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.   

Program objectives for RHE students:
Learn about the social and health characteristics, needs, and resources of a specific rural Illinois community.
Understand the roles and responsibilities of different healthcare providers in a rural community.
Reflect on a future career as a healthcare provider in a rural community and potential interest in this location as a future career location.

What to expect as an RHE student:
Shadowing experiences in multiple hospital departments including but not limited to: EMT/ER, medicine, pharmacy, physical therapy, social work and behavioral health, public health, and laboratory and technical specialists
Shadowing experiences within the local community at clinics and/or health departments
When available: meetings with administration and observations of inter-professional team meetings
The experience:
Basic housing and limited meals are provided to RHE students. Time in the evenings will be available for students to explore the community. Students must have reliable transportation while on site.
RHE sites are located throughout the state. Students will have the opportunity to rank their site locations on the RHE application. Once matched to a site, students will work with a representative from the hospital to schedule the dates of their RHE.
Who should apply:
Undergraduate and graduate students, as well as professional students in health professions programs. Students must have completed sophomore year of undergraduate studies by the time of the RHE. Preference goes to students already in graduate or professional programs. Students must have strong interest in working in a rural community. 
The following is a list of sites that have previously hosted RHE students:
Fairfield Memorial Hospital- Fairfield, IL
Gibson Area Hospital and Health Services- Gibson City, IL
Harrisburg Medical Center- Harrisburg, IL
Katherine Shaw Bethea Hospital- Dixon, IL
Pana Community Hospital- Pana, IL
Paris Community Hospital- Paris, IL
Perry Memorial Hospital- Princeton, IL
Pinckneyville Community Hospital- Pinckneyville, IL
Richland Memorial Hospital- Olney, IL
SSM Health St. Mary's Hospital- Centralia, IL
Taylorville Memorial Hospital- Taylorville, IL
Warner Hospital and Health Services- Clinton, IL
Washington County Hospital- Nashville, IL


Apply for a summer 2019 Rural Health Experience!

Applications for summer 2019 RHE's are now being accepted. A link to the application package is below. Applications must be received by Sunday, March 3, 2019 in order to be considered. Students will have the opportunity to rank site choices by region. 

Click HERE for the application package.

For more information:
View the 2019 RHE BROCHURE.  See an example of a 

If interested in a spring or fall RHE, or for additional questions, please contact:
Vicky Rhine, MPH
Assistant Director of External and Pipeline Projects | 815-395-5854.