May 29, 2015

We achieved a major milestone this week in the execution of our Action Plan to address the citations contained in the report from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) following its medical curriculum accreditation visit to the School last year. Thanks to the efforts of Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Admissions Dr. Joy Dorscher and Department of Pediatrics Chair Dr. Steve Tinguely, the other clinical department chairs, and many others (all under the overall leadership of Drs. Ken Ruit and Gwen W. Halaas), the School has achieved 100 percent compliance in getting clinical clerkship grades back to third-year medical students within the LCME-specified six-week period after completing a clinical rotation. Although conceptually not a difficult task, our distributed campus model, use of rural training sites, and reliance on many voluntary faculty members have made the timely submission of grades a habitual problem at the SMHS. And until the LCME pointed out the extent of the problem, we actually thought that we were doing pretty well in this realm. So we are grateful to the LCME for bringing the issue to our attention; clearly, students need to have timely and accurate assessment of their performance so they can continue to improve and mature as physicians in training. I am extremely grateful for the efforts expended, and the great results. Our expectation will continue to be that we achieve 100 percent compliance with the six-week standard.

Another LCME citation dealt with the availability of what are called service-learning opportunities for medical students. We have defined service learning as “. . . a structured learning experience that combines community service with explicit learning objectives, preparation, and reflection.” Here are examples of the service learning opportunities for students on the Grand Forks campus:

  • Northlands Rescue Mission — health screening and health education for the homeless.
  • Science Day for students in Grades Five and Six provided by AMSA (American Medical Student Association).
  • Special Olympics volunteer.
  • Camp Good Mourning volunteer. The camp is the only grief camp in North Dakota for children and teens who have lost a loved one.
  • Health presentations at elementary schools with DOC (Doctors Ought to Care).
  • MediFun Day with Grand Forks Girl Scouts.
  • International and Developing Nation Medicine elective in Chimbote, Peru.

Similar opportunities are available for students on the other regional campuses around the state. To review the opportunities, please visit the School’s Service Learning webpage. As with the grading issue, there are many people to thank for addressing the citation so effectively, but special thanks go to Northeast (Grand Forks) Campus Assistant Dean Dr. Susan Zelewski.

Over the next few months, we will be providing more detailed updates regarding the steps that the SMHS has taken through our Action Plan to address the LCME citations. Importantly, we’ve decided to institute a process of ongoing monitoring of accreditation issues, rather than waiting until a year or two before our next visit to start preparations. Almost all medical schools in the United States prepare the way we’ve prepared — in the one- or two-year period before the next visit. But we think that we have a better way — after all, continuous quality improvement has become the standard in industry. We plan to implement such an approach, starting now. More details will follow as we work out some of the specifics of this plan, but just like our patient-centered learning medical curriculum, I think that it will become a model for other medical schools.

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


Recent Educational Policies to Review

Conflict of Interest Policy.

View all of the School's Policies and Procedures.

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2015 Central Region IDeA Conference is June 1–3

ND INBRE is pleased to be hosting the 2015 Central Region IDeA Conference on June 1–3 at the Alerus Center, in Grand Forks.

On behalf of the North Dakota IDeA (Institutional Development Award) Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (ND INBRE), we would like to invite you to attend the Central Region IDeA conference at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks on June 1–3. The central theme of the first full day of the IDeA Central Region Conference (June 2) will be promoting diversity through IDeA programs. The final half-day of the conference (June 3) will explore the role of the IDeA program in promoting economic development.

IDeA states in the central region include North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Kansas.

For registration and a schedule, please visit

Kim Hansen
Administrative Officer

2015 Dakota Conference is June 2–4

2015 Dakota Conference on Rural and Public Health

June 2–4, 2015
Grand International Hotel, Minot, North Dakota

Reserve your room today!
Toll Free: 800.735.4493

Visit the Dakota Conference website for further details.

