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Health care providers in rural areas spend more time with patients, experience a greater variety of cases and become ingrained in a community — unlike clinicians in urban settings. These experiences are a core of practice for family nurse practitioner and physician assistant students at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis.
“After two clinical rotations in Humboldt County, I realized where I wanted to fulfill my goal,” says Morgan Hines, a 2018 graduate of the physician assistant program. “Being there felt like home. I connected with people who lacked access to good care. I knew it’s where I wanted to practice after graduation.”
To expand the number of rural sites, school leaders partnered with health organizations and providers in Humboldt County. From eight students in one clinic in 2014 to 23 students at more than 10 different sites in 2018, this growth enables more students to serve in underserved areas.
Currently, the students’ housing is covered thanks to the Humboldt Clinical Student Housing Fund, the result of funds from Partnership HealthPlan of California, St. Joseph Health and Redwood Memorial Hospital Foundation. Giving to this effort enables our students to experience rural settings in school, and in Morgan’s case, return after graduation to practice.
“I’m grateful to the donors who played a huge part in my future,” Morgan says. The confidence I have to practice in rural primary care, I have UC Davis to thank for that.”
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