June 26, 2015

On Wednesday, the move to the new building officially began! The School sponsored a Transition Champion Team kickoff meeting to update a number of faculty, staff, and students—known as Transition Champions—who were selected by their peers to help communicate the process that has been established to ensure an orderly, efficient, and expeditious transition into the new building. Although a major change like this always is accompanied by anxiety and concern—and there certainly are a myriad of details to be addressed—I was very pleased with both the tone and the content of the meeting. I hope that you, too, feel the excitement that is growing. Wherever I go in Grand Forks—and elsewhere—people know about the building, see the progress, and are excited for North Dakota.

On Thursday in Bismarck, I had the pleasure of attending another most enjoyable get-together. St. Alexius Medical Center held a Fellowship Graduation Ceremony for its graduating hospitalist residents whose training has been made possible through the Healthcare Workforce Initiative. I was invited to be the keynote speaker, and I had the pleasure and honor to both congratulate and thank the graduates. And in Fargo this evening, the Department of Surgery will hold its 31st Surgical Residency Graduation Banquet. Congratulations to all of the successful graduates!

It is with great pleasure and excitement that I announce the imminent arrival on campus of our new—and first—Associate Dean for Medicine Dr. Marc Basson. Dr. Basson is an accomplished surgeon, and he comes to us from Michigan State University. He is an outstanding investigator, teacher, clinician, and administrator, and will complement the activities and responsibilities of our Associate Dean for Health Sciences Dr. Tom Mohr. Both Drs. Basson and Mohr report directly to me, while all of the clinical department and program chairs and chiefs report directly to them. So all clinical medical student programs and clinical departments under the medicine umbrella will be coordinated through Marc, as all of the health sciences departments and programs are coordinated under Tom.

Marc and his wife Helene Weldt-Basson will be joining UND in mid-August. Helene is a distinguished language scholar (Spanish) and will be joining the faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences. So UND is lucky enough to recruit not just one but two outstanding faculty members thanks to a coordinated effort by the School and the College of Arts and Sciences. Thanks again to Dean Debbie Storrs and the faculty in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures of UND’s College of Arts and Sciences for helping to make this (joint) recruitment a reality.

The arrival of Dr. Basson will be the last key element in the School’s reformatted organizational structure and approach that has been implemented in partial response to the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) citations following the reaccreditation visit last year. I will be further detailing the evolution of our revamped organizational approach over the next month or so, and I hope that you’ll follow—and participate in—the discussion.

This will be the last E-News for the 2014–15 academic year. We won’t publish the next edition until July 10, since UND will observe Independence Day with a vacation day in a week on Friday, July 3. Susan and I are off later today for a visit with our daughter and son-in-law and our three wonderful granddaughters. But we hope that you will join us in pausing next Saturday, July 4, to remember the sacrifices that many Americans have made—and are making—to secure our freedoms. We don’t take those freedoms lightly, and we know you don’t either. Happy Birthday, America!

Susan and I send you our best wishes for an enjoyable, safe, and pleasant summer.  

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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Kari Kuntz


Kari Kuntz began employment as a receptionist at the Center for Family Medicine–Bismarck on June 8. Her supervisor is Sara Schumacher.

Michelle Montgomery

     Project Coordinator

Michelle Montgomery will begin employment as a project coordinator in Family and Community Medicine on July 1. Her supervisor is Mary Amundson. 

Dorothea Nelson

     Information Specialist

Dorothea Nelson began employment as an information specialist in the Center for Rural Health on June 22. Her supervisor is Naomi Lelm.

Julie Reiten

     Project Assistant

Julie Reiten began employment as a project assistant in the Center for Rural Health on June 16. Her supervisor is Kylie Nissen.

Tanja Sayler

     Clinic Clerk

Tanja Sayler began employment as a clinic clerk at the Center for Family Medicine–Bismarck on June 17. Her supervisor is Donna Baumgartner.

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Edwin C. James Lectureship and Surgical Resident Research Colloquium is today

Ajit Sachdeva, MD, FRCSC, FACS, founding director of the Division of Education for the American College of Surgeons, will give the Edwin C. James Lectureship at noon today, June 26, in Crystal Ballroom III at the Ramada Plaza & Suites, 1635 42nd St. S., in Fargo. The title of Sachdeva’s lecture is “Preparation of Residents for Surgical Practice: Challenges, Opportunities, and New Directions."

