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.
Need: To reduce the prevalence of diabetes and cardiovascular disease in rural Colorado.
Intervention: Community Health Workers are utilized to create a system of coordinated care in Delta, Montrose, Ouray, and San Miguel counties.
Results: As of 2018, 2,709 people have been screened for diabetes and cardiovascular disease, with many at-risk patients lowering cholesterol, blood pressure, and A1C levels after engaging with a Community Health Worker.
Need: In Colorado, 31% of children have experienced dental decay by the time they reach kindergarten. With several frontier and rural counties in Colorado considered Dental Care Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs), options for oral healthcare are limited.
Intervention: Cavity Free at Three (CF3) works to improve access to preventive oral health for pregnant women and young children.
Results: CF3 has trained over 6,000 medical and dental professionals in performing preventive dental health. The percentage of children who received oral healthcare from a medical or dental provider before the age of 2 has progressively increased, and Colorado saw reduced cavities starting in 2007.
Need: Men in the agriculture industry face high suicide rates due to factors including long hours, geographic isolation, lack of social opportunities, and stigma surrounding mental health care.
Intervention: The Coffee Break Project, a program led by Valley-Wide Health Systems, Inc. in southeastern Colorado, encourages mental health check-ins for farmers and ranchers through a public awareness campaign and casual coffee gatherings that utilize COMET, an intervention model developed specifically for rural communities.
Results: Between eight and 20 people typically attend each coffee gathering.
Need: To provide accessible and affordable services to address the challenges associated with aging, serious illness, and grief across rural western Colorado.
Intervention: A nonprofit, community-sustained healthcare model was created to provide the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), hospice care and palliative care, as well as grief support services for individuals of all ages.
Results: Since 1993, HopeWest has grown to serve more than 3,000 people annually across five counties in western Colorado.
Need: To increase access to health information in low-income and rural communities throughout the Midwest.
Intervention: The University of Missouri School of Information Science & Learning Technologies developed Catalysts for Community Health (C4CH), an interdisciplinary program designed to train Master of Library and Information Science students to expand health information resources for underserved communities.
Results: The cohort of 10 students graduated in summer of 2022.
Need: Suicide among veterans has been steadily increasing, and rural veterans have an increased risk of death by suicide compared to urban veterans.
Intervention: A program called Together With Veterans was formed to help rural communities address and prevent suicides among veterans. The initiative is veteran-led, collaborative, evidence-based, and community-centered.