare access to treat diabetes and obesity for low-income and Spanish-speaking residents of Oregon and Washington's Columbia River Gorge area.
Intervention: A local healthcare facility developed wellness programs using bilingual community health workers to provide education and support that improves diets, physical activity, and teaches stress management.
Results: Many participants in the wellness programs have maintained or lost weight and have seen reductions in their cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels. Vegetable vouchers, cooking classes, and budgeting education has also helped patients afford healthy food.
Need: People in rural New Mexico often found it difficult to find and utilize needed resources from the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center (UNMHSC).
Intervention: UNMHSC created Health Extension Regional Offices (HEROs), in which HERO agents live in the communities they serve, help identify health and social needs, and link them with UNMHSC and other university resources.
Results: In their regions, HERO agents' activities have been diverse, including recruiting physicians, mobilizing research funds to address local priorities, working on economic development, training laypeople in Mental Health First Aid, and helping local institutions access UNMHSC resources.
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 a local tractor pull.
Results: More than 16,000 pairs of earplugs have been distributed, and attendees have been receptive to the hearing loss prevention education provided by the audiology team.
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.
Need: To increase healthy eating and physical activity levels in Fairfield County, South Carolina.
Intervention: Community health advisors trained church committees and delivered telephone-based technical assistance to improve opportunities, guidelines, messages, and pastor support for physical activity and healthy eating.
Results: In a 2018 study, churchgoers reported seeing more opportunities for physical activity as well as more messages and pastor support for physical activity and healthy eating. Intervention churches also had fewer inactive churchgoers, compared to control churches.