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3RNET 2023 Accomplishments

3RNET 2023 Accomplishments

Our Year In Review

Each year, we reflect on what we’ve accomplished toward our mission of improving health care in rural and underserved communities through the recruitment and retention of health professionals.

Here’s what we achieved throughout this past year:

3RNET Plus Tools

After years of development, 3RNET Plus Tools launched in January 2023! 3RNET Plus Tools is a subscription service for employers – separate from the access employers know and trust through their 3RNET Network Coordinators. 3RNET Plus Tools provides digital tools so employers can use technology to implement the best practices of recruiting to rural and underserved areas that 3RNET has been teaching since 1995! Some of the many tools included in 3RNET Plus Tools’ suite are: candidate tracking, website connectivity, featured jobs on 3RNET.org, and more. We are currently approaching 20 active 3RNET Plus Tools subscribers. We will continue to promote 3RNET Plus Tools, and ask for your assistance and support as we market these low-cost tools to safety net employers.


We have added several new states as PRISM users, bringing the total to 35! We also celebrated ten years of PRISM’s longitudinal studies – an impressive achievement for the states, partners, and people behind this program!

The first Conrad 30 J-1 Visa Waiver report was released in early 2023. Data for this report was collected in 2022 in the newly developed PRISM Conrad 30 J-1 Visa Waiver survey. Twenty-two states participated in the 2022 survey and in 2023 the number of states participating increased to 27. We’ve started developing reports users will be able to run through their PRISM dashboard.

We have partnered with the Behavioral Health Workforce Research Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A manuscript entitled "Preparing behavioral health clinicians for success and retention in rural safety net practices" was submitted to The Journal of Rural Health in early September and is being given consideration for publication. A second study to identify the factors about behavioral health clinicians’ jobs, work and practices associated with how long they anticipate remaining in their safety net practices is underway. We are excited to continue this partnership and contribute to behavioral health workforce data. 

Community Apgar Program Partnership

Through a partnership with the Pennsylvania State Office of Rural Health, Pennsylvania Primary Care Association, the University of North Dakota, and Boise State University, 3RNET led the effort to conduct the Community Apgar Project (or “Apgar” for short) with 12 Federally Qualified Health Centers in Pennsylvania. The Community Apgar Project provides employers with comparative data related to their recruitment efforts. Apgar can be a powerful tool in providing data to safety net employers. We hope to continue to help grow Apgar through this partnership.


Providing recruitment- and retention-focused education continues to be an important offering from the 3RNET team, led by our Director of Education, Mandi Gingras. Mandi hit the ground sprinting after joining our team last year (you may remember she was transitioning into this role as Michelle Varcho was transitioning out during our 2022 conference in Manchester, New Hampshire). Mandi has completed education projects in nine states and her calendar for 2024 is quickly filling!

As a team, we have also provided R4R education to other associations and organizations including the Association for Advancing Physician and Provider Recruitment (AAPPR), the Center for Optimizing Rural Health (CORH), the National AHEC Organization (NAO), the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH), the New England Rural Health Association, and the Northwest Staff Physician Recruiters (NWSPR) AAPPR affiliate.

Powering Partnerships through 3RNET.org

We are proud of the work we’ve done this year with two fantastic partner organizations: the National Association of Rural Health Clinics (NARHC) and the National AHEC Organization (NAO). Both organizations were able to work with 3RNET to help power their job board needs in creative ways. With NARHC, 3RNET now powers the job board portion of their website! Jobs from rural health clinics and critical access hospitals now automatically feed into this portion of the NARHC website. This allows health professionals to search the variety of jobs on 3RNET.org and create a free 3RNET profile if they choose.

3RNET now also has the ability for health professionals to add digital badges to their profiles! This allows job seekers to share with employers the professional development they’ve completed which is geared toward safety net facilities. The two digital badges currently on 3RNET.org are: the Certified Rural Health Clinic Professional credential from NARHC, and the AHEC Scholar credential from NAO.

