3RNet Blog

Thanks for visiting the 3RNet blog! Blog posts are written by members, staff, and partners. If you have an idea for a blog post, or are interested in writing one, please contact Kristine Morin, Director of Communications and Marketing, at Morin@3RNet.org.

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In 2015 we’re celebrating 20 years of 3RNet! We’re proud of this accomplishment and will be sharing blog posts related to our 20 year anniversary throughout the year.

We thought, what better way to kick off 20 years of 3RNet than by sharing some insights from our Executive Director, Mike Shimmens! Mike started with 3RNet as a member himself, and grew with the organization through the years until in 2012 he was hired to replace Tim Skinner.

Why is it important we celebrate 20 years of 3RNet?

A milestone accomplishment like 20 years as a nonprofit doing what we do – that’s worth celebrating! 3RNet is a vital part of the fabric of rural and underserved communities across the country. 

One of the biggest things I’ve wanted to maintain  with 3RNet is the connection to those who founded our organization. We want to ‘pay our dues’ to those who started 3RNet and  set the path and grew our organization to what it is today. When you think about it, 3RNet really started before the Internet was accessible to the majority of the public. Our founder, Fred Moskol, first had this idea in the late 1980s, early 1990s. Celebrating 20 years helps us connect that past to our future.

Why is 3RNet’s history so important to what we do today, and celebrating this milestone?

The important thing to remember about our history is that the need that existed at the time we started – it still exists today. 20 years of work has certainly made us more efficient, but the need to connect health professionals with rural and underserved communities has not gone away. 

We’re also still a very unique organization on the national landscape and there’s not really another entity out there that does exactly what we do. 

Finally, it’s great to see how far we’ve come! Even when you compare our very first website to our current site – it’s unbelievable. Our founder, Fred Moskol, just shakes his head.

Why is celebrating 20 years of 3RNet important to our members?

When you’re trying to reach out to facilities to work with them – the credibility that is gained from a long-time evolution of a service like 3RNet is not only something to celebrate, but something to promote. I hope our members can gain more traction in their states through this, educating facilities that if they’re looking for candidates, 3RNet is a reputable and effective way to do so. 

What does 20 years of 3RNet mean to you?

I was an in-house recruiter for a hospital for nine years, and I even recruited to some rural communities, but I was not familiar with 3RNet. When I joined the Missouri Primary Care Association (3RNet’s Missouri member) and found out about 3RNet, I immediately saw the value. Our relationship was unique and so valuable.

My first 3RNet conference was in 2006, in Portland, OR, and I felt at home right away. People were more than happy to share resources and information, I met a lot of good people, and I knew 3RNet was something I wanted to be involved with. I got involved with committees and eventually served on 3RNet’s board of directors.

I always told people 3RNet was the favorite part of my job. The people you got to interact with – staff, peers – were so great. When the Executive Director position came along, I thought, wow – what if I got to focus on my favorite part of my job all day long! 

3RNet is a great tool. It needs to be in our members hands, facilities hands, and candidates hands. 3RNet as both a ‘trusted resource’ and ‘catalyst’ are words we need to live by. We’re perfectly positioned to do that, and I hope that celebrating 20 years of our great organization helps make them a reality!
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