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 encourage farmers to make health and safety changes on their farms.
Intervention: Farm Dinner Theater is an event in which farmers and their families watch three 10-minute plays covering health and safety topics and then discuss solutions to the issues addressed in each.
Results: In a study, farmers who attended the plays were more likely to make changes and tell others what they learned, compared to farmers who received an educational packet with the same information.
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: To increase access to health information in low-income and rural communities throughout the Midwest.
Intervention: The University of Missouri School of Information Science & Learning Technologies developed Catalysts for Community Health (C4CH), an interdisciplinary program designed to train Master of Library and Information Science students to expand health information resources for underserved communities.
Results: The cohort of 10 students graduated in summer of 2022.
Need: Evidenced-based intervention to improve function and quality of life for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and other chronic lower respiratory conditions.
Intervention: Pulmonary rehabilitation program implementation in 1989.
Results: Compared to a national average of only about 3% of referred Medicare beneficiaries actually enrolling in pulmonary rehabilitation, 60% of the program's referred patients enroll. Averaging around 15 patients/year completing the program, a large combined cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation maintenance population averages 8,000 visits/year.
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.