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: 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: 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: 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.
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.