UNK and UNMC expand partnership to bring rural communities broader health care

With over a dozen counties in Nebraska without a primary care physician, the University of Nebraska Kearney and the University of Nebraska Medical Center is looking to expand their partnership. 
Rural Health Center Unk 4

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) –With over a dozen counties in Nebraska without a primary care physician, the University of Nebraska Kearney and the University of Nebraska Medical Center is looking to expand their partnership.

Bringing in talent from all across the state. That’s the goal of UNK and UNMC.

The two are using their partnership to tackle a need Nebraska is facing as 14 counties in the state don’t have a primary care physician.

“How can we ensure that those populations have access to the care that they need, without having to drive, you know, two hours to receive the care that they need?” Nicole Carritt, the Director of Rural Health Initiatives at UNMC, questioned.

A proposed solution to that problem is an $85 million rural health complex on UNK’s campus, it’s the second of it’s kind and the hope is to bring in more students from rural parts of the state.

“We’ve seen that individuals who are interested in rural health, if we can educate them as close to home as possible, they’re more likely to return and stay as practitioners in those rural communities,” Carritt said.

Studying in rural parts of the state will also expose students to some of the more unique aspects to serving smaller communities.

“Part of this plan is to provide a professional development component. Hopefully some real research, there’s some real unique diseases, injuries, and sorts of things that happen to farmers, ranchers, people who are in rural Nebraska, that we need to study,” Doug Kristensen, the Chancellor of UNK, said.

Some of the funding for the complex will come from private donors. UNK and UNMC will also be asking the state for funds from the federal government from the American Rescue Plan.

Categories: Nebraska News, News