Skip to main content
Rural Health Information Hub

Virginia 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.

Effective Examples

Farm Dinner Theater
Added July 2021
  • Need: To encourage farmers to make health and safety changes on their farms.
  • Intervention: Farm Dinner Theater is an event in which farmers and their families watch three 10-minute plays covering health and safety topics and then discuss solutions to the issues addressed in each.
  • Results: In a study, farmers who attended the plays were more likely to make changes and tell others what they learned, compared to farmers who received an educational packet with the same information.

Promising Examples

Proactive Palliative Care and Palliative Radiation Model: Making MyCourse Better
Updated/reviewed July 2021
  • Need: To provide palliative care to patients with stage 4 cancer.
  • Intervention: The Emily Couric Clinical Cancer Center in Charlottesville, Virginia, implemented a three-part program to help these patients manage their symptoms.
  • Results: The Proactive Palliative Care and Palliative Radiation Model enrolled 646 patients during its three-year funding period of 2012-2015.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy The Health Wagon
Updated/reviewed January 2021
  • Need: Healthcare access in Central Appalachia for the medically underserved challenged by social and economic determinants of health, including transportation barriers, food insecurity, poverty, and lack of health insurance.
  • Intervention: Three mobile clinics and 2 stationary clinics provide free health care for people in 16 counties in Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee.
  • Results: By leveraging technology and meeting patients where they are, Health Wagon provided comprehensive healthcare services — including specialty care — to 5,500 patients during 16,000 visit encounters in 2020.

Other Project Examples

funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy University of Virginia Diabetes Tele-Education Program
Updated/reviewed January 2022
  • Need: To educate people in the rural parts of Virginia who either have diabetes or are considered at high risk for developing it.
  • Intervention: Teleconferencing technology is used to offer diabetes education programs to people with diabetes or those at high risk for developing it. Health professionals are also indirectly trained in diabetes care and management.
  • Results: Participants reported better prevention techniques and/or self-management of diabetes after being thoroughly educated about this condition.
Military Medics and Corpsmen Program
Updated/reviewed September 2021
  • Need: To help veterans transition into civilian healthcare careers.
  • Intervention: MMAC and healthcare employers in urban and rural Virginia provide employment and education opportunities to veterans seeking civilian medical credentials.
  • Results: MMAC has accepted 954 applicants into the program, 361 of whom have already found employment via the MMAC program.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy On the Move! Unlawful Narcotics Investigations, Treatment & Education (Operation UNITE)
Updated/reviewed February 2021
  • Need: To decrease illicit drug and alcohol use in the Central Appalachian region of Kentucky, where many schools had no type of prevention curriculum.
  • Intervention: Using engaging simulations and presentations, the project delivers substance use prevention education to middle school and high school students.
  • Results: Post-test surveys show that thousands of students are reached through the "On the Move!" project and gain positive knowledge on the dangers of substance use.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Nelson County School Nurse Program
Updated/reviewed April 2020
  • Need: Low rates of immunization and a lack of knowledge about physical health among school age children in the rural areas of Nelson County, Virginia.
  • Intervention: A School Nurse Program placed a registered nurse in each of the four county public schools to track and encourage immunization compliance, provide health education, and handle students' daily health issues.
  • Results: School-age children are having many of their minor health concerns addressed throughout the day by registered nurses at school. Compliance for childhood immunizations is now extremely high.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Bridges to Care Transitions-Remote Home Monitoring and Chronic Disease Self-Management
Updated/reviewed December 2019
  • Need: Decrease hospital readmissions and emergency room visits for patients in rural Tidewater, Virginia.
  • Intervention: After inpatient admission or ER visit, identify at-risk patients to offer enrollment in remote monitoring and disease self-management education and coaching, with a special focus on behavioral health wellness.
  • Results: Decreased readmissions and ER visits paired with high patient satisfaction scores.
Together With Veterans Rural Suicide Prevention Program
Added December 2019
  • Need: Suicide among veterans has been steadily increasing, and rural veterans have a 20% increased risk of death by suicide compared to urban veterans.
  • Intervention: A program called Together With Veterans was formed to help rural communities address and prevent suicides among veterans. The initiative is veteran-led, collaborative, evidence-based, and community-centered.
  • Results: The program is currently in 6 states and reaches over 1,500 veterans every quarter while nurturing connections between agencies and community members.

Last Updated: 1/12/2022