Selected Past Projects

Determinants of rural health

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services contracted with OPHI to conduct a multifaceted research project to assess the determinants of rural health in Missouri. The research consisted of three components: secondary data analysis, key informant interviews, and household telephone surveys. The resultant information was used for strategic planning purposes.

Emergency response exercise evaluation

Through a contract with Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, OPHI was the primary evaluator of the state wide full-scale emergency response exercise that was conducted in Region A. OPHI assisted with the development and design; execution; evaluation; and provided presentation of evaluation results in a detailed After Action Report.

Development of primary care and mental health standards

The Missouri State University Ozarks Public Health Institute worked with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services to establish population based health standards in the areas of Primary Care and Mental Health. The purpose of the standards is to serve as best practice guidelines for administrators as well as Primary Care and Mental Health practitioners in the state of Missouri.


Students of Missouri State Against Smoking Hazards (SMASH) was established in 2007 to raise awareness about the dangers of secondhand smoke and the importance of a stronger tobacco use policy on campus and in the Springfield community.

Using campus-wide education and advocacy, the coalition worked to increase knowledge about the negative effects of tobacco use and benefits of smoke free air. Student volunteers focused on education and awareness programs to promote changes in knowledge, attitudes and beliefs towards tobacco, gathered student support and leadership for tobacco control and clean air policies, and focused on the prevention of tobacco use and encouragement of cessation. Missouri State University became a tobacco-free campus August 2012.

Project Smokebusters

Project Smokebusters is based on the Centers for Disease Control, Best Practices for Comprehensive Tobacco Control for youth grades 8-12. The project empowers these youth to become critical thinkers, avoid tobacco use and advocate for a tobacco free environment through policy change.

Funding has been provided by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services and the Missouri Foundation for Health. Over the three year grant period, 21 youth teams representing 11 area counties were trained and involved with Smokebusters activities and events.

Comprehensive tobacco control program

The Comprehensive Tobacco Control Program contract utilizes multiple strategies to decrease exposure to secondhand smoke, promote cessation among adults and youth, and eliminate tobacco related disparities.

Strategies include businesses surveys to assess tobacco use policies and cessation strategies within individual businesses, one-on-one technical assistance to businesses to develop and strengthen policies, development and placement of paid media and assisting local coalitions in development and implementation of education strategies to strengthen smoke free air laws in their communities.

OPHI staff have been active partners in the passage of smoke free air laws in Nixa and Springfield, both in southwest Missouri.

State planning grant on the uninsured

Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services selected OPHI to conduct key informant interviews and employer focus groups as part of a data-gathering process intended to propose models and options for increasing health insurance coverage in Missouri.