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: 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: To help low-income and rural community members access health information at their libraries.
Intervention: C4CH pilot-tested an interdisciplinary program of study designed to train Master of Library and Information Science students to become health information resources for underserved communities.
Results: The cohort of 10 students is graduating in summer 2022.
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.
Need: Agriculture workers and their families have high rates of psychological distress and suicide, but limited access to mental health services.
Intervention: The "Sowing the Seeds of Hope" (SSoH) program was created to provide affordable and culturally appropriate mental health services to individuals working in agriculture and their families in Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
Results: The regional program ran from 1999-2014 and successfully established a variety of interventions to help individuals in rural communities' access behavioral health services.