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.
Updated/reviewed October 2019
- Need: To enhance palliative care access to rural patients with advanced cancer or heart failure 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 higher quality of life and lower rates of depression and (caregiver) burden.
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 August 2020
- Need: Increase access to medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder in rural Vermont.
- Intervention: Statewide hub-and-spoke treatment access system.
- Results: Increased treatment capacity and care coordination.
Updated/reviewed July 2018
- Need: To improve the 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 in communities that face shortages of mental health professionals.
- Results: These telepsychiatry consultations have eased the burden on nursing home residents by saving travel time, distance, and money it takes to travel to the nearest tertiary facility.
Updated/reviewed February 2021
- Need: In Vermont, the growing population of older adults, coupled with a lack of a decentralized, home-based system of care management, poses significant challenges for those who want 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 have been documented to have better health outcomes, including fewer falls, lower rates of hospitalizations, fewer emergency room visits, and lower Medicare and Medicaid expenditures.
Updated/reviewed October 2020
- Need: To reduce barriers to accessing healthcare for immigrant farmworkers in the rural areas of Vermont.
- Intervention: Bridges to Health uses care coordination and health promoters to reduce barriers to accessing healthcare on an individual level. The program offers targeted technical assistance to address systemic barriers at health access points in areas with high numbers of immigrant farmworkers.
- Results: Some barriers to accessing healthcare have been reduced or removed for immigrant farmworkers in certain counties.
Other Project Examples
Updated/reviewed April 2021
- Need: Ending a local Vermont population's homelessness experience.
- Intervention: In 2010, Pathways Vermont implemented a first-of-its-kind, rural-focused Housing First program in order to provide housing and support services to those with mental health and substance use conditions experiencing homelessness.
- Results: Since its initial start-up, Pathways Vermont has assisted over 560 Vermonters — about 70% from rural areas — experiencing homelessness using the Housing First model. The organization has collaborated with the state mental health department, corrections department, local healthcare systems and providers, and other organizations to end homelessness. In addition, programmatic work has expanded to reach other local populations, including veterans and at-risk families.
Updated/reviewed July 2019
- 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, reduced thefts by over 32%, and had a 50% improvement on a neighborhood quality of life survey.
Updated/reviewed February 2019
- Need: Improved health and safety for Vermont farmers, farmworkers, and their families.
- Intervention: The Vermont Farm Health & Safety Coalition works on advancing policies and programs focused on the shared health and safety needs of farmers, farmworkers and farm families living and working on our Vermont farms. It also provides education to farmers and medical providers on risks, safety measures, and treatment for farm injuries.
- Results: Occupational safety trainings, educational events, and recent projects specific to migrant farmworkers, women in farming, and farm fire safety have improved farm safety awareness in rural Vermont and surrounding states.
Last Updated: 4/3/2021