Board of Directors

Tom Rauner, Nebraska


Tom Rauner has been with the Department of Health and Human Services for 30 years, and the Primary Care Office Director for 16 of those years.  He has been a member of 3R Net since it was created and enjoys the sharing collaborative nature of its members.

He works with a number of programs involving the preparation and placement of health care providers in federal and state underserved areas.  Those programs include the National Health Service Corps, the National Rural Recruitment and Retention Network and the Nebraska Office of Rural Health Incentive 

He enjoys addressing health care workforce and health policy issues.Programs.  He was involved with creating the Health Professions Tracking System in Nebraska which continuously monitors the practice location of physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, behavioral health providers and dentists.  He leads the NHSC Multi-State Retention Collaborative effort. 

Jawana Akuffo, Washington

Jawana Akuffo has been with the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) for four years working as the Workforce Advisor in Rural Health. In her role at DOH she provides community outreach, recruitment and technical assistance to students, candidates and facilities regarding resources available in rural and urban-underserved areas; promoting 3RNet as the premier site for healthcare professionals.  Jawana has a Master’s degree in Organizational Leadership and certificate in Human Resource Management. She has a strong background in workforce development, strategically building community partnerships and collaborations with key workforce development stakeholders in healthcare, business and education. She was instrumental in implementing a countywide Health Career Day targeted for high school students to expose them to a variety of healthcare careers. She has been managing healthcare programs and providing recruitment and retention services to healthcare employers and employees for over 15 years. 

Melissa Candelaria, New Mexico

Melissa Candelaria is the Senior Recruiter at New Mexico Health Resources, Inc. (NMHR).  She has been an employee with NMHR since November 1994.  Ms. Candelaria attended high school in Hondo, NM, a very rural area in the southeastern part of New Mexico.  She attended Western New Mexico University in Silver City, NM and has also attended the Dona Ana Branch Community College/New Mexico State University, as well as Central New Mexico.  She has over 10 years’ experience as a health professional recruiter.  She has been involved with the 3RNET since approximately 1996.  Her experience as a recruiter includes involvement with the various state and federal loan for service and loan repayment programs.  She also has extensive experience in organizing continuing medical and dental education conferences.

Joyce Grayson, Kansas


Joyce Grayson, MBA, has 19 years of experience in both the profit and not-for-profit sector of recruitment. Joyce was hired by Rural Health Education & Services at the University of Kansas Medical Center in 2004 as the statewide Recruitment Coordinator and in February 2009 was promoted to the departmental Director. In this role, Joyce has worked to enhance the provision of health care as well as the quantity of health care professionals in rural and underserved areas of Kansas through a variety of workforce programs and services. Joyce oversees the Kansas Recruitment and Retention Center – a centralized statewide recruitment and retention service, Kansas Locum Tenens and Kansas Medical Resource – temporary coverage programs for primary care and sub-specialty physicians, the Kansas Bridging Plan – the state loan forgiveness program for primary care physicians, RH Designs – marketing services to assist rural Kansas’ health care employers recruit, and Kansas Career Opportunities – an annual healthcare career fair.

In an effort to strengthen Kansas’ workforce and increase access to health care, Joyce leverages relationships with students, resident physicians, health care providers, employers, and State stakeholders. Joyce is responsible for program development and has been integral in grant research for funding of physician and dental recruitment efforts. Joyce and her team have created a practice scorecard, recruitment checklist, career checklist, and are currently developing a retention toolkit for employers. In addition, Joyce works closely with Kansas’ Primary Care Office and Primary Care Association on a variety of special projects as well as the J1-Visa Waiver Program and the National Health Service Corps.

For nearly ten years, Joyce has proudly represented Kansas in 3RNet. She served on 3RNet’s annual conference committee in 2013 and is currently serving on the marketing committee. Joyce has focused her education on health care administration and utilizes it, and her extensive background, to address the need for health care in rural Kansas. In addition, she shares her knowledge as a consultant to other states who are looking to implement similar workforce programs.

Stacy Kusler, North Dakota

Stacy Kusler is the Workforce Specialist at the Center for Rural Health (CRH) at the University of North Dakota (UND) School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) in Grand Forks.

