Zachary Placek of Alliance will be studying dentistry among 33 students given full scholarships to attend Wayne State College in the Rural Health Opportunities Program (RHOP).

He is the son of John and Lynn Placek.

"The need for rural health professionals continues to grow,'' said Dr. David Peitz of Wayne State College. "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 is a cooperative effort between Wayne State and the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) and encourages students from rural areas of Nebraska to return to rural settings after graduation to pursue their career. Individuals selected obtain guaranteed admission to UNMC Colleges upon successful completion of studies at WSC and receive a full-tuition waiver at WSC.

Areas of study under the program include clinical laboratory sciences; medicine; nursing; pharmacy; physical therapy; physician assistant; dental hygiene; radiography; and dentistry.

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.

Wayne State College, a regional, public four-year college located in northeast Nebraska, is a proud member of the Nebraska State College System.

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