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.
Added May 2020
- Need: Improve healthcare access and decrease chronic disease disparities in rural Appalachia.
- Intervention: A community health worker-based Chronic Care Management program demonstrated such a level of success in a single West Virginia county that it was further scaled for implementation in a multi-center, 3-state area of Appalachia.
- Results: When analysis of the disseminated program's results also demonstrated improved health outcomes and decreased healthcare costs, sustainability became possible due to innovative financial reimbursement models.
Updated/reviewed May 2019
- 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 2018, over 161,968 rural residents have been served. Preventive health strategies, screenings, educational services, and referrals are all offered at no charge to clients.
Updated/reviewed April 2020
- 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.
Updated/reviewed November 2019
- 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 is being replicated among all of Kentucky's regional AHECs.
Updated/reviewed June 2019
- 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 increased, while emergency department visits decreased.
Updated/reviewed May 2019
- 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).
Other Project Examples
Added May 2020
- Need: To help children whose family members are struggling with substance use.
- Intervention: A year-round program provides mentoring as well as substance use prevention education.
- Results: In 2019, Camp Mariposa served a total of 81 youth in its two rural locations in Kentucky and West Virginia.
Updated/reviewed March 2020
- 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: The Sapling Centers serve 50-75 teens and young adults every day. Increasing demand for services led to the opening of more centers in the region.
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.
Updated/reviewed January 2019
- 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.
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.
Last Updated: 5/14/2020