January 13, 2017

I had a most enjoyable and engaging evening Tuesday night when I joined UND President Mark Kennedy, the UND vice presidents, and others for a joint NDSU and UND Caucus Reception following meetings earlier that day that each institution had with members of its respective caucus. The reception was very well-attended by many of the senators and representatives from North Dakota’s 65th Legislative Assembly. I had good chats in particular with Governor Burgum and House Majority Leader Al Carlson along with briefer visits with almost three dozen other legislators. The mood was upbeat, positive, and festive, but it still is early in the planned 70-day legislative session.

Seriously, though, the “gorilla in the room” was the bleaker financial picture for the state in general and higher education in particular than we anticipated only a few months ago. My take on the many discussions that I had is that we’ll likely see a pretty conservative higher education funding bill coming out of this legislative session, but one that could be augmented later if future revenue projections improve. That’s why the legislators would like to limit this year’s session to 70 days; that allows them to put 10 days “in the bank” to be used at a later time, potentially to come back to the higher education budget if revenue projections improve (the North Dakota Legislature ordinarily is limited to 80 days per biennium).

And since the School (even though it is separate line item in the budget) is part of the higher education budget, I think that we will face some real scrutiny regarding specific components of our proposed budget. But that is as it should be—I think that you as a taxpayer would agree with me that we want our legislators to be inquisitive about budget matters and to ensure that they are using the people’s money in the optimal way. So I’m looking forward to the first external presentation of our proposed budget this Monday at 1:30 p.m. before the Senate Appropriations Committee. As I mentioned in a prior column, we’ll post the slides that I use in that presentation soon after the meeting. By the way, the School’s proposed budget has been submitted to—and approved by—the SMHS Advisory Council, UND, and the State Board of Higher Education.

I well appreciate that you and the members of the SMHS family have some concerns regarding the overall budget situation—and with good reason. But I’ll be able to give a better overview of where we stand following Monday’s Senate Appropriations Committee presentation. I plan to include a budget update in an upcoming presentation scheduled for Monday, January 23, from 3:00 until 4:30 p.m. in the Charles H. Fee, MD, Auditorium in the new building. And while the meeting is our annual Faculty Assembly that is intended for faculty, I’m sure that the faculty members would welcome staff, students, and others who might like to attend. I look forward to seeing you there!

Joshua Wynne, MD, MBA, MPH
UND Vice President for Health Affairs
Dean UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences


Recent Educational Policies to Review

Standards of Capacity (for medical students)

View all of the School's Policies and Procedures.

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Faculty Assembly is January 23

Faculty Assembly has been set for 3:00 p.m. (central standard time) on Monday, January 23, in the Charles H. Fee, MD, Auditorium (E101) at the UND SMHS in Grand Forks. Please place this important meeting on your calendar. Dr. Joshua Wynne, UND vice president for health affairs and dean of the School of Medicine and Health Sciences, will be presenting the "State of the School Address" at this time. We encourage all faculty members to attend. 

Faculty at our other campuses can connect to the event through videoconference at the following sites:

  • Bismarck—Room 2108
  • Fargo—Room 220
  • Minot—NW Campus Conference Room

We look forward to seeing you there.

Java with Josh is January 31

All SMHS faculty, staff, and students are invited to have an informal, complimentary cup of coffee, juice, or tea with Dean Wynne from 8:30 to 9 a.m. on Tuesday, January 31, in the east-wing atrium on the first floor (across the hall from the Family and Community Medicine and Population Health suites).

Dr. Wynne will discuss what’s new at the School and take any questions you may have. To ensure adequate seating, we ask that you RSVP to Kristen Peterson by Friday, January 27.

Hope to see you there.

Dean Joshua Wynne, MD, MBA, MPH

Celebrate Vikki McCleary

You are invited to celebrate and honor Dr. Vikki McCleary and her nearly 30 years of service to the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

Please join us from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday, February 9, in Room E224 at the School in Grand Forks.

Refreshments will be served.

Jeanie McHugo, PhD, PA-C
Associate Professor and Chair
Department of Physician Assistant Studies


Zen in 10

Zen in 10 focuses on stretching, breathing, and having fun with coworkers. Go back to work with less stress, more energy, and better body functioning.

Sessions are from 9:00 a.m. to 9:10 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, January 10 through February 9, in the Charles H. Fee, MD, Auditorium, E101, at the SMHS in Grand Forks.

Services provided by Kay Williams, Certified Yoga and Relax and Renew Instructor®.

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Kagen Waage awarded Certificate of Added Qualifications from NCCPA

Kagen Waage, PA-C, MPAS '10, was recently awarded the specialty credential Certificate of Added Qualifications from the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants.

Waage is employed by Fairview Range Medical Center in Hibbing, Minnesota. He received the CAQ in Emergency Medicine, a distinction earned by meeting licensure, education, and experience requirements and then passing a national exam in the specialty. He is one of only 24 certified PAs in Minnesota to earn a CAQ in Emergency Medicine since the program’s inception in 2011.

