Research Article

Targeted community outreach events to deliver healthcare to diverse rural populations

Trina Aguirre*, Nancy Meier, Kelly Betts and Ann Koehler

Published: 24 June, 2020 | Volume 4 - Issue 1 | Pages: 060-062

Introduction: Rural populations often experience disparities in health and access to and quality of healthcare. Such disparities may differ among subpopulations. Community outreach events provide an opportunity for rural residents to receive health services and education at reduced or no cost. This project builds on our previous experience with community health fairs by providing health events that target specific underserved subpopulations (rural youth, Latinas, and men).

Methods: Our first event provided free sports physicals to area students. The second provided free health screenings to men during an annual agricultural event (Bean Day). The third was a cardiovascular health event for Latinas that featured free or reduced cost health screenings and other health-related and culturally appropriate activities.

Results: Thirty-five students received sports physicals, enabling them to participate in sports. Twenty-two Bean Day participants, primarily men, received health screenings; four were hypertensive, three were overweight, and 12 were obese. Over 100 women attended Latina Red Dress and received health services and education. For many in these subpopulations, events such as this provide the only healthcare they receive. During all three events, participants received education regarding any health issues of concern and referrals to local health clinics when appropriate (e.g. hypertension, high glucose levels).

Conclusion: Community health events such as these provide culturally appropriate and economical means to deliver health services and education, enabling participants to identify and address any health concerns. Targeting events for underserved subpopulations helped engage them in their healthcare. These findings support the need for effective education and intervention efforts to address physical and mental health concerns in this rural area. This was our first contact with these particular populations whom we know need intervention to receive health care. Moving forward through 2020 and beyond we will have future health fairs in the same groups in order to assess if the health fairs are indeed impacting health of these children, men and minority women. 

Read Full Article HTML DOI: 10.29328/journal.apmh.1001021 Cite this Article Read Full Article PDF


Rural; Community health fairs; Hypertension; Obesity; Rural health; Mental health


  1. 2018 National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; September 2019. AHRQ Pub. No. 19-0070-EF.
  2. Trivedi T, Liu J, Probst JC, Merchant A, Jones S, et al. Obesity and obesity-related behaviors among rural and urban adults in the USA. Rural Remote Health. 2015; 15: 3267. PubMed: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26458564
  3. Ingram DD, Franco SJ. 2013 NCHS urban–rural classification scheme for counties. National Center for Health Statistics. Vital Health Stat 2. 2014. PubMed: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24776070
  4. Befort CA, Nazir N, Perri MG. Prevalence of obesity among adults from rural and urban areas of the United States: findings from NHANES (2005‐2008). J Rural Health. 2012; 28: 392-397. PubMed: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23083085/
  5. Bolin JN, Bellamy GR, Ferdinand AO, Vuong AM, Kash BA, et al. Rural healthy people 2020: new decade, same challenges. J Rural Health. 2015; 31: 326-333. PubMed: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25953431
  6. Andrilla CHA, Patterson DG, Garberson LA, Coulthard C, Larson EH. Geographic variation in the supply of selected behavioral health providers. Am J Preven Med. 2018: 54: S199-S207. PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29779543
  7. Nguyen AT, Trout K, Chen LW, Madison L, Watkins KL, et al. Nebraska's rural behavioral healthcare workforce distribution and relationship between supply and county characteristics. Rural Remote Health. 2016; 16: 3645. PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27052101
  8. Douthit N, Kiv S, Dwolatzky T, Biswas S. Exposing some important barriers to health care access in the rural USA. Public Health. 2015; 129: 611-620. PubMed: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26025176/
  9. Jobman J, Aguirre T, Koehler A, Struwe L, Wells W. Role of community health fairs in providing health services, improving health of rural residents. Arc Psy Mental Health. 2020: 042-045.
  10. Aguirre T, Wells W, Koehler A. Prevalence of underhydration and its association to cardiovascular risk factors in a rural community setting. Annals of Public Health and Research. 2016; 3: 1048.
  11. Aguirre T, Koehler A, Tovar A. Relationships among hypertension, waist circumference, and body composition in a rural Mexican-American population. J Family Med Community Health. 2015; 2: 1057.
  12. Aguirre T, Koehler A, Wilhelm S. Bio-Impedance Analysis Measures in a Rural Latina Community. J Public Health. 2014; 3: 1-3.
  13. United States Census Bureau. Quick Facts: Scottsbluff City, Nebraska; Scotts Bluff County, Nebraska; United States. 2020. https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/scottsbluffcitynebraska,scottsbluffcountynebraska,US/PST045219A

Similar Articles

Recently Viewed

Read More

Most Viewed

Read More

Help ?