3RNet Blog

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Our members know their states! Learn about what's working with working in Virginia from our member, Thomas. 

Name: Thomas Gaskins

City, State: Richmond, VA

Organization: Virginia Community Healthcare Association

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

I have lived throughout Virginia for a combined 27 years. My family is here, I went to college here and there are plenty of great opportunities here. 

How is 3RNet impacting Virginia? 

The incentive programs’ goal is not only to place health professionals in underserved areas, but to also match health professionals to communities they are comfortable working in to enhance their experience and encourage them to continue working in their practice sites long after they have met their service obligation. 3RNet is a vital recruitment tool in facilitating a broader distribution of primary care providers in the Commonwealth of Virginia. 

What are the best cultural events that happen in Virginia?

Virginia is full of festivals, concerts, family events, religious/faith-based events, history/legacy events. Some of the best events are centered around food, music, and nature. Skiing, hiking, climbing, water parks, beaches and history inundate the Commonwealth.  

Why should a health professional choose Virginia over surrounding states? 

The opportunities are myriad here because the economy is good, housing is prevalent, cost of living is cheaper than in most other states. In addition, we have mountains, beaches, water-ways, parkways, clean air, blue skies and the weather is very mild. We also have several sizeable cities that offer culture, good schools, history abounds, ingress and egress through the state is easily commutable. 

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

The VA-SLRP addresses the shortage of primary care providers in Virginia by recruiting and retaining providers and increasing access to care in medically underserved areas.

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

The Conrad 30 Waiver program is a crucial resource for the Commonwealth of Virginia. The Virginia Conrad 30 Waiver Program will reserve five slots out of the 30 to use as discretionary slots. The discretionary slots will be allotted at the discretion of VDH based on the prevailing critical needs for specific health care professionals. 

Do you want to feature anything about the J1 program in Virginia? 

We have consistently filled all of our slots! 

Are healthcare professionals valued in Virginia? Do you have any examples? Yes, they are valued. Depending upon the clinician and the geography and the discipline of the clinician, he/she/they are more valued in some places more than others. In smaller communities, people revere their practitioners. A good example would be Dr. Peter Houk. He was an icon in Lynchburg until his passing several years ago. 

Why do people travel to Virginia?

History, beaches, mountains, Busch Gardens, Kings Dominion, Colonial Williamsburg, NOVA/DC area, sporting events, NASCAR, colleges/universities, political events, several major Interstates bisect the Commonwealth. 

What sports teams does Virginia have?

Many college/university teams; Washington Redskins, Washington Capitals, several minor league baseball teams; several minor league hockey teams; several semi-pro football teams (Arena League); several semi-pro men’s soccer teams.  

What is your favorite local food?  Robin Inn; near Boulevard and Robinson

What is Virginia best known for? 

Tough call but most likely history: Civil War, Revolutionary War, Colonial Williamsburg. Also known for: tourism, tobacco, beaches, mountains, clean air, and mild climate.  

What is the biggest misconception about Virginia?

That we are not in the South. We are often grouped in or identified as a Mid-Atlantic state. NOVA is far more liberal than the rest of the state and we often get labeled with that. Virginia is much more conservative than is often portrayed. 

What are the biggest industries in Virginia? 

Paper, tobacco, fruit picking/packing, tourism, history, firearms, seafood, military/government.

How is the weather/climate in your state? 

Very mild. We enjoy the four seasons.

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