July 16, 2014 - Congratulations to the 2014 Rural Medicina Academy Summer Scholars!  Monday June 16th marked the beginning of the 2014 Rural Medicina Academy (RMA) Summer Scholars program. The RMA is a culturally competent pipeline program which prepares rural underrepresented minority youth for health professions schools and careers.  For five weeks, twelve high school and undergraduate students learned about health professions, public health and health disparities, and the importance of cultural competency in health care, among many other topics. Participants also worked on a seed germination science project, as well as developed three public health campaigns (dental hygiene, first aid kits, and hand sanitizer) and one qualitative research project (an environmental community assessment of Rockford and Mendota, IL), which were presented at the Summer Scholars Closing Ceremony on Wednesday July 16th.  

June 24 - June 27, 2014 - Twenty-nine students representing seventeen high schools from eleven counties in northwest Illinois participated in the 2014 Rural Health Careers Camp.  Camp activities included an accident simulation, hands-on labs and CPR certification.  Read the campers' comments here        

April 11, 2014 -  In celebration of National Public Health Week, the University of Illinois Rockford in conjunction with the Winnebago County Health Department and the Rockford Regional Office of the Illinois Department of Public Health hosted a gathering on Friday, April 11 from noon to 2:00 p.m. at the University of Illinois Rockford campus.  Mike Bacon, administrator from the Winnebago County Health Department, Mark Hunter from the Rockford Regional Office of the Illinois Department of Public Health and Kathryn Nelson from Dupage Federation were speakers at the event.  Their presentations can be found here:
     J. Maichle Bacon - Creating Conditions in Which People Can be Healthy
     Mark Hunter - Celebrating Public Health in Illinois
     Katheryn Nelson - Affordable Care Act and Public Health 

Two "This is Public Health" photo contests were held as well.  One contest was for students at the University of Illinois Rockford campus and a second contest for students in the Jefferson High School Health Sciences Academy. 
March 18, 2014
- Natalia Suarez recently published an article entitled "Pipeline Efforts with a Freirean Twist:  The Juntos Health Disparities Research Internship" in the Journal of Community Medicine and Health Education. 

February 12, 2014 - Partnership for a Healthy Lee County is hosting a free camp for children who are entering 2nd through 10th grade diagnosed with diabetes.  The camp will provide information and skills needed to help kids pursue their dreams and live successfully with this lifelong disease.  Our Dixon summer preceptorship students will also be helping with the camp.  Registration is on-line at: 

February 1, 2014 - NCRHP is pleased to announce several PAID summer experiences for students interested in the health professions.  There are 3 day, 5 day or 6 week options. 

The 3 or 5 day Rural Health Experience (RHE) is ideal for students looking for a brief, rural interprofessional experience.  Students will shadow health professionals (physicians, nurses, pharmacists, social workers, public health workers, etc.), meet with the local hospital CEO, and spend time in the community.  Students will receive a $150 stipend as well as housing and food for the 3 or 5 day RHE.  RHE sites are located throughout southern Illinois.

For students looking for a more in-depth, longer experience, the 6 week Rural Interprofessional Health Professions Summer Preceptorship may be for you.  The purpose of this preceptorship experience is to provide an interprofessional training experience for health professions students in a rural setting.  There are three sites available.  Selected students will receive a $1,500 stipend, meals and housing.

The ideal candidate for either experience is from a rural community and interested in pursuing a health profession.  Minimum qualifications are students who will have completed their sophomore year of undergraduate schooling by the summer in which the preceptorship occurs and possess a strong interest in rural healthcare.  Students from the following disciplines are eligible: medicine, physician assistant, nursing, pharmacy, social work, public health, physical therapy, dietetics, and other health profession students as appropriate. 

Interested students can find more information as well as an application on our web site at: Interprofessional Health Professions Summer Preceptorships&b=1002

Questions can be directed to Vicki at 815 395-5854 or via e-mail at

January 24, 2014 - Congratulations to Maria Saavedra and Natalia Suarez, NCRHP's Hispanic Health Educator.  Their poster, "A University of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA) and Rural Medicina Academy (RMA) Partnership to Collaboratively Address the Latino Rural Health Workforce Gap", won first place at the 2014 Latino Medical Student Association MidWest Research Symposium in Chicago, Illinois. 
December 4, 2013 - Drs. MacDowell, Glasser and Hunsaker published the article, "A Decade of Rural Physician Workforce Outcomes for the Rockford Rural Medical Education (RMED) Program, University of Illinois" in the December 2013 journal of Academic Medicine.

November 16, 2013 - Congratulations to Dr. Matt Hunsaker, RMED Director and Dr. Michael Glasser, Associate Dean, Dr. George & Mrs. Mildred Mitchell Professor of Rural and Family Medicine- National Center for Rural Health Professions. 
They were honored by Thai monks at the opening ceremony of The Network: Towards Unity for Health conference in Ayuthaya, Thailand.  The monks opening comments can be found here.  In 2008, NCRHP entered an agreement with Princess Naradhiwas University (PNU) in Thailand to replicate the Rural Medical Education (RMED) Program in the southern part of the country - becoming the first 'test' of the successful US model at an international location.  This year marked the first class of medical students to graduate from PNU.

