Targeted Rural Health Education


Original Presentation Date: 6/27/2019


A 2003 study revealed that only 1 in 10 Americans had proficiency with understanding health information. With healthcare access and internet connectivity issues, rural populations further struggle with just finding health information in the first place. Health education stories in local newspapers can offer solutions to these rural issues since surveys show that over 85 percent of rural residents get a weekly newspaper.

The Targeted Rural Health Education (TRHE) project provides health profession students with a unique opportunity: writing plain language health education stories based on topics from the community needs assessments or a clinical experience for publication in a rural newspaper. 

This experience exposes students to the concepts of health literacy, plain language writing principles, and exploration of public health data. A leadership experience is also integrated into the experience as students are expected to interact with the local newspaper leadership in order to get their stories published.

Following this webinar, participants will be able to:

  1. Identify informational sources and potential topics for student-led writing activities
  2. Create a mechanism to connect students with a writing expert for editing
  3. Identify opportunities to make students aware of the TRHE opportunity

This product was supported by the Bureau of Health Workforce (BHW), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under cooperative agreement #UH1HP29966. The information, conclusions and opinions expressed in this presentation are those of the authors and no endorsement by BHW, HRSA, or HHS is intended or should be inferred.


Kamille Sherman

Kamille Sherman, MD
Family Medicine Clerkship Co-Director and the Co-Director of Rural Opportunities in Medical Education at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences


Kamille Sherman, MD is a North Dakota native. She grew up on the family farm in central North Dakota and graduated from Esmond High School in a class of nine students. Subsequently, she completed pre-medicine, medical school, and residency training in Grand Forks at UND and the Altru Family Medicine Residency. After practicing broad-based Family Medicine in Dickinson, ND for twelve years, she transitioned to full-time academic work in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at UND SMHS where she serves as the Co-Director of the Family Medicine Clerkship and Rural Opportunities in Medical Education (ROME) programs for third-year medical students. She still provides patient care in walk-in clinic on occasion. Rural health workforce and training are areas of interest and passion for Dr. Sherman. She enjoys networking with personnel in the Center for Rural Health at UND SMHS as well as with rurally-focused medical educators with across the region and the country. She has served as President of ND Academy of Family Physicians and has been a North Dakota delegate or alternate delegate to the American Academy of Family Physicians Congress of Delegates for five years.

Bryan Delage, MD

Bryan Delage, MD
Assistant Professor, Family & Community Medicine at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences


Bryan Delage, MD is the other current Co-Director for the Family Medicine Clerkship and ROME program in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at UND SMHS. He grew up in rural Minnesota and completed his undergraduate and medical school training in Minnesota. As a third-year medical student, he completed a rural third-year training component called Rural Physician Associate Program, which has some attributes similar to the ROME program at UND SMHS. He completed Family Medicine Residency Training at the UND Family Practice residency in Fargo. After practicing broad-based rural Family Medicine in Ortonville, MN for over 20 years, he switched his focus to full-time academic work at UND SMHS. He has many interests, including medical mission work in Haiti with Mission of Hope there. He continues to provide care in various clinical settings, including the Air National Guard. He and his wife, Kristi, have been married over 30 years. They enjoy spending time with their three adult children and one young granddaughter.

David Schmitz

David Schmitz, MD
Chair of the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences


David Schmitz, MD, is the chair of the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences. He is an internationally known and respected clinician who has extensive research expertise in training and retaining physicians in rural and underserved areas, the development of rural communities’ healthcare resources, and quality improvement in rural healthcare. He has published and presented extensively on his research. He continues to practice clinically and teaches at the UND.

As chair, he works with the school’s clinical partners to innovatively meet the need for education and training of current and future health professionals to effectively serve rural and underserved areas of the state.

Schmitz earned his medical doctorate from the State University of New York at Buffalo. He completed his residency training at the Family Medicine Residency of Idaho in Boise. Schmitz is a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians. He has served as the president of the National Rural Health Association and was founding chair of the American Academy of Family Physician Member Interest Group on Rural Health. Schmitz is active serving with several national organizations including the National Quality Forum and functions in roles with several federally funded grants focused on rural medical education and health care. Internationally, he is an executive committee member of the Global Association of Family Doctors (WONCA) Working Party on Rural Health.

Kay Miller Temple, Content Writer

Kay Miller Temple, MD
web writer at the Center for Rural Health (CRH) at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences


In January 2017, Kay Miller Temple began working as a content writer for Rural Health Information Hub (RHIhub). Kay grew up on a family farm near Cresbard, South Dakota. She received her MD from the University of South Dakota School of Medicine, and has board-certification in Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, and Hospice and Palliative Care. After many years in private practice, she joined the Mayo Clinic, Arizona Campus where she worked as a hospitalist for fifteen years. In 2013, she obtained a Master’s in Journalism and Mass Communication from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. She then balanced clinical practice and freelance medical writing until joining RHIhub. Kay has received numerous journalism awards for her reporting on military veteran hearing problems and childhood obesity. At Mayo, she served as chair of the Utilization Management Committee for five years. She created a System-Based Practice Day, a one-day curriculum for new hospital-based clinical providers, and for first year medical and surgical residents. This program is used by all of Mayo Arizona’s training programs to meet the core competency recommendations of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education.

As a writer for RHIhub, she writes from a national perspective and produces shareable in-depth, data-driven stories based on topical rural health challenges.

Stacy Kusler, Workforce Specialist at the North Dakota Center for Rural Health

Stacy Kusler, BA
Workforce Specialist at the North Dakota Center for Rural Health


Stacy Kusler, BA is the Workforce Specialist at the North Dakota Center for Rural Health, which serves as the North Dakota State Office of Rural Health. As part of her role, Stacy works with rural, urban underserved, mental health, and I.H.S/Tribal facilities on their recruitment and retention strategies and practices. She is both a board member, and the North Dakota organizational member for, a national rural recruitment and retention job board which connects healthcare workforce to job opportunities in rural and underserved areas. She is a board member and participating state lead for Practice Sights, an online survey tool used to monitor retention of providers under a loan repayment or scholarship service obligation. She partners with the North Dakota Area Health Education Center (AHEC) to connect future workforce with exposure to healthcare careers, and training opportunities in rural and underserved communities. She is the state liaison for the Community Apgar Project, a research project conducted to assist rural communities with recruiting and retaining primary care physicians. Additionally, Stacy partners with the North Dakota Primary Care Office to manage the state’s J-1 Visa Waiver program, and to provide technical assistance to both healthcare professionals and healthcare facilities on a variety of state and federal loan repayment and scholarship options. Stacy is a member of the North Dakota Rural Health Association, and the student advisor for the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences Rural Health Interest Group, a chapter of the National Rural Health Association medical student constituency group focused on rural health policy and practice.