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Vermont 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

Project ENABLE (Educate, Nurture, Advise Before Life Ends)
Added May 2017
  • Need: To enhance palliative care access to rural patients with advanced cancer and their family caregivers.
  • Intervention: Project ENABLE consists of: 1) an initial in-person palliative care consultation with a specialty-trained provider and 2) a semi-structured series of weekly, phone-delivered, nurse-led coaching sessions designed to help patients and their caregivers enhance their problem-solving, symptom management, and coping skills.
  • Results: Patients and caregivers report lower rates of depression and burden along with higher quality of life.
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

Avera eCARE
Updated/reviewed September 2017
  • Need: Rural hospitals and healthcare providers have less access to specialty care support.
  • Intervention: A service was created at Avera Health that provides 24-hour virtual access to specialty care physicians, nurses and pharmacists.
  • Results: Rural patients can receive specialty care without leaving their communities, and rural healthcare providers can get needed support in providing quality care to their patients.
Telepsychiatry Consultation Service in Nursing Homes
Updated/reviewed June 2016
  • Need: To improve health status and access for rural nursing home patients in need of mental health services.
  • Intervention: The University of Vermont Medical Center provides telepsychiatry care and education to nursing homes that face shortages of mental health professionals on site.
  • Results: Telepsychiatry consultations ease the burden on nursing home residents by saving travel time, distance, and money involved with going to the nearest tertiary facility.

Promising Examples

funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Bridges to Health
Updated/reviewed September 2017
  • Need: To reduce barriers to accessing healthcare for migrant farmworkers in the rural areas of Vermont.
  • Intervention: Bridges to Health uses care coordination and health promoters to reduce the barriers to accessing healthcare and provides services and education.
  • Results: Some barriers to accessing healthcare have been reduced or removed for migrant farmworkers in certain counties in Vermont.

Other Project Examples

SASH® (Support and Services at Home)
Updated/reviewed November 2017
  • Need: In Vermont, the growing population of older adults, coupled with a lack of a decentralized, home-based system of care management, posed significant challenges for those who wanted to remain living independently at home.
  • Intervention: SASH® (Support and Services at Home), based in affordable housing communities throughout the state, works with community partners to help older adults and people with disabilities receive the care they need so they can continue living safely at home.
  • Results: Compared to their non-SASH peers, SASH participants report better health outcomes like fewer falls, lower rates of hospitalizations, and completion of more advance directives – all of which has the potential of saving millions of dollars.
Project VISION
Updated/reviewed July 2017
  • Need: To reduce opioid use and increase quality of life in Rutland, Vermont.
  • Intervention: Project VISION works to reduce opioid use through community engagement.
  • Results: Since 2012, Project VISION has collected and disposed of 550 pounds of unused medications and reduced burglaries by 58%.
Pathways Vermont Housing First Program
Updated/reviewed February 2017
  • Need: To provide housing for the chronically homeless who face mental health and/or substance abuse challenges in the rural areas of Vermont.
  • Intervention: Pathways Vermont initiated a rural version of the Housing First program that provides access to permanent rental housing and numerous services to help sustain housing stability.
  • Results: Participants reported decreased time spent homeless, a significant improvement in their standard of living, and hundreds of thousands of dollars were saved on behalf of Vermont.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy ACA Online Training Module for Rural Healthcare Providers
Added August 2014
  • Need: To strengthen the healthcare system in rural northern New England by helping local community and Critical Access Hospital providers assist their patients in learning about health insurance options under the Affordable Care Act.
  • Intervention: An online training module to help providers learn about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and find local ACA enrollment resources.
  • Results: 14 providers in 4 counties registered for the training.

Last Updated: 11/8/2017