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North Dakota Rural Community-Based Palliative Care

Originally, the North Dakota Rural Community-Based Palliative Care project was a multi-state (North Dakota, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Washington), multi-faceted project to increase access to palliative care services in rural communities to improve quality of life and quality of care for those with advanced illness and complex care needs.

The North Dakota Rural Community-Based Palliative Care project was one of three projects chosen by Stratis Health in a multi-state effort to increase access to palliative care services in rural communities. Community team efforts in North Dakota will be supported by the University of North Dakota's Center for Rural Health, Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility (Flex) grant program, a Health Resources and Services Administration funded grant.

The participating communities received support to build a rural community-based palliative care philosophy and services in their rural area.

Among the goals of the project were:

  • Completed (2016) state environmental palliative assessment with the North Dakota Palliative Care Task Force (PCTF) and continue participation in PCTF.
  • Eight rural communities were identified to participate in the North Dakota Rural Community-Based Palliative Care project.
  • A community-based team of interdisciplinary representatives from rural hospitals, clinics, home health agencies, nursing homes, hospice programs, and other community organizations formed in each of the eight rural communities.
  • Participants were asked to complete an asset and gap analysis related to palliative care services implementation at the beginning and end of the project.
  • Project activity included networking opportunities, planning workshops with community teams, and providing ongoing mentoring calls.
  • A community action plan for developing and or enhancing palliative care services was developed and implemented.

Success for each of the participating rural communities and individual care providers depended on the mutual commitment and collaborative efforts of both the Center for Rural Health, Flex Program, and the participating organizations beginning February 2018 and continued through December 2020.