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Wayne State College sophomore Hannah Mills of Norfolk has been promoted from an alternate to a full Rural Health Opportunities Program (RHOP) medicine scholarship.

"The need for rural health professionals continues to grow,'' said David Peitz, a professor in the physical sciences and mathematics department, said in a media release. "These students have proven themselves to be gifted and dedicated to their profession. They have displayed the potential to develop into strong community leaders.''

RHOP — a cooperative effort between Wayne State and the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) — encourages students from rural areas of Nebraska to return to rural settings after graduation to pursue their career in medicine.

Selected individuals obtain guaranteed admission to UNMC upon successful completion of studies at Wayne State and receive a full-tuition waiver at Wayne State.

Students from communities of populations less than 10,000 are granted special consideration for admission to the RHOP program. Areas of study under the program include medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, dental hygiene and medical technology.

A shortage of rural health practitioners in Nebraska prompted higher education institutions to implement the RHOP program in 1989. Selection of candidates is based on an applicant's residency in a rural Nebraska community, academic potential and commitment to practice in rural Nebraska.

Mills is the daughter of Cindy Mills of Norfolk. She participates in Active Minds Club, Theta Phi Alpha fraternity, honors club and serves as a Wayne State navigator.

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