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AVL-Rural-Scholars_2021The Rural Pharmacy Health Certificate program is a focused program of study that prepares student pharmacists for collaborative, interprofessional practices that serve the health care needs of North Carolinians living in rural and small communities. This concentration within the Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree is ideal for individuals who want to live and practice in rural areas and small towns. The UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy offers this uniquely on the Asheville campus as part of the School’s commitment to increasing the number of pharmacists practicing in rural, Western North Carolina.

Students may apply to become a Rural Pharmacy Health Scholar during the spring semester of their first year of the Pharm.D. program.

Why Rural?

The demand for pharmacists is often higher in rural communities where access to medical services may be limited by geography, distance and economic challenges. The Rural Pharmacy Health Certificate prepares individuals who enjoy small-town life for a satisfying, service-oriented rural pharmacy career. The Rural Pharmacy Health faculty offer mentoring and practice experiences that focus on the needs of residents in smaller communities. The courses offered in the Certificate include focused study on:

  • Population Health Management
  • Cultural Competency in Healthcare
  • Introduction to Rural Populations
  • Health Disparities
  • Impact of Social Determinants of Health in overall patient outcomes

While providing community service and outreach, scholars build relationships with local government, non-profits, safety-net organizations and public health providers. 

Practice in a Community you Love

Making an impact on the health of a community does not just happen in a medical practice or pharmacy. Impact happens when committed people come together and make a difference in the life of a community overall. Rural pharmacists are vital, well respected members of not only the healthcare team, but also the town, school and business communities they serve. Scholars who successfully complete the Rural Pharmacy Health Certificate emerge as leaders in their local communities.

Community health training in rural pharmacy settings positions our scholars to truly make a difference in the lives of their patients.


Seth Peterson
Asheville, NC


Megan Aylmer
Goodrich, MI


Brooke Jordan-Brown
Greenville, SC


Haley Newton
Rutherfordton, NC

Are You Interested in Learning More?

If you would like to learn more about the Rural Pharmacy Health Certificate program, please contact:


Stephanie Kiser

Director for Rural Health and Wellness
828-250-3956 or 828-250-3900