Stacy is responsible for connecting rural healthcare facilities within North Dakota with healthcare professionals seeking employment in a rural setting. She works with health professions graduates across the United States to inform them of career opportunities in rural North Dakota. Through her work, Stacy is addressing the healthcare workforce shortages throughout the state.

Sara Leahy, Colorado


Sara Leahy is the Workforce and Clinic Program Manager at the Colorado Rural Health Center (CRHC), Colorado’s State Office of Rural Health. Sara manages the Colorado Provider Recruitment program, which is a non-profit recruitment program that focuses on the expansion of primary care workforce throughout Colorado’s rural and urban-underserved communities and offers recruitment and retention services to providers and employers. She also manages CRHCs Rural Health Clinics program.

As an alumnus of the State University of New York at Oneonta, Sara earned her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology. Her professional background includes work in several non-profit, member-based organizations. Sara has a passion to work on behalf of the under-served and to be a part of the solution in providing improved access to healthcare to those in need. She has been working for CRHC since 2007 and is proud of the work her program and organization have done on behalf of rural Coloradans and is excited to be a part of future endeavors with the organization. In her free time, Sara enjoys spending time outdoors camping, hiking and snowshoeing with her family and friends, listening to live music and relaxing with a good book. She keeps very busy trying to keep up with her two year old and new baby too!

Judd Mellinger-Blouch, Pennsylvania


Judd Mellinger-Blouch is the Director of the Pennsylvania Primary Care Career Center, which is part of the Pennsylvania Association of Community Health Centers. The Career Center helps community health centers, rural health clinics and other healthcare organizations recruit and retain physicians, dentists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and other primary care providers. Judd has been working in healthcare since 19686, predominantly in areas of public relations, marketing, communications, provider relations, and recruitment. Prior to joining the Career Center in March 2014, Judd was Director of Marketing Communications at the Pennsylvania Medical Society. He holds two degrees from Pennsylvania State University: a Bachelors of Arts in Journalism (1982); and a Masters of Public Administration with a healthcare emphasis (1998). Judd lives in Hershey with his wife Ellen, a behavioral health social worker employed by Holy Spirit Hospital. Their children are Jake Blouch, Philadelphia, and Leah Mellinger-Blouch, Hershey. They also have one future daughter-in-law, one grand-dog, and two grand-cats.  

David Raines, Department of Veterans Affairs

David Raines is the National Healthcare Recruitment Consultant for the US Department of Veterans Affairs.  He works out of Nashville, TN and recruits Physicians for hospitals and rural areas of TN/KY/WV.   

David has been working in the Healthcare recruitment for 29 years.  Recruitment in the US Air Force,  South Carolina State Office of Rural Health, Private hospitals and clinics and for our Veterans Hospitals with the VHA National Healthcare Recruiters.

David Raines has served on many boards throughout his tenure.  The 3RNET Past President, 3RNET Board, Carolinas Healthcare Physician Recruiters Board, and served on the American Academy of Family Physicians Residency Conference (AAFP) board. He is married, and lives in Houston, TX.

Rachel Ruddock, Michigan

Rachel Ruddock is the Recruitment and Retention Services Manager at the Michigan Center for Rural Health. In this role, Rachel provides assistance to healthcare providers, students and rural healthcare facilities with their employment and workforce needs. Rachel provides technical assistance in the areas of state and federal loan repayment programs, health professional shortage areas and J-1 visas and waivers.

Prior to joining MCRH, Rachel was the Risk Communication Analyst for the Bureau of EMS, Trauma and Preparedness within the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. Rachel previously worked as a Constituent Relations Specialist in fund development and as a Patient Resource Coordinator for oncology patients at the American Cancer Society. Rachel also served as an AmeriCorps member at the American Red Cross in the areas of Disaster Services, Service to the Armed Forces and Refugee Services. She holds a B.A. double major in Political Theory & Constitutional Democracy and Social Relations & Policy from James Madison College at Michigan State University and is currently pursuing an MBA in Healthcare Management.

3RNET members Loan repayment programs Loan repayment programs J1 Visa waiver