OMAHA, Nebraska — A $1.5 million grant to the University of Nebraska Medical Center will provide free tuition to help beef up the presence of public health practitioners in rural and tribal communities in a multi-state region, including South Dakota.
The funds from the Health Resources and Services Administration will go to the Public Health Scholarship Program, targeting rural, under-resourced and tribal communities of Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas and South and North Dakota.
For three years, the scholarship program is to provide full tuition for at least 37 public health practitioners a year.
“It continues to be challenging to attract and retain new graduates in under-resourced communities,” said Brandon Grimm, of the UNMC College of Public Health and principal investigator for the program.
He said a hallmark of the program is to allow the education to take place on the scholar’s own turf.
“Training individuals where they are, in the communities they love and are committed to, is an innovative model that will result in a more dedicated and trained public health workforce in rural and tribal communities,” said Grimm.
UNMC said that its College of Public Health offers all degree programs virtually, making it the most comprehensive accredited online training program in the region. The online training also makes it accessible to individuals working full-time in public health throughout the region.
The scholarships made available through the funding will pay for full tuition and fees for a public health practitioner to receive a certificate, master of public health, master of health administration or doctor of public health degree.
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