Project REACH

Wind turbine and stream

Build the skills you need to successfully advocate for improved health in your rural community. 

Project REACH (Rural Experts Advancing Community Health) is a year-long program that provides diverse community leaders in rural Minnesota with health policy and leadership training. Participants will learn to frame health policy challenges and how to communicate effectively with state legislators and other policymakers.

What you’ll get


Identify a local challenge, build leadership skills to address it, and develop and share a policy proposal with relevant decision makers.


Throughout the program, you’ll have access to mentorship from University of Minnesota faculty and staff.

Dissemination opportunities

You may have opportunities to publish or present your work during the program.

Travel costs covered

For trainings and/or meetings and program materials.


$1,200 stipend.

Certificate of completion

Upon program completion.

Total time commitment: Approximately 8–10 hours a month.

Participants: 2023–24

What participants say

Adam Pavek, PharmD


Leah Lehtola


Ann Bussey

Project REACH is a joint initiative of the University of Minnesota Rural Health Program through the Office of Academic Clinical Affairs and the Clinical and Translational Science Institute.

Learning partners

Dr. Ryan Allen
Humphrey School of Public Affairs

Dr. Lynn Blewett
School of Public Health

Devon Charlier
Upper Midwest Agricultural and Safety Health Center

Alyssa Fritz
Rural Health Research Center

Dr. Carrie Henning-Smith
School of Public Health

Dr. Mary Jo Katras
UMN Extension Center for Family Development

Dr. Katy Kozhimannil
School of Public Health

Megan Lahr
Rural Health Research Center

Dr. Lacey Loomer
UMN Duluth Labovitz School of Business and Economics

Dr. Hannah MacDougall
School of Social Work

Dr. Laura Palombi
UMN Duluth College of Pharmacy

Maddy Pick
Rural Health Research Center

Megan Schossow
Upper Midwest Agricultural and Safety Health Center

Dr. Nathan Shippee
School of Public Health

Laurissa Stigen
College of Nursing

Mariana Tuttle
Rural Health Research Center


Katie Rydberg, MPH
Program Manager
Rural Health Research Center
[email protected]