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 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.
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.
Need: To support rural veterans pursuing a career in nursing.
Intervention: The INVITE program improved the curriculum and reworked admission requirements to better support veteran students' experiences in the College of St. Scholastica undergraduate nursing program.
Results: The number of veterans pursuing nursing has more than doubled since program implementation, and all students have reported an increased interest in serving rural communities.
Need: Out of 79 Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) surveyed in Minnesota in 2015, behavioral health was the most frequently cited service requested.
Intervention: In response, Rural Health Innovations launched the Minnesota Integrative Behavioral Health Program. This initiative engaged representatives across all sectors in health integration between hospital, primary care, and community services.
Results: Strategy sessions resulted in the creation of resource directories to improve care coordination, evaluation measurements to document results, and an overall better understanding of integrative care challenges.
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.
Need: To connect underserved and isolated older adults in rural Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota to services and supports so they can age in place.
Intervention: The Rural Aging Action Network is a collaborative of organizations that offer different services like caregiver support, behavioral health, financial counseling, and assistance with chores and household maintenance.
Results: Since 2015, the collaborative has reached over 4,000 older adults and caregivers in over 100 rural communities.