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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

keepin' it REAL Rural
Updated/reviewed March 2021
  • Need: A drug and alcohol prevention program for middle school students 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.
Helping Kids PROSPER
Updated/reviewed June 2019
  • 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 Pathway
Updated/reviewed November 2020
  • 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.

Promising Examples

funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Nurse Navigator and Recovery Specialist Outreach Program
Updated/reviewed November 2020
  • Need: To properly address and treat patients who have concurrent substance use and chronic healthcare issues.
  • Intervention: A referral system utilizes community health workers (CHWs) in a drug and alcohol treatment setting. A registered nurse helps with providers' medication-assisted treatment programs.
  • 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 2020
  • Need: To provide unified and seamless access to primary care to adult patients in Pennsylvania's rural Clearfield and Jefferson counties 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 2020
  • 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 5 years of the program, ARMOT received over 1,950 referrals.
Angel Flight East's Rural & Rare Reach Program
Updated/reviewed December 2020
  • Need: Free, non-emergency air travel for children and adults in need of medical treatment far from home who live in rural areas of the Northeast.
  • Intervention: Angel Flight East, a free medical flight service, has expanded their focus to include more patients from rural areas, as well as those with rare medical conditions.
  • Results: Since adding the Rural & Rare Reach program, Angel Flight East has made contact with nearly 100 Critical Access Hospitals and more than 200 FQHCs for referrals. Ongoing promotional efforts with rural health organizations are helping to increase the awareness of flight services to rural locations.
Clinic for Special Children
Updated/reviewed July 2020
  • Need: To provide healthcare for the genetically vulnerable children and adults of the rural, uninsured Amish and Mennonite communities in southern Pennsylvania.
  • Intervention: A clinic that serves as a comprehensive care medical home for children and adults (primarily from the Amish and Mennonite communities) with rare, inherited disorders.
  • Results: In 2019, about 1,100 active patients with more than 380 unique genetic mutations were treated at the Clinic for Special Children.
funded by the Health Resources Services Administration MORE Care
Updated/reviewed July 2020
  • 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: 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 May 2020
  • 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 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.

Last Updated: 3/2/2021