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: Public health departments in Colorado's rural San Luis Valley region desired to share public health services to improve health outcomes in the region.
Intervention: Six counties joined in a public health cross-jurisdictional sharing arrangement. The partnership has served as a forum for sharing and evaluating opportunities to improve health access and core public health services.
Results: The partnership has enabled health departments to share expertise and develop regional projects to provide a broader range of public health services.
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 the Southeast Health Group 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 help low-income and rural community members access health information at their libraries.
Intervention: C4CH pilot-tested an interdisciplinary program of study designed to train Master of Library and Information Science students to become health information resources for underserved communities.
Results: The cohort of 10 students is graduating in summer 2022.
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 deserts, 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. While CF3 is a statewide effort, 87% of the program's target counties are considered rural or frontier.
Results: CF3 has trained over 5,000 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 fewer Colorado children have cavities now than they did 10 years ago.
Need: Early detection of health risks associated with mining in the Western region of the United States.
Intervention: The National Jewish Health Miners Clinic of Colorado developed two rural outreach programs that partner with local healthcare facilities to offer free medical screening for active and retired miners and historic uranium industry workers.
Results: Since beginning in 2003, these programs have served over 2,000 miners and historic uranium industry workers. Dust disease of the lungs have been detected on chest X-ray screenings in 16% of patients, abnormal breathing tests have been found in 24%, and other chronic conditions have been detected.