Promising Practices

NOSORH publishes monthly Promising Practice articles to bring attention to the innovative, effective and valuable work of State Offices of Rural Health. Promising Practices help you learn about, share and replicate the incredible rural health initiatives happening across the country.

2020

  • Suppers in Virginia Give Rural Folks a Chance to Meet and Share Information
    “Come to supper!” is the invitation extended recently by the Virginia State Office of Rural Health (VA SORH). As a result, folks across rural Virginia have gathered to eat barbecue and discuss what is going on in their communities. “We figure that people relax when they are eating, and that the conversation will flow a little freer than it would if someone is standing up in front of the room and asking questions,” said Heather Anderson, VA SORH Director. The community suppers, based on the World Cafe method, sprang out of the SORH’s efforts to update the Virginia Rural Health Plan (VRHP), Anderson said. “We know what the data says, but we don’t know what is working in a community necessarily,” she said. “We wanted to hear from people we don’t always hear from—and who typically don’t get to hear from one another.”

2019

  • New Report Highlights the Health Status of Rural Missourians
    Fifty-five counties in rural Missouri are now without a hospital. Death rates are higher for rural Missourians than urban in each of the top ten causes of death. These and other statistics are included in a new report that looks at the health status of rural Missourians. Health in Rural Missouri: (Biennial Report 2018-2019) looks at demographic characteristics and other factors, as it has in prior reports. But this year the entire report was done through the lens of social determinants of health.
  • Sowing the Seeds of Healthy Eating in Rural Indiana
    Thanks in part to the Indiana State Office of Rural Health (Indiana SORH), rural residents in Allen County, Indiana, soon will have the opportunity to take classes on cooking and healthy eating through the HEALing Seeds program. The Our HEALing Kitchen (OHK) program, which began in 2015 in urban areas of Allen County, in and near Fort Wayne, has been rebranded as HEALing Seeds for its launch in rural, said Laura Dwire, Community Programs Manager for the St. Joseph Community Health Foundation (SJCHF), which manages and is the fiscal agent for HEALing Seeds. OHK is cosponsored by SJCHF and Parkview Health.
  • Forum on Aging in Rural Oregon Brings Together Innovative Ideas and Programs
    In rural and frontier Oregon, as in many other parts of the country, the aging population is rising, bringing new challenges to healthcare and other services. To address these needs, the Oregon Office of Rural Health (ORH) hosts the annual Forum on Aging in Rural Oregon. “We bring people together who are working on aging issues, to share best practices and learn from each other,” said Robert Duehmig, ORH Interim Director. “It’s important that Oregon’s rural and frontier communities are supportive of the aging population, so folks don’t have to leave when their care needs increase.
  • NY State Office of Rural Health Leans Into More Efficient Work
    Using Lean, a concept originally developed to eliminate waste in Japanese manufacturing, the New York State Office of Rural Health (NYSORH) recently embarked on a project to find more efficiency in the way its operates. The effort was part of the New York State’s broader Lean Initiative.
  • Educational Partnership Reaches Rural California Communities
    Rural migrants and other immigrant Latinos in California are becoming better informed on issues that affect their health thanks to a partnership between the California State Office of Rural Health and the California Department of Public Health’s Office of Binational Border Health. Since the partnership offered its first workshop in March 2015, community health workers, also known as promotores, have been trained on emerging health issues that impact migrant, seasonal, and agricultural workers.
  • Iowa Project Promotes Healthcare Careers Early
    With an increasing shortage of rural healthcare workers, Iowa needs to recruit locally and early. That’s the idea behind the Opportunities in Health Sciences: Iowa Career Pathways, which helps high school students (and adult workers who are looking for a career change) navigate toward healthcare careers.The Opportunities in Health Sciences project came about through the efforts of the Iowa State Office of Rural Health, which saw the need to recruit rural students Read More
  • Innovative Program Teaches Colorado Providers to Be Rural Leaders
    Teaching rural providers to be better advocates for their patients and their communities was the goal of an innovative program conducted recently by the Colorado Rural Health Center (CRHC) in partnership with the Center for Creative Leadership. “Through the Rural Colorado Primary Care Leaders program, we worked to educate 48 rural primary care providers on how to create grassroots advocacy efforts in their community,” said Michelle Mills, CEO of CRHC. “The ultimate goal of the program was to create a peer network of rural providers in the state.”
  • Community Cafes in Alaska Give People a Say in Their Health Care
    Often the best ideas on community healthcare come from community members themselves—especially when they are engaging in active discussions with healthcare providers and others. That’s the idea behind community cafes, sponsored by the Alaska State Office of Rural Health, which are being held in small towns in the state. “Last spring we told all our Critical Access Hospitals that we can come to their communities to facilitate a conversation on whatever topics they want,” said Heidi Hedberg, AK-SORH Director.
  • Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health Puts Focus on Rural Human Trafficking
    Human trafficking doesn’t just happen in big cities in the United States—it happens in rural areas as well. Lisa Davis, Director of the Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health (PORH), is working to bring more attention to this issue. Davis said her interest in human trafficking came unexpectedly, at a presentation given at a Pennsylvania Critical Access Hospital Consortium meeting in November 2017.
  • NC Office of Rural Health Helps Rural Providers Get Connected to HIT
    Behavioral and other healthcare providers in rural North Carolina are getting connected to the statewide health information exchange thanks to the state’s Office of Rural Health Information Technology (ORH HIT) program. The ORH HIT program evolved from the North Carolina 2015 Health Information Exchange Act (HIE Act), which mandates that healthcare providers that bill for Medicaid or receive state funds for services must connect to NC HealthConnex, the statewide HIE, by June 1, 2019, to continue to receive payments.

 

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