Wayne State College

WSC Selects 46 Students for Rural Health Opportunities Program

Published Monday, May 9th, 2022

Established in 1989 and successfully launching health care careers ever since, RHOP is a unique cooperative program between Wayne State and UNMC to meet the health care needs of rural communities.

Wayne State proudly announces that 46 students have been chosen for the highly selective Rural Health Opportunities Program (RHOP) for Fall 2022. Established in 1989 and successfully launching health care careers ever since, RHOP is a unique cooperative program between Wayne State and the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) to meet the health care needs of rural communities, which make up a majority of Nebraska.

Students selected for the program come from rural Nebraska, know the unique needs of their community, and are dedicated and passionate about their home state and its rural health care needs. RHOP represents that commitment and prepares students to return to rural Nebraska and care for its citizens.

“I’m excited to welcome this class of RHOP students,” said Dr. Ron Loggins, dean of the School of Science, Health, and Criminal Justice at Wayne State. “Our RHOP scholars are among the most academically talented and dedicated students in Nebraska. Wayne State is proud to help prepare them for their careers in healthcare. At Wayne State, not only do students engage in a rigorous curriculum, but they also benefit from the close advising and mentoring our faculty and staff provide. We are confident that when students graduate from our science programs, they have a solid foundation and are prepared to succeed.”

RHOP’s benefits include a full-tuition scholarship at Wayne State and guaranteed admission to UNMC. RHOP participants pursue their studies at WSC and UNMC, with the amount of time at each institution determined by the program in which they are enrolled. Students who apply for the program must be a rural Nebraska resident.

RHOP participating fields include Dental Hygiene, Dentistry, Medical Lab Science, Medicine, Nursing, Occupational Therapy (new for Fall 2022), Pharmacy, Physical Therapy, Physician Assistant, and Radiography.

Students selected for RHOP for Fall 2022:

Dental Hygiene
Drew Kratochvil of Seward

Bryna Fanta of Creighton
Jacob Melliger of Columbus
Jordan Ondracek of North Bend
Cadyn Uttecht of Hartington

Medical Laboratory Science
Madison Mandel of Snyder
Elizabeth Martinez of Wilber
Brooklyn Schuler of Gretna
Natalie Stallbaum of Ewing

Travis Byrd of North Bend
Sydney Escritt of Hebron
Mariah Hansen of Tilden
Cal Janke of Fremont
Shannon Kennicutt of Elwood
Saige Miserez of West Point
Ansley Noyes of Kearney
Maycee Zimmerer of Creighton

Courtney Brink of Wayne
Jordyn Coe of Crete
Angela Espinoza of South Sioux City
Raina Lade of Battle Creek
Lainey Meyer of Page
Emily Mlnarik of Neligh
Anna Tyler of Creighton
Lauryn Zessin of Wood River

Occupational Therapy
Olivia Dartman of Creighton
Ella Jaixen of Loup City
Shae Junck of Bellwood

Kayla Fischer of West Point
Avery Hermesch of Saint Libory
Megan Lukert of Hebron
Kenzie Mosel of Neligh
Macey Peterworth of Sutton
Vance Sayer of Schuyler
Ryland Stephens of Ashland

Physical Therapy
Amber Bockelman of Norfolk
Ashlynn Garcia of South Sioux City

Physician Assistant
Blaike Bryan of Osceola
Luke Polacek of Wahoo
Emma Wray of Blue Hill

Leah Bloomquist of Wausa
Cassandra Granquist of Laurel

“The University of Nebraska Medical Center recently added the Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OT) to their program offerings and this year we celebrate the addition of pre-occupational therapy to RHOP,” Loggins said. “After four years at Wayne State studying Applied Human Sport and Physiology, our graduates enter OT school at UNMC. This rapidly growing profession is a great fit for students that want a career in health care that involves a lot of one-on-one patient interaction. What’s even more exciting is not only are we bringing in new freshmen to this program, but we also are able to offer current Wayne State students seats in this program. By including current students, we are rapidly responding to the need to develop and educate more occupational therapists to meet the needs of Nebraskans.”

Students selected from among current Wayne State students for the College’s new pre-occupational therapy track for RHOP:

McKenna Leonard of Laurel
Austin Fernau of Carroll
Cheyney Loper of Callaway
Abbey Seevers of York

“In the last few years, Wayne State created a new pathway to nursing with UNMC, a dual-degree nursing pathway with Creighton, an early admission program with Kansas City University for the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine and Doctor of Psychology programs, and many others,” Loggins said. “While the pandemic was raging, Wayne State stayed true to its mission and continued to serve the students of Nebraska. Together with our partners, we designed new, exciting curriculum and program pathways that will prepare students for current and future workforce challenges.”

Learn more about RHOP at www.wsc.edu/rhop and Wayne State nursing programs at www.wsc.edu/nursing-programs.