Website updates

Many new website features have been launched over the last year! Some of the new features we added in 2023 include:

  • The addition of a “region” field to jobs and My Professionals Tracking System. This allows Network Coordinators to match candidates more specifically to a custom-defined region of their state.
  • Network Coordinators can now attach files and make comments when sending candidate referrals to employers.
  • Enhanced placement data reporting. We added many fields to help support Network Coordinators data needs for reporting placements.
  • Employers can now mark referrals as ‘contacted’. This allows employers to keep track of when they last contacted a candidate and gives better insight to Network Coordinators about the success of their referrals.
  • Rolled out 3RNET Plus Tools for Employers.
  • Continued to add new and innovative health profession options to further our commitment to helping communities recruit behavioral health professionals.

We continue to get feedback from Network Coordinators to improve, with a focus on data tracking and processes. Thank you to everyone who contributed your “wish list” ideas to improve the system for everyone!

Since 2021, the number of jobs active on 3RNET have tripled, and we now have over 1,457 employers with active jobs!

Board + Staff Advance

3RNET staff and board members convened in Minneapolis, Minnesota at the beginning of this year to thoughtfully brainstorm ways we can maintain and grow 3RNET as an organization supporting rural and underserved recruitment and retention for years to come. 3RNET staff have taken the ideas gathered during the Advance (Of which there were so many great ideas! We are so fortunate to have such smart, dedicated folks powering 3RNET!) and worked hard to put them into a strategic map that will be used to focus and further our work over the next two years.

Behavioral Health Interest Group

We launched a listserv for any 3RNET Network Coordinators interested in engaging with their behavioral health interested peers in October of 2022. We currently have 36 participants representing 27 states. Please reach out to Mandi Gingras if you’re interested in learning more about or subscribing to the ongoing conversation and resource sharing happening on this email listserv.

We have been funded to complete a behavioral health-focused project with this group in 2024 through our partnership with the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) and the National Rural Health Association (NRHA).

Marketing Efforts

Much of our marketing efforts in 2023 have involved shifting our strategies toward candidate development to reflect the current market. Some new approaches we’ve taken include direct health professional outreach, and participating in virtual career fairs through the American College of Physicians (ACP) and PracticeMatch.

We are expanding relationships with partners heavily involved in rural and underserved-focused healthcare. For example, with the National AHEC Organization (NAO) we ran a very successful email campaign geared toward AHEC Scholars, and with Fredrikson, we ran an email campaign to remind Internal Medical Graduate (IMG) physicians of the Visa resources available from 3RNET and Fredrikson.

We continue to support our Network Coordinators to be our marketing arm to reach candidates by supplying 3RNET marketing and promotional materials as part of their 3RNET membership.

Investing Partnerships

We launched a new level of partnership engagement this year, and welcomed two Investing Partners: PracticeLink, and Fredrikson. Both organizations have been fantastic supporters of 3RNET and our mission over the years. Our intent with furthering our relationship with Investing Partners is to continue to find like-minded goals between our organization and theirs so we can work together toward achieving them! Growth for 3RNET and the Investing Partners, with a nod to the idea behind 3RNET’s start: working together rather than competing.

2023 Annual Conference

Our 2023 3RNET Annual Conference was held in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and hosted by our member Cherokee Nation. We gathered 70 conference attendees, 14 speakers, and 13 sponsors. We had the unique opportunity to tour Cherokee Nation’s impressive, 84,000 square foot outpatient health center and Oklahoma State University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine at the Cherokee Nation in Tahlequah, Oklahoma.

2023 Academy

Our eighth annual Recruiting for Retention Academy was the biggest yet! 715 attendees from 36 states participated! Many of these participants were sponsored by the 23 3RNET members who paid to support Academy attendance for their employers.

2024 Conference

We will continue to expand our geographic footprint for our Annual Conference location in 2024 – we’re heading to Bismarck, North Dakota! Mark your calendars to join us September 17 – 18, 2024. We know this is probably a bucket list state for many of you, and we look forward to hosting you in NoDak!