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.
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. The program partners with faith communities in North Carolina to fund and support their health initiatives through collaborative partnerships.
Results: Since its founding in 2009, over 900 churches have become a part of the PHW, many in rural areas, and over 600 mini-grants have been awarded to congregations.
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.
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.
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.
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.