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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.

Promising Examples

TelePrEP
Updated/reviewed September 2020
  • Need: To prevent new cases of HIV in rural Iowa.
  • Intervention: TelePrEP provides preventive care via telehealth and prescription delivery.
  • Results: Between February 2017 and August 2020, TelePrEP received 456 referrals, with 403 patients completing an initial visit.

Other Project Examples

ADPH Telehealth Program
Updated/reviewed August 2020
  • 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 65 of 66 county health departments.
San Luis Valley Public Health Partnership
Updated/reviewed December 2019
  • 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.
Smiles for Life
Updated/reviewed November 2019
  • 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.
HCC of Rural Missouri's Project Connect Event
Updated/reviewed April 2019
  • 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 2018 alone, Project Connect events provided a total of 8,870 incidents of services to guests, a $302,000 value.
Genesee and Orleans County Cross Jurisdictional Sharing Project (GO Health)
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.
Partners in Health and Wholeness
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.

Last Updated: 9/16/2020