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2018 Rural Health Champions

Read the Press Release: HRSA recognizes champions of rural health

On February 28, 2018, HRSA recognized seven awardees for their work in developing and implementing innovative strategies; adopting evidence-based/promising practice models; influencing health policy; leading sustainable advancements in increasing access to health care; and improving health care quality within rural communities. The champions also exhibited success in disseminating their lessons learned beyond local audiences and exhibiting leadership through mentoring, coaching and partnerships.

Category Rural Health Champion

Information Dissemination

  • Demonstrates how the organization spreads lessons learned about CBD funded project to the target population and beyond to: community at large; local audiences; state audiences; national audiences.
  • Utilizes varied and tailored communications based on audience (e.g. social media, radio, publications and presentations etc.)

Tri-County Health Network (Telluride, CO)
Community Based Division (CBD) Programs: Network Development; Outreach and Benefits Counseling

Tri-County Health Network used a multi-modal campaign to establish their brand, foster awareness, and ultimately share information and lesson learned about their HRSA-funded program. These activities include, livestreaming on Facebook (had over 2,700 views of three live streams talking about Medicaid and the marketplace), partnering with a local restaurant/nightclub to reach millennials and having materials in both Spanish and English.


  • Demonstrates contribution to the improvement of health of rural communities through successfully shaping rural policy change.
  • Promotes policy initiatives to improve health and health care access, quality and affordability.
  • Adopts strategies to develop policy, leading change and guiding healthcare delivery within the community.

Chautauqua County Health Network (Jamestown, NY)
CBD Program: Rural Health Care Coordination Network Partnership Program

Chautauqua County Health Network has adopted the Collective Impact Model as a framework for multi-sector planning, alignment, and change that is showing positive impacts on heart disease outcomes. Efforts to align clinical and community supports is allowing Chautauqua to build "systemness" and relationship that empower their residents, promote health, support a holistic disease management, and make them more accountable to one another.


  • Demonstrates how grant funded activities will continue beyond the length of the grant period.
  • Programs diversify and leverage federal grant funds to include other public and private funding sources in program delivery.

Clallam County Public Hospital District # 1 (Forks, WA)
CBD Program: Rural Health Network Development Planning Program

Clallam County is part of the Community Based Long-Term Care Network (CBLTCN) that includes 10 rural public hospital districts dispersed throughout Washington State. They selected a “deconstructed” Program for the All-Inclusive Care of the Elderly (PACE) model. Proposed services include Network level RN Care Coordination and home tele-monitoring. In addition, they proposed to embed community care coordinators in local primary care to provide phone and home visiting support and to coordinate with primary care. They are also working with their State partners to have certain communities declared underserved for home health, which under federal law, allows the Rural Health Clinic to be reimbursed for home visits, making their effort potentially sustainable after the federal funding ends.

Creative Partnerships

  • Demonstrates creative application of network partnership in order to improve access and quality health care.

Arkansas Rural Health Partnership (Lake Village, AR)
CBD Program: Delta States Rural Development Network Grant Program

Arkansas Rural Health Partnership is a horizontal hospital organization comprised of 10, independently owned, rural hospitals; who expanded services via partnerships to an additional 19 counties as well as diversifying partnership which span the health department, university, community health centers, and relevant coalitions and alliances. This partnership shows collaboration with non-traditional partners through its diversity and utility.


  • Developed or introduced an influential, innovative approach to health care financing and/or health care delivery to improve access or coordination of care.

All American Families dba Families Plus (Delta, CO)
CBD Program: Rural Health Care Services Outreach Program

Families Plus was created by therapists who were frustrated working with children in child protection cases and over time developed an emerging wraparound system of care for children growing up in challenging circumstances. Families Plus now uses Wraparound as an evidence-base promising practice model to deliver healthcare in a person-centered way. The Wraparound process is strongly supported by the State of Colorado and is reimbursable through Medicaid.

Evidence-based models

  • Demonstrates creative work of particular effectiveness in applying scientific knowledge or innovative organizational work to the betterment of rural community health.

Bay Rivers Telehealth Alliance (Tappahannock, VA)
CBD Program: Rural Health Care Services Outreach Program

Bay Rivers Telehealth Alliance’s project, The Bridges to Care Transitions project, was built around a creative integration of three evidence-based models of care in order to improve access to and quality of rural health care among an older population with chronic ill health and high rates of hospital (re)admission. The three models include: The Coleman Model®; The Healthy IDEAS Model; and The Stanford Model for Chronic Disease Self-Management.


  • Organization exemplifies achievements in public health that have promoted health prevention, network development and/or outreach.
  • Promotes knowledge development in the areas of rural health access, delivery and innovation through mentoring, coaching and partnerships.

The Health Enrichment Network (Oakdale, LA)
CBD Program: Delta States Rural Development Network Program

This network describes their leadership as 360-degree Leadership where they lead in the middle when transferring vision; lead down when working with and training professionals; lead across when extending resources of like-minded organizations; and leading up when addressing policy issues with various state departments and the state legislature.

Date Last Reviewed:  February 2018