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.
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.
Added December 2017
- 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 December 2017
- Need: To help rural Nebraska local health departments (LHDs) learn about the Affordable Care Act so they can help inform their communities about health insurance options under the ACA.
- Intervention: In 2014-2016 via their statewide association, Nebraska LHDs received education online and by webinar on the ACA along with support to conduct outreach activities using health literacy strategies.
- Results: During initial activity, all eligible Nebraska rural member LHDs (16) conducted outreach events. 912 participants attended, with 334 receiving one-on-one help.
Updated/reviewed November 2017
- 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 most-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 September 2017
- Need: To change the health profile of 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 475 churches have become certified with PHW, many in rural areas, and over 350 mini-grants have been awarded to congregations.
Added August 2017
- Need: To increase access to healthcare for Alabama patients.
- Intervention: The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) has created telehealth communications to increase efficiency among ADPH statewide programs and to partner with external healthcare partners to use county health departments as telehealth originating sites.
- Results: The Alabama Public Health Telehealth Network is currently available in 21 of 66 county health departments, with plans to expand to as many as 59 counties by December 2018.
Updated/reviewed August 2017
- 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.
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: 1/12/2018