3RNet Blog

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Our members know their states! This week we're hearing from our newest 3RNet member: the Community Health Center Association of Connecticut, about what makes their small state great.

Name: Dionne Kotey 

City, State: Cheshire, Connecticut

Organization: Community Health Center Association of Connecticut, Inc. (CHCACT) 

How long have you lived in Connecticut? Why do you choose to live there?

17 years. I have lived in Connecticut for most of life and continue to live here because it offers a family-friendly environment among other great benefits; Connecticut ranks among the top five nationally in quality of public-school (Pre-K-12) education by state. New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and the Long Island Sound surround the state. Connecticut experiences four seasons, offering beautiful scenery throughout the year. Connecticut's fall foliage season is one of the state’s best highlights. Driving through Connecticut in the fall guarantees a beautiful scenic drive! There is a place for everyone in Connecticut, as the state has the perfect fusion of urban, suburban and rural areas. Connecticut offers various outdoor recreation opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts – camping, fishing, hiking and boating, to name a few. Sports lovers will also enjoy Connecticut. Connecticut has teams belonging to the National Hockey League and the National Basketball Association. Teams like the UCONN Basketball, UCONN Football, Quinnipiac University Basketball and the Connecticut Sun have a widespread audience. And another fun fact: Some (major) celebrities have made Connecticut their home!   

How is 3RNet impacting Connecticut?

CHCACT recently became 3RNet’s newest member and is excited about the national access and outreach for recruitment of health professionals that 3RNet provides.

What are the best cultural events that happen in Connecticut?

Connecticut is a small state, yet diverse, with many events going across the state. Some annual events worth noting are: PGA Golf Tournaments, Litchfield Jazz Festivals, and the New Haven Festival of Arts and Ideas.

Why should a health professional choose Connecticut over surrounding states?

As a Connecticut resident, one gets a small state feel, with access to big cities (New York City and Boston) within driving distance and/or via public transportation. Health professionals at all stages in their lives/careers have a place in Connecticut. While Connecticut is often viewed as a “rich-state”, disparities exist in access to quality health care, as well as other social determinants of health. One will find a fulfilling career in Connecticut if he/she is dedicated to providing care to people in rural and/or underserved communities.  

How is the J-1 Visa Waiver program utilized in Connecticut?

Connecticut’s J-1 Visa program is managed by the state Department of Public Health. The program offers a J-1 Visa waiver to foreign physicians who can commit to serving for a minimum of three years in an underserved area of Connecticut, allowing them to remain in the U.S. Primary care physicians and specialty-trained physicians (including surgeons) are eligible to apply. Applications are generally accepted year-round and all 30 slots for Connecticut are usually filled.

The Connecticut Department of Health (DPH) is currently not accepting applications as proposals to improve regulations around the application and review process are currently being reviewed by the Regulations Review Committee. DPH anticipates that the process will be completed by early 2019.

How are healthcare professionals valued in Connecticut? 

Yes, they are! Each year, CHCACT and other partners host an annual event during Corps Community Month (October) to acknowledge current and past NHSC and NURSE Corps clinicians. Awards are also given to NHSC participants, alumni and advocates who exemplify the mission of National Health Service Corps.

Why do people travel to Connecticut?

Connecticut is home to many casinos that host concerts and other fun events. Also, the climate and environment of Connecticut brings in tourists for hiking and seeing the beautiful foliage, shorelines, and mountains.

What sports teams does Connecticut have?

Connecticut is known for its basketball teams and is home to the UCONN Huskies (basketball & football), the Yale University basketball team, and the Connecticut Sun Women’s basketball team.

What is your favorite local food?

New Haven’s Pizza is one of the best there is!

What is Connecticut best known for?

Definitely the UCONN Huskies and Yale University but also that there are many health insurance companies’ headquarters stationed here.

What is the biggest misconception about Connecticut? 

That anyone from Connecticut is wealthy. Connecticut has one of the highest disparity ratios in poverty, especially in Fairfield County.

What are the biggest industries in Connecticut?

Connecticut ranks high in the finance, insurance, and real estate industries.

How is the weather/climate in Connecticut?

Connecticut experiences all four seasons. There is moderate snowfall in the winter months; spring temperatures range from cool to warm, and summer months are mildly humid.

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