The Dakota Conference is facilitated by the

  • Center for Rural Health at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences 

The conference is supported by

  • Altru Health System
  • College of Nursing and Professional Disciplines (UND)
  • Department of Family and Community Medicine (UND SMHS)
  • North Dakota Public Health Association
  • North Dakota Rural Health Association

Contact Kylie Nissen

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day Forum is June 15

The National Indigenous Elder Justice Initiative (NIEJI), located within the Center for Rural Health, is hosting a forum for World Elder Abuse Awareness Day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Monday, June 15, at the Ina Mae Rude Center for Innovation at UND, 4200 James Ray Drive, in Grand Forks. Wear purple and join the forum for a discussion on topics such as financial exploitation and elder abuse policies.

Lunch will be provided.

Contact Cassie LaBine at (701) 777-6084 to register.

Save the Date! American Indian Health Research Conference is October 23

Save the date for the 13th Annual American Indian Health Research Conference, to be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on October 23, 2015, at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks. The event is sponsored by North Dakota INBRE, Center for Rural Health, Seven Generations Center of Excellence in Native Behavioral Health, and the UND Chapter of the Society of Indian Psychologists.

Registration information coming soon!

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First- and second-year med students recognize six faculty for Outstanding Block Instructor Awards

In recognition of outstanding performance in the encouragement, enrichment, and education of tomorrow's physicians, the medical classes of 2017 and 2018 have recognized six faculty members for Outstanding Block Instructor Awards in Block VII and Block III of the 2014–15 academic year.

The Class of 2017 Block VII awardees are the following individuals:

  • Ann Flower, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Basic Sciences
  • Robin Hape, MD, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Surgery, Altru Health System
  • Andrea Lays, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Altru Health System

The Class of 2018 Block III awardees are the following individuals:

  • Bryon Grove, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Basic Sciences
  • Colin Combs, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Basic Sciences
  • Chernet Tessema, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Basic Sciences

"Dengue and Chikungunya in Our Backyard: Preventing Aedes Mosquito-Borne Disease"—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. May's presentation is "Dengue and Chikungunya in Our Backyard: Preventing Aedes Mosquito-Borne Disease." All of the webcasts are archived for later viewing.

Social Media: View photos of the Commencement Awards presentation

On the SMHS Flickr page, view photos of the Commencement Awards presentation held May 9  

Also on our Facebook page, Dean Wynne discusses appendectomies, and chronic fatigue syndrome 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

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

University Letter: Faculty receive promotions, tenure, and emeritus status

Faculty promotions have been approved by President Robert Kelley and will take effect at the beginning of the 2015–2016 academic year.

More information about this and other UND news can be found in the University Letter. Published on Tuesdays and Thursdays, it is distributed electronically to the University community and is always available online. For more information, contact editor Jan Orvik at (701) 777-3621.

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Faculty loan repayment applications now accepted for health professions

The 2015 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Faculty Loan Repayment Program application cycle is now open. All completed applications must be submitted by June 25, 2015, at 7:30 p.m. ET to be considered for an award. Please refer to the Application and Program Guidance on the Faculty Loan Repayment Program website for all of the program requirements.

The Faculty Loan Repayment Program supports health professions educators who are from disadvantaged backgrounds and serve a vital role in preparing the next generation of healthcare professionals. The financial assistance offered through the Faculty Loan Repayment Program decreases the economic barriers associated with pursuing a career as a health professions educator preparing the next generation of health professionals.

Prospective applicants should know the following:

  • The Faculty Loan Repayment Program will provide a lump sum, up to a maximum of $40,000, for a two-year service commitment at an eligible accredited public or nonprofit private health professions school. In addition, the Faculty Loan Repayment Program requires a funding match from the applicant’s health professions school, which helps program participants further reduce their educational debt.
  • Faculty Loan Repayment Program participants who have additional qualifying loans once their service commitment is complete may reapply for an additional loan repayment contract in exchange for another two-year service commitment.

Applicants are encouraged to complete their application as early as possible. Please visit the Faculty Loan Repayment Program website to learn more.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)

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