Training Rural Doctors for Rural People

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Training Rural Doctors for Rural People

The Wisconsin Collaborative for Rural Graduate Medical Education (WCRGME) (see our brochure) exists to address the rural shortage of primary care physicians through the expansion and support of rural graduate medical education (GME). WCRGME began in February 2012 as a joint partnership of the Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative (RWHC), the Wisconsin Rural Physician Residency Assistance Program (WRPRAP), the University of Wisconsin Baraboo Rural Training Track Residency Program (RTT) and several rural hospitals, clinics, and family medicine residency programs.


Kara Traxler

Director of Rural GME Development & Support

(608) 643-1060

Kara graduated with a B.S. from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point. She has worked in physician and resident medical education for over nine years, including several years with the Baraboo RTT. Having rural roots herself, she understands the need for Wisconsin’s smaller communities to recruit and retain primary care doctors. “Working with organizations statewide to develop and support rural GME opportunities is my passion. I am thrilled with the efforts and commitment of all our partners and look forward to our continued growth in training rural doctors for rural people.”

Jennifer Crubel

Rural GME Program Coordinator (Southern WI)

(608) 643-1050

As a program coordinator, Jennifer enjoys meeting with current and potential sites to develop rotations for residents and helping sites navigate their rural GME path. Jennifer experienced rural life firsthand while living in Lancaster, WI for 15 years. She worked at an agency that serves adults with developmental disabilities and strengthened her skills in grant writing, business development, and non-profit management while realizing the benefits and opportunities of rural life. Jennifer is excited to see the growth of rural GME in Wisconsin for residents, education coordinators, and preceptors!

Tania Anderson

Rural GME Program Coordinator (Southern WI)

(608) 643-1063

Tania Anderson graduated with a B.S. in Human Resource Management from Concordia University and began her career associated with healthcare at Divine Savior Healthcare (DSH) in Portage, WI.  While employed at DSH, she was responsible for the onsite coordination of medical student and resident rotations as well as some preliminary work with residency programming.  She begins her career with RWHC eager to share her knowledge of GME, and looks forward to helping WCRGME expand GME training to other rural sites in Wisconsin.

Jill Niemczyk

Rural GME Program Coordinator (Northern WI)

(920) 652-0238

Jill Niemczyk has a B.S. in Community Health Education from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse. Jill has worked in community health education for 17 years with a variety of populations. Jill has been the Program Manager of the Northeastern Wisconsin Area Health Education Center since January of 2004 and now plays a dual role as Program Coordinator for WCRGME. She joined the team in January 2015 and has been excited to learn about graduate medical education and rural health care. Jill enjoys helping to grow rural rotation sites and residency opportunities in northern Wisconsin.

Ann Fiene

Administrative and Education Assistant

(608) 644-3246

Ann Fiene served as a school district bookkeeper, middle school secretary, school district superintendent’s administrative assistant, worked as an administrative assistant for the Aspirus Healthcare System in Wausau, Wisconsin, provided administrative support for the Wisconsin Rural Schools Alliance and most recently, was employed as the administrative assistant at Concordia United Methodist Church in Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin.  Ann has had experience in both the public education system and in healthcare.  She is very happy to be a part of the WCRGME team and looks forward to working with the entire rural graduate medical education team.

Tim Size

Executive Director

(608) 643-2343

Tim Size has been the Executive Director of the Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative since its founding in 1979. Tim has a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Duke University, an MBA from the University of Chicago and an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities, from the Medical College of Wisconsin. He has served twice on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services. He is a past president of the National Rural Health Association and was a member of the Institute of Medicine Committee that wrote Quality Through Collaboration: The Future of Rural Health.

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