The University of Nebraska Medical Center and Peru State College have expanded their partnership in UNMC’s Rural Health Opportunities Program (RHOP) to now include the clinical laboratory science, physical therapy, physician assistant and radiography professions.

Under the agreement, beginning this fall, qualifying Peru State students may apply for admission to RHOP and provisional acceptance into one of these respective College of Allied Health Professions educational programs.

Peru State now has early admissions programs with four UNMC colleges, including RHOP agreements with UNMC’s Colleges of Nursing, Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions, and the Public Health Early Admissions Student Track (PHEAST) agreement with the College of Public Health.

The RHOP program began in 1990 to encourage rural residents to pursue careers in health care and practice in smaller communities throughout Nebraska. Chadron State College and Wayne State College also participate with UNMC in RHOP and PHEAST.

“We are excited to further our RHOP partnership with Peru State,” said UNMC Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D. “This is an embodiment of our commitment to Nebraska, and a reflection on the need for a highly skilled allied health workforce. Through this agreement we not only offer opportunity to more students, but they in turn will help keep their fellow Nebraskans healthier and our rural communities strong.”

Peru State College President Dan Hanson said, “Peru State is proud to partner with the University of Nebraska Medical Center to bring more skilled health care providers to rural Nebraska, meeting a critical need for the region. The Rural Health Opportunities Program represents a commitment by our institutions to investing in the health and well-being of southeast Nebraskans. I want to thank the leadership team at the UNMC College of Allied Health Professions, area hospital administrators and our science faculty for their work in securing these seats. We look forward to an enduring and productive partnership."

Peru State students accepted into RHOP will receive a full tuition waiver from Peru State during their undergraduate years. Each provisionally admitted student will be appointed a faculty mentor from Peru State and a faculty mentor from the respective UNMC allied health program of study. Mentors will advise the students on academic and career development.

“It was critically important for us to expand our RHOP partnership to Peru State College,” said Kyle Meyer, Ph.D., senior associate dean of the UNMC College of Allied Health Professions. “The students and faculty are outstanding, and we are delighted to partner to ensure the provision of outstanding allied health practitioners for the citizens of southeast Nebraska.”

Requirements for application, performance standards while at Peru State and number of spots available will be established by each respective UNMC College of Allied Health Professions program. For fall 2016, three seats are available in the physician assistant program, three in medical laboratory science, two in physical therapy and two in radiography.