May 19, 2017

General commencement last Saturday and medical student commencement on Sunday went smoothly. Everyone I visited with thought that holding two ceremonies on Saturday, with undergraduate commencement in the afternoon and graduate in the morning, was a major improvement over the long single ceremony UND used to hold. I hope that we retain that feature, although I for one would like to see a keynote commencement speaker at each UND event, as long as the speakers’ remarks are poignant—such as the comments by Dr. Bill Mann at the medical student commencement on Sunday.

Here’s a brief update on the budget situation. Following a presentation of the 90 percent budgets prepared by all the School’s departments and units to the Faculty Academic Council (FAC) several weeks ago, I asked each dean to re-review those budgets with their respective chairs and directors along with Terry Nelson in the Office of Administration and Finance. We simultaneously received verification of those faculty and staff who executed their separation agreements. We also finalized the tuition increases for students entering this coming academic year (4 percent for undergraduates, medical students, and most health sciences students, and 7 percent for others). This allowed us to re-prioritize and redirect funds, and I approved a “final” draft budget. That updated “final” budget contains just over an 8 percent overall cut, with less (7.5 percent on average) coming from the educational and research enterprises (clinical and health sciences departments and biomedical sciences), and more (10 percent on average) coming from the administrative units (Education Resources and Dean’s Office). That budget has been sent to the members of FAC, who have been asked to send any comments to us by the close of business today. Pending that feedback, we plan to send the final budget to UND soon so that it, in turn, can submit it to the State Board of Higher Education. Depending on the feedback from FAC members, we may need to ask FAC to reconvene to discuss the suggestions. We are under a hard deadline to get the budget submitted to UND by the end of the month, and the departments and units are eager to begin inputting the approved budgets into the system so that they can implement the budget provisions come July 1, 2017.

Finally, we will be working over the summer to integrate UND’s strategic plan into our future programming. The plan contains seven key initiatives, and goals three through seven are particularly salient for the SMHS. Over the next few weeks, I’ll have more information as to how we plan to internalize the plan and establish metrics for achievement.

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


Recent Educational Policies to Review

Cultural Diversity Tuition Waiver (for all SMHS students)

View all of the School's Policies and Procedures.

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Tanya Singh

     Research Specialist

Tanya Singh began employment as a research specialist in the Center for Rural Health on May 16. Her supervisor is Mandi-Leigh Peterson.

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Vijay Gaba presents today's Surgery Grand Rounds

Clinical Associate Professor of Surgery Vijay K. Gaba, MD, will be presenting his talk titled "Surgical Fire Safety" from 8:00 to 9:00 a.m. today, May 19, in Clinic B2 at Sanford Health in Fargo.

The objectives of his talk are the following:

  1. Explain surgical fire triangle.
  2. Recall measures to prevent surgical fires.
  3. Identify actions to take if surgical fire occurs.
  4. Describe fire safety plan.

This Surgery Grand Rounds Conference, sponsored by the UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences Department of Surgery, is broadcasted via videoconference to many sites in North Dakota and Minnesota.

All are welcome to attend.

Geralyn Lunski, AAS
Administrative Assistant
Conference & Faculty Coordinator
Department of Surgery

Department of Biomedical Sciences Seminar Series talk regarding Alzheimer’s Disease is May 22

Bernard G. Schreurs, PhD, professor of behavioral medicine and psychiatry at West Virginia University, and director of the West Virginia Alzheimer’s Disease Registry, will speak to the Department of Biomedical Sciences at noon on Monday, May 22, in the Charles H. Fee, MD, Auditorium, Room E101 at the SMHS in Grand Forks.

The title of Schreurs’s presentation is “Developing Rabbit Models of Alzheimer’s Disease.”

You can read more about Dr. Schreurs at

Bonnie Kee
Administrative Assistant
Department of Biomedical Sciences

Celebrate Wayne Vonasek on June 7

Please join SMHS staff and faculty on Wednesday, June 7, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. in Room E493 at the SMHS in Grand Forks to congratulate Facilities Academic Maintenance Supervisor Wayne Vonasek on his retirement after 17 years of service to the University of North Dakota.

Cake and coffee will be served. All SMHS faculty and staff are welcome to attend.

Kristen Peterson
Administrative Secretary
Office of Alumni and Community Relations

New time for 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 10:40 a.m. to 10:50 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays from May 23 through June 29 on the east patio at the SMHS in Grand Forks. In inclement weather, the event will move to the Charles H. Fee, MD, Auditorium.

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

Register for the Dakota Conference

The 32nd Annual Dakota Conference on Rural and Public Health is taking place June 13–15 in Minot, North Dakota. The Dakota Conference provides an opportunity for over 300 healthcare professionals, educators, and students to share strategies for building and sustaining healthy communities in North Dakota. It includes three days of sessions, pre-conferences, post-conference workshops, and an awards banquet.

Two ways to register:

The Dakota Conference is Coordinated and Facilitated by the 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. Visit the Dakota Conference on Rural and Public Health’s website for more information.

