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 the capacity for more effective treatment of chronic, complex conditions in rural and underserved communities.
Intervention: Through a specially-designed project, remote primary care providers work with academic specialists as a team to manage chronic conditions of rural patients, expanding remote providers' knowledge base through shared case studies.
Results: Patient management and care provided by rural providers through ongoing education and mentoring from Project ECHO® has proved as effective as treatment provided by specialists at a university medical center.
Need: People in rural New Mexico often found it difficult to find and utilize needed resources from the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center (UNMHSC).
Intervention: UNMHSC created Health Extension Regional Offices (HEROs), in which HERO agents live in the communities they serve, help identify health and social needs, and link them with UNMHSC and other university resources.
Results: In their regions, HERO agents' activities have been diverse, including recruiting physicians, mobilizing research funds to address local priorities, working on economic development, training laypeople in Mental Health First Aid, and helping local institutions access UNMHSC resources.
Need: New Mexico's southwestern counties of Hidalgo, Catron, Luna, and Grant have experienced chronic shortages of primary care providers. New Mexico has the oldest physician population in the country.
Intervention: A comprehensive workforce pipeline program, including programming for middle and high school students, undergraduate and graduate students, primary care program students, and medical and dental residents.
Results: The program reaches over 1,000 school-aged students throughout the service areas and hosts students in a variety of healthcare related programs for rural rotation experiences. It has also gained partnership with the HMS-Family Medicine Residency Program since 2013 and designation as an Area Health Education Center (AHEC) since 2012.
Need: Treatment and rehabilitation for those with alcohol and substance use disorder in a rural area of New Mexico that has high rates of alcohol-related deaths.
Intervention: A health center reestablished a 90-day inpatient Alcohol and Substance Abuse Treatment Program that offers career readiness and work placement for clients.
Results: The program has grown from 3 to 69 clients enrolled in inpatient treatment and 32 in the work rehabilitation program. Many of the clients are now employed by local businesses. Additionally, organizational and program success has contributed to development of new graduate medical education programs.