UNK accepts a record 56 students into Kearney Health Opportunities Program

UNK accepts a record 56 students into Kearney Health Opportunities Program
UNK accepts a record 56 students into Kearney Health Opportunities Program(press release)
Published: Mar. 24, 2023 at 3:25 PM CDT
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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - Future health care professionals from communities across the state will attend the University of Nebraska at Kearney this fall as part of the largest-ever class to enter the Kearney Health Opportunities Program.

A total of 56 high school seniors were recently accepted into KHOP, a pipeline program designed to grow the state’s health care workforce by recruiting and educating students from rural Nebraska who are committed to practicing in these areas after professional school. Participants are awarded full-tuition scholarships to attend UNK and guaranteed admission to the University of Nebraska Medical Center if all requirements are met.

“We’re very excited to be welcoming this historic freshman class into the KHOP program,” said Peggy Abels, director of UNK Health Sciences. “It is encouraging to have such a highly talented group of students dedicated to practicing health care in rural Nebraska. We look forward to working with them to help alleviate the workforce shortages in our state.”

Launched in 2010, KHOP addresses an urgent need for health care professionals in rural Nebraska by providing top-notch training for students from these communities. Program participants can study in the fields of dental hygiene, dentistry, medical laboratory science, medicine, nursing, occupational therapy, pharmacy, physical therapy, physician assistant and radiography.

In addition to the full-tuition scholarship, members receive a $2,000 room waiver through the KHOP Learning Community. A requirement for freshmen, the one-year residential learning community gives students a chance to explore various health care careers while receiving support and guidance as they transition to college. KHOP members also meet with health care providers and tour medical facilities in the Kearney area, better preparing them for professional school.

For more information on the program, visit this website, call 308-865-8260 or email abelsp@unk.edu.

The following students, listed by hometown, will start the Kearney Health Opportunities Program this fall:

  • Albion – Harrison Kuta, medicine
  • Albion – Ashlyn Krohn, physical therapy
  • Axtell – Audrey Nelson, occupational therapy
  • Blair – Theodore Lueders, medicine
  • Brainard – Kody Tejral, pharmacy
  • Cambridge – Brodie Mitchell, medicine
  • Central City – Derek Pfeifer, dentistry
  • Central City – Dylan Pfeifer, physician assistant
  • Columbus – Kelyn Garrelts, medicine
  • Columbus – Brenden Sloup, medicine
  • Columbus – Reagan Messersmith, physician assistant
  • Columbus – Noah Lawrence, pharmacy
  • Columbus – Adoriyan Daniels, physical therapy
  • Columbus – Bohden Jedlicka, dentistry
  • Columbus – Jack Faust, physical therapy
  • Craig – Erin Jensen, nursing
  • Dannebrog – Alexys Hurt, radiography
  • Elgin – Skyler Meis, pharmacy
  • Fairbury – Eliana Livingston, medicine
  • Farwell – Olivia Koperski, radiography
  • Fremont – Caitlin Pitt, medicine
  • Funk – Lexie Eckhoff, physician assistant
  • Gibbon – Skyler Summers, medicine
  • Grand Island – Ayonya Birthi, medicine
  • Grand Island – Ben Alberts, medicine
  • Grand Island – Audrianna Wiseman, medical laboratory science
  • Grand Island – Owen Bjerke, nursing
  • Grand Island – Gracie Woods, physician assistant
  • Grand Island – Jacob Stegman, physical therapy
  • Grand Island – Michael Sambula-Monzalvo, dentistry
  • Hastings – Karol Redinger, physician assistant
  • Hooper – Kaylee Hilbers, nursing
  • Howells – Blair Fiala, physical therapy
  • Kearney – Carter Cochran, medicine
  • Kearney – Emily Korb, medicine
  • Kearney – Ella Amato, radiography
  • Kenesaw – Madeline Pulver, nursing
  • Lemoyne – McKenna Krueger, nursing
  • Lexington – Molly Dowling, nursing
  • Linwood – Alli Jelinek, pharmacy
  • Malcolm – Zane Zoucha, radiography
  • Marquette – Jacob Nokelby, medicine
  • Merna – Carlee Bartak, pharmacy
  • Norfolk – Lauren Preister, pharmacy
  • North Bend – Rebekah Voss, occupational therapy
  • North Platte – Calie Troyer, nursing
  • North Platte – Nathan Unger, medicine
  • Plattsmouth – Carter Moss, medicine
  • Potter – Jayden Shoemaker, physical therapy
  • Schuyler – Kathryn Tzunux, nursing
  • Spalding – Emma Rankin, physician assistant
  • St. Libory – John Placke, medicine
  • St. Paul – Jenna Jakubowski, nursing
  • St. Paul – Samuel Kramer, pharmacy
  • St. Paul – Paytyn Larsen, radiography
  • Wisner – August Heller, nursing