The lectureship was established in honor of Edwin C. James, MD, (1932–1994), professor and chair of the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences Department of Surgery from 1980 to 1989. James was dean of the School of Medicine and Health Sciences from 1988 to 1993. He founded the Surgical Residency Program at the School.

The Surgical Resident Research Colloquium will follow the lecture at 1:30 p.m. and will be held at the same location. Each resident will present a research topic that will be judged by a panel of invited physicians or faculty members. Every year the topics are chosen by the presenting resident with the research conducted under the guidance of a faculty sponsor. Time for questions and answers will follow each presentation. The top two presenters will be honored at the Chief Resident Graduation Banquet to be held following the research colloquium at 6:30 p.m. at the Ramada Plaza & Suites.

The Department of Surgery at the UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences coordinates the lectureship and colloquium. For further information or questions, contact Geralyn Lunski, conference coordinator, (701) 777-2589.

Celebrate Professor Richard Wilsnack at retirement open house on June 29

The Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science will host a retirement open house to honor Professor Richard Wilsnack from 2:30 to 4:00 p.m. on Monday, June 29, in the Vennes Atrium of the UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Grand Forks. Refreshments will be served. 

Richard taught in the UND Sociology Department from 1978 until 1989, at which time he became professor in the Department of Neuroscience (now Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science). He teaches medical students on topics related to medical ethics, healthcare, and substance abuse and collaborates with Professor Sharon Wilsnack on federally funded research on alcohol use and related problems, with a focus on women, gender, and culture.

Please join us in thanking Richard for his 37 years of service to UND and wishing him well in his retirement. 

Debra Walker, Administrative Officer
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science
Program Coordinator, Psychiatry Residency Training Program

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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Knutson new assistant dean for the Northwest (Minot) Campus

Scott E. Knutson, MD, has been named assistant dean for the Northwest (Minot) Campus at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences. Knutson is a clinical assistant professor of family medicine at UND and an emergency medicine physician for Trinity Health in Minot, serving as chief of medical staff since December of 2013.

Knutson will succeed Dr. Martin Rothberg as Northwest Campus dean. Knutson will begin work as dean of the Minot Campus on July 1.

“Dr. Knutson has spearheaded the School’s recent effort to develop a community-based longitudinal clinical experience for third-year medical students on the Minot Campus,” said Joshua Wynne, MD, MBA, MPH, UND vice president for health affairs and dean of the UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences. “The MILE (Minot Integrated Longitudinal Experience) Program is a success thanks in no small measure to his efforts, and through this example and others, Dr. Knutson has demonstrated both his skills and his commitment to student education. I am delighted that he has accepted our offer to be the next Northwest Campus dean.”

Knutson, a native of Minneapolis, Minn., received his undergraduate degree in biomedical science from Saint Cloud State University, Minnesota. He earned his medical doctorate from the University of South Dakota School of Medicine in Vermillion. He completed his family medicine residency at the UND Center for Family Medicine in Minot, where he served as chief resident and received the William J. Buckingham North Dakota Academy of Family Physicians and the Minot Community Preceptors Family Medicine Resident of the Year Award in 2004. Knutson is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, Christian Medical and Dental Society, and Alpha Omega Alpha, the national medical honor society.

Before joining Trinity Health, Knutson practiced at Minot Air Force Base from 1998 to 2002, serving as chief of the medical staff, flight surgeon, and officer in charge of the Flight Medicine Clinic. He has been a clinical assistant professor of family medicine at the UND SMHS since September 2005 and has been the director of the MILE Program since 2011. MILE is a course of clinical training that third- and fourth-year medical students undertake in specialty areas. An important feature of MILE is that students develop a panel of patients whom they follow throughout the year, accompanying them to consultant visits and procedures, and following them through hospitalizations.

“The role of campus dean is a unique position to encourage collaboration throughout the region,” Knutson said. “I have known for many years that the Minot campus provides ample opportunity for high-quality medical education, with a clinically robust environment and a cadre of dedicated preceptors that enjoy their work with the students. We are on the verge of many changes in our regional health system, and I welcome the opportunity to continue to develop educational opportunities for all of our third- and fourth-year students.”

