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Undergraduates Explore Public Health at UNMC

UNMC's Public Health Early Admissions Student Track (PHEAST) Participants

Education Highlight –  More than 25 undergraduate students and faculty advisors representing UNMC’s Public Health Early Admissions Student Track (PHEAST) pipeline program were on campus for a combined visit and open house.

Every fall, students from PHEAST partner institutions, Chadron State College (CSC), Peru State College (PSC), Wayne State College (WSC), and the University of Nebraska at Kearney (UNK), visit the UNMC College of Public Health to learn about careers in public health. PHEAST is designed to recruit, educate and graduate passionate public health leaders committed to improving population health outcomes in Nebraska.

Students learned about the multidisciplinary nature and the vast number of career opportunities available in public health; how to navigate the graduate school application process; housing: student life; and how to succeed at UNMC. Health professions advisors reviewed essential information to help them provide better academic advice to students interested in pursuing a career in public health.

Sonja Tutsch, education and outreach program manager with the Rural Health Education Network, which hosted a portion of the day’s events, said she was delighted to see a growing interest and representation of students from rural areas of the state.

“With rapidly rising rates of chronic disease and unintentional injuries that contribute to disability and premature death, it is critical that we train and return public health professionals to rural underserved communities.”

PHEAST began in 2011 and is an offshoot of UNMC’s Rural Health Opportunities Program (RHOP), which was started in 1989 to address the special needs of rural Nebraska by encouraging rural residents to pursue careers in health care. If selected, students obtain early admission into participating UNMC programs upon completion of their studies at the four academic institutions.

This year for the second time, the PHEAST fall visit was combined with the college’s annual open house, which drew about 80 people who are interested in public health careers. The event drew five students from CSC, eight students from PSC, six students from WSC and three students from UNK.

This article was written by Elizabeth Kumru, UNMC public relations.

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