Inaugural Scientific Meeting of the Great Plains IDeA-CTR Network is October 23

The UND SMHS is a member of the Great Plains IDeA-CTR Network, which will hold its inaugural scientific meeting on October 23–24 at the University of Nebraska Medical Center Truhlsen Event Center in Omaha.

The Great Plains IDeA-CTR Network was created by a $20 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha (UNMC), the largest grant ever in the center’s history. 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.

Jonathan D. Geiger, Chester Fritz Distinguished Professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences at the UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences, serves on the leadership team.

In addition to UNMC, the Nebraska institutions involved in the network include the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, University of Nebraska at Omaha, University of Nebraska at Kearney and Boys Town National Research Hospital. Other participants are the University of South Dakota, University of North Dakota, North Dakota State University, and the University of Kansas Medical Center.

The program will highlight presentations on clinical and translational research and resources, team science, community engagement activities, a mock study review panel and more!

Additional information to follow. | 402.552.2260

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UND doctors honored with Tow Humanism in Medicine Awards

Jennifer D. Raum, MD, clinical associate professor of internal medicine at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences, and an internal medicine specialist for Sanford Health in Fargo, N.Dak., was honored with the prestigious Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Faculty Award at the School’s commencement on May 14. Brandon L. Potter, MD, a 2017 UND medical school graduate, received the Tow Award for graduating medical students. (In the photo are Jennifer Raum, her nominator, Mark Schlotterback, and UND SMHS Dean Joshua Wynne.)

Each year, Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Awards are presented to a graduating student and faculty member at over 100 of the nation’s medical schools. The Gold Foundation began the award in 1991 at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons. The Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey began replicating these awards nationwide in 1998, with participation from the Gold Foundation. In 2003, with a generous donation from Leonard Tow, these awards became solely sponsored and administered by the Gold Foundation. This award is given to those who best demonstrate the Foundation’s ideals of outstanding compassion in the delivery of care; respect for patients, their families, and healthcare colleagues; and clinical excellence.

Jennifer D. Raum

“Though her teaching and clinical skills are superb, Dr. Raum's most defining feature is her genuine care for the well-being of others,” said Mark Schlotterback, MD Class of 2017. He worked to nominate Raum for the award. “Dr. Raum exudes genuine care, professionalism, and compassion in all that she does. She speaks with integrity and carries herself with rich authenticity. She inspires me to view medicine as a sacred calling of service, a calling for which she demonstrates reverence and selfless devotion.”

A Grand Forks, N.Dak., native, Raum has been a faculty member of the UND SMHS since 2008. She is a 2001 graduate of the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences and completed her residency training in internal medicine at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C. She is board-certified in internal medicine by the American Board of Internal Medicine.

“I am a better person for knowing her,” Schlotterback said. “I believe her colleagues and patients would say likewise.”

Brandon L. Potter

In June of 2016, Denver, Colo., native Brandon L. Potter, MD 2017, was nominated by his peers to be one of 10 students inducted into the Gold Humanism Honor Society. Nominees were chosen based on the characteristics of humanism—integrity, excellence, compassion, altruism, respect, and empathy.

This year, Potter was chosen from the 10 inductees by the School’s Gold Humanism Honor Society Selection Committee to receive the 2017 Tow Humanism in Medicine Award. The committee is composed of the third- and fourth-year class presidents and six faculty members.

“Brandon is the embodiment of what we look for in a physician,” said Associate Professor of Biomedical Sciences Patrick A. Carr, PhD, director of Education Resources and assistant dean for Faculty Development, in his nomination letter. “He is selfless, personable, calm, understanding, and most importantly, places the highest value on the human connection. Brandon is most highly respected by both his peers and faculty.”

School of Medicine and Health Sciences recognizes volunteer faculty

The University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences presented the Dean’s Special Recognition Awards for Outstanding Volunteer Faculty to the following physicians during commencement ceremonies on Sunday, May 14.

  • Jacob A. Fish, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and alumnus (MD Class of 2011) Fargo, North Dakota.
  • Amy M. Juelson, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and alumna (MD Class of 2005) Bismarck, North Dakota.
  • Robert G. Kemp, MD, Clinical Instructor of Family and Community Medicine and alumnus (MD Class of 1992) Williston, North Dakota.
  • Patricia J. Lindholm, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor of Family and Community Medicine, Fergus Falls, Minnesota.
  • William Matt Lowe II, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Dickinson, North Dakota.
  • Alicia M. Norby, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine and alumna (MD Class of 2006) Minot, North Dakota.
  • Timothy L. Pansegrau, MD, Clinical Associate Professor of Surgery, Bismarck, North Dakota.
  • Douglas J. Renton, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine and alumnus (MD Class of 2002) Bismarck, North Dakota.
  • Troy S. Russon, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery, Bismarck, North Dakota.
  • Sara R. Solberg, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and alumna (MD Class of 2000) Williston, North Dakota.
  • Eduardo P. Yabut, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, Jamestown, North Dakota.

