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.
Need: To provide evidence-based psychotherapy for depression in elderly veterans who are unable to seek mental health treatment due to distance or stigma.
Intervention: Telepsychology-Service Delivery for Depressed Elderly Veterans compared providing behavioral activation therapy via home-based telehealth and the same treatment delivered in a traditional office-based format.
Results: A 2015 study and two 2016 studies show that providing treatment via home-based telehealth to elderly veterans in South Carolina resulted in the same improved health outcomes, quality of life, satisfaction with care, and cost of healthcare compared to those receiving face-to-face treatment.
Need: A cost-effective approach to help rural patients with hypertension learn to manage their condition.
Intervention: Community volunteers trained as health coaches provided an 8-session hypertension management training program to hypertension patients older than 60, with an optional supplemental 8 sessions focused on nutrition and physical activity.
Results: Just 16 weeks after the program, participants had improved systolic blood pressure, weight, and fasting glucose, greater knowledge of hypertension, and improved self-reported behaviors.
Need: Hispanic women have the highest incidence rates of cervical cancer among any ethnicity in the United States.
Intervention: The development of a lay health worker (promotora) curriculum that provided information on cervical cancer, HPV, and the HPV vaccine to Hispanic farmworker women living in rural southern Georgia and South Carolina.
Results: Significant increases in post-test scores relating to cervical cancer knowledge and increases in positive self-efficacy among promotoras.
Need: To increase healthy eating and physical activity levels in Fairfield County, South Carolina.
Intervention: Community health advisors trained church committees and delivered telephone-based technical assistance to improve opportunities, guidelines, messages, and pastor support for physical activity and healthy eating.
Results: In a 2018 study, churchgoers reported seeing more opportunities for physical activity as well as more messages and pastor support for physical activity and healthy eating. Intervention churches also had fewer inactive churchgoers, compared to control churches.
Need: To develop teen leaders, build self-confidence, and lower teen pregnancy rates in Marlboro County, South Carolina.
Intervention: Tea Time with Teens brings together community leaders, mothers, and daughters to build life skills and make healthy decisions. In addition, the program sponsors a middle school club and has an extension program for young women.
Results: Since 2009, the program has been educating teens on making healthy choices and adults on having meaningful conversations with teens.
Need: The shortage of mental health professionals in rural South Carolina resulted in an influx of patients admitted to emergency departments who were in need of psychiatric care.
Intervention: South Carolina Department of Mental Health (SCDMH) partnered with The Duke Endowment to create the SCDMH Emergency Department Telepsychiatry Program. Rural emergency departments can now reach a psychiatrist to assess a patient via telehealth.
Results: The program has improved access, affordability, and provided quality care for rural providers and patients with mental illness.
Need: A community-wide collaborative process to identify and address specific quality-of-life challenges confronting the citizens of Beaufort County, South Carolina.
Intervention: Together for Beaufort County facilitates the coordination of local and regional coalitions that address economic, social, health, educational, and environmental factors through shared collective impact process.
Results: Out of 46 counties in South Carolina, Beaufort County has reached the top ranking in health outcomes.