Rural Health Care Transformation Webinar Series

From Sticking Point to Tipping Point: Overcoming Rural Health Improvement Challenges

Are you stymied with how to address a particular health improvement challenge in your rural community? Developing a comprehensive communications strategy, transitioning the mindset of a community, or improving the food and built environments to support healthier choices can all be challenging, but the process doesn’t have to be overwhelming. With many of these challenges, a process of small but proven, well-choreographed steps can begin to tip the scales in your favor for success. In each of our free webinars, we show you how to start the process to solve a specific challenge in your community and offer you valuable tools and resources that can help. 

Upcoming webinar: 

Stay tuned for more information.



Past Webinar Recordings & Resources

Leveraging Electronic Health Records to Maximize Community Impact

Health care systems have a readily available resource at their fingertips to help in understanding the health of the community and to inform their community health improvement work. The electronic health record can be used as a real time surveillance tool to assess the health of the community and provide guidance in determining strategies to meet the residents’ health needs. The EHR not only serves as an assessment tool, but can also be used as an evaluation tool to monitor progress toward your health improvement goals in real time allowing for changes in strategies as needed. In 30 minutes learn how the Heart of New Ulm Project used the EHR in the decision making process for program design and delivery to reduce the prevalence of heart disease and diabetes in the community.

View our Data Surveillance resource here..

Originally presented August 20, 2020

Communications: A Comprehensive Strategy

Developing a comprehensive communications strategy, transitioning the mindset of a community, or improving the food and built environments to support healthier choices can all be challenging, but the process doesn’t have to be overwhelming. With many of these challenges a process of small, but proven, well-choreographed steps can begin to tip the scales in your favor.

Throughout this webinar you will learn the key steps necessary for impact. These steps were critical in achieving a 94% brand awareness in just the first year of our ten-year rural community health initiative, the Heart of New Ulm Project, and maintaining brand awareness at 90% throughout all ten years.

Access the Tailor Communications for IMPACT handout here. 

Originally presented June 18, 2020

Broadening Community Engagement

Community engagement was one of the top challenges identified in the Rural Health Transformation Survey we conducted earlier this year. This Broadening Community Engagement webinar is designed to help you overcome that challenge. Broadening how we think about community engagement can help us expand our reach, engage new partners and help stretch our limited dollars further.

Broadening Community Engagement Webinar Handout

Originally presented May 13, 2020

Getting Community Partners Decisively On Board

For a community health improvement initiative to succeed, it’s critical to engage a diverse array of both traditional and nontraditional partners. However, in order to motivate those nontraditional partners to truly buy in to the vision and the work, you need to learn to speak their language. You need to be able to answer their “why” questions in a way they can understand and embrace. From the business community to governmental organizations, we share specific examples of how we successfully brought partners on board for a recent award-winning rural community health improvement initiative. Discover the essential dos and don’ts when building your partner relationships.  

Download the Coalition Survey handout mentioned at the end of the webinar. 

Originally presented June 20, 2019.

Helping Leaders Move from Buy-in to Ownership

Health care is moving beyond hospital and clinic walls and out into communities. Yet many community health initiatives struggle to be seen as something other than a hospital program, which is simply not sustainable in the long run. The MHIF population health team will share how they successfully moved the rural community of New Ulm, Minn., from buy-in to ownership of their award-winning rural community health improvement initiative. Discover a process that will guide you on the right path in your own community.

Creatively Leveraging Resources for Additional Capacity

Do you often hear, “We don’t have the resources to do that”? If we start to think of ourselves as resource rich rather than resource poor, we begin to see things in a whole new light. Who has more resources at their disposal than a rural health system as long as we take a hard look at what we have and how we can best use those resources. Small rural communities are known for their great partnerships in order to make things happen. Learn what other potential resources are available to make your work easier or at least to get a program or initiative established.

After attending this webinar, attendees will be able to:

1) Identify two organizations that provide services at little to no cost other than time.

