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Name: Brandon Carman

City, State: Charleston, West Virginia

Organization: West Virginia State Office of Rural Health

How long have you lived in West Virginia?
All my life! West Virginia has great people and is a wonderful place for anyone who likes the outdoors and a strong sense of community.

How is 3RNet impacting West Virginia?
3RNet gives us the ability to post job positions, and gives our facilities national exposure for recruitment and retention.

What are the best cultural events that happen in West Virginia?
West Virginia has a number of cultural events to be proud of including the Appalachian Festival in Beckley, the Italian Heritage festival in Fairmont, the Helvetia Fasnacht which celebrates Swiss German traditions, Greek Festival, the Vandalia Gathering featuring old-time and bluegrass music and dance, quilt making, and cooking, the Mountain State Forest Festival in Elkins, and many more events dedicated to Appalachian food, crafts, and tradition.

Why should a health professional choose West Virginia over surrounding states?
West Virginia is a unique location marked by wonderful natural beauty, an abundance of activities available to outdoors enthusiasts, and notably friendly people. The relatively relaxed pace and friendly feel of the state can be contrasted with the hectic, bustling, and somewhat anonymous sense of more urban locations. West Virginia is a great location for health care professionals who want access to excellent resources such as the schools of medicine at West Virginia University, Marshall University, and the WV School of Osteopathic Medicine. 

What loan repayment programs does West Virginia have? 
Eligible candidates can take advantage of the State Loan Repayment Program as well as the Recruitment and Retention Community Project. Both programs provide candidates with loan repayment in exchange for and obligation period of service at an eligible health care facility.

How is the J-1 Visa Waiver program utilized in West Virginia?
West Virginia utilizes the Conrad 30 and ARC Waiver programs to address primary care and specialist recruitment throughout the state.

Do you want to feature anything about the J1 program in West Virginia?
The West Virginia State Office of Rural Health is initiating a J-1 Visa Waiver Program Participant Survey to aid in quality improvement planning. Results from the survey will help identify areas of importance for participants as well as strengths and challenges that can be used to improve the program experience.

Why do people travel to West Virginia?
Many people who travel to West Virginia do so to enjoy outdoor activities such as hunting, fishing, and and skiing. Our state also has a number of nationally-renowned events that draw masses such as Bridge Day, the Mothman Festival, and more!

What sports teams does West Virginia have? 
West Virginia University Mountaineers and Marshall University Thundering Herd.

What is your favorite local food?
The origin of the pepperoni roll goes back to 1927 when Giuseppe “Joseph” Argiro made them and sold them in Fairmont, West Virginia. Argiro originally invented the pepperoni roll as a lunch for the local coal miners. They made an excellent meal for coal miners because they had protein and fat for energy and they did not require refrigeration, which made them easy to tuck into a pack or pail and take to the mines on their own with no other preparation needed.

The pepperoni roll is similar to the Italian calzone, as well as the British sausage roll (which was invented in the mining communities of the United Kingdom).

Today, the pepperoni roll remains a beloved regional favorite in West Virginia. It is quintessential Appalachian cuisine. If you are not from the area, or don’t know anyone from there, you may not have ever heard of the pepperoni roll. However, if you ever go to West Virginia, you will be sure to see it in every city and town in the state.

If you are so lucky as to come across a pepperoni roll and have never eaten one before, do yourself a favor and try one. You will be sampling regional cuisine with a long history of association with West Virginia, and your taste buds will thank you.

What is West Virginia best known for?
West Virginia is probably best known for its natural beauty and the wealth of outdoor activities available in the state, but it is also known for its Civil War history, Appalachian lore such as the Hatfield-Mccoy feud, its coal mining heritage, some wonderful resorts such as the Greenbrier, and of course the friendly, self-sufficient people who call West Virginia home.

What is the biggest misconception about West Virginia?
West Virginia unfortunately carries with it a long history of misrepresentation. This is most prominent in representations in the entertainment and media as the “hillbilly” stereotype. The citizens of West Virginia are akin to any other area, we are made up a broad spectrum of people from all walks of life. The blue-collar nature and our long history of mining and industrial industry creates a resilient attitude amongst our citizens with strong commitments to community and familial traditions.

What are the biggest industries in West Virginia?
Healthcare, retail, industrial, service, and energy.

How is the weather/climate in West Virginia?
West Virginia has four distinct seasons, and enjoys fairly hot summers and relatively mild winters, with moderate rainfall throughout the year. From the buzzing cicadas signaling the end of summer, to the crisp smell of snow as it graces the bare trees of the mountains, every season is a canvas of beauty for the senses.

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