3RNet Blog

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Jerry Coopey, our 2017 Moskol Leadership Award recipient, believed in Fred Moskol and the potential of 3RNet the very beginning.

The first time Jerry Coopey met Fred, he immediately recognized that Fred knew what he was talking about regarding recruitment and retention. “He became, for me, the ‘go to’ guy for recruitment and retention,” Coopey said.  


“I knew how to start programs, hustle on the hill, but I didn’t know anything about rural. Or recruitment and retention,” Coopey said. “It’s like someone gave me a gift, and Fred was that gift when it came to recruitment and retention, which I was starting to figure out was the most important issue.”

When Fred first started pitching the idea of 3RNet to Jerry, he recalls, “I didn’t know what the Internet was. We were somewhere and he explains this to me in very rough terms and I’m listening because I really respect Fred and he knows what he’s talking about. I saw this wonderful ‘matching’ thing. Maybe at the time there were these Internet dating sites—that’s what I immediately thought this was—and I understood.”

Pictured to the right: (left to right) Mike Shimmens, 3RNet Executive Director; Tom Rauner, 3RNet Board President; Jerry Coopey, Fred Moskol

Jerry Coopey supported Fred Moskol and together they paved the way for 3RNet to connect health care professionals with rural and underserved communities. According to Jerry: “I was the hustler, Fred was the guy.” Together, they worked tirelessly for months and months to sell people on the idea of a website (before the internet was commonplace) that could bring communities and professionals together on a national scale.

And did Jerry ever hustle! Jerry’s Washington, D.C. career spanned over 30 years, during which he made countless contributions that shaped the rural health care landscape of our country. Coopey helped get the initial funding starting the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (he was one of the three original staff members), and he also worked to provide funding to start programs including: NOSORH, NRHA, and 3RNet. Jerry might tell you he doesn’t “know rural”, but, without his years of dedicated work, we may not have the rural programs we do today—including 3RNet. 

“It’s all about infrastructure. That’s what I cared about. Building programs like NOSORH, NRHA, and 3RNet so that things would still go on. That was the key—creating this infrastructure that makes things work; gives you something to build around and move things forward,” Coopey said.

Jerry’s dedication led to 3RNet’s early success and the vision he knew Fred had for this national network is as strong today as it was when Fred was a just a guy that Jerry Coopey believed in, and the Internet was still unknown to most!

About his work helping establish 3RNet Jerry says, “I’m very proud of all of this. That’s what’s so great about letting 3RNet do the work: they have the commitment, and they have it to themselves.”

The Fredric Moskol Leadership Award is presented to a person who possesses outstanding leadership abilities, supports the mission of 3RNet, responds compassionately to the healthcare needs of rural and underserved populations, and does so with a collaborative and compassionate spirit.

We’re very proud to present the 2017 Moskol Award to Jerry Coopey—the first supporter of 3RNet’s mission, and an outstanding example of all the characteristics this award commemorates.

Pictured above: (left to right) Fred Moskol and Jerry Coopey

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