3RNET Blog

Thanks for visiting the 3RNET blog!

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.

North Carolina: Creating Life-Long Relationships

Our members know their states! Learn about vibrant, growing North Carolina from our member, Shawanda.

Name: Shawanda Fields, Placement Services Program Manager

City, State: Raleigh, North Carolina

Organization: North Carolina Office of Rural Health

How long have you lived in North Carolina? Why do you choose to live there? 
I moved to North Carolina in 2007. My husband was born and raised in North Carolina. Living in North Carolina allows my husband to be close to his family and allows me to be near my family in Virginia.

How is 3RNet impacting North Carolina?
3RNet plays a major role in North Carolina. 3RNet allows us to match primary care, dental and behavioral health providers to job opportunities in Health Professional Shortage Areas.

What are the best cultural events that happen in North Carolina?
North Carolina is rich in history, tradition, and celebrations of culture. There are many options for food and art festivals. In addition, there are many celebrations of North Carolina horticulture. The North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources highlights the diversity within North Carolina. Some of the most popular include the Seafood Festival, Jazz Festival, state museums, North Carolina Zoo, and aquariums. Click here for a calendar of events. A lot of events have been impacted by COVID-19 restrictions.

Why should a health professional choose North Carolina over surrounding states?
North Carolina has a fast-growing diverse population. You will have neighbors from everywhere and they will become great friends. In addition, professionals can enjoy beaches, mountains and everything in between.

North Carolina is also innovative in the healthcare field especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Kizzmekia "Kizzy" Shanta Corbett is an American viral immunologist at the Vaccine Research Center (VRC) at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health (NIAID NIH) based in Bethesda, Maryland. Kizzy was instrumental in developing the COVID-19 vaccine. Kizzy was born in Hurdle Mills, North Carolina and grew up in Hillsborough, North Carolina. She received a PhD in microbiology and immunology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 

What loan repayment programs does North Carolina have?
We have North Carolina Loan Repayment Program (state-appropriated funds), High Needs Service Bonus (providers with no educational loan debt), and State Loan Repayment (federal funds allocated for behavioral health providers only). We are also 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 Primary Care. The following are considered Primary Care: 
• Family Practice;
• General Internal Medicine;
• General Pediatrics;
• Obstetrics/Gynecology;
• Combined Internal Medicine/Pediatrics;
• Geriatrics Medicine;
• Psychiatry and its subspecialties;
• Physicians practicing as hospitalists in Primary Care will also be considered.

The remaining ten (10) slots may be used for flex or specialist positions for:
• Physicians not practicing Primary Care and providing at least 32 hours per week in direct patient care.
• Physicians not practicing in a HPSA and providing at least 32 hours/week in direct patient care.
For specialists, sites must be located in an area proven to have a shortage for the specialty applying. Documentation demonstrating the shortage must be submitted by the hiring entity with the application. 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.

We fill all 30 slots by focusing on primary care health professional shortages. 

Are healthcare professionals valued in North Carolina?
Healthcare professionals are very much valued in our great state. North Carolina prides itself on producing outstanding healthcare professionals.

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 North Carolina. The cost of living being cheaper than most places is an extra bonus.

What sports teams does North Carolina have?
North Carolina State Wolfpack, UNC Tarheels, Duke Blue Devils, Carolina Panthers, Carolina Hurricanes, Charlotte Hornets, Durham Bulls, Carolina Mudcats.

What is your favorite local food?
Steamed seafood is my all-time favorite.

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

What is the biggest misconception about North Carolina?
The biggest misconception is that North Carolina is old-school, stuck in the past and behind the times. There are an extremely high number of residents relocating to North Carolina every day because of the brand-new opportunities available. There are opportunities for professional growth and development.

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

How is the weather/climate in North Carolina?
North Carolina has a lot of sunny days and mild winters; however, it could be snowing in our mountains while it is sunny in the Eastern and South Central parts of the state.