3RNet Blog

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Ann Cranford has served as the 3RNet member for the state of Tennessee for the past 15 years. During this time, she’s grown into one of 3RNet’s leaders. But, she’ll be the first to tell you she didn’t start off that way. 

“When I started doing the program with recruitment I knew nothing about recruitment. Nikki Kennedy was such a great help to me in understanding how my program fit into things and how we were able to utilize the program to get the word out when we had vacancies available,” Ann said.

Fast-forward fifteen years, and Ann is one of our longest serving members nationwide. During her tenure as Tennessee’s 3RNet member she’s served on the 3RNet board of directors for two terms, including serving as the board’s secretary; she’s served on the Annual Conference planning committee since 2013, and she also hosted 3RNet’s 2016 Annual Conference in Nashville. 


Ann Cranford and 3RNet Executive Director Mike Shimmens

“What I enjoy most is when I see that a rural community is able to recruit that much needed physician, and knowing that rural community has better access to quality health care. I am originally from a very small town in Tennessee. I understand what a difference it makes when you need care and don’t have to wait two months to be seen or drive over an hour to see a provider. The goal is to make sure everyone has access regardless of access to insurance or transportation, and not have the ER be the primary care provider. It’s rewarding to be a part of an organization that does such important work,” Ann said.

The Kennedy-Kafer Service Award is given to a 3RNet member who embodies the passion and service-driven characteristics of its namesake: Nikki Kennedy-Kafer and Jerry Kafer.

“The relationship I had with Nikki and Jerry – they are both such wonderful people and loved 3RNet – it was a big surprise! Still in awe of being nominated let alone actually winning the award. I’m very humbled that I was chosen. I am normally not lost for words but I was that particular day,” Ann said.

“Receiving the Kennedy-Kafer Service Award means to me that someone recognized the efforts I put forward in serving 3RNet in the capacity I was able to. Nikki and Jerry were always willing to help. You always want to be willing to help get the job done. One of the things I love about 3RNet is that we’re such a family. I was not that person that came up in recruitment. I needed their help and they were there to help me. That’s what I see in them. That was what they were always known for,” Ann said.

Ann’s word of wisdom to her fellow 3RNet members: “Do what’s in your heart. This is one the best organizations you could be a part of. Being able to serve in any capacity is very rewarding because of the way the organization is structured and what we do. You’ll gain so much from your involvement in this organization. Be open to learning new information and know that if you have a question someone is there for you.”

From your entire 3RNet family: thank you, Ann Cranford, for all you do for 3RNet in Tennessee and nationwide. And, congratulations on receiving the 2017 Kennedy-Kafer Service Award! 

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