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North Dakota 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.

Evidence-Based Examples

Women to Women Online Support Network
Updated/reviewed August 2017
  • Need: Women living in rural areas with chronic illness often face little social support, leading to increased rates of depression and stress
  • Intervention: Women to Women offered rural women with chronic conditions social support networks via telecommunication
  • Results: WTW intervention participants experienced positive increases in self-esteem, social support, and empowerment over the control group

Effective Examples

Avera eCARE
Updated/reviewed September 2017
  • Need: Rural hospitals and healthcare providers have less access to specialty care support.
  • Intervention: A service was created at Avera Health that provides 24-hour virtual access to specialty care physicians, nurses and pharmacists.
  • Results: Rural patients can receive specialty care without leaving their communities, and rural healthcare providers can get needed support in providing quality care to their patients.

Promising Examples

Northland PACE (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly)
Updated/reviewed January 2017
  • Need: Older adults who are nursing home eligible need assistance in order to remain living safely and independently in their own homes.
  • Intervention: Northland PACE (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly) offers, plans, and coordinates a wide range of healthcare, in-home, and day center services to promote independence at home.
  • Results: Older adults remain safely in their homes for a longer period of time with this support. The PACE program sites in North Dakota work to preserve, enhance, and, in many cases, restore the independence, health, and well-being of their participants.

Other Project Examples

Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota Abound Counseling
Updated/reviewed December 2017
  • Need: To provide mental health services to rural residents in North Dakota.
  • Intervention: Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota provides telehealth counseling through its offices and communities' Lutheran churches.
  • Results: In the first year of practice, Abound Counseling has brought greater access to quality mental healthcare for young children.
Rugby Community Paramedic Program
Added November 2017
  • 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 bring medical care to patients transitioning back into their homes, including those with chronic conditions and hospice patients.
  • Results: The program's early intervention methods helped reduce the number of emergency room admissions and the escalation of medical conditions. Patient satisfaction has improved and the program has gained the trust of patients and medical staff in Rugby and surrounding areas.
Mobile Women's Health Unit
Updated/reviewed July 2017
  • Need: Breast cancer is a leading cause of cancer deaths for the American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) female population, and those living in remote areas have difficulties getting screening mammograms.
  • Intervention: The Great Plains Area Indian Health Service Mobile Women's Health Unit provides mammograms to women on multiple reservations across four states.
  • Results: Approximately 1,000 women are screened annually for breast cancer in the mobile unit.
Suicide Follow-Up Program
Added July 2017
  • Need: To reduce suicides in North Dakota and Minnesota.
  • Intervention: The Suicide Follow-Up Program provides phone calls and cards to those who have called suicide helplines or were referred by a healthcare provider.
  • Results: In 2016, FirstLink made 1,194 calls and sent 316 cards to program participants.
Women's Way
Updated/reviewed July 2017
  • Need: One in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in North Dakota. While breast and cervical cancer have high survival rates when detected early, many women are not able to access life-saving cancer screenings due to cost and lack of insurance.
  • Intervention: Women's Way of North Dakota was created to help women find a way to pay for breast and cervical cancer screenings.
  • Results: From the program’s beginnings in 1997 through May 2017, Women's Way has provided new first-time screening services for nearly 14,500 women and helped hundreds of women with positive results find treatment.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Sowing the Seeds of Hope
Updated/reviewed June 2017
  • Need: Agriculture workers and their families had 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 1999-2011 and successfully established a variety of interventions to help individuals in rural communities’ access behavioral health services.
funded by the Health Resources Services Administration Teleaudiology: Taking Diagnostics to the Infant
Updated/reviewed April 2017
  • Need: Limited pediatric audiology services for required testing due to geographic distances between audiology professional and rural North Dakota infants.
  • Intervention: Hub and spoke management and technical protocols with toolkits to promote teleaudiology services for infants 0 to 6 months of age.
  • Results: Teleaudiology implementations resulted in reduced parental travel times and increased audiology follow-up exams.
Avera LIGHT
Updated/reviewed March 2017
  • Need: Assistance for Midwest rural physicians who are experiencing burnout due to heavy workload, lack of staff, limited resources, and stress related to the use of electronic medical records.
  • Intervention: Through a variety of methods, Avera LIGHT comes alongside of providers to prevent and treat physician burnout and support their physical, emotional, and spiritual health.
  • Results: Physicians who have been on the brink of quitting because of burnout have stayed on staff as a direct result of Avera LIGHT.
Minot-Williston Rural Training Track Program
Updated/reviewed March 2017
  • Need: Like many rural areas, parts of North Dakota lack primary care physicians to fulfill the needs of the community.
  • Intervention: The Minot-Williston Rural Track Program was developed to create new medical residency opportunities in rural North Dakota.
  • Results: Over 800 applicants applied for the two residency slots offered.
North Region Health Alliance
Updated/reviewed March 2017
  • Need: A telecommunication network for healthcare providers in northeastern North Dakota and northwest Minnesota to provide better healthcare to the region's rural residents.
  • Intervention: The North Region Health Alliance was developed as a collaborative partnership and telecommunication infrastructure that electronically links 21 healthcare providers together.
  • Results: The North Region Health Alliance provides quality telecommunication services to rural healthcare facilities as they work to provide quality healthcare.

Last Updated: 12/13/2017