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California Models and Innovations

These stories feature model programs and successful rural projects that can serve as a source of ideas. Some of the projects or programs may no longer be active. Read about the criteria and evidence-base for programs included.

Effective Examples

HEALTH-COP Obesity Prevention
Updated/reviewed August 2020
  • Need: Many physicians want to help rural children who are overweight or obese develop healthy lifestyles, and these physicians would benefit from receiving training on specific ways to instruct, motivate, and manage the healthcare of these children.
  • Intervention: A virtual learning network called Healthy Eating Active Living TeleHealth Community of Practice (HEALTH-COP) was created to educate rural physicians and provide peer support.
  • Results: Studies showed an increase in health and wellness topics covered by physicians during children's clinic visits. This likely contributed to healthier eating habits and more active lifestyles that were found when these children were reassessed 3 months later.
STAIR (Skills Training in Affective and Interpersonal Regulation)
Updated/reviewed January 2020
  • Need: To increase access to telemental health services for rural veterans, especially women, with a history of trauma.
  • Intervention: STAIR (Skills Training in Affective and Interpersonal Regulation) is a 10-week program designed to reduce PTSD and depression symptoms and increase emotional regulation and social functioning in clients.
  • Results: Therapists reported that clients attended more sessions when offered via teleconferencing, and clients reported satisfaction with the program.

Promising Examples

funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Healthy Outcomes Integration Team
Updated/reviewed December 2019
  • Need: To provide integrated treatment planning and coordinated healthcare services to rural residents.
  • Intervention: The Healthy Outcomes Integration Team was designed to treat adults who have a serious mental health condition and those who have, or are at risk of developing, chronic health conditions.
  • Results: Clients received coordinated care, substance abuse treatment, crisis services, and wellness planning. Many also improved their physical health outcomes.
Felton Early Psychosis Program
Updated/reviewed April 2019
  • Need: A treatment model for those showing early signs of schizophrenia.
  • Intervention: The Felon Early Psychosis Program program was started in rural and urban California counties. The program encourages schizophrenia remission in clients through medication and psychosocial initiatives.
  • Results: Clients' hospitalization and psychiatric emergency room visits were reduced by 70% after 1 year of treatment. Schizophrenia symptoms also reduced significantly among their clients.

Other Project Examples

funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Catalina Island Telemedicine Center
Updated/reviewed August 2020
  • Need: To access specialty medical services, residents of Santa Catalina Island have to travel 20 miles by boat to southern California. A telemedicine service was needed to connect island residents to the mainland's specialty services.
  • Intervention: The Catalina Island Medical Center created a telemedicine center to give residents quick access to specialty medical care, including diabetic consultations and pain management.
  • Results: An analysis of the telemedicine program found that patients had measurable improvements, and that 90% of patients were pleased with the program and will continue to use it.
funded by the Health Resources Services Administration Regional Initiatives in Dental Education (RIDE)
Updated/reviewed February 2020
  • Need: Address oral health disparities in Washington's rural and underserved communities.
  • Intervention: The University of Washington School of Dentistry developed the Regional Initiatives in Dental Education (RIDE) program preparing dentists for practice in rural and underserved areas.
  • Results: As of 2019, 77% of all RIDE graduates are practicing in Washington state. Of those, 82% are practicing in rural and underserved communities.
Angel Flight West
Updated/reviewed December 2019
  • Need: Free, non-emergency air travel for people of all ages with serious medical issues or other compelling needs.
  • Intervention: A network of more than 1,400 pilots donate their piloting skills, aircraft, and all costs associated with flying to help families and individuals in need in the 13 western states of the United States.
  • Results: Families are able to receive vital medical treatment and have other needs met that might not otherwise be possible because of financial, medical, or geographic limitations.
funded by the Health Resources Services Administration Sexual Assault Nurse Exams through the National TeleNursing Center
Updated/reviewed April 2019
  • Need: Clinicians in rural areas are often unprepared to treat sexual assault victims after an assault.
  • Intervention: The National TeleNursing Center (NTC) in Massachusetts uses telemedicine to connect Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners to clinicians in remote areas, offering them guidance through examinations.
  • Results: Clinicians report that the help gives them confidence through the examination process and NTC has assisted in the care of over 300 patients.
Wholesome Rx
Updated/reviewed June 2018
  • Need: A tangible way for providers to increase patients' access to affordable healthy food.
  • Intervention: With Wholesome Rx, a fruit and vegetable prescription program, providers prescribe vouchers for patients to redeem for fruits and vegetables at local healthy food retailers.
  • Results: Over 10,000 people have received Wholesome Rx prescriptions in rural and urban areas across 10 states.

Last Updated: 8/17/2020