PNWU Third-Year Student Renae Hepfner's Rural Healthcare Commitment Rewarded with NHSC Scholarship

071_renaehepfner.jpg“I feel honored to be chosen as one of this years’ scholars,” said PNWU’s Renae Hepfner (OMS III), smiling as she reflected on the goals that she’s placed before herself. 

Recently, Hepfner was awarded the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Scholarship, a competitive award gifted to exceptional students pursuing primary care health professions training in Health Professional Shortage Areas. 

“There are a very small number of people who apply that actually receive the award, so I was very surprised to find out that I was a finalist.” Less surprised at the news was Erin Hepner, an Assistant Professor of Family Medicine at PNWU who has seen the commitment of the award-winning student firsthand. 

“Aside from being hardworking, intelligent, sensitive, self-aware, compassionate, and concerned for others wellbeing, Renae comes from a small, rural community that has few qualified medical clinicians,” said Professor Hepner. “She personally experienced living and working in a low-resource setting, both as a community member and as an EMT. She genuinely desires to help people and improve the profession through service to others by providing primary healthcare in a shortage area such as the one she grew up and later worked in as a medical professional.”  

“I know that I wouldn’t have received the scholarship if I didn’t have the support from my family, friends and professors,” added Hepfner. “The mission of the National Health Service Corp is to bring health care to rural and underserved areas, and that is also the mission of PNWU and the main reason why I chose this University. My goals and dreams have always been focused on serving a community in need. This scholarship will be a great avenue for me to accomplish those goals.”