Rural Health Initiative

40 million+ Americans live in pharmacy deserts
3 million+ people living in rural Washington have little access to health care
~800 primary care health professionals needed to fill gaps in care in Washington

In the United States there are 40 million people living in pharmacy deserts where access to health care continues to be a chronic problem with no clear solutions. The state of Washington has almost 3 million residents living in areas that are faced with a shortage of health professionals, with nearly 800 new providers needed to eliminate those gaps in access to care.

Many of the residents in rural communities rely on the services of the local pharmacy or health clinic for their health care needs. Access to quality care is recognized as the most frequently identified rural health priority. Expanding access to health care professions in rural communities, specifically pharmacy education, is one solution to address the health disparities in the state.

The Vision

The health and wellness of our diverse rural communities are improved through enhanced education opportunities and increased access to pharmacist-provided care that meets their unique health care needs.

  • Increase access to affordable, local, and quality health care services in rural and medically undeserved areas.
  • Increase diversity by recruiting students from underrepresented and rural communities, ensuring they have academic support, and helping them return to those communities upon graduation.
  • Promote innovation and entrepreneurship through new business and interprofessional patient care models.

How You can Help


Your support will help us fund student scholarships, recruit quality faculty, and sustain residencies in rural areas where access to care is most needed.


Are you a site interested in partnering with the college to train the next generation of pharmacists and health care providers? Contact Julie Akers to tell us about how we can support a residency in your community.