UNK accepts 72 students into Kearney Health Opportunities Program – the largest class ever

KEARNEY – The University of Nebraska at Kearney is once again welcoming a record-breaking group of students into its signature health science program.

A total of 72 high school seniors were recently accepted into the Kearney Health Opportunities Program (KHOP) for fall 2024. These students come from communities across the state – Bridgeport to Norfolk to Hebron – and represent the future of rural health care in Nebraska.

This year’s class is the program’s largest-ever, surpassing the 56 students admitted in 2023.

“It’s very promising and exciting to have such a highly talented group of students who are dedicated to practicing health care in rural Nebraska,” said Peggy Abels, director of UNK Health Sciences. “The KHOP program is an important part of the rural health initiatives on the UNK campus that are designed to alleviate the health care workforce shortages in our state. We look forward to working with these future Lopers as they prepare to serve their communities as health care professionals.”

A partnership between UNK and the University of Nebraska Medical Center, KHOP was launched in 2010 as a pipeline program designed to grow the state’s health care workforce by recruiting and training students from rural Nebraska who are committed to practicing in these communities as professionals. The program offers financial assistance, academic support and professional development opportunities, with many participants receiving full-tuition scholarships to attend UNK and guaranteed admission to UNMC.

KHOP members can study in the fields of dental hygiene, dentistry, medical laboratory science, medicine, nursing, occupational therapy, pharmacy, physical therapy, physician assistant and radiography.

Participants also receive a $3,000 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 meet with health care providers and tour medical facilities throughout the region, better preparing them for professional school and beyond.

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 – Nyla Redler, occupational therapy
Ashland – Alivia Pike, physical therapy
Atkinson – Sidney Burkinshaw, medical laboratory science
Aurora – Kassidy Quandt, dentistry
Bassett – Mason Hagan, physical therapy
Bee – Madison Leise, pharmacy
Bladen – Madison Karr, nursing
Blair – Kalli Ulven, radiography
Blue Hill – Jaelyn Himmelberg, physician assistant
Bridgeport – Bodhi Dohse, pharmacy
Cambridge – Kamryn McArthur, radiography
Campbell – Austin Lutkemeier, physical therapy
Central City – Adelaide Buhlke, medicine
Columbus – Maggie Luebbe, dentistry
Columbus – Evan Kiene, medicine
Columbus – Isabel Zaruba, medicine
Columbus – Emma Carlson, medicine
Columbus – Addison Johnson, pharmacy
Columbus – Avery Hiebner, pharmacy
Cook – Catherine Blomstedt, medicine
Dannebrog – Zachary States, dentistry
De Witt – Ellinor Peters, radiography
Doniphan – Benjamin VanDiest, physician assistant
Elgin – Baylee Busteed, pharmacy
Firth – Karlie Wahlstrom, radiography
Fremont – Chloe Hemmer, physician assistant
Fremont – Caleb Kirby, physical therapy
Genoa – Tessa Cherry, nursing
Grand Island – Reid Kelly, dentistry
Grand Island – Kyla Sybrandts, medicine
Grand Island – Ava Stein, medical laboratory science
Grand Island – Raeghann Behrens, physician assistant
Hastings – Ryann Sabatka, dentistry
Hastings – Abhinav Srivastava, medicine
Hastings – Alexandra Chipps, nursing
Hastings – Emma Schultes, occupational therapy
Hastings – Megyn Scott, pharmacy
Hebron – Christian Krupicka, pharmacy
Holdrege – Ethan Berg, physician assistant
Kearney – Owen Wroblewski, medicine
Kearney – Trista Tool, nursing
Kearney – Whitney Uelmen, occupational therapy
Kearney – Katie Jurado, physician assistant
Kearney – Callie Bartee, pharmacy
Laurel – Chelsea Potts, medicine
McCool Junction – Kassidy Stuckey, dentistry
Miller – Joelle Gilmore, medical laboratory science
Minden – Sayge Grotrian, dental hygiene
Morrill – Kiera Stauffer, physical therapy
Norfolk – Daniel Vuchetich, dentistry
Norfolk – Aubrey Barnes, nursing
Norfolk – Jenna Snitchler, occupational therapy
Norfolk – Lucille Yost, pharmacy
North Platte – Eva McCreery, medicine
Ogallala – Erica Hesser, medicine
Osceola – Hayden Lavaley, dentistry
Pickrell – Kiera Busboom, occupational therapy
Pierce – Maggie Painter, nursing
St. Paul – Gracyn Rubesh, nursing
St. Paul – Harlee Behring, occupational therapy
Sargent – Katherine Olson, radiography
Seward – Ava Fischer, nursing
Stromsburg – Dane Holtzen, medicine
Stuart – Addison Karo, medicine
Tilden – Waylon Warneke, physician assistant
Waco – Karley Naber, occupational therapy
Wallace – Brenley Johnson, radiography
Western – Jessica Martinez, physician assistant
Wilber – Carson Radcliff, physical therapy
York – Cole Montgomery, dentistry
York – Kynli Combs, dentistry
Yutan – Braxton Wentworth, physician assistant