Rural Public Health Agencies Models and Innovations
These stories feature model programs and successful rural projects that can serve as a source of ideas and provide lessons others have learned. Some of the projects or programs may no longer be active. Read about the criteria and evidence-base for programs included.
Updated/reviewed January 2019
- Need: Two rural upstate New York counties struggled to provide necessary public health leadership and services amid a fluid environment with rising costs and funding limitations.
- Intervention: The Genesee County and Orleans County health departments began a cross jurisdictional sharing relationship that integrated select functions and services, beginning with sharing a director and deputy director.
- Results: By sharing personnel and functions, management personnel costs have been cut in half and both counties have saved over $1 million for the counties combined.
Updated/reviewed November 2018
- Need: Oral healthcare for low-income adults and children unable to obtain dental care in the Mid-Ohio Valley of West Virginia.
- Intervention: Public health dental hygienists act as gatekeepers, screening low-income clients and placing them with area dental providers who volunteer, from their private practices, to provide needed dental treatment.
- Results: Reduces the number of emergency department visits for dental pain and infections and provides a safety net for those unable to afford dental treatment.
Updated/reviewed October 2018
- Need: To lessen the impact of chronic disease and associated complications in North Carolina.
- Intervention: Partners in Health and Wholeness, an initiative of the NC Council of Churches, is a faith-based program that integrates healthy living within congregations while offering financial support to launch or expand health initiatives.
- Results: Since its founding in 2009, over 500 churches have become a part of the PHW, many in rural areas, and over 375 mini-grants have been awarded to congregations.
Added September 2018
- Need: Public health departments in Colorado's rural San Luis Valley region desired to share public health services to improve health outcomes in the region.
- Intervention: Six counties joined in a public health cross-jurisdictional sharing arrangement. The partnership has served as a forum for sharing and evaluating opportunities to improve health access and core public health services.
- Results: The partnership has enabled health departments to share expertise and develop regional projects to provide a broader range of public health services.
Updated/reviewed August 2018
- Need: To increase access to healthcare throughout Alabama.
- Intervention: The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) has created telehealth communications at county health departments.
- Results: ADPH telehealth services are currently available in 48 of 66 county health departments.
Updated/reviewed August 2018
- Need: To help inform rural residents in southeast Nebraska about their health insurance options under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
- Intervention: A public health department provided outreach and enrollment assistance and worked with other key community organizations to help get clients the information and services they need.
- Results: 525 individuals were reached at 22 outreach events: 123 individuals received general education on the ACA, 25 received enrollment assistance, and 19 had an eligibility determination.
Added August 2018
- Need: To prevent new cases of HIV in rural Iowa.
- Intervention: TelePrEP provides preventive care via telehealth and prescription delivery.
- Results: 90 patients have been enrolled.
Added January 2018
- Need: To expand public health and human services to adults living in rural West Central Missouri.
- Intervention: The Health Care Collaborative of Rural Missouri's Network organizes Project Connect events, a 1-day public health event that offers free public health and human services to underserved adults.
- Results: In 2017 alone, Project Connect events provided a total of 6,880 incidents of services to guests, a $232,000 value.
Updated/reviewed August 2017
- Need: Students in rural communities lacked access to healthcare services, resulting in poor school performance.
- Intervention: The Visiting School Nurse program was created to improve access to health care for 6,000 students in Fulton County, Illinois.
- Results: After the three years of the grant-funded program, the program continues to serve one school district and staff with a variety of health services and educational campaigns.
Updated/reviewed February 2017
- Need: Rural areas nationwide have shortages of primary care providers and home health programs.
- Intervention: Eagle County Paramedic Services is utilizing community paramedics in the provision of non-acute home care and assistance with immunizations and screenings in rural areas where it is difficult for these services to be accessed.
- Results: The pilot program was featured at the 2010 International Roundtable on Community Paramedicine. After 18 months of implementing the program, a net total of $288,028 in healthcare costs was saved.
Last Updated: 1/14/2019