The Rural Experiences for Health Professions Students (REHPS) summer program is designed to bring health professions graduates back to rural South Dakota for rewarding careers. Students, selected in a competitive process, are enrolled in one of the following programs at DWU, MMC, PC, SDSU or USD: bachelor of nursing, clinical psychology, family nurse practitioner, medical doctor, medical laboratory science, occupational therapy, physical therapy, physician assistant, pharmacy, and social work. After selection, students are placed in interprofessional pairs in a communities with a critical access hospital and a population under 13,000 people.
The 2020 REHPS communities were: Bowdle, Britton, Chamberlain, Faulkton, Hot Springs, Huron, Martin, Miller, Parkston, Platte, Redfield, Scotland, Sisseton, Sturgis, and Winner. However, due to COVID-19 only five sites were able to host students over the summer. Bowdle, Redfield and Scotland each hosted a pair, Huron hosted three students and Martin hosted hosted six over the course of the summer. Several of our other students were able to do single discipline experiences while doing their clinical experience at rural facilities and we were able to offer an online experience for those not able to participate onsite. REHPS celebrated it’s 10th anniversary during the summer of 2020. Over 225 students have participate in this program to date.
REHPS receives funding from the Office of Rural Health/South Dakota Department of Health and is managed by the Southeast SD Rural Area Health Education Center.