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Fam Community Health. 2003 Jul-Sep;26(3):230-45.

Meeting the needs of rural populations through interdisciplinary partnerships.

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1
The Center for Rural Health Professions, College of Medicine, University of Illinois-Rockford, 61107, USA.

Abstract

This article describes the organization and outcomes of a Rural Health Outreach Initiative (RHOI) designed to increase collaboration between the medical education and health care delivery sectors to improve the quality of health care delivery and health outcomes in rural communities. Two inter-related partnership strategies were utilized in rural communities to address the health and social service needs of rural populations. The partnerships were created through the efforts of a rural health professions education program located in a community-based medical school. The two partnership models were implemented at the same time and target the same rural populations. Both strategies relied upon interdisciplinary collaborations to achieve their goals and outcomes. One strategy involved the creation of partnerships among rural medical students and the projects they initiate, using the model of community oriented primary care (COPC). The second strategy involved the establishment of partnerships by a variety of rural, community-based entities that resulted from a three-year Health Resources and Services Administration Rural Health Outreach grant that supported a "mini-grant" program. This article summarizes the process and results of these innovative collaborations that occurred at two levels: (1) between health and service institutions representing multiple disciplines and (2) between academic institutions and local communities. Specific attention is given to projects that resulted from the work of the partnerships that address the needs of older adults residing in the rural communities. The two strategies are compared and implications for the success of similar efforts are discussed.

PMID:
12829945
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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