UNK accepts a record 56 students into Kearney Health Opportunities Program

KEARNEY – 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 (KHOP).

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 unk.edu/khop, 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