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 develop sustainable, community-wide prevention methods for cardiovascular diseases in order to change behaviors and healthcare outcomes in rural Maine.
Intervention: Local community groups and Franklin Memorial Hospital staff studied mortality and hospitalization rates for 40 years in this rural, low-income area of Farmington to seek intervention methods that could address cardiovascular diseases.
Results: A decline in cardiovascular-related mortality rates and improved prevention methods for hypertension, high cholesterol, and smoking.
Need: Reduction in the number of emergency department dental patients abusing opioid prescriptions in rural southeastern Maine.
Intervention: Using a one-page opioid prescription guideline, opioid prescribing and emergency room visits for dental pain decreased.
Results: The rate of opioid prescription dropped nearly 20% after implementation, and in comparing the 12-month period before and after implementation, dental pain emergency department visits decreased from 26 to 21 per 1,000.
Need: To fill vacant medical positions in Maine's rural medical facilities.
Intervention: The Tufts Maine Track LIC program offers clerkships in rural medical facilities, exposing medical school students to the positives and possibilities that rural practices have to offer.
Results: The program has seen an increase in students' interest in practicing in rural Maine. The majority of participants have pursued medical careers in one of the six core specialties studied during their clerkship.
Need: To implement coordinated healthcare to improve patient health and engagement and to reduce the overall cost of medical services in Maine.
Intervention: The Beacon Health network launched with a focus on patient-centered care to improve overall wellness and reduce ever-increasing healthcare costs.
Results: Through care coordination, Beacon Health is enhancing provider efficiency and a team approach to delivering care, leading to improved patient engagement and healthcare quality and lowering the overall cost of care.
Need: With the nearest hospital more than an hour away, the local community health center in rural Jackman, Maine struggled to maintain its ability to offer 24/7 care to due to staffing and budgetary challenges.
Intervention: Critical Access Integrated Paramedics provide urgent care to patients after hours and on weekends.
Results: The Jackman Community Health Center has been able to offer round-the-clock care to clinic patients, while also increasing the level of EMS service available to the community.