3RNet Blog

Thanks for visiting the 3RNet blog! Blog posts are written by members, staff, and partners. If you have an idea for a blog post, or are interested in writing one, please contact Kristine Morin, Director of Communications and Marketing, at Morin@3RNet.org.


We’re celebrating National Rural Health Day and the #PowerOfRural by celebrating rural facilities who have been successful in their recruitment efforts. Recruiting health care providers can be a challenge—especially in rural areas. We’re recognizing rural facilities for their recruitment excellence!

Today we're highlighting South Peninsula Hospital in Homer, Alaska. South Peninsula Hospital recruited a physical therapist through 3RNet! Congrats!

Read more about South Peninsula Hospital’s community, facility, and what they believe makes them successful in their recruitment efforts: 

Tell us a bit about South Peninsula Hospital.

South Peninsula Hospital is a non-profit hospital that was founded in 1956, then as a three-bed PUD (public utility district). It has grown over sixty years into a state-of-the-art hospital licensed for 22 medical beds and 28 nursing home beds. The hospital is the result of a unique partnership between the Kenai Peninsula Borough (service-area tax support for the facility and capital investments), City of Homer (for the land), and SPH, Inc., (the non-profit organization which provides the healthcare).

The hospital employees over 400 local residents, and is the area’s largest employer, contributing over $20,000,000 annually into the local economy in payroll alone. That, combined with service contracts, materials acquisition and leases, creates significant impact to the southern peninsula’s economic well-being.  Some ancillary project funding is provided through grants, the South Peninsula Hospital Foundation, Inc. and the South Peninsula Hospital Auxiliary.  South Peninsula Hospital’s performance is measured in a number of ways, including the tracking of clinical care, patient outcomes, and patient satisfaction.  Quality and patient safety are the cornerstones of the performance at South Peninsula Hospital.  A Quality Committee monitors the vital work of ensuring that the highest quality of care is delivered to each patient and the hospital staff incorporates the organization’s values-based behaviors to support that care.

South Peninsula Hospital has been three times named a Top 100 Critical Access Hospital out of more than 1,300 critical access hospitals nationwide. The top 100 critical access hospitals scored best on the iVantage Health Analytics’ Hospital Strength Index, which includes a unique set of measures rating Market Strength, Value-based Strength and Financial Strength as key pillars for benchmarking. It incorporates 56 different performance metrics, including quality, outcomes, patient perspective, affordability and efficiency. iVantage Health Analytics, Inc. manages the HealthStrong Awards Program, which recognizes exceptional performance among all eligible U.S. general acute care hospitals, including all rural hospitals and the more than 1,300 Critical Access Hospitals.

Our town, Homer, sits on stunning Kachemak Bay. Made famous as "The End of the Road" in Tom Bodett's tales, Homer is at the end of the Sterling Highway, 200 miles south of Anchorage surrounded by wilderness and ocean. A home base for great fishing (The Halibut Fishing Capital of the World), kayaking, bear viewing, hiking, destination weddings, foodie and art vacations. Homer is known as the Eco and Adventure tourism capital of Alaska, as well as the City of Peonies. Home to the Discovery Channel's "Alaska: The Last Frontier" Kilcher family, and home port to the F/V Time Bandit of "Deadliest Catch" fame, Homer's museums, art galleries, fine dining and seaside accommodations, all help create Alaska-sized memories to last a lifetime. This unique combination of location, commerce, beauty, and wilderness makes Homer a wonderful place to visit, and a great place to live! 

Why do people enjoy working at South Peninsula Hospital?

Kindness of staff to one another as well as patients. I love working somewhere that touches so many people in the community. Everywhere I go, when I say I work at the hospital, people share their stories of great our service is, how wonderful our employees are, and how lucky we are to have such a great hospital in our community. Our staff is dedicated to excellence and always looking to better themselves and the care they provide.

What makes your community a great place to live and work?

Many of our staff members came to Homer on vacation and never left or couldn’t wait to get back here permanently.  As the largest employer in the community, we offer an extraordinary work/life balance, as well as competitive pay and benefits. Our employees enjoy a rewarding career with astounding opportunities for career growth and professional advancement, and the ability to explore the natural habitat and beauty of Alaska.

Tell us about your connection to 3RNet.org and/or your 3RNet member.

South Peninsula Hospital has had an ongoing relationship with 3RNet for several years.  We use the service to advertise our many open positions and recruit top talent to rural Alaska. 

What makes you successful with your recruitment and retention efforts?

Being in rural, remote Alaska, we have to attract the right talent to the right positions. We achieve this by utilizing technology to help us locate talent across the country.  Our extensive interviewing process includes a preliminary telephone screening, then successful candidates advance to a conversation with the hiring manager.  If all goes well, we then have a cross-functional panel of employees in the respective department, other department representatives the candidate would work with regularly, and senior and junior management members conduct panel interviews.  It really is a comprehensive hiring process that helps us ensure the candidate chosen will be a good long-term fit for the hospital.  Employees stay for many reasons once on board.  The culture of inclusivity and personal and professional growth, knowing their voice is heard both within their department and at the highest level of management, exceptional benefits packages and wages, and a thriving community surrounding them.

Share a piece of advice! What would you tell someone who is recruiting or someone who is being recruited? 

To candidates being recruited, my advice is to be open. Be open about your wants and needs in your next position.  Be open to exploring opportunities that will challenge you and push you out of your comfort zone.  Be open to rejection, as it is an inevitable part of the process, but know that rejection from one opportunity is only opening you up to another opportunity that you’ll be an even better fit for.  For those who are recruiting, remember that candidates are human beings.  Every person you engage with has their own story, and brings their own set of experiences to the table.  Treat each application as an opportunity to connect with another human being on a personal level.  It is by forming this relationship that you will have success in attracting the right talent for the right roles.


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