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Published December 16, 2019
The director of the University of Wyoming’s Wyoming Technology Business Center (WTBC) in Casper has been selected as one of 15 fellows to participate in the National Rural Health Association (NRHA) 2020 Rural Health Fellows program.
Eric Schlidt, a graduate of the Master of Science in Health Services Administration (MS-HSA) Program offered through the UW School of Pharmacy, will participate in a yearlong, intensive program aimed at developing leaders who can articulate a clear and compelling vision for rural health in America.
NRHA is a national nonprofit professional association in the United States, with more than 18,000 members. The association’s mission is to provide leadership on rural health issues, which it attempts to carry out through education, communication and advocacy.
Schlidt, who previously served as associate director of the MS-HSA Program, credits his degree and leadership role in the program, as well as working in health care in Casper, for his being honored by the NRHA.
“Wyoming is always in need of ideas of how we can innovate our rural health,” Schlidt says. “My background at the University of Wyoming gave me the tools to ask the right questions, and I am honored to be selected as one of the rural health fellows.”
As part of NRHA’s leadership development goals, Schlidt will serve as an informational conduit for UW.
“Given my previous position within the MS-HSA Program and current position as director of the WTBC in Casper, I think I am able to pass on some of the knowledge I will get from this yearlong fellowship to those who are interested within the College of Health Sciences and here in Casper,” Schlidt says. “I am unsure as to what the project will entail, as we have not had our first meeting, but I am excited for the challenge and look forward to it.”
In addition to developing leaders in addressing rural health, NRHA wants those leaders to be able to articulate a clear and compelling vision for rural America, which includes Wyoming.
“I hope to represent Wyoming as one of the unique rural environments and that it requires unique solutions,” Schlidt says. “I plan to connect with interested stakeholders throughout this year and bring their issues to light.”
NRHA’s selection of 15 fellows ensures that rural regions throughout the country will have representation and knowledgeable leadership.
“I believe that meeting with all the other rural health fellows will allow me to see how other states might work with problems they have seen and take pieces of their solutions to Wyoming,” Schlidt says. “Given how diverse their backgrounds are, I think it is incredibly exciting that we are able to connect and work together. Wyoming is my home, and I am delighted to be able to represent our great state.”