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Rural Health Information Hub

Education and Training of the Rural Healthcare Workforce – 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.

Other Project Examples

Project PROMISE

Updated/reviewed April 2023

  • Need: An increased interest among young people to pursue a medical career in rural North Carolina
  • Intervention: Two medical students started a program that gives high school seniors medical academic training, mentor relationships, and hands-on experience in rural North Carolina facilities.
  • Results: Project PROMISE has graduated 36 high school students, 16 of whom are pursuing an undergraduate degree with an interest in studying medicine. Two students were recently accepted into medical school.

Right Side Up Falls Prevention

Updated/reviewed March 2023

  • Need: Falling is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in adults over the age of 65.
  • Intervention: The Right Side Up program was implemented in rural Otter Tail County to address the prevention and management of falls and risk for falls through in-home assessments given by interdisciplinary healthcare professionals and students.
  • Results: Short-term outcomes revealed 100% of participants found the visit and recommendations for falls prevention to be helpful, and 78% implemented these recommendations.

Simulation in Motion-South Dakota (SIM-SD) EMS Educational Outreach Program

Updated/reviewed February 2023

  • Need: To provide increased educational opportunities for emergency care personnel in rural and frontier South Dakota.
  • Intervention: A technologically advanced training was created to enhance the delivery of emergency patient care.
  • Results: Hundreds of emergency medical services (EMS) staff and volunteers received training that in turn helped them in the field of emergency patient care.

FORWARD NM Pathways to Health Careers

funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy

Updated/reviewed November 2022

  • Need: New Mexico's southwestern counties of Hidalgo, Catron, Luna, and Grant have experienced chronic shortages of primary care providers. New Mexico has the oldest physician population in the country.
  • Intervention: A comprehensive workforce pipeline program, including programming for middle and high school students, undergraduate and graduate students, primary care program students, and medical and dental residents.
  • Results: The program reaches over 1,000 school-aged students throughout the service areas and provides support for students and medical residents in a variety of healthcare-related programs for rural rotation experiences. FORWARD NM received its designation as an Area Health Education Center (AHEC) in 2012.

Wisconsin Collaborative for Rural Graduate Medical Education

Updated/reviewed October 2022

  • Need: Primary care physicians in the rural areas of Wisconsin.
  • Intervention: A GME collaborative was created that provides leadership, technical assistance, and support for expanding rural graduate medical education in Wisconsin.
  • Results: The collaborative expanded rural graduate medical education opportunities which now include over 20 rural training programs. There are several residencies and fellowship opportunities in specialties ranging from family medicine to surgery, obstetrics/gynecology, psychiatry, and more.

Rescue Divas EMT Recruitment

Updated/reviewed June 2022

  • Need: Increased number of emergency medical technicians in rural northern Wisconsin.
  • Intervention: Creation of a program, Rescue Divas, for middle school girls to spark interest in emergency medical services careers.
  • Results: Post-participation results demonstrate the camp increases interest in an emergency medical services career.

Club Scrub

Updated/reviewed August 2020

  • Need: Rural Wisconsin communities experience threatened healthcare infrastructure due to workforce shortages.
  • Intervention: The Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative, in partnership with the Wisconsin Office of Rural Health, created a youth program to increase awareness of health-related professions known as Club Scrub.
  • Results: Middle-school students attend the program and gain a better understanding of career options in the healthcare industry.

Last Updated: 4/28/2023