More than 80 percent of the program’s recent graduates have remained in rural communities to start their career.
Volunteers serve 134 Nebraska children.
Thanks to a telehealth initiative developed by UNMC and the Nebraska Medicine Diabetes Center, things are looking up for patients with diabetes in rural Nebraska communities.
With fewer health care providers in rural areas, communities have a challenge in maintaining a well-prepared, well-trained first responder workforce. UNMC is helping by deploying four mobile training trucks that help train rural EMTs and small-town hospital personnel across the state – without leaving home.
“If you look on Highway 2, if Ravenna was not here, there would not be health care between Grand Island and Broken Bow,” said UNMC alum David Blauvelt, a physician assistant. When Good Sam was closing its Ravenna clinic in 2009, Blauvelt worked with the city to keep the clinic open.
A Gering, Neb., mother noticed her kindergartener had a gait issue, and it eventually led to a UNMC genetics clinic visiting Scottsbluff so that the family could meet with a UNMC physician from Munroe-Meyer Institute. A UNMC certified genetic counselor walked them through the test results. “We didn’t have to travel with our whole family for miles,” 200 miles, to Denver, or 500 miles, to Omaha, the mother said.
Nebraska’s biosciences industry is sizable, growing, and diverse – but one commonality, Bio Nebraska executive director Phil Kozera said, is the need for a highly educated workforce. “The University of Nebraska is critical to the growth of our industry because of the talent pipeline that’s coming through your doors,” Kozera said.
As graduates of UNMC’s Rural Health Opportunities Program, the Salomons settled in Gothenburg, Neb., where Aaron is a physician assistant and Niki is a pharmacist serving Lexington and Gothenburg.
UNMC College of Dentistry grads Kelly Russell, D.D.S., 28, and Adam Anderson, D.D.S., 27, decided to open Sandhills Family Dental in Valentine, Neb., to provide dental care in a county where there were few options. “There are many people who would probably neglect their dental health if they had to drive two hours every time they had an appointment,” Dr. Russell said.
Kayla Rankin is following in her mom’s footsteps – growing up in Spalding, Neb., fulfilling their potential with an education at UNMC, then returning to their rural roots to meet the health care needs of their fellow Nebraskans in underserved areas of the state.
Upper-level dental students and faculty from the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Dentistry in Lincoln provide free oral surgery to needy adults in Grand Island, Neb.
The INBRE program at the University of Nebraska Medical Center builds a statewide biomedical research infrastructure and strengthens the research infrastructure at nine of Nebraska’s undergraduate institutions.
Kylee Stanley was so impressed by visits to her hometown of Alliance by a UNMC pediatric gastroenterologist and faculty member that she became a doctor, too. She now practices in Fremont, Neb.
University research faculty work to land federal grants that bring money to the state’s economy. And, while, use of such funds are restricted, the level of pride rivals a national championship. An example: a contract between the U.S. Department of Defense and the University of Nebraska National Strategic Research Institute aimed at developing drugs to counteract the effects of radiation exposure.
Jennifer Harney, M.D., of Aurora, Neb., was inspired by her regular visits with pediatrician Hobart Wiltse, M.D., at UNMC’s Munroe-Meyer Institute for the inherited disorder Phenylketonuria. She graduated from UNMC’s medical school and plans to return to Aurora to practice after completing her residency.
Dental hygiene students and their instructor from the UNMC College of Dentistry visit nursing homes weekly to provide badly need oral health care to residents.
Three siblings from Osceola, Neb., are making lives better one at a time as they graduate from the University of Nebraska Medical Center.
UNMC physician Anne Kessinger, M.D., discovered a method for collecting stem cells that led to the use of peripheral blood stem cell transplantation in humans. The stem cell collection process is now standard practice around the world.