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Our members know their states--or in this case, commonwealths! Learn more about one of our most unique 3RNet members, a small island in the Pacific Ocean (that is a United States territory), the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) from our member, MariLou. 

Name: MariLou Conner

City, State: Saipan, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands

Organization: Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation (CHCC)

How long have you lived in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands? Why do you choose to live there?

 I have lived on Saipan for almost 19 years. We have loved living here--it’s beautiful and there are lots of good opportunities for families that you might not expect. Our children have participated in sports, speech, debate, and musical theater among other things. We had travel opportunities that we would never have had in the mainland United States. On top of everything else, we love the friendly people!

How is 3RNet impacting the Northern Mariana Islands? 3RNet has enabled us to find highly qualified (and adventurous) people to join our medical staff.  

What are the best cultural events that happen in the Northern Mariana Islands? The Flame Tree Festival (April); Taste of the Marianas (May); Liberation Day Festival (June/July).  We also have sports events like the Tagaman Triathlon, world-class windsurfing competition, Escape from Managaha, etc.

Why should a health professional choose the Northern Mariana Islands over surrounding states? Ha! There aren’t any surrounding states! Remote relocation to a tropical island isn’t for everyone, but for the right people, it can be a wonderful and enlightening adventure!

What loan repayment programs does the Northern Mariana Islands have? Anything that makes those programs unique? We are designated as an under-served area and as such participate in the NHSC Loan Repayment Program.  Our score for medical is 17 and mental health is 18.

How is the J-1 Visa Waiver program utilized in the Northern Mariana Islands?  We can sponsor both J-1 and H1-B visas at CHCC.

Are healthcare professionals valued in the Northern Mariana Islands? Do you have any examples? Healthcare professionals are highly valued and respected in the Northern Mariana Islands. The people here are not only pleasant, but extremely grateful to their doctors and other medical providers.

Why do people travel to the Northern Mariana Islands? Most of the people who travel here from the mainland United States come for work or business. We also have an active tourist industry that brings in people from throughout the Asia Pacific and Russia.

What sports teams does the Northern Mariana Islands have? We have active swim teams and soccer teams that regularly participate in the Micronesian Games.

What is your favorite local food? Kelaguen, which is finely chopped chicken, beef, or pork mixed with lemon, coconut, green onion, red ginger and local peppers often served with tatiyas, a kind of flat bread.

What are the Northern Mariana Islands best known for? It’s probably best known as a WWII historical site. There are WWII tanks in the lagoon and other artifacts can still be found all over the island, both in the jungle and in the water. 

What is the biggest misconception about the Northern Mariana Islands? That we are a foreign country but this is U.S. soil everyone!

What are the biggest industries in the Northern Mariana Islands?



How is the weather/climate in the Northern Mariana Islands? The Guiness Book of World Records cites the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands as having the most equable climate in the world, with an average temp that runs between 75 and 90 year round. There are no clear seasons, but only a loosely defined rainy season and dry season. The rainy season generally runs from May through October and tends to be very hot. The rest of the year, when the trade winds blow, it’s absolutely beautiful.

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