CSC Picks Next Class For RHOP


     Chadron State College has selected 32 Nebraska high school seniors as the Fall 2022 class of RHOP, the Rural Health Opportunities Program. 

      RHOP students receive a full-tuition scholarship to CSC and are guaranteed slots in the professional schools at the University of Nebraska Medical Center as long as they meet the entrance requirements at the appropriate time.

        RHOP was expanded in November to include 2 slots in UNMC’s Occupational Therapy program. A special one-time 6-week application period ending March 15 was created for those 2 positions with the selections to be released this spring..

       Those chosen for RHOP are selected through an application process that includes on-campus interviews.

        CSC Director of Health Professions Kristal Kuhnel says it’s always a pleasure to host the prospective students and their families for the interviews, adding that the school is excited about the high-quality students chosen this year. 

       RHOP was created  in 1989 as a collaborative program between Chadron State and UNMC aimed at addressing a growing shortage of healthcare professionals in rural Nebraska.

     It was based on studies that showed healthcare professionals who grew up in rural areas were more likely to locate practices in similar areas than those originally from more urban areas. 

     Follow-up interviews with RHOP graduates over the years have verified that underlying premise.

     The group includes a dozen Panhandle students, 8 from Sidney, but only one is from the Northern Panhandle. Kailey Klein of Harrison was accepted in Medicine.


Dental Hygiene: Ashlynn Throener of Dodge.

Dentistry: Paige Anthony of Maxwell, Taya Berry of Lexington, Sierra Hicks of Paxton, Harley Kuenning of North Platte, and Dylan Thom of Ayr.

Medicine: Charles Barlow of O’Neill, Lorien DeMasters of Sidney, Elleigh Fisher of North Platte, John Fortner of Sidney, Sean Graff of Gothenburg, Kailey Klein of Harrison, Chesney Latta of Trenton, Dawson Ohrt of Henderson, and Grace Reiter of Bellwood.

Medical Laboratory Science: Karalyn Stevens of Sidney.

Nursing: Courtney Brink of Wayne, Alexandria Coffman of Ogallala, Natalie Keenan-Vergil of Bridgeport, Madison Mashek of Sidney, Kenna McCaslin of Broken Bow, Katelyn Ott of Morrill, Taigen Ruff of Sutherland, and Lacie Vach of Sidney.

Physician’s Assistant: Ashleigh Hills of York, and Brenner McLaughlin of Hebron.

Pharmacy: Aaron Price of Scottsbluff.

Physical Therapy: Christina Lillenas of Auburn, Paige Pritchard of Sidney, and Nicki Walla of Wahoo.

Radiography: McKenzie Andrew of Sidney, and Kaitlyn Taylor of Sidney.