October 15 & 16, 2013 - First year medical and pharmacy students took to the road to learn about healthcare resources in a rural town - Marshall, Illinois.  Students visited the Cork Medical Center, a nursing home, Marshall Emergency Medical Services, Terre Haute’s Union Hospital Family Practice Residency and hospital, and the Martinsville Clinic.  Pictures from the visit can be found on NCRHP's facebook page at!/media/set/?set=a.358832807585666.1073741839.131266257008990&type=3.

October 11, 2013 - No Harm on the Farm Tour 2013.  Second year rural medical and pharmacy students visited Doug and Dan Scheider's dairy farm in Freeport, Illinois to learn about hazards on the farm.  Check out pictures from the trip on NCRHP's facebook page at!/media/set/?set=a.357978224337791.1073741838.131266257008990&type=3  

October 3 & 4, 2013 - Eighty-five fifth graders from Oregon Elementary in Oregon, IL, St. Mary School in Dixon, IL and Immanuel Lutheran in Freeport, IL participated in the annual 4-H Health Jam which is a two day event put on through a partnership involving academic training programs (University of Illinois and Sauk Valley Community College), county and state 4-H educators, local classroom teachers and Katherine Shaw Bethea (KSB) in Dixon, Illinois. The first day was spent at Camp White Eagle in Leaf River, Illinois.  Students participated in hands-on sessions around healthy lifestyles and health presentations conducted by health professions students.  On Friday, students traveled to KSB Hospital in Dixon, Illinois and participated in a variety of allied health career stations.
Pictures from the event can be found on NCRHP's facebook page at

September 10, 2013 - NCRHP's Native Pathways Project is highlighed in the Daily Yonder's article "Native Health Program Recruits from Within".  The Natie Pathways Project encourages Native American youth to pursue health care professions and return home to practice.  The initiative is based on the RMED model of "growing our own" future health professionals. 

August 12, 2013 - RMED alumni Kurt Davis appears in the cover story of the summer edition of NRHA's Rural Roads magazine.  Kurt helped save the life of a baby born premature.  Click here to read the full story.     

August 5, 2013 - Congratulations to Dr. Martin MacDowell, Associate Director of NCRHP's Rural Health Professions Education. Dr. MacDowell was recognized by the editor of The Journal of Rural Health as an exceptional reviewer for the period between July 2012 and June 2013.  Exceptional reviewers were identified as being in the top 10% of all JRH peer reviewers according to the frequency, quality and timeliness of their reviews.      

July 19, 2013 - The Rural Medicina Academy will be hosting their Summer Scholars Closing Ceremony.  Students will be presenting their summer research projects this Friday at 10:00 a.m. 

June 22,2013 - RMED celebrates 20 years of training rural Illinois students to become rural Illinois physicians.  Congratulations RMED!  We look forward to the next 20 years. 


June, 2013 - June is the kick-off month for NCRHP's three Rural Interprofessional Health Professions Summer Preceptorships.  The preceptorships are six weeks in duration and are occuring in Dixon, Illinois, Centralia, Illinois and Harrisburg, Illinois.  Four to six health professions students have been selected per site.  Please go to our web page for more information about the students and the community projects they'll be working on.

May 29-31, 2013 - Welcome to the RMED and RPHARM Class of 2017.  The students were on the Rockford campus the end of May for a two-day orientation.  As part of orientation, students participated in a team building exercise and ropes course, classroom sessions and a picnic.  

May 10,2013 - Several NCRHP faculty traveled to Louisville, Kentucky for the National Rural Health Association's annual spring conference to present a session on interprofessional education entitled "Inter-professional education: Greater than the sum of its parts".

April 18, 2013 - Congratulations to the RMED M4s on their outstanding Community Oriented Primary Care (COPC) projects that were on display at Research Day at the College.  Kyle Brown was the winner of NCRHP's Excellence in Rural Health Poster award for his project on ER utlization at a small rural hospital. Megan Hedlund and Molly Mennenga received honorable mentions.  Kurt Bloomstrand gave a talk at Research Day about his distracted teen driver project.  All COPC projects are posted on the web site under Student Research,

April 12 & 13, 2013 - Eighteen RMED students, six RPHARM students and five faculty members toured southern Illinois visiting eight rural hospitals.  This has become an annual event for NCRHP.  It is an excellent opportunity for hospital administrators, recruiters, physicians and pharmacists to meet the future doctors and pharmacists who will be serving rural Illinois.  See our Facebook page for pictures from the event.  

March, 2013 - Doug Scheider, a long-time member of NCRHP's Recruitment and Retention Committee, was recognized as a 2013 "Master Farmer by Prairie Farmer Magazine.  This is a highly esteemed honor that has been given by the magazine for many years.  For the complete article, go to News and Views: Doung Schneider named Master Farmer.  

January 7, 2013 - Applications are now being accepted for the 3-Day Rural Health Experience and the Rural Interprofessional Health Professions Summer Preceptorship.  The deadline for applying to both programs is March 1, 2013.  Additional information as well as an application can be found at 3-Day Rural Health Experience and Rural Interprofessional Health Professions Preceptorship

December 6, 2012 - No Harm on the Farm is highlighted in the Winter edition of the Illinois Health Magazine.  The Illinois Health Magazine is mailed to over 25,000 homes.  Read about it here No Harm on the Farm: Training medical professionals for the dangers of rural life.   

November 19, 2012 - NCRHP's Rural Interdisciplinary Health Professions Summer Preceptorship was highligthed in the Fall 2012 Rural Monitor Newsletter, a publication of the Rural Assistance Center.  Read here for more information.  Summer Program Gives Students Experience in Rural Illinois Hospitals.