2) Leverage limited resources by partnering with community partners to do the work.

Community Capacity Building Resources Webinar Handout

Originally presented February 26, 2020

Advocacy 101: Working with Local Government to Influence Change

Local governments are often a key player in improving community health, but it can be difficult to navigate the sometimes confusing and perceived obstacles of their decision making processes. Understanding these processes and how to influence change within local government is critical when making a request to adopt a policy or systems change to support health on a population health scale. We share lessons learned from our on-the-ground experience and guide you through the steps to successful advocacy.

Download the Advocacy 101 Webinar Handout

Originally presented December 11, 2019

Social Marketing for Community Health Transformation

Accelerate a culture of health within a community by using social marketing strategies to advance the impact of policy, systems and environmental changes. Explore how to layer evidence-based interventions, and physical environment enhancements and policy changes with strategic social marketing campaigns to successfully drive lifestyle behavior change among residents.

Originally presented November 12, 2019

Creating Action Teams to Change the Food Environment: Through Community Partnerships & Engagement

Want to increase the accessibility of nutritious healthful foods in your community? Understanding the food environment in a community is critical to understanding where the opportunities for change exist. Engaging residents involved in the food environment whether on the periphery or in the thick of food preparation or delivery systems helps expand the opportunities and supports the development of strong partnerships that can create a supportive environment where healthful food options are more abundant and affordable. Learn how the award winning Hearts Beat Back®: The Heart of New Ulm Project food action team were able to impact the food environment while solidifying and expanding on partnerships that work collectively to improve healthful food options for New Ulm residents.

Originally presented October 15, 2019

Improving Restaurant Food Environments to Support Healthful Food Choices

Making it easier for community residents to select healthier food choices requires strategic consumer messaging layered with policy, systems and environmental changes for support. In this 30-minute session, we’ll discuss how to effectively partner with community restaurants to improve healthful food availability, identification and selection, as well as provide an overview of how to measure and monitor change based on our 10-year experience building the award-winning Hearts Beat Back®: The Heart of New Ulm Project. Ultimately, success was not about “telling” restaurants what to do. Success required thoughtful efforts to build sustainable restaurant partnerships.

Originally presented September 19, 2019

Using Telemedicine to Reach Your Population Targets

Collaborative, technology-driven models may improve care for residents living in rural communities. This webinar describes the HeartBeat Connections primary prevention program and the ENHANCED diabetes study. These programs were implemented in two rural communities—New Um and Hutchinson, Minnesota.  They aimed to reduce cardiovascular disease risk within the respective rural populations by leveraging the expertise of registered dietitians (RDNs) and registered nurses (RNs). By providing health coaching and implementing a medication protocol over the phone, RDNs and RNs were able to extend the reach and contact frequency of primary care providers while simultaneously optimizing major risk factors for cardiovascular disease including cholesterol, blood pressure, blood glucose, nutrition, exercise, stress, and medication adherence. By collaborating with the local healthcare system, these programs illustrate that RDNs and RNs can effectively deliver primary and secondary prevention programs remotely via telephone to maximize positive health outcomes for patients living in rural areas.

Originally presented August 22, 2019

Maximize Impact with a Comprehensive Communications Strategy

When you strategically infiltrate a community with targeted key messages you can accelerate a cultural shift toward health and wellness. In 60 minutes, you will complete a personalized assessment to determine gaps in your health communication strategy. Understanding these gaps will propel you and your key stakeholders into action. We share the key steps necessary for impact, which were critical in achieving a 94 percent brand awareness among adults within one rural community in one year and maintaining brand awareness at 90 percent throughout the 10-year initiative.

Download the handout mentioned at the end of the webinar.

Originally presented May 31, 2019

We can help you make an impact in your community.

For more information on how our population health solutions can help your community create and sustain a thriving culture of health and wellness, please check out our services.

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