Rita Osborn is the Director for the Southern Utah AHEC and the Utah Center for Rural Health. Ms. Osborn founded the highly successful Rural Health Scholars program which has significantly increased acceptances to health profession programs for Southern Utah University, Dixie State University and Snow College. She has also multiple successful grants and contracts to support the Center’s programs. Osborn founded the Cedar City Free Clinic that operated in Cedar City and Beaver, UT from 2004 until 2013 until it became a FQHC.
Advising students headed for health care graduate programs is truly her passion. “When our rural or disadvantaged students, many first-generation matriculate to graduate school, I know we are helping to change our health care system in some small way.” Ms. Osborn is known to be a champion for her students.
Ms. Osborn has a Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration from Cal State University, San Bernardino, and she received her M.B.A from SUU in 2002. Her thesis addressed the health care shortages in southern Utah.
She also serves on numerous boards and organizations and has received awards such as the Utah Campus Compact’s Engaged Scholar in 2007 and the SUU Advisor of the Year in 2007, 2009 and 2012. In 2014, she received the Achievement in Experiential Learning Award from SUU. She lives in Cedar City, UT with her husband, Earl Mulderink, a university professor, has two adult daughters who live in Park City and she enjoys travel, hiking and cooking.