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Mary Amundson, 2014 Fred Moskol Leadership Award Recipient

The 2014 recipient of the Fred Moskol award is Mary Amundson, who works for the School of Medicine and Health Sciences at the University of North Dakota.

Mary has made dozens of contributions to rural health, specifically recruitment and retention efforts. Her achievements go far beyond her home state of North Dakota. Mary has had a nationwide impact with her work. She has been the Primary Care Office Director for North Dakota since 1989 and was a member of 3RNet at its inception in 1995.

Mary served on the 3RNet board from 2003-2006 and from 2008-2011. She also worked closely with director Tim Skinner in developing regional workshops for National Health Service Corps.

In addition to her work with 3RNet, Mary has been a strong contributor toward the work of the National Health Service Corps, one of 3RNet’s most important and valued nationwide partners. Mary has been a Corps Ambassador since 2005 and served on the Corps’ Advisory Board from 2009-2012.

Mary’s own words best describe her zeal for 3RNet, “I’ve never been an advocate of the ‘head hunter’. I remember Fred and Jerry bringing this idea on a napkin to a few of us: wouldn’t it be great to have this organization of non-head hunters to help recruit for rural communities? 3RNet started from there. Having a group of people who know their communities like 3RNet members has always been so important to me. 3RNet members really have a vested interest, they are really making a match.”

Mary has always understood the importance of 3RNet’s mission, one of the many reasons she is so deserving of this award. She also understands the importance of 3Rnet’s camaraderie, “3RNet gave me the opportunity to grow as a professional – you don’t get opportunities like you get with 3RNet anywhere else. I was on the board and was able to grow as a member, and then I got off the board because I wanted others to get involved. You can learn so much from your fellow 3RNet members. There’s a tremendous amount of knowledge across the states. Whenever I had a question, there was always tons of support. Workforce shortages are not going away. We still need all kinds of providers out there. It doesn’t change. People move around, but we don’t alleviate the shortages. 3RNet can help us give ideas to each other on how to keep people in our state. What do you have in New Mexico that can help me here? That’s so important to share that. New members – the key for you is to get engaged!”

We could never list everything Mary has done throughout her years as one of rural health’s greatest advocates, however, we are very pleased she has graciously accepted the 2014 Fred Moskol award.

Thank you, Mary, for everything you have and continue to do. You are a wonderful example and powerful role model for everyone working to improve health care in rural and underserved areas.