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.
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.
Updated/reviewed March 2019
- 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.
Updated/reviewed August 2019
- 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.
Updated/reviewed November 2018
- 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.
Updated/reviewed October 2018
- 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
Updated/reviewed July 2019
- Need: To provide 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 2017, over 1,100 active patients with more than 225 unique genetic mutations were treated at the Clinic for Special Children.
Updated/reviewed July 2019
- 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.
Updated/reviewed April 2019
- 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.
Added March 2019
- Need: Comprehensive cancer services for residents of an 8-county, 3-state area in Appalachia.
- Intervention: Using a Cancer Patient Navigation Tool Kit, a Maryland acute care facility led a multidisciplinary collaboration that provided the area's patients with expanded cancer treatment services.
- Results: In addition to several new cancer-related programs, expanded services are now available for cancer patients, families, and cancer survivors.
Updated/reviewed December 2018
- 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 3 years of the program, ARMOT has received 943 referrals.
Updated/reviewed July 2018
- 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.
Added July 2018
- Need: A healthcare delivery model to improve health and well-being of Pennsylvania patients with serious mental illness in Pennsylvania, especially those in rural settings.
- Intervention: County human service administrators, patients, families, a behavioral health provider network, and a nonprofit behavioral health managed care organization implemented 2 versions of a behavioral home health model focusing on a complete culture of wellness.
- Results: These unique models significantly increased patient activation, engagement in both primary and specialty care, and improved client perception of their mental health status.
Updated/reviewed June 2018
- Need: A facility that offers both behavioral and primary healthcare services for the ease of patients in Northwestern Pennsylvania.
- Intervention: The Behavioral Health Home Plus Program provides coordinated care for patients having primary care and behavioral health needs.
- Results: Dickinson Center, Inc. has seen a decrease in hospital stays, emergency department visits, diabetes, and depression in patients enrolled in the Behavioral Health Home Plus Program.
Last Updated: 8/6/2019