3RNet Blog

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Weave together the many ways Tom Rauner has impacted 3RNet, and you realize: he’s sort of our “numbers guy”. So, in appreciation of his appreciation of digit-ization, we’ve compiled a list (numbered, of course) showcasing his contributions to our national network:

  1. 28 years. Tom started working with the Nebraska Office of Rural Health in 1990. One of his many jobs was to address workforce shortages across the state. He was part of a group of upper Midwest states that would get together to discuss health workforce issues, where 3RNet (when it was in its infancy) was often a topic of discussion. These meetings are his first memories of working with Fred Moskol and how he was introduced to recruitment and retention.
  2. Years of Data. Nebraska was one of the initial states to participate in Practice Sights back in the 1990s. And, several years ago he was instrumental in bringing together funding from several states to form the Practice Sights Retention Collaborative, one of the things he’s most proud of in his rural health career. His philosophy: he can teach people how to recruit, but it does no good if there’s no one to recruit. His passion for retention data has led to over 20 years of collective information on Nebraska providers as well as now over six years of data on the national level from the Retention Collaborative. It’s safe to say the Practice Sights Retention Collaborative might not exist without him, and he’s really led the way in helping move retention from anecdotes on why people stay to actual data. Pretty impressive!
  3. 50% and 90%. When Tom first started working on recruitment and retention, about half of his time was dedicated to this work. Although he’s never been a “full-time recruiter”, he’s assisted countless providers and dozens of communities across Nebraska. When 3RNet was first being put together, about 90% of the Nebraska’s providers came from upper Midwest states. Although Tom didn’t necessarily have a need for a national reach for finding providers, he immediately found value in having mentors and colleagues from across the country—something he still finds to be a huge advantage of 3RNet!
  4. 360 degrees. Tom found several mentors through 3RNet including Fred Moskol, Mary Amundson, and others. “I learned an awful lot from them. One of the biggest things you can get from 3RNet is to try and assess what your what your state is like and find someone in 3RNet who is similar that you can learn from,” he said. Tom has come full circle and is now a mentor for many of our new members. His thoughts on this? “I have the pay-it-forward perspective. You’re reminded once in a while how far you’ve come in the process and the things you can share. I hope everyone takes to heart the idea of paying it forward. It certainly comes back tenfold.”
  5. Multiple board terms. Tom doesn’t recall exactly how many terms he’s served on the 3RNet board of directors, but some quick math figures he’s probably served at least 10 years as a 3RNet board member, including several years as 3RNet’s treasurer.
  6. Treasurer. We have to give full recognition for Tom’s service as 3RNet treasurer throughout the years! He’s most proud of the fact that 3RNet, “Is an organization that’s on its most stable footing so we can be there to help other states. I think Fred would agree with that. We’re all coming together and trying to find ways to help,” he said.
  7. One goal. His words of wisdom to those new to 3RNet: “The goal is still the same: help providers in rural and underserved areas. It boils down to the fact that it’s still a very human aspect: helping communities and helping providers get out there to serve people.” 
  8. Multiple Hats. Tom has served as the Primary Care Office for Nebraska for many years in addition to his role as the Nebraska 3RNet member. He’s been an important connection to PCOs and to Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) for 3RNet, including helping 3RNet in getting funding from HRSA for our 2016 website upgrade.
  9. Sixth. Tom Rauner is the sixth recipient of the Fredric Moskol 3RNet Leadership Award. If we can count this list of his many contributions as “data”, we think the results are pretty clear: Tom Rauner is a leader who exemplifies what makes 3RNet great. He gives a modest answer to what he’s contributed to 3RNet: “We’re just trying to make sure people know what resources are out there,” but as we know, Tom has been a big part of making 3RNet so much more.

Congratulations, Tom Rauner! A very well deserved Moskol Award recipient. Thank you for all you’ve done, and continue to do for recruitment and (especially) retention for 3RNet, Nebraska, and the entire country!

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