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: 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.
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: Improve healthcare access and decrease chronic disease disparities in rural Appalachia.
Intervention: A community health worker-based Chronic Care Management program demonstrated such a level of success in a single West Virginia county that it was further scaled for implementation in a multi-center, 3-state area of Appalachia.
Results: When analysis of the disseminated program's results also demonstrated improved health outcomes and decreased healthcare costs, sustainability became possible due to innovative financial reimbursement models.
Need: To help children whose family members are struggling with substance misuse.
Intervention: A year-round program provides mentoring as well as substance use prevention education.
Results: In 2022, Camp Mariposa served a total of 123 youth in its four rural locations in Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, and West Virginia. In a study, 93% of participants reported no use of any substance to get high.
Need: Coordinated approach to healthcare delivery in central and southern West Virginia.
Intervention: Creation of a nonprofit organization that focused on quality and collaboration.
Results: With an ability to provide services that meet the evolving needs of patients, providers, and communities, the organization provides unique services, such as a credentialing service and web-based data sharing care management tool.
Need: Comprehensive cancer services for residents of an 8-county, 3-state area in Appalachia.
Intervention: Using a Cancer Patient Navigation Tool Kit, a Maryland acute care facility led a multidisciplinary collaboration that provided the area's patients with expanded cancer treatment services.
Results: In addition to several new cancer-related programs, expanded services are now available for cancer patients, families, and cancer survivors.