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Kentucky 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

Kentucky Homeplace
Updated/reviewed May 2018
  • Need: Rural Appalachian Kentucky residents have deficits in health resources and health status, including high levels of cancer, heart disease, hypertension, asthma, and diabetes.
  • Intervention: Kentucky Homeplace was created as a community health worker initiative to address the lifestyle choices, inadequate health insurance, and environmental factors that are believed to contribute to these diseases.
  • Results: From July 2001 to June 2016, over 152,262 rural residents have been served. Preventive health strategies, screenings, educational services, and referrals are all offered at no charge to clients.

Promising Examples

Reducing Hospitalizations in Medicare Beneficiaries
Updated/reviewed June 2018
  • Need: To reduce hospital readmissions for Medicare patients in rural Kentucky and Tennessee.
  • Intervention: Two quality improvement tools called IMPACT and INTERACT helped older patients transition from Vanderbilt University Medical Center to a skilled nursing facility.
  • Results: Practitioner follow-up visits have increased, while emergency department visits have decreased.
Closing Preventive Care Gaps in Underserved Areas
Updated/reviewed April 2018
  • Need: Address the need to increase cancer screening rates as well as other preventive care measures in Appalachian Kentucky, a region with high cancer incidence and mortality rates, and noted health disparities.
  • Intervention: Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) and an academic center partnered to adapt and implement an office-based intervention, building on existing primary care resources to decrease gaps in preventive care measures, including cancer screenings.
  • Results: After intervention implementation, White House Clinics saw a marked increase in various preventive care measures, including screenings for cancer, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis C (HVC).
Contingency Management Smoking Cessation in Appalachia
Updated/reviewed April 2018
  • Need: To reduce smoking rates of pregnant women and adolescents in Appalachian regions of Eastern Kentucky and Ohio.
  • Intervention: A web-based smoking cessation program that offered monetary incentives to reducing smoking.
  • Results: Participants significantly reduced smoking rates or quit altogether.
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.

Other Project Examples

Successfully Training and Educating Pre-medical Students (STEPS)
Updated/reviewed November 2018
  • Need: To increase the number of primary care providers in northeast Kentucky.
  • Intervention: STEPS provides support such as physician shadowing, mock interviews, and MCAT practice exams for regional students applying to medical school.
  • Results: 22 of the initial 28 participants were accepted into medical school. The program will be replicated among all of Kentucky's regional AHECs.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy The Bridge Program
Updated/reviewed November 2018
  • Need: Access to primary medical, dental, and mental health services for rural Appalachia Kentuckians.
  • Intervention: Community Health Workers provide outreach, education, navigation, and care coordination services to 5 counties in the Western Appalachian area of Kentucky through The Bridge Program.
  • Results: Emergency room visits have decreased throughout the course of the program and referrals to healthcare services have increased. Increases in self-efficacy and decreases in A1C levels have reached statistical significance.
The Sapling Center
Added February 2018
  • Need: To create a safe space for youth and young adults, ages 14 to 25, in rural eastern Kentucky.
  • Intervention: The Sapling Center provides independent living skills education and offers a wide array of services as well as fun activities in a supportive environment.
  • Results: Two centers average 25 to 30 attendees each day. Increasing demand for services has led to the opening of four more centers in the region.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy On the Move: Unlawful Narcotics Investigations, Treatment & Education (Operation UNITE)
Updated/reviewed January 2018
  • Need: Illicit drug and alcohol use continued to increase in the Central Appalachian region of Kentucky, where many schools had no type of prevention curriculum.
  • Intervention: Using engaging simulations and presentations, the program delivered substance abuse education to middle school and high school students.
  • Results: Post-test surveys showed that thousands of students were reached through the "On the Move" project and gained positive knowledge on the dangers of substance abuse.
Project COPE (Cancer Outreach Prevention Education)
Updated/reviewed January 2018
  • Need: Comprehensive breast care services are unavailable in many rural regions of Kentucky, and many of the women in these areas lack financial means for adequate breast care.
  • Intervention: Project COPE was initiated to provide women with support at any and every stage of breast cancer treatment.
  • Results: Women in the service area no longer have to travel to urban areas for customary breast care services and now have numerous avenues of support when going through breast cancer treatment.

Last Updated: 11/21/2018