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Pennsylvania 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

Helping Kids PROSPER
Updated/reviewed January 2017
  • Need: An approach to support sustained, quality delivery of evidence-based programs for youth and families in rural communities.
  • Intervention: PROSPER, a program delivery system, guides communities in implementing evidence-based programs that build youth competencies, improve family functioning, and prevent risky behaviors, particularly substance use.
  • Results: Youth in PROSPER communities reported delayed initiation of a variety of substances, lower levels of other behavioral problems, and improvements in family functioning and other life skills.

Effective Examples

funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Regional Oral Health Pathways
Updated/reviewed September 2017
  • Need: To address the oral health needs of low-income uninsured and underinsured residents in rural Appalachia.
  • Intervention: An oral health education program was implemented in Appalachian Maryland, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.
  • Results: This program has increased oral health visits in the area and has provided residents with valuable information on oral health resources and services.
keepin’ it REAL Rural
Updated/reviewed March 2017
  • Need: A drug and alcohol prevention program for middle school kids that is specific to rural culture in Pennsylvania and Ohio.
  • Intervention: An adaptation of the evidence-based keepin' it REAL curriculum was customized for rural middle school students.
  • Results: Students showed a reduction in all substance use and less personal acceptability of substance use.

Promising Examples

funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Nurse Navigator and Recovery Specialist Outreach Program
Updated/reviewed October 2017
  • Need: To properly address and treat patients who have concurrent substance abuse and chronic healthcare issues.
  • Intervention: A referral system was created that utilizes Community Health Workers (CHWs) in a drug and alcohol treatment setting.
  • Results: This program has reduced hospital emergency visits and hospital readmissions for patients since its inception.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Physical and Behavioral Health Integrated Care Project
Updated/reviewed October 2017
  • Need: To provide unified and seamless access to primary physical care to adult patients in Clearfield and Jefferson counties in Pennsylvania who have been diagnosed with Serious and Persistent Mental Illness.
  • Intervention: A “one-stop shop” of healthcare services addressed the physical and behavioral health and medication needs of adults in the region.
  • Results: Results indicated better behavioral and physical health outcomes for participants, as well as increased adherence to medications.

Other Project Examples

funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Addiction Recovery Mobile Outreach Team (ARMOT)
Updated/reviewed December 2017
  • Need: To reduce the number of overdoses and overdose-related deaths from opioids in rural Pennsylvania.
  • Intervention: ARMOT provides 1) case management and recovery support services to individuals with substance use disorders and 2) education and support to rural hospital staff, patients, and their loved ones.
  • Results: In the first 18 months of its grant cycle, ARMOT made 254 referrals.
Clinic for Special Children
Updated/reviewed June 2017
  • Need: Healthcare for the genetically vulnerable children of the rural, uninsured Amish and Mennonite communities in southern Pennsylvania.
  • Intervention: A clinic that serves as a comprehensive care medical home for children (primarily from the Amish and Mennonite communities) with rare, inherited disorders.
  • Results: In 2016, over 1,000 active patients with more than 200 unique genetic mutations were treated at the Clinic for Special Children.
Healthy Adams County
Updated/reviewed June 2017
  • Need: Health initiatives in rural Pennsylvania communities to address locally-identified health disparities.
  • Intervention: Healthy Adams County was created by its rural community members to promote community-wide health.
  • Results: Community task forces have been formed to address breast cancer prevention, food policies, behavioral health, health literacy, oral health, tobacco prevention, and other rural, community-identified needs.
funded by the Health Resources Services Administration MORE Care
Added June 2017
  • Need: To improve rural residents' oral healthcare.
  • Intervention: MORE Care creates interprofessional oral health networks to 1) better integrate oral health into primary healthcare and 2) coordinate oral health between primary and dental healthcare.
  • Results: Operating in 3 states, MORE Care has led to increases in fluoride varnish administration, improvement in interprofessional communication, and patients' improved self-management of their daily oral health.
Pennsylvania Rural Health Farm Worker Protection Safety Program
Updated/reviewed February 2017
  • Need: Agricultural producers and Pennsylvania's diverse farmworker population needed guidance on complying with Environmental Protection Agency regulations on the safe use of pesticides used in agricultural production.
  • Intervention: An outreach and education program providing compliance and technical assistance for growers was developed which included culturally appropriate training materials targeted to workers.
  • Results: Pesticide use training and other farm safety information is now readily available to Pennsylvania's farmers and farmworkers.
Mobile Medication Program for Patients with Mental Illness
Updated/reviewed November 2016
  • Need: To assist individuals with mental illness in managing medication independently and to reduce hospitalization costs of treating individuals with serious mental illness.
  • Intervention: Mobile medical staff provide education, support, and skill-building to assist individuals with medication management.
  • Results: A reduction in area hospitalization costs and a reduction in the need for long-term hospitalization among program participants.
Total HEALTH
Added April 2016
  • Need: A facility that offers both behavioral and primary healthcare services for the ease of patients in Northwestern Pennsylvania.
  • Intervention: A pilot project was launched at one behavioral health facility that added a primary care and pharmaceutical component to provide a one-stop shop for patients.
  • Results: Patients have become more willing to follow through with treatment plans and attend appointments. Partnering healthcare facilities have also experienced positive medical outcomes of enrolled patients.

Last Updated: 12/5/2017