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: 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.
Need: Low patient volumes, a shortage of EMS volunteers, and an aging population in a 5-county North Dakota region required a change in the way the Rugby EMS team delivered care.
Intervention: Through the Rugby Community Paramedic Program, EMS staff brought medical care to patients transitioning back into their homes, including hospice patients and those with chronic conditions.
Results: The program's early intervention methods helped reduce the number of emergency room admissions and the escalation of medical conditions. Patient satisfaction improved, and the program gained the trust of patients and medical staff in Rugby and surrounding areas.