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Rural Health Professions Program (RHPP)

The Arizona Center for Rural Health and UA Zuckerman College of Public Health Rural Health Professions Program (RHPP) is a partnership with the Arizona Area Health Education Center (AHEC) and the five regional AHECs. Partnerships with Arizona’s AHECs serve as the platform for active learning and reflection on assuring health equity and eliminating health disparities. The overall goal of our program focuses on increasing the numbers of public health students who practice in rural and underserved communities in the state of Arizona. The core of our program is our menu of Service Learning courses. Our program also administers the AHEC Scholars Program, which is interwoven with the other RHPPs at the University of Health Sciences, Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University, and with Arizona’s regional AHECs.

Service Learning

Service learning is built on the idea that experiential education, learning in the field instead of the classroom, builds a stronger understanding between students, faculty, and communities.

The overall goal of our program focuses on increasing the numbers of public health students who practice in rural and underserved communities in the state of Arizona. Our specific objectives include:

  • To create opportunities for MPH and DrPH students at the College of Public Health to participate in service learning field experiences that provide them with direct exposure to and participation in public health programs that are implemented in rural and underserved communities in the state of Arizona
  • To create opportunities for MPH and DrPH students at the College to participate in service learning courses for academic credit that increase their knowledge and understanding of public health issues in rural and underserved communities in Arizona.
  • To create opportunities for MPH and DrPH students to have positive internship experiences and fellowship experiences in rural and underserved communities that will impact their career choices upon completion of their degrees.
  • To create opportunities for faculty and academic professionals to partner with community based organizations to meet the public health needs of their communities.
  • To support fellowship opportunities for MPH and/or DrPH students that will provide for participating in public health programs that are implemented in rural and underserved areas in the state of Arizona and will impact their career choices upon completion of their degrees.

Our Rural Health Professions Program provides students, faculty, and community partners opportunities to collaborate and learn to address real world rural and public health issues. It is the foundation for many community engagement activities, strengthens community partnerships, and builds new ones. Participants learn the knowledge and skills needed to build health equity, work for social justice in communities, address the social determinants of health, and improve health outcomes.

View our 2019 Service Learning course menu.

The University of Arizona