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North Carolina Models and Innovations

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.

Effective Examples

HoMBReS
Updated/reviewed February 2021
  • Need: To reduce the risk of HIV/STDs among Latino men living in rural regions of the United States.
  • Intervention: Soccer team leaders are elected and trained as lay health advisors to promote sexual health education among team members.
  • Results: Program participants report an increase in HIV testing, an increase in condom use, and an increase in awareness of how to prevent the transmission of HIV.
Heart Healthy Lenoir
Updated/reviewed November 2020
  • 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.
Project Lazarus
Updated/reviewed January 2018
  • Need: To reduce overdose-related deaths among prescription opioid users in rural Wilkes County, North Carolina
  • Intervention: Education and tools are provided for prescribers, patients and community members to lessen drug supply and demand, and to reduce harm in prescription opioid use
  • Results: Opioid overdose death rates have decreased in Wilkes County

Promising Examples

funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Healthy Smiles: Early Childhood Dental Outreach
Updated/reviewed November 2020
  • Need: To decrease the number of children entering kindergarten with untreated tooth decay in the rural Appalachian counties of Rutherford, Polk, and McDowell in western North Carolina.
  • Intervention: A program to give children a dental home that included screenings, targeted outreach, and restorative services.
  • Results: An overall decrease within the service area of children entering kindergarten with sub-par oral health.
Integrated Chronic Pain Treatment and Training Project
Updated/reviewed October 2020
  • Need: To reduce prescription opioid misuse and overdoses in North Carolina.
  • Intervention: The ICPTTP standardizes and streamlines chronic pain management in primary care clinics.
  • Results: The ICPTTP reduced patients' average morphine equivalent daily dose, and 29% of patients successfully tapered off chronic opioid therapy.
Project C.A.R.E.
Updated/reviewed September 2019
  • Need: There is a lack of dementia-specific support for rural caregivers.
  • Intervention: Project C.A.R.E. was created to meet the needs of rural and underserved caregivers of those with Alzheimer's or other dementias across North Carolina.
  • Results: Under Project C.A.R.E., rural families receive information and referrals as well as individualized care consultation from dementia-trained family consultants.
Patient Centered Medical Home Practicum in Primary Care
Updated/reviewed May 2019
  • 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.

Other Project Examples

Project ACTIVATE (Advancing Coordinated and Timely InterVentions, Awareness, Training, and Education)
Updated/reviewed January 2021
  • 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 pilot sites have created or revised 31 mental health policies, and 4,901 school-based and related workforce have received training in different topics and protocols.
funded by the Health Resources Services Administration NC-REACH: NC-Rurally Engaging and Assisting Clients who are HIV positive and Homeless
Updated/reviewed November 2020
  • 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.
Healthy Places NC
Updated/reviewed July 2020
  • Need: People living in under-resourced rural communities in North Carolina have poorer health than those living in urban areas.
  • Intervention: Funded by the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, Healthy Places NC is investing $100 million over 10 years in rural North Carolina counties to improve residents' health.
  • Results: As of June 2020, the Trust has invested more than $68 million in 10 Healthy Places NC counties.

Last Updated: 2/24/2021