posted on January 27, 2015 10:19
3RNet is a great tool for its group of dedicated nonprofit members. These members often times have strict limitations for budgets and travel due to state government regulations. However, these limitations don’t deter our members from serving the rural and underserved communities of their state, it often simply requires them to be more innovative in their approach.
This type of innovation has been at the forefront of two recent projects in Florida and South Dakota. Our member in these two states saw an opportunity to provide better service, but instead of trying to create a project completely from scratch, they leaned on 3RNet to help create efficiencies and ultimately get the projects done.
In Florida, our member Dennis Halfhill, saw the need for health professional candidates to be able to visualize where job openings were around the state.
“This map started as an idea to use when we went to job fairs and as a tool for presentations to new doctors, nurses and other health care professionals getting ready to enter the job market in Florida,” Dennis said. “Being able to point people who are not familiar with Florida’s geography to the locations where opportunities are being advertised seemed like a very good idea.”
Dennis worked with an in-house GIS mapping specialist, Marcus Infanti, to create an interactive GIS map of the Florida job opportunities that were listed on 3RNet. Dennis, Marcus, and 3RNet staff were then able to work together to get the new maps added to the Florida state page, https://www.3rnet.org/locations/florida.
Going forward, this map will serve as an easy way for healthcare professionals interested in Florida to quickly identify jobs across the state. Despite the fact the Dennis is a part time employee, this project was able to be accomplished due to his problem solving nature and leveraging of existing resources. “Since I am only part-time I have to try to take advantage of every good time saving idea I can, including utilizing resources that are already in place like 3RNet,” Dennis said.
Likewise, In South Dakota, The Office of Rural Health (the state’s 3RNet member) was looking for a way to allow South Dakota trained physicians to easily search for South Dakota jobs. Instead of creating an entirely new database of jobs which would have cost tens of thousands of dollars, the South Dakota Office of Rural Health turned to 3RNet.
Normally, when a health professional candidate comes to 3RNet they have the ability to search jobs in a huge variety of professions across the entire United States. This can be helpful for candidates that are flexible, but South Dakota wanted to ensure that the busiest physician had a place where they could quickly look through only South Dakota physician jobs. Working with 3RNet, South Dakota was able to create a brand new page that does exactly this, https://www.3rnet.org/sdphysician. Leveraging the existing infrastructure of 3RNet was much quicker and more cost effective than other options, while still producing the desired results. As the project continues to advance, South Dakota envisions being able to use this new page on 3RNet in other places such as their own website and promotional materials.
Every day 3RNet members are working towards ensuring access to quality healthcare for the rural and underserved communities of their state. They often could use more resources, but what they lack in resources is made up for in hard work, innovation, and collaboration. The projects above are just two examples of many, where 3RNet members are working for those communities that need it most.