Lundstrom and Stauffenecker presented at the TeamSTEPPS National Conference

North Dakota Simulation, Teaching, and Research (ND STAR) Simulation Education Specialist Andrew Lundstrom, NREMT-P; Education Coordinator Cheryl Stauffenecker, MS, CNS; along with Karla Olson, MSN, RNC-OB, C-EFM, CBC, CLNC, from Venice, Fla., presented a 90-minute workshop at the Team Strategies and Tools to Enhance Performance and Patient Safety (TeamSTEPPS) National Conference in Denver, Colo., on June 17. TeamSTEPPS is an evidence-based set of teamwork tools, aimed at optimizing patient outcomes by improving communication and teamwork skills among healthcare professionals. It includes a comprehensive set of ready-to-use materials and a training curriculum to successfully integrate teamwork principles into any healthcare system. The conference was the largest in TeamSTEPPS history. The team’s session—“Progressive Simulation: Moving a Patient Safely Through Multiple Environments”—was presented at one of the largest sessions of the conference. 

The progressive simulation presentation illustrated the movement of a patient through multiple environments. The simulation was designed to move a patient from a scene, into the ambulance, and then into the emergency room or definitive care. Participants learned how to develop a progressive simulation for their practice setting. They experienced a progresssive simulation and evaluated it using the key principles for team structure, leadership, situation monitoring, mutual support, and communication. Through the workshop, the participants learned to experience, explore, evaluate, and incorporate patient safety measures into all aspects of progressive simulation. Participants had hands-on experience with TeamSTEPPS strategies, began to develop a progressive simulation idea for use in a variety of institutions, and dialogued on how to pilot their intervention. The discussion used examples from the statewide SIM-ND program that has incorporated interdisciplinary, progresssve simulation for professional healthcare learners.

Key TeamSTEPPS behaviors were incorporated into the presentation and included briefing and post-simulation debriefing. Participants were given a tool to evaluate the observable team and patient safety behaviors of Situation-Background-Assessment-Recommendation (SBAR) handoff communication, call-outs and check-backs, situation monitoring, and huddles. Strategies were defined with the use of the Two-Challenge Rule and the Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program (CUSP) for patient safety. The video presentation used examples of what went well and what could be done differently the next time.

E-News will not be published next Friday, July 3

In observance of Independence Day, E-News will not be published on July 3. E-News will return on July 10.

Celebrate the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. At right is a photo of the only surviving fragment of the broadside of the Declaration of Independence printed by John Dunlap and sent on July 6, 1776, to George Washington by John Hancock, president of the Continental Congress in Philadelphia. General Washington had this Declaration read to his assembled troops on July 9 in New York, where they awaited the combined British fleet and army.

"Climate Change and Health—From Science to Practice"—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. July's presentation is "Climate Change and Health—From Science to Practice." All of the webcasts are archived for later viewing.

Social Media: Health Matters—Chickenpox, shingles vaccine availability

On our Facebook page, Dean Wynne discusses why chickenpox, shingles vaccine availability doesn't mean the diseases will disappear 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

University Letter: Electrical Engineering grants will help combat cyber-attacks

Electrical Engineering Assistant Professor Prakash Ranganathan has been awarded a grant to research cyber-security for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and to prepare students for careers in the industry.

More information about this and other UND news can be found in the University Letter. Published on Tuesdays, 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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UND Neuroscience COBRE Pilot Grant Program Third Round of Commercialization Proposals

As part of our COBRE Phase III grant on neurodegenerative diseases, we are again inviting single- and multi-PI pilot grant proposals. The purpose of this ‘first-in-the-nation’ commercialization pilot grant program is very specific. We want to encourage and facilitate neuroscience research leading to commercialization of research discoveries. The goals of this neuroscience pilot grant program are to assist researchers so that they may achieve measures of success, including the following:

  • Becoming first-time inventors.
  • Developing intellectual property.
  • Making invention disclosures based on research findings.
  • Filing and awarding patent applications.
  • Establishing R&D partnerships with industry partners based on disclosed technologies.
  • Developing prototypes.
  • Licensing patent rights for commercialization of products.
  • Attracting additional funding sources to enhance the scope of the work.

As part of our efforts to enhance the sustainability of the neuroscience community at UND and to benefit the public, we are pleased to directly assist UND faculty members who have an interest in commercializing their research findings. Renewal of previously funded commercialization pilot grants is allowed, but new applications must be submitted as described in this announcement.

For further information, please read more.

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Library of the Health Sciences hours for Independence Day holiday

Library of the Health Sciences hours for Thursday, July 2, through Monday, July 6, are the following:

  • Thursday, July 2—8 a.m.–5 p.m.
  • Friday, July 3—Closed 
  • Saturday, July 4, Independence Day—Closed 
  • Sunday, July 5—Closed 
  • Monday, July 6—8 a.m.–6 p.m.   

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

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