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Our Mission

The Office of Rural Initiatives (ORI) exist to address the health care disparities in rural North Carolina through the recruitment and retaining of a diverse primary care provider workforce to meet the unique needs of our rural and underserved communities.

ORI aims to meet this mission through:

  • Educational opportunities in Rural North Carolina
  • Recruitment of students from rural North Carolina to the UNC School of Medicine
  • Pipeline programs in partnership with community and campus partners
  • Exposure to rural and underserved areas of North Carolina
  • Advocacy for healthcare inclusiveness and equity
  • Mentorship and Support
View the ORI Statement of Unity and Inclusion

Our Story

Rural Center County ClassificationsThe Office of Rural Initiatives was created in summer 2017 to align efforts related to the education, training, and retention of primary care physicians to rural and underserved areas in North Carolina. The office works with campus and community partners to strengthen and build pipeline programs to support students from rural and underserved areas on a pathway to medicine. Housing the Kenan Rural Primary Care Scholars Program, the Rural Inter-Professional Health Initiative, Rural Primary Care Fellowship program, and the Rural Medicine Project Undergraduate cohort program in partnership with the Office of Scholarships and Student Aid at UNC-Chapel Hill, the Office of Rural Initiatives is working to establish connected resources, support, and programs to expand the number of primary care physicians seeking to serve rural and underserved North Carolina. The office directly reflects the mission and commitment of the UNC School of Medicine and UNC Health Care to serve the people of the state of North Carolina.

Our Team