Understanding health needs of rural Nebraska

UNMC's Rural Health Initiatives provide vision, leadership, strategic and operational direction and support for a variety of rural health programs, services and initiatives that benefit the University of Nebraska Medical Center as well as the individual colleges and units within. 

The Rural Health Initiatives staff and committees work to know and understand the health needs of rural Nebraska and the changing health care delivery system to provide an intersection between education, health care delivery, research, and technology to coordinate, develop and deliver programs and tools that improve individual and community health.

Mission: to improve the quality, availability and accessibility of health care for rural Nebraskans through education, research and service. 

Vision: UNMC will become the national leaders in rural health education, research and healthcare delivery. 

Five Strategic Imperatives to assure success in the new era of rural health education, research, service delivery and outreach.

  1. Rural Education and Workforce Preparation
  2. Rural Health Education and Delivery Models
  3. Rural Use of Emerging Technologies
  4. Rural Health Research
  5. Enhance UNMC’s Rural Brand and Maximize Organizational Structure


Nicole Carritt, MPH

Director, Rural Health Initiatives

Nikki Carritt has led organizations in the public health, non-profit, and academic sectors, focusing on rural health needs. Since 2016, Nicole has led the statewide Nebraska Area Health Education Center (AHEC) Program at UNMC to address the state’s health workforce needs. Her areas of expertise are health-related community organizing, policy and advocacy, providing technical assistance, and collaboratively building health-related initiatives for long-term and sustainable change.  Nikki is the president of the Nebraska Rural Health Association and a fellow with the National Rural Health Association.