Minnesota 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.
Updated/reviewed January 2020
- Need: To connect low-income people in rural northwest Minnesota to dental care and support services in order to address barriers to care.
- Intervention: Partners work together to provide patient transportation, care coordination, and insurance navigation and enrollment.
- Results: Patients accessing support services are more likely to complete dental treatment. Over 1,000 people a year have been assisted with Medicaid enrollment, and reported use of the emergency department for dental pain has been reduced.
Updated/reviewed February 2021
- Need: In Vermont, the growing population of older adults, coupled with a lack of a decentralized, home-based system of care management, poses significant challenges for those who want to remain living independently at home.
- Intervention: SASH® (Support and Services at Home), based in affordable-housing communities throughout the state, works with community partners to help older adults and people with disabilities receive the care they need so they can continue living safely at home.
- Results: Compared to their non-SASH peers, SASH participants have been documented to have better health outcomes, including fewer falls, lower rates of hospitalizations, fewer emergency room visits, and lower Medicare and Medicaid expenditures.
Updated/reviewed August 2020
- Need: To increase local health services to rural elderly populations in long-term care facilities located in four Midwest states near a tertiary care organization.
- Intervention: A non-profit healthcare organization implemented telehealth services to provide acute care evaluations for long-term residents in their home facilities.
- Results: The program increased local care as evidenced by improved year-over-year provider-determined available transfer data: 33%, 50%, 63% program years 1 through 3, respectively. From the success of the initial pilot implementation, the program has further matured into a long-term care offering that now reaches many other rural facilities located in 10 states across the nation.
Updated/reviewed April 2020
- Need: Allow rural cancer patients in a region inclusive of 26 counties in Iowa, Minnesota, and South Dakota to have access to tertiary-level chemotherapy regimens in rural infusion centers.
- Intervention: With telehealth-based oversight from a tertiary care oncology team, 3 rural infusion teams were trained to coordinate cancer treatment plans and administer complex chemotherapy regimens.
- Results: Almost 130 patients were transitioned to receive chemotherapy in a rural infusion center, translating to over 1,000 infusion visits and saving patients/families nearly 65,000 trip miles, 1,800 travel hours and $71,000.
Added March 2019
- Need: Improve post-hospital stroke care access in order to improve physical function and well-being for stroke patients living in a 6-county area in rural Minnesota.
- Intervention: Implementation of an evidence-based patient navigator program paired with telehealth services for post-hospital care of rural stroke patients.
- Results: In addition to other successes, more than 120 individuals enrolled in the navigator program, the Modified Rankin Score assessments at baseline and 6 months showed functional improvements.
Other Project Examples
Updated/reviewed March 2021
- Need: Assistance for urban and rural physicians — as well as other healthcare providers — who are experiencing burnout and other issues associated with well-being.
- Intervention: As part of its provider well-being focus in its rural and urban facilities, Avera Health system has created a program which attends to physician wellness issues starting with recruitment with continued support through retirement.
- Results: With increasing engagement due to word of mouth, the program creates a culture of wellness where stigma is decreased and providers are encouraged to be proactive in reaching out for assistance for issues related to their personal and professional well-being.
Updated/reviewed February 2021
- Need: Localized specialty and surgery services for residents in rural northeastern South Dakota and western Minnesota.
- Intervention: Prairie Lakes Healthcare System expanded their services by recruiting specialty physicians and networking with regional community hospitals to increase patient referrals.
- Results: Patients receive surgery and specialized care closer to home through Prairie Lakes' specialty medical providers and specialty services.
Updated/reviewed December 2020
- Need: To provide mental health services to rural residents in North Dakota and Minnesota.
- Intervention: Abound Counseling of LSSND provides in-person counseling services in 8 communities and telehealth counseling services to other areas.
- Results: In the first year of practice, Abound Counseling has brought greater access to quality mental healthcare for young children.
Updated/reviewed December 2020
- Need: Falling is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in adults over the age of 65.
- Intervention: The Right Side Up program was implemented in rural Otter Tail County to address the prevention and management of falls and risk for falls through in-home assessments given by interdisciplinary healthcare professionals and students.
- Results: Short-term outcomes revealed 100% of participants found the visit and recommendations for falls prevention to be helpful, and 78% implemented these recommendations.
Updated/reviewed November 2020
- Need: To help rural, low-income older adults in rural Minnesota, Montana, and North Dakota maintain their independence and improve their health and well-being.
- Intervention: The Great Plains Senior Services Collaborative improves service coordination, promotes social engagement, and provides programs like healthy cooking classes and caregiver support.
- Results: Phase I served more than 1,550 vulnerable older adults in 80 communities, who reported lower stress and better quality of life.
Last Updated: 3/26/2021