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: 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.
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.
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.
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 along with referral information.
Need: Agriculture workers and their families have high rates of psychological distress and suicide, but limited access to mental health services.
Intervention: The "Sowing the Seeds of Hope" (SSoH) program was created to provide affordable and culturally appropriate mental health services to individuals working in agriculture and their families in Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
Results: The regional program ran from 1999-2014 and successfully established a variety of interventions to help individuals in rural communities' access behavioral health services.
Need: Rural Wisconsin communities experience threatened healthcare infrastructure due to workforce shortages.
Intervention: The Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative, in partnership with the Wisconsin Office of Rural Health, created a youth program to increase awareness of health-related professions known as Club Scrub.
Results: Middle-school students attend the program and gain a better understanding of career options in the healthcare industry.