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Massachusetts 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.

Evidence-Based Examples

Sickness Prevention Achieved through Regional Collaboration (SPARC, Inc.®)
Updated/reviewed July 2017
  • Need: Population-based rates of adult vaccinations and cancer screenings are low, with fewer than 40% of older adults up to date with routinely recommended prevention services. Delivery rates are lower still in low-income and minority communities.
  • Intervention: SPARC was established to develop and test new community-wide strategies to increase the delivery of clinical preventive services.
  • Results: Across the United States in both rural and urban communities, SPARC programs, which broaden the delivery of potentially life-saving preventive services, have been successfully launched, improving residents' health.

Promising Examples

Communities that Care (CTC) Coalition
Updated/reviewed May 2017
  • Need: A way to address substance abuse among teenagers in Massachusetts's predominately rural areas of Franklin County and the North Quabbin Region.
  • Intervention: A community-based prevention initiative was formed to reduce youth violence, delinquency, and alcohol and tobacco use.
  • Results: CTC has seen significant reductions in substance abuse among local youth in the 30 rural towns they serve.

Other Project Examples

Farm Fresh Rhode Island Food Hub
Updated/reviewed October 2017
  • Need: To strengthen the local food system by assisting farmers, supporting rural economies and promoting access to fresh food for underserved families.
  • Intervention: Financial partnership and targeted programs created to strengthen infrastructure and connect rural food producers to a larger, local market.
  • Results: Sales have increased for local farmers and food producers, and low-income family participants increased their consumption of fruits and vegetables.
Safety Net Medical Home Initiative
Updated/reviewed October 2017
  • Need: To help healthcare providers serving underserved and vulnerable populations become patient-centered medical homes (PCMH).
  • Intervention: A 5-year project was launched to develop a replicable model for practice transformation for safety net providers, including rural practices.
  • Results: Eighty-three percent of participating safety net clinics earned state or national PCMH recognition as of September, 2013.
Gloucester ANGEL Program
Updated/reviewed August 2017
  • Need: To address opioid addiction as a disease rather than a crime in rural Massachusetts.
  • Intervention: The Gloucester Police Department initiated an opioid outreach program to help facilitate treatment for people suffering from addiction.
  • Results: The ANGEL program has referred over 400 people to treatment facilities, reduced the cost of overnight incarcerations, and has developed a new bond with the community in the fight against opioid abuse.
funded by the Health Resources Services Administration Outer Cape Health Services Community Resource Navigator Program
Updated/reviewed August 2017
  • Need: Improving outcomes for Outer and Lower Cape Cod residents in need of social, behavioral health, and substance abuse services while reducing the burden and costs to town agencies, hospital emergency rooms.
  • Intervention: The Community Resource Navigator Program works with local social services and town agencies, faith-based institutions, hospitals, the criminal justice system, and others to identify and connect clients to needed services.
  • Results: Clients are gaining access to the care they were once lacking. The program also helps community partners and stakeholders work together to reduce the impact of risks associated with behavioral health symptoms, substance use disorder, and social determinants of health.
Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program (FVRx)
Updated/reviewed April 2017
  • Need: A tangible way for providers to increase patients' access to affordable healthy food.
  • Intervention: With the Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program, providers prescribe vouchers for patients to redeem for fruits and vegetables at local healthy food retailers.
  • Results: Over 10,000 people have received FVRx prescriptions in rural and urban areas across 10 states.
National TeleNursing Center Helps Rural Clinicians To Provide Sexual Assault Exams
Added February 2016
  • Need: Clinicians in rural areas are often unprepared to treat sexual assault victims after an assault.
  • Intervention: The National TeleNursing Center (NTC) in Massachusetts uses telemedicine to connect Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners to clinicians in remote areas, offering them guidance through examinations.
  • Results: Clinicians report that the help gives them confidence through the examination process. To date, every one of the remote sites' eligible sexual assault patients have consented to receiving help from NTC.

Last Updated: 10/31/2017