“As a community-based school, we could not carry out our educational mission without the dedication and sacrifice of our voluntary faculty members,” said Joshua Wynne, MD, MBA, MPH, UND vice president for health affairs and dean of the School of Medicine and Health Sciences. “In large measure, the quality of our medical education program is dependent on the many physicians throughout the state who serve as volunteer faculty members. They have added and incorporated this activity into their daily medical practices and welcomed our medical students to learn from them and their patients.”

“We are fortunate to have many dedicated physicians from across North Dakota who teach,” Wynne said. “In fact, a larger proportion of the physicians in North Dakota are voluntary faculty members than in any other state. Of the roughly 1,700 physicians in the state, over 1,200 have voluntary clinical faculty appointments at the School. That’s more than two out of three—quite a remarkable and noteworthy indication of the degree of commitment that our doctors have to educating the next generation of caregivers.”

“These physicians have gone above and beyond the call of duty in giving our students the benefit of their time, experience, knowledge, and wisdom gained from years of caring for patients,” he said. “By example, they have served as superior role models and encouraged our students to define and adopt the highest standards of medical service.”

Congratulations! Doctor of Medicine Class of 2017 Award Winners

Medical students of the MD Class of 2017 and faculty of the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences were recognized by the School at the Commencement Awards presentation on Sunday, May 14.

For a complete list of award winners, please read more.

UND Today—"The distinguished Dr. Combs"
















"The distinguished Dr. Combs"

UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences biomedical researcher surprised with latest Chester Fritz professorship award.

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

Michael Dulitz garners a Grand Prize at National EMS and Care Conference















UND SMHS graduate Michael Dulitz, MPH '17, earned the Grand Prize in the Solutions Category at the National Rural EMS & Care Conference in Fargo in April.

Dulitz's presentation was titled "Addressing Preventable Emergency Department Utilization: The Results of a Community Paramedic Pilot Program."

Social Media—Health Matters: "PCSK-9 inhibitors not for everyone"

On our Facebook page, Dean Wynne answers questions about a new class of medicines for lowering cholesterol and about bystander-initiated CPR 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.

“Emerging Tickborne Diseases—Encore Presentation”—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 “Emerging Tickborne Diseases—Encore Presentation.” All of the webcasts are archived for later viewing.

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Greater Plains Collaborative Clinical Data Research Network—Request for Proposals

The Greater Plains Collaborative Clinical Data Research Network
2017 Inter-Institutional Pilot Program—Request for Proposals


The Greater Plains Collaborative (GPC) is a network of twelve leading medical centers in eight states committed to a shared vision of improving healthcare delivery through ongoing learning, adoption of evidence-based practices, and active research dissemination. Partners by state are KS, the University of Kansas Medical Center (KUMC); MO, Children’s Mercy Hospital and the University of Missouri; IA, University of Iowa Healthcare; WI, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the Medical College of Wisconsin, and Marshfield Clinic; MN, the University of Minnesota Medical Center; NE, the University of Nebraska Medical Center; IN, Indiana University; and TX, the University of Texas Health Sciences Center at San Antonio and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. The GPC is one of 13 PCORnet Clinical Data Research Networks created to support diverse research with meaningful patient involvement and a robust data infrastructure. With support from our Clinical Translational Science Institutes’ leadership (NIH CTSA and CTR programs), the GPC network is seeking to broaden awareness and utilization by investigators at its partner institutions to capitalize on our heightened patient engagement and unique data resources.


The purpose of the pilot program is to provide modest support that will allow an investigator the opportunity to develop sufficient preliminary data utilizing the GPC’s data infrastructure as a basis for a larger application for independent research support for the investigator and the network. It is not intended to support or supplement an ongoing research project of an established investigator. A proposed pilot and feasibility study should present a testable hypothesis and clearly delineate (1) the question being asked; (2) the procedures to be followed; (3) how the data will be analyzed; (4) the linkage to the national FOA/RFA for which the pilot is strengthening competitiveness; and (5) the intended submission date for responding to the FOA/RFA. An emphasis is being placed on multi-institutional collaboration across the various GPC institutions that strengthen relationships and patient-centered collaborations among investigators and patients across the GPC institutions.

For full details and key dates, please read more.

Resource Guide for Investigators

Jonathan D. Geiger, PhD
Chester Fritz Distinguished Professor

UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences
Department of Biomedical Sciences
(701) 777-2183 (P); (701) 777-0387 (F)

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Library Resources hours for Memorial Day holiday

Library of the Health Sciences hours for Friday, May 26, through Tuesday, May 30, are the following:    

  • Friday, May 26—7:30 a.m.–5 p.m.
  • Saturday, May 27—Closed
  • Sunday, May 28—Closed
  • Monday, May 29, Memorial Day—Closed
  • Tuesday, May 30—7:30 a.m.–6:00 p.m.   

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

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