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. On the fifth day of week, participants will give back to their host community, typically through school visits to promote the pursuit of higher education.

HCASB is completely student run and is an official constituent of ASUW’s Student Health Consortium (SHC)

Shadowing fields include

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


Trip Duration

Teams will leave on the Saturday morning or 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 at UW 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 covers orientation, food, lodging, and transportation; all of which is planned and accounted for by HCASB. Any unspent funds (including $80 specifically for food) will be returned to participants at the end of their trip.

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!



When filling out the participant application, HCASB asks whether you would be able help contribute to your team’s transportation. You have three options. The first option is you can just choose not to drive. Second, if you have access to your own car, a valid driver’s license, and are willing to drive on the trip, HCASB can provide you with $50 reimbursement for the use your car and gas reimbursements for the trip duration. This is our most preferred option. Third, if you are 21 years of age or over, have a valid WA state driver’s license, and are willing to drive on the trip, then HCASB can provide your team with a rental car for you to drive on the trip. HCASB will again provide gas reimbursements at the end of the trip. 


HCASB Organization