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

Promising Examples

funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy The Health-able Communities Program
Added March 2019
  • Need: Expand healthcare access for the more remote residents of 3 frontier counties in north central Idaho.
  • Intervention: Consortium of healthcare providers and community agencies used a hybrid Community Health Worker model to augment traditional healthcare delivery services in order to offer a diverse set of healthcare offerings to frontier area residents.
  • Results: Increased healthcare access, especially for cancer and chronic disease screening, along with providing education on a diverse array of health topics.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy From CATCH to C.H.E.F.
Updated/reviewed January 2019
  • Need: To help children and families in Lincoln, rural Benton, and east Linn counties achieve higher-quality lives free of preventable diseases related to poor nutrition and obesity.
  • Intervention: Two programs were applied on a local level to provide physical activity, nutrition, and culinary education in a school and community setting.
  • Results: The physical activity rate surpassed the Department of Health and Human Services recommended rate by 5%, and schools started serving healthier options in their cafeterias.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Northeast Louisiana Regional Pre-Diabetes Prevention Program
Updated/reviewed January 2019
  • 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.
Health Extension Rural Offices (HEROs)
Updated/reviewed October 2018
  • 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 Rural 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.
Health Motivator Program
Updated/reviewed July 2018
  • Need: To increase physical activity and other healthy habits for older adults in West Virginia.
  • Intervention: Community members called Health Motivators lead senior centers and community groups in a monthly educational activity.
  • Results: In a 2016 survey, 97% of Health Motivators and 92% of group members said that their health improved because of the program.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy 4P's Plus Pregnancy Support Project
Updated/reviewed December 2017
  • Need: Pregnancy support services for Native American women struggling with substance use.
  • Intervention: An integrated behavioral health network implemented in Lake County, California.
  • Results: Fewer Native American babies exposed to alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Healthy People: Healthy Communities
Updated/reviewed November 2017
  • Need: Spotlight chronic disease risks in rural south central Kentucky, specifically stroke and heart disease.
  • Intervention: A case management program for Kentucky counties of Boyle, Garrard, Lincoln, and Mercer.
  • Results: Decreased the risk of stroke and heart disease among program participants.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Heartland Rural Health Network
Updated/reviewed November 2017
  • Need: To assist diabetic patients in rural Florida with chronic disease management.
  • Intervention: Heartland Rural Health Network set out to expand the Diabetes Master Clinician Program and implement healthy eating in 4 Florida counties.
  • Results: Initial participating clinics exceeded national averages of successful management of diabetes. The program remains active and successful.

Other Project Examples

funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy On the Move! Unlawful Narcotics Investigations, Treatment & Education (Operation UNITE)
Updated/reviewed January 2020
  • Need: To decrease illicit drug and alcohol use in the Central Appalachian region of Kentucky, where many schools had no type of prevention curriculum.
  • Intervention: Using engaging simulations and presentations, the project delivers substance abuse prevention education to middle school and high school students.
  • Results: Post-test surveys show that thousands of students are reached through the "On the Move!" project and gain positive knowledge on the dangers of substance abuse.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy University of Virginia Diabetes Tele-Education Program
Updated/reviewed January 2020
  • Need: To educate people in the rural parts of Virginia who either have diabetes or are considered at high risk for developing it.
  • Intervention: Teleconferencing technology is used to offer diabetes education programs to people with diabetes or those at high risk for developing it and health professional training in endocrinology and lifestyle behavior changes.
  • Results: Participants reported better prevention techniques and/or self-management of diabetes after being thoroughly educated about this condition.