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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 November 2020
  • 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

funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Northern Dental Access Center Patient Support and Outreach Program
Updated/reviewed January 2020
  • Need: To connect low-income people in rural northwest Minnesota to dental care and support services in order to address barriers to care.
  • Intervention: Partners work together to provide patient transportation, care coordination, and insurance navigation and enrollment.
  • Results: Patients accessing support services are more likely to complete dental treatment. Over 1,000 people a year have been assisted with Medicaid enrollment, and reported use of the emergency department for dental pain has been reduced.

Other Project Examples

Avera LIGHT
Updated/reviewed March 2021
  • 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.
Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota Abound Counseling
Updated/reviewed December 2020
  • Need: To provide mental health services to rural residents in North Dakota and Minnesota.
  • Intervention: Abound Counseling of LSSND provides in-person counseling services in 8 communities and telehealth counseling services to other areas.
  • Results: In the first year of practice, Abound Counseling has brought greater access to quality mental healthcare for young children.
Great Plains Senior Services Collaborative
Updated/reviewed November 2020
  • Need: To help rural, low-income older adults in rural Minnesota, Montana, and North Dakota maintain their independence and improve their health and well-being.
  • Intervention: The Great Plains Senior Services Collaborative improves service coordination, promotes social engagement, and provides programs like healthy cooking classes and caregiver support.
  • Results: Phase I served more than 1,550 vulnerable older adults in 80 communities, who reported lower stress and better quality of life.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Sowing the Seeds of Hope
Updated/reviewed November 2020
  • 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.
Minot-Williston Rural Training Track Program
Updated/reviewed October 2020
  • 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: Now over 1000 applicants are applying for the two residency slots.
FirstLink Caring Contacts
Updated/reviewed July 2020
  • Need: To reduce suicides in North Dakota and Minnesota.
  • Intervention: The Caring Contacts program provides phone calls and cards to those who have called suicide helplines or were referred by a healthcare provider.
  • Results: In 2019, FirstLink made 11,232 calls and sent 1,694 cards to program participants.
Energy Capital Cooperative Child Care (ECCCC)
Updated/reviewed June 2020
  • Need: To bring needed child care to rural Mercer County, North Dakota.
  • Intervention: A nonprofit cooperative provides part-time and full-time child care.
  • Results: ECCCC had 86 children at the height of its enrollment history.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Northern Dental Access Center Medical-Legal Partnership
Updated/reviewed January 2020
  • Need: To help low-income patients in rural Minnesota overcome legal barriers to oral healthcare and self-sufficiency.
  • Intervention: The medical-legal partnership of Northern Dental Access Center and Legal Services of Northwest Minnesota provides free consultations and support services.
  • Results: The innovative and collaborative approach has been recognized regionally and nationally, and over 9,000 new patients have been screened for legal issues.

Last Updated: 3/26/2021