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: A cost-effective approach to help rural patients with hypertension learn to manage their condition.
Intervention: Community volunteers trained as health coaches provided an 8-session hypertension management training program to hypertension patients older than 60, with an optional supplemental 8 sessions focused on nutrition and physical activity.
Results: Just 16 weeks after the program, participants had improved systolic blood pressure, weight, and fasting glucose, greater knowledge of hypertension, and improved self-reported behaviors.
Need: To support pregnant and parenting women with a history of substance use, mental health, or co-occurring disorders in rural areas of Montana.
Intervention: One Health, a consortium of Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), developed a team of "recovery doulas" – individuals who are dual-certified as doulas and peer-support specialists. The One Health recovery doula program offers group and individual services to women and their partners from pregnancy through the first years of parenthood.
Results: A team of nine recovery doulas (or doulas-in-training) employed by One Health offer services in ten rural Montana counties. Recovery doulas have provided essential support to women with substance use disorder, survivors of sexual abuse, unhoused individuals, and individuals facing other complex challenges.
Need: Distance, time, and cost make it difficult for EMS volunteers to attend continuing education and maintain certification.
Intervention: Providence Health Training delivers free online training to rural EMS providers via video teleconferencing.
Results: The EMS Live@Nite program provides free, monthly training to rural EMS providers in the northwestern part of the United States. The program is available through live video conferencing from certified locations in rural communities.
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.
Need: Suicide among veterans has been steadily increasing, and rural veterans have an increased risk of death by suicide compared to urban veterans.
Intervention: A program called Together With Veterans was formed to help rural communities address and prevent suicides among veterans. The initiative is veteran-led, collaborative, evidence-based, and community-centered.
Need: Before 2000, Butte and southwest Montana had around 1,300 cases of child abuse a year, with only a 20% conviction rate for perpetrators of sexual abuse.
Intervention: Multiple agencies in the community came together to address the issue of child abuse by forming the Butte Child Evaluation Center (CEC), a Children's Advocacy Center.
Results: During a 3-year grant cycle, over 200 interviews and exams were performed on victims of sexual abuse and the Butte CEC became the first program in Montana to be accredited by the National Children's Alliance.