Facilitators to Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Programming
The following factors can facilitate the success of rural health promotion and disease
Access to local leaders: Local leaders, providers, and
community organizations can support health promotion efforts. Local leaders who are recognized within the
community can help to increase
program buy-in and ownership among participants. “Program champions” can also serve as
unofficial leaders and can help increase community buy-in.
Strong relationships: Forming close partnerships can increase the potential for success.
Organizations with similar missions can work together to achieve similar goals, organize local support and
community buy-in, and maximize the use and efficient allocation of resources.
Common social centers: Health promotion and disease prevention programs can use local
gathering spots like parks, churches, schools, city centers, and social clubs to reach large numbers of
people. Involving participants through these social avenues can build trust in and commitment to the
Flexibility: It may be necessary to adapt programs as they are implemented to address
challenges or accommodate local circumstances. Plan ahead, troubleshoot, and maintain flexibility to
while remaining true to the program’s primary purpose.
Importance of word of mouth: Word of mouth can help establish credibility and trust of
rural programs. Use social networking strategies and understanding of community dynamics to spread
positive program messages.
Other characteristics of successful rural health programs include using evidence-based models, community
engagement, partnerships, sustainability plans, and evaluation. These factors are described in the Rural Community Health Toolkit.