UK HealthCare

UK Center of Excellence in Rural Health Program Offers Free Community Health Worker Tuition and Training for Students


HAZARD, Ky. (Dec. 10, 2019) — UnitedHealthcare (UHC) and the University of Kentucky Center of Excellence in Rural Health (UK CEHR) announced a grant to support the first-ever Students Striving Toward Better Health in Self and Community initiative, available to Perry County and Hazard Independent high school students.

Students enrolling in the program will receive tuition-free education and training for the community health worker certification. UK CERH will be the lead in the development, coordination and execution of content and programming with UHC providing expertise and support resources. The community health worker (CHW) curriculum is based on the Kentucky Homeplace training model and is built upon Kentucky Homeplace’s 25-years of community health worker experience.  Classes will be conducted onsite at Hazard Community and Technical College.  

The pilot program presents a unique, first-in-class partnership that demonstrates how private business, higher education and communities are addressing rural health and opportunity in Kentucky together. The grant for $35,000 will cover costs for 23 students, include a UnitedHealthcare virtual mentor internship and a paid apprenticeship.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.