Mission Statement:

“To expose the next generation of healthcare professionals to the specific healthcare needs of rural communities in Washington. By immersing students in an interactive experience, we hope to inspire a further commitment to healthcare.”

What is HCASB?

Healthcare Alternative Spring Break (HCASB) aims to help prehealth undergraduates learn about the unique challenges and characteristics of rural health care through first-hand, immersive experiences. During the University of Washington’s Spring Break, teams of 4-6 undergraduates will travel to a community in rural Washington state, and shadow healthcare professionals for four days to learn about their clinical practice. The fifth day of each Spring Break experience, participants will give back to their host community, typically through school visits to promote the pursuit of higher education.

Shadowing fields include:

  • Medicine
  • Dentistry
  • Nursing
  • Pharmacy
  • Optometry
  • Physical Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Public Health
  • and more!

Note: HCASB is an official constituent of ASUW’s Student Health Consortium (SHC)

Trip Duration:

Typically, teams will leave on the Saturday afternoon of the beginning of Spring Break from the University of Washington. Shadowing occurs Monday through Thursday, usually from 9AM – 5PM. On Friday, teams will participate in a volunteering activity within the community. Afterwards, they return to the University of Washington. Participants can expect to be back by the Friday evening of Spring Break.


The cost of the trip will be in the $200-$250 range, depending on fundraising over Fall and Winter quarter. This cost will cover food, lodging, and transportation; any unspent funds (including $80 specifically for food) will be returned to participants at the end of their trip. Lodging and transportation to each site is planned and provided for by HCASB, via the trip fee.

Full and partial scholarships are available through an application closer to the end of Fall quarter. If you interested in going on the trip but are worried about finances, we highly encourage you to fill out the separate scholarship application. Please do not let money discourage you from applying!

A link to the Catalyst application is available on the homepage of our website. Applicants will be notified of their scholarship application status by early February.