3RNet Blog

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Our members know their states! Learn more about North Carolina from our member, Maya!

Name: Maya Sanders

City, State: Raleigh, North Carolina

Organization: Office of Rural Health

How long have you lived in North Carolina? Why do you choose to live there?
My maternal grandmother was from High Point, NC. I grew up attending family reunions in NC, and when it was time to choose a college, I couldn’t think of a better fit for me. After 4 years of undergraduate studies in Greensboro, NC, I returned to my home state of Pennsylvania for graduate school, and during my last semester, I decided the cold weather had gotten the best of me. I have been back in NC for the last 12 years enjoying mild winters and lots of sunshine. 

How is 3RNet impacting North Carolina?
3RNET is the lifeline we are using in NC to fill primary care, dental and behavioral health needs in Health Professional Shortage Areas.

What are the best cultural events that happen in North Carolina?
NC is rich in history, tradition, and celebrations of culture. There is a plethora of food and art festivals and celebrations of NC horticulture. The NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources highlights the diversity alive in NC.   It was too difficult to choose which are the best, but some of the most popular include the NC Seafood Festival, NC Jazz Festival, the state museums, the NC Zoo, and my kids love the aquariums. Click here for a calendar of events.

Why should a health professional choose North Carolina over surrounding states?

NC has a fast-growing diverse population. You’ll have neighbors from everywhere!

What loan repayment programs does North Carolina have? Anything that makes those programs unique?
We have NC Loan Repayment Program (state-appropriated funds), High Needs Service Bonus (for those lucky providers with no educational loan debt), State Loan Repayment (federal funds allocated for behavioral health providers only), and we are the Primary Care Office so we encourage providers to consider National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Programs.  

How is the J-1 Visa Waiver program utilized in North Carolina?
Our J-1 Visa Waiver program is first come first serve. Annually, on October 1, the State of North Carolina receives 30 J-1 Visa Waiver slots. To ensure North Carolina’s primary care needs are met, twenty (20) of the thirty (30) slots are reserved for Family Practice, General Internal Medicine, General Pediatrics, Obstetrics/Gynecology, or Psychiatry physicians practicing in a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA).  Physicians practicing as hospitalists in Family Practice, General Internal Medicine, General Pediatrics, Obstetrics/Gynecology, or Psychiatry will also be considered. The remaining ten (10) slots may be used for flex or specialist positions.  Flex slots do not require the physician to be working in a HPSA and are not limited to Family Practice, General Internal Medicine, General Pediatrics, Obstetrics/Gynecology, or Psychiatry. If specialist applications exceed the number of available flex/specialty slots, specialist applicants practicing in a HPSA will be placed on a waiting list. Beginning April 1, ORH may consider utilizing unallocated primary care slots for specialists on the waiting list. 

Do you want to feature anything about the J1 program in North Carolina?
We fill all 30 slots most years. We aim to fill our slots keeping in mind we focused on filling primary care health professional shortages. 

Are healthcare professionals valued in North Carolina? Do you have any examples? 

Yes! North Carolina prides itself on producing outstanding healthcare professionals. Quotes from our healthcare professionals that exemplify that are below:

“ My teammates/colleagues have remained helpful, friendly, and supportive.”
“Clinically I have developed a support system for my work life here. I have a community of therapists and care givers that support me, encourage me, and help me grow in my clinical skills.”
“I feel connected to this community and am glad to be back…when professionals become connected to this community they will feel encouraged to stay.”

Why do people travel to North Carolina?
The growing population, gorgeous beaches, peaceful mountains, historical landmarks, and renowned institutions of higher learning are all reasons people come to NC. The cost of living being cheaper than most places also doesn’t hurt. 

What sports teams does North Carolina have?
Is this a trick question? NC State Wolfpack, UNC Tarheels, Duke Blue Devils, Carolina Panthers, Carolina Hurricanes, Charlotte Hornets, Durham Bulls, Carolina Mudcats

What is your favorite local food?
The seafood is great, and anything from one of the local Farmer’s Markets is fresh and locally grown. 

What is North Carolina best known for?
College Sports, being first in flight, Cheerwine, Pepsi, and Texas Pete Hot Sauce!

What is the biggest misconception about North Carolina?
NC is behind the times. There is an extremely high number of residents that are relocating to NC every day because of the brand new opportunities available.  Transplants, like myself, enjoy the room for professional growth and development and the option to comfortably retire here in the future.

What are the biggest industries in North Carolina?
Pharmaceuticals, Information Technology, furniture, agriculture, and textile industries are amongst the better known for NC. Tyson’s Chicken and Campbell’s also comes out of NC. 

How is the weather/climate in North Carolina?
Sun shines more days than not. Mild winters here in comparison to my home state, but it can be confusing that while it may be warmer in the central and eastern parts of the state, it could very well be snowing in our mountains on the same day. 
 

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