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.

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Our members know their states! This week we hear from Ashley Colwell about her state, Illinois!

Name: Ashley Colwell, Associate Director of Clinical Services and Workforce Development

City, State: Springfield, Illinois 

Organization: Illinois Primary Health Care Association (IPHCA)

How is 3RNet impacting Illinois?

3RNet provides the Illinois Primary Health Care Association (IPHCA) the ability to share health center job opportunities with motivated job seekers. We place multiple candidates a year through our 3RNet postings. 3RNet also provides the ability for other employers in Illinois to post jobs which provides job seekers with a variety of setting to choose from. Whether a candidate is seeking employment in a critical access hospital, private practice or Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) they can find a job through an Illinois 3RNet posting. 

IPHCA recruits clinicians for job opportunities in FQHCs and community health centers. We work with FQHCs across the state of Illinois and several that span into Iowa and Missouri. We have job opportunities in rural, suburban and urban underserved locations. Illinois FQHCs serve 1.4 million patients annually at approximately 380 service delivery sites. One out of nine Illinois residents receive care at a community health center.

What are the best cultural events that happen in Illinois? 

Illinois hosts a wealth of cultural events both big and small. These festivals occur in all areas of the state. Many Illinois cities host large parades, art and antique shows, food and wine festivals, musical events ranging from stage shows to bands and jazz ensembles, numerous theatre performances, car and train shows, county fairs, Illinois State Fair and many, many more. 

Why should a health professional choose Illinois over surrounding states? 

Illinois offers a diverse population with access to large cities and rural communities. You can choose to work in the city and live in the country, settle in downtown Chicago, or in small town Illinois. Illinois really offers the best of both worlds. The state is connected via numerous interstate systems, Amtrak rail and regional and international airports.

What loan repayment programs does Illinois have? Anything that makes those programs unique? 

Illinois is proud to offer a State Loan Repayment Program through the Illinois Department of Public Health. This program provides loan repayment opportunities to underserved areas across Illinois. Many Illinois sites are also eligible for loan repayment through the National Health Service Corps. Illinois is a great choice for a job seeker who is actively pursuing loan repayment.

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

The Illinois Conrad 30 Program is managed by the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Why do people travel to Illinois? 

People travel to Illinois to visit museums, art galleries, festivals and historical sites, cultural festivals, attend sporting events, visit our wineries, our National Parks, or to visit one of our many prestigious universities. 

What sports teams does Illinois have? 

Illinois is home to many popular teams: Chicago Bears, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Chicago Blackhawks, Chicago Bulls, Chicago Fire, Peoria Rivermen, Rockford Ice Hogs, Quad City Storm, Peoria Chiefs, Gateway Grizzlies, Normal CornBelters, Joliet Slammers, and the Chicagoland Speedway, which features NASCAR races each year. 

What is Illinois best known for? 

Being the Land of Lincoln! Abraham Lincoln lived and worked in Illinois before being elected president. Springfield, Illinois is home to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum, Abraham Lincoln’s Home National Historic Site, Lincoln’s Tomb and many other Lincoln sites all over the state! Many communities in Illinois have historical sites from the Lincoln era.

What is the biggest misconception about Illinois? 

That we all live in Chicago! While Chicago is home to over two million Illinois residents, the rest of our state has over 10 million residents making Illinois the sixth largest state in the country. Illinois offers many small/moderate sized cities such as Rockford, Peoria, Springfield, Bloomington, Decatur, Champaign, Alton, Edwardsville, Danville and Carbondale.  

What are the biggest industries in Illinois?

Health care, government, manufacturing, education, agriculture, energy and technology. 

How is the weather/climate in Illinois? 

We “usually” enjoy all four seasons here in Illinois. We have a beautiful spring season with agriculture in full force, generally a very warm summer, a mild, temperate fall and often cold, snowy winters. If you are seeking a location that allows you to experience all seasons, Illinois can provide you that!

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