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Rural Health Information Hub

Wisconsin 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.

Promising Examples

Tomah Hearing Loss Prevention Outreach
Updated/reviewed November 2022
  • Need: Farmers are highly susceptible to permanent hearing loss due to prolonged exposure to loud machinery and livestock.
  • Intervention: Faculty and students from the audiology department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison supplied earplugs, free hearing testing, and hearing loss prevention education to attendees and participants at a local tractor pull.
  • Results: More than 16,000 pairs of earplugs have been distributed, and attendees have been receptive to the hearing loss prevention education provided by the audiology team.

Other Project Examples

Wisconsin Rural Women's Initiative
Updated/reviewed November 2022
  • Need: To provide personal development programs to ease isolation and provide resources for farm and rural women of Wisconsin.
  • Intervention: Wisconsin Rural Women's Initiative (WRWI) develops self-sustaining women's circles that work to maintain social connections and develop healthy practices in order to break down the isolating effects of rural living.
  • Results: WRWI has worked with rural and farm women in 67 counties, providing services that encourage and build self-esteem, teach skills for coping with change, and create an ongoing support system.
funded by the Health Resources Services Administration Scenic Bluffs Community Health Center Insurance Help Team
Updated/reviewed October 2022
  • Need: To help inform western Wisconsin residents about their health insurance options under the Affordable Care Act.
  • Intervention: Certified application counselors provide assistance in outreach locations around the region.
  • Results: In the past year, more than 1,000 people received guidance on health insurance through this program, with 253 individuals enrolling in health insurance.
Wisconsin Collaborative for Rural Graduate Medical Education
Updated/reviewed October 2022
  • Need: Primary care physicians in the rural areas of Wisconsin.
  • Intervention: A GME collaborative was created that provides leadership, technical assistance, and support for expanding rural graduate medical education in Wisconsin.
  • Results: The collaborative expanded rural graduate medical education opportunities which now include over 20 rural training programs. There are several residencies and fellowship opportunities in specialties ranging from family medicine to surgery, obstetrics/gynecology, psychiatry, and more.
Wisconsin Early Education Shared Service Network
Updated/reviewed October 2022
  • Need: Throughout the state of Wisconsin, childcare services are closing rapidly, with staffing and finance issues as the main causes.
  • Intervention: In Wisconsin's Monroe and Vernon Counties, a collaborative that focuses on addressing key childcare access issues has come up with a creative solution. The Wisconsin Early Education Shared Services Network allows childcare providers to pool staff, resources, and services while receiving support for business and educational operations.
  • Results: As of September 2022, 25 child care programs in Monroe and Vernon Counties have joined WEESSN and more are considering. Joining has allowed child care providers to focus their time, finances, and energy on the children they serve.
Fostering Futures in Menominee Nation
Updated/reviewed August 2022
  • Need: Since the late 1800's, trauma caused by historic events have greatly affected the way of life for Menominee Indians living on the Menominee Reservation. Economic, socioeconomic, behavioral health, and physical health issues have risen and are causing direct implications for Menominee youth.
  • Intervention: Through Fostering Futures, clinic, school, and Head Start/Early Head Start staff are trained in administering trauma-informed care and building resilience among children.
  • Results: Behavioral health visits at the Menominee Tribal Clinic have increased, school suspension rates have decreased, and graduation rates have improved from 60% to 94% since 2008.
funded by the Health Resources Services Administration Implementation of a Nursing Veterans' Initiative to Transform Education (INVITE)
Updated/reviewed August 2022
  • Need: To support rural veterans pursuing a career in nursing.
  • Intervention: The INVITE program improved the curriculum and reworked admission requirements to better support veteran students' experiences in the College of St. Scholastica undergraduate nursing program.
  • Results: The number of veterans pursuing nursing has more than doubled since program implementation, and all students have reported an increased interest in serving rural communities.
Rescue Divas EMT Recruitment
Updated/reviewed June 2022
  • Need: Increased number of emergency medical technicians in rural northern Wisconsin.
  • Intervention: Creation of a program, Rescue Divas, for middle school girls to spark interest in emergency medical services careers.
  • Results: Post-participation results demonstrate the camp increases interest in an emergency medical services career.
Farm Assessment and Rehabilitation Methods (FARM) Program
Updated/reviewed January 2021
  • Need: To help farmers with disabilities continue farming while protecting their well-being.
  • Intervention: The FARM program helps disabled or ill farmers continue to operate and work their Wisconsin farms.
  • Results: Since 2009, the FARM Program has helped over 3,000 farmers continue to farm, resume farming, or find an alternative agricultural occupation.
Rural Health Initiative: Kitchen Wellness Program
Updated/reviewed November 2020
  • Need: Preventive and chronic medical condition care for farm families/agribusiness owners/employees with time and monetary constraints.
  • Intervention: Through a "Kitchen Wellness" program, a trained healthcare professional provides in-home or on-site complimentary preventive health screening, educational materials, and community referral information.
  • Results: Completion of hundreds of health screenings, tailored health education sessions and referral information.

Last Updated: 11/30/2022