Center for Advancing Rural Health Care Equity Projects

CARHE Opportunity for Partnership 2024

CARHE is seeking ideas for projects to improve health equity in rural northern New England communities within New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine. This request solicits project ideas from groups interested in receiving project support from CARHE staff and partnering to expand learning and advance equity. Projects will be selected through a competitive review process.

Project ideas are due by 5 pm on March 13, 2024.

For more information, see the following resources: 

Better Oral Health for Rural Children Ages 0-5 Years

Organization: A Partnership of Dartmouth Health’s Population Health Department, Vermont Department of Health, New Hampshire DHHS Oral Health Program, and Pediatric Practices in Vermont and New Hampshire.

Contact: Lynne Chow via email at lynne.c.chow@hitchcock.org

The Vermont Department of Health and CARHE are partnering to train pediatricians in rural Vermont and New Hampshire communities to provide Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF) treatment as a means to halt dental decay in children ages 0-5 years, addressing a significant gap in care for our youngest community members. Early Childhood Caries is the most common disease of childhood in the U.S. Many rural families in Vermont and New Hampshire do not have access to dental care and few have fluoridated water at home. Each year, about 400 children in Vermont undergo general anesthesia for dental issues that may be preventable. SDF is a safe, effective, and minimally invasive treatment that does not involve sedation, local anesthetics, drilling, or filling cavities.

This project is partnering with at least five pediatric medical practices on the integration and use of SDF to treat Early Childhood Caries. This initiative includes:

  • A stipend to each practice
  • Education through didactic lecture and hands-on training
  • Technical support integrating SDF into medical practice

The Vermont Department of Health submitted this project idea to CARHE in 2023. CARHE convened partners from Vermont, the North Country Health Consortium, and pediatric clinics to collectively pursue support for the project. These partners successfully obtained funding from the U.S. Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA), as part of the Northern Border Region Technical Assistance (NBR-TAC) Subawardee Grantee Program.

Past projects

In December 2022, CARHE put out a Request for Ideas (RFI) for projects to help improve rural health equity in northern New England. All projects underwent a detailed review process by the Center's Leadership Council and Community Advisory Council members. CARHE selected 4 of these projects to support for 12 months in 2023.

Farm Shares for Health: Improving Access to Healthy Food and Education for Rural Cancer Patients

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UVM Osher Center for integrative health logo

OrganizationOsher Center for Integrative Health at the University of Vermont (UVM)
Contact: Kristie Grover
Email: kristie.grover@uvmhealth.org

The goals of the UVM Osher Center CARHE project are to improve access to and increase consumption of fresh vegetables and fruit among rural, food insecure cancer patients in Vermont. They will accomplish this by providing:

  • Free CSA (community supported agriculture) memberships
  • Education
  • Health coaching to 20 to 25 oncology patients

They will assess feasibility and acceptability of the program and measure a variety of food access, eating habit, and general health outcomes. The results of this project will inform ongoing CSA farm share programming to address food insecurity.


Early Childhood Region 1: Building Early Childhood Supports in Rural New Hampshire

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New Hampshire Early Childhood Region 1, Monadnock United Way logo

Organization: Monadnock United Way (MUW)
Contact: Ellen Taetzsch
Email: ellen@muw.org

The Building Early Childhood Supports in Rural New Hampshire project seeks to improve equitable access to family supports and engaging early childhood programming through libraries in a minimum of 3 of the rural communities with lower access to resources in Early Childhood Region 1.

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Two women hold up a picture book in the children's section of a library
MUW staff partner with librarians to expand access to early childhood resources.

They will do this by:

  • Increasing the availability and awareness of family programs and resources through local libraries
  • Strengthening the capacity of local libraries to provide accessible and engaging children’s programming
  • Fostering opportunities for families to build connections

Improving Food Security and Nutrition Equity for Residents of Income-eligible Housing

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Willing Hands - Reducing food waste to end hunger

Organization: Willing Hands
Contact: Katie Ryan-O'Flaherty (she/hers), Mission Impact Coordinator
Email: katie@willinghands.org

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A man stands in the back of a Willing Hands truck with boxes of fresh produce in front of him
Willing Hands delivers free fresh produce year-round in Vermont and New Hampshire.

Willing Hands' mission is to recover fresh food in order to reduce waste, improve health and provide reliable access to nutritious food for our neighbors in need. Willing Hands recovers surplus healthy food from grocery stores, wholesalers, and farms and delivers it for free to more than 80 social service organizations across the Upper Valley of Vermont and New Hampshire.

Through their CARHE funded project, Willing Hands seeks to improve access to, and increase consumption of, fresh produce among rural residents of 6 partner income-eligible housing complexes in Vermont and New Hampshire by engaging the beneficiaries in a program evaluation and improvement plan.


Supporting Community Collaboration to Address the Impact of Climate Change on Allergies and Asthma in Children in Rural New Hampshire

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New Hampshire Healthcare Workers for Climate Action logo

Organization: New Hampshire Healthcare Workers for Climate Action (NH HWCA)
Contact: Bob Friedlander, Jr., MD, Founder of NH HWCA and CHICKS
Email: rfriedlander.jr@gmail.com

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Climate and Health Initiative for Children in Kearsarge & Sunapee logo

NH HWCA is a grassroots, interdisciplinary, and statewide 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded in 2021. It is the New Hampshire state affiliate of the Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health. Its mission is to activate a diverse group of students and healthcare workers to participate in climate and health educational and advocacy initiatives with a focus on health equity.

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Three men sit around a table
CHICKS team members and CARHE staff partner on innovative strategies for health equity.

The Climate and Health Initiative for Children in Kearsarge & Sunapee (CHICKS) is a new community-integrated and cross-sector program of NH HWCA. With CARHE support, CHICKS is creating a novel 10-week after school program for rural and low-income K-5 children to increase their knowledge of climate, air pollution and respiratory health. In addition, CHICKS is creating a resource guide for their parents/caregivers to facilitate connections with community, state and federal resources that support healthy housing (weatherization, energy efficiency and indoor air quality). Partners include the Boys & Girls Club of Central New Hampshire and Colby-Sawyer child development faculty and students.