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Rural Health Information Hub

Club Scrub

  • Need: Rural Wisconsin communities experience threatened healthcare infrastructure due to workforce shortages.
  • Intervention: The Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative, in partnership with the Wisconsin Office of Rural Health, created a youth program to increase awareness of health-related professions known as Club Scrub.
  • Results: Middle-school students attend the program and gain a better understanding of career options in the healthcare industry.


Many rural communities face healthcare workforce shortages. To address this issue, the Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative (RWHC), a network of 44 rural hospitals, worked with member hospitals in rural Wisconsin to create the Club Scrub program.

Club Scrub's goal was to provide middle school students with exposure to the variety of careers available in health care. The initial program ran from June 2006-June 2007, and was originally funded by a Wisconsin Office of Rural Health grant. With their online toolkit, the Wisconsin Office of Rural Health (WI-ORH) continues to promote Club Scrub activities in order to expose 7th and 8th grade students to healthcare careers. However, it no longer organizes an event.

Services offered

The program had two goals:

  • Increase awareness of health-related professions for middle school age youth through hands-on activities
  • Increase students' knowledge of the educational requirements needed in high school and college for anyone interested in entering various health fields

The original program was provided at no-cost to the students. Participants were able to work alongside hospital employees from a wide-range of disciplines, including:

  • Emergency services
  • Dietary
  • Rehabilitation
  • Respiratory therapy
  • Nursing
  • Laboratory


Approximately 160 middle school students completed the initial Club Scrub program in 2006-2007. Hospitals continue to run the program. The program consistently receives high ratings from participants.


The WI-ORH provides a variety of resources and information for other communities wishing to create a program similar to Club Scrub. This program can be adapted to accommodate budgets of varying sizes. It can also be adapted easily for younger or older students. The WI-ORH also provides a detailed toolkit that includes:

  • A program overview
  • Forms and communications
  • Club Scrub meeting ideas
  • Lesson plans for different departments
  • The Club Scrub Cookbook

Contact Information

Jo Preston, Workforce & Organizational Development Manager
Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative

Children and youth
Health workforce pipeline

States served

Date added
March 31, 2008

Date updated or reviewed
August 24, 2020

Suggested citation: Rural Health Information Hub, 2020. Club Scrub [online]. Rural Health Information Hub. Available at: [Accessed 19 April 2024]

Please contact the models and innovations contact directly for the most complete and current information about this program. Summaries of models and innovations are provided by RHIhub for your convenience. The programs described are not endorsed by RHIhub or by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy. Each rural community should consider whether a particular project or approach is a good match for their community’s needs and capacity. While it is sometimes possible to adapt program components to match your resources, keep in mind that changes to the program design may impact results.