Please read more at https://goo.gl/BMkWzJ

Sponsor/Exhibit at the 2017 Dakota Conference

2017 Sponsor/Exhibitor Registration Now Open
June 13–15, 2017
Holiday Inn Riverside, Minot

On behalf of the Dakota Conference Planning Committee, you are invited to sponsor the 2017 Dakota Conference. Space is limited, so register now! We have additional options this year for sponsors. Choose the level that suits your needs!

Two ways to register:

Sponsor registration deadline is 11:59 p.m., CST Wednesday, March 1, 2017.

The Dakota Conference is Coordinated and Facilitated by
Center for Rural Health, University of North Dakota (UND) School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS)

Supported by

Contact Kylie Nissen or (701) 777-5380.

Social Media—National life expectancy trends upward to just shy of 79

On our Facebook page, read the INFORUM article featuring the School's Chair of Geriatrics Dr. Donald Jurivich speaking about the increase and decrease in life expectancies.

Also on our Facebook page, Dean Wynne answers questions about "on- or off-pump" bypass surgery and about heredity and coronary heart disease in his latest Health Matters column, which can be found in the Grand Forks Herald every other Monday. Please submit any general health-related questions to healthmatters@med.und.edu.

You can also get the latest SMHS news by following the School on Twitter

UND Today—Squelching the silent scourge

Jacque Gray is finding a path to relieve the challenge of documenting and preventing elder abuse in American Indian communities.

More information about this and other UND news can be found in UND Today, UND's official news source.

"Addressing the Unique Challenges of Opioid Use Disorder in Women"—CDC Grand Rounds

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Public Health Grand Rounds is a monthly webcast created to foster discussion on major public health issues. Each session focuses on key challenges related to a specific health topic, and explores the latest scientific evidence and the potential effect of different interventions. The Grand Rounds sessions also highlight how the CDC and its partners are already addressing these challenges and discuss the recommendations for future research and practice. January's presentation is "Addressing the Unique Challenges of Opioid Use Disorder in Women." All of the webcasts are archived for later viewing.

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Deadlines today and Tuesday for Request for Proposals from the Great Plains IDeA-CTR Network

The Great Plains IDeA-CTR Network, a collaboration involving nine institutions in four states—Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Kansas—was created by a $20 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. Funding is provided through the Institutional Development Award (IDeA) program and the NIH's National Institute of General Medical Studies. It will focus on developing early career researchers into independent scientists and increasing the infrastructure and other resources needed to support clinical/translational research (CTR) around the region.

Deadline Reminder 

  • Scholar Program applications are due Friday, January 13, 2017.
  • Pilot Grant Program applications are due Tuesday, January 17, 2017.

New Budget Instructions from NIH

  • Although stipends for graduate students and postdoctoral trainees are not allowed, wages and salary support are allowed. If you have already submitted a proposal with stipends, we will work with you to redress this before funding if the application is approved.

eRA Commons Requirement for PIs on Scholar and Pilot Project Awards

  • Scholar and Pilot Project PIs must be registered in the NIH eRA Commons before funding can be awarded.

Information and submission instructions are available via the links below.

  • The Scholar Program is a mentored career development award that will provide selected Scholars with the protected time and seed grant funding to develop competitive CTR projects for submission to the NIH. Scholars accepted into the program will receive salary support and up to $50,000 annually to support preliminary research efforts for up to four years. This award is intended for full-time junior faculty, otherwise eligible to apply for NIH funds, who are seeking to make the transition to an independent CTR investigator.
  • The Pilot Grant Program is open to all faculty at partnering institutions and is intended to provide a mechanism to test the most promising and novel CTR projects, and help investigators at all levels obtain preliminary data necessary for successful investigator-initiated extramural grants. Successful applicants will receive up to $50,000 annually, as well as access to resources of the Great Plains IDeA CTR to support these preliminary efforts.

Please do not hesitate to contact us at gpctr@unmc.edu with any questions about these exciting opportunities.

USDA GF Human Nutrition Research Center seeks study participants

The United States Department of Agriculture Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center is seeking participants for two research studies.

  • Fish for HEALTH! 
    Are you interested in cardiovascular health? Would you like to eat more fish? The USDA Human Nutrition Research Center is seeking men and women, ages 20–70, to determine whether eating rainbow trout with different omega-3 levels reduces heart disease risk markers. Receive up to $500 for completing the study.
  • Acute Effects of Fats on Satiety & Energy Needs
    Women on contraception: are you satisfied when you eat? The USDA is looking for female participants, ages 18–50, to join our study to assess how dietary fat affects energy metabolism and feelings of fullness after eating. Receive up to $530, or a 13-month individual membership, or a 9-month family membership at Choice Health & Fitness, to be paid at the conclusion of the study.

For more information, and to see if you qualify, check out our website, or contact Vanessa Thyne, Biological Laboratory Technician, Dietary Prevention of Disease Research Unit, Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center, (701) 795-8493.

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Library of the Health Sciences hours for Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend

Library of the Health Sciences hours for January 13 through January 16 are the following:

  • Friday, Jan. 13—7:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, Jan. 14—Closed
  • Sunday, Jan. 15—Closed
  • Monday, Jan. 16—10:00 a.m.–8:00 p.m.

If you have any questions, please contact Kelly Thormodson (701) 777-4129.  

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