Rural Health Experience

The Rural Health Experience (RHE) program is an innovative 3-5 day opportunity for health professions students to observe rural healthcare providers and their communities. The RHE program is based on the principles of experiential learning and community immersion.   

*The RHE is now offered during all seasons and students may apply to participate in an RHE during any breaks in school.*

1) Learn about the social and health characteristics, needs, and resources of a specific rural community.

2) Understand the roles and responsibilities of different healthcare providers in a rural community.

3) Reflect on a future career as a healthcare provider in a rural community and potential interest in this location as a future career location.

Components of the RHE
1) Shadowing of practicing clinicians from various hospital departments including but not limited to: EMT/ER, physician, pharmacist, physical therapist, social worker, public health professional. 

2) Shadowing of tech level positions i.e. x-ray tech, ultra sound tech.

3) Meetings with administration and CEO, when applicable

4) Student attendance at an inter-professional team meeting, such as discharge planning, when applicable

5) Student report and program evaluation  


Target Audience
Undergraduate and graduate students, as well as professional students in health professions programs. Preference goes to students already in graduate or professional programs. Students must have strong interest in working in a rural community. 

Students will be provided room and meals during the experience at no cost. Students must have reliable transportation while on site.


Participating sites

Warner Hospital and Health Services, Clinton IL

Farirield Memorial Hospital, Fairfield, IL

Katherine Shaw Bethea Hospital, Dixon, IL

Perry Memorial Hospital, Princeton, IL

Paris Community Hospital, Paris, IL

Pinckneyville Community Hospital, Pinckneyville, IL

Taylorville Memorial Hospital, Taylorville, IL

 SSM Health St. Mary's Hospital, Centralia, IL

Applications will be reviewed on a weekly rolling basis. You may access the 2017 RHE application HERE. ALL application materials must be submitted in order to be considered.

Click here for the 2017 RHE BROCHURE. Click here for an example of a 

Questions? Contact:

Vicky Rhine, MPH
Assistant Director of External and Pipeline Projects | 815.395.5854.