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: In rural eastern North Carolina, Lenoir County residents experience significantly higher rates of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and obesity rates compared to other parts of the state and nation.
Intervention: A community-based research project was designed to develop and test better ways to tackle cardiovascular disease, from prevention to treatment.
Results: The end goal includes the development of long-lasting strategies and approaches within the community to help decrease the risk and disparities in risk of cardiovascular disease.
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: Provision of medical care access and follow-up for rural North Carolina HIV patients with mental health, substance abuse, and unstable housing/homelessness challenges.
Intervention: Medical home staff model expanded to a care coordination program with a core Network Navigator and Continuum of Care Coordinator assisting with medical, behavioral health, and basic life needs.
Results: To date, the program has advanced three aspects of medical home patient care for this target population: provided further understanding of the spectrum of homelessness, including "hidden" homelessness; implemented outreach with creation of new community partnerships and a community housing coalition; and integrated medical care and behavioral health care for HIV.
Need: Improvement in service quality and patient experience in primary care practices in North Carolina's Blue Ridge region and across the state.
Intervention: A practicum for healthcare management students was developed to help rural practices achieve Patient Care Medical Home (PCMH) status, identify quality improvement needs, and develop strategies.
Results: With the help of practicum students, rural primary practices have have tackled a number of important quality improvement projects, achieved PCMH status and Blue Quality Physician Program Recognition.
Need: To improve students' access to behavioral health services in rural North Carolina.
Intervention: North Carolina Project ACTIVATE provides three tiers of behavioral health supports in the school setting.
Results: The three original pilot sites (Cohort 1) have created or revised 47 mental health policies, and 6,981 school-based and related workforce have received training in different topics and protocols.