UNMC's impact: Returning to rural roots

by Lisa Spellman, UNMC public relations | February 07, 2018

Image with caption: Niki Salomon

Niki Salomon

Editor's Note: UNMC's impact on Nebraska is immense.

You see it in the faces of the doctors, nurses and pharmacists we train. And, in those who pursue careers in dentistry, allied health, public health, or research.

picture disc.It plays out when graduates return to rural communities to keep the pharmacy open. Or, start new practices that help patients obtain health care close to home.

UNMC's work brings pride to a state that champions success.

So, in this year of tight Legislative budgets, let's remind ourselves of how UNMC, along with all of the University of Nebraska campuses, impact the state.

And then acknowledge that the work we do matters.

Over the next few weeks, we will share stories on how UNMC makes a difference. We can't begin to know every story, so feel free to add your own "impact" stories in the comments below, or share them with UNMC PR via unmcpr@unmc.edu.

Grads return to rural roots

For Niki and Aaron Salomon, the return to a rural community to practice health care was more than a job opportunity.

Patients become friends, neighbors become patients.

"You help them keep track of their medications or fit them with diabetic shoes. You treat them during their illness and celebrate birthdays and holidays with them," Niki Salomon said.

This is what it means to return to a rural community to practice, they say.

As graduates of UNMC's Rural Health Opportunities Program, the Salomons settled in Gothenburg, Neb., where Aaron is a physician assistant and Niki, who travels 22 miles east to Lexington, Neb., is a pharmacist. She also works one day a week at the local pharmacy in Gothenburg.

Both have become so integral in the fabric of their community that they measure their success not in their degrees or awards earned, but in the people whose lives have been changed because of it.

"Aaron has literally saved lives through his diagnosis," said Dan Tinlin, a local resident and member of the board of the Gothenburg Hospital Foundation.

Having the additional medical professionals in the community is essential when recruiting businesses to set up shop there and retaining them after they arrive, Tinlin said, adding that Gothenburg is home to several Fortune 500 companies, including Monsanto, Frito Lay and Baldwin Filters.

Impact stories:
See more stories of UNMC's impact statewide here.


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Rebecca Rae Anderson
February 07, 2018 at 4:32 PM

Kudos to the hard working employees who keep RHOP, PHEAST, and other such programs going with little money and less recognition.

Catherine Mello
February 07, 2018 at 10:18 AM

Niki and Aaron are so wonderful. We are so proud to claim you as our alumni!