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 Lakota elders with tools and opportunities for advance care planning.
Intervention: An outreach program in South Dakota helps Lakota elders with advance care planning and wills by providing bilingual brochures and advance directive coaches.
Results: Care for Our Elders saw an increase in the number of Lakota elders understanding the differences between a will and a living will and the need to have end-of-life discussions with family and healthcare providers.
Need: To increase local health services to rural elderly populations in long-term care facilities located in four Midwest states near a tertiary care organization.
Intervention: A non-profit healthcare organization implemented telehealth services to provide acute care evaluations for long-term residents in their home facilities.
Results: The program increased local care as evidenced by improved year-over-year provider-determined available transfer data: 33%, 50%, 63% program years 1 through 3, respectively. From the success of the initial pilot implementation, the program has further matured into a long-term care offering that now reaches many other rural facilities located in 10 states across the nation.
Need: Allow rural cancer patients in a region inclusive of 26 counties in Iowa, Minnesota, and South Dakota to have access to tertiary-level chemotherapy regimens in rural infusion centers.
Intervention: With telehealth-based oversight from a tertiary care oncology team, 3 rural infusion teams were trained to coordinate cancer treatment plans and administer complex chemotherapy regimens.
Results: Almost 130 patients were transitioned to receive chemotherapy in a rural infusion center, translating to over 1,000 infusion visits and saving patients/families nearly 65,000 trip miles, 1,800 travel hours and $71,000.
Need: To help adults and children in rural South Dakota prevent or manage their diabetes.
Intervention: The Facing Diabetes Project offered medical visits for adults and provided prevention and education sessions for the local 4th and 5th graders.
Results: Many adults and children in the region felt better equipped to choose healthy foods, exercise regularly, and manage their stress: all factors that can help prevent diabetes or decrease its effects.
Need: To connect underserved and isolated older adults in rural Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota to services and supports so they can age in place.
Intervention: The Rural Aging Action Network is a collaborative of organizations that offer different services like caregiver support, behavioral health, financial counseling, and assistance with chores and household maintenance.
Results: Since 2015, the collaborative has reached over 4,000 older adults and caregivers in over 100 rural communities.