September 30, 2016

You may be aware of the electrical power failure that affected north Grand Forks last Friday evening and affected the new SMHS building. As a result of the initial power surge and the subsequent several-minute loss of electricity to the region, the building ended up with only partial power for almost 10 hours. At least one piece of equipment was damaged, and the storage freezers (some −80-degree models) didn’t maintain their specified temperature, potentially damaging the stored material inside. The damaged piece of equipment was repaired in short order and is back on line. Researchers are still examining the specimens stored in the freezers for damage, but to date, the specimens appear to be fine. Let me emphasize that this was a partial power failure—a separate emergency generator that provides power for health and safety functions (like lighting in the evacuation staircases and emergency lighting) functioned perfectly.

So what caused the problem and what can be done to prevent a reoccurrence? As is often the case in a power outage, several things went wrong sequentially. First of all was the power surge and subsequent electrical outage. We haven’t heard back from the power company yet, but clearly this was the root cause of the problem. It was the power surge, after all, that damaged the piece of equipment and not the subsequent power outage. But perhaps we need to install voltage regulators on sensitive pieces of equipment like this. This is something that we’ll be looking at in conjunction with UND and the researchers involved.

The next problem was that the backup generators were unable to provide power to part of the building because there was a failure of a transfer switch. Thus, the backup generators started and came on line as they were expected to when the power went out, but they were unable to supply power to the building because of the failed switch.

Finally, there was inadequate monitoring of the situation by the alarm systems that were designed to notify the appropriate parties of the power failure in the building.

A team of people from the SMHS, UND, PCL Construction, and the architects have been meeting to address the latter two issues—the transfer switch problem and the alarm monitoring system. The team’s approach has emphasized analysis and collective problem-solving. This approach is characteristic of high-performing institutions that embrace the concept of learning organizations. This concept, introduced by Peter Senge in the 1990s, emphasizes the importance of a systems approach to addressing institutions’ challenges. Institutions like the SMHS become better as people join hands to address important issues. So I invite all of you to work with us so that we learn from this event and thereby ultimately strengthen the organization.

Finally, thank you to the many people from the School and across campus who showed up for my Dean’s Hour presentation yesterday on Healthcare Financing. For those who couldn’t attend, my presentation is available here. I’m so pleased to see the growing momentum for Dean’s Hour, and I hope that it continues. So please plan on attending future gatherings. Dean’s Hour will resume on Thursday, October 20, at noon. The scheduled speaker just notified me of the need to reschedule, so I’ll announce the next speaker soon. Please join us again at that time.

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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Ellen Olson

     Animal Laboratory Technician

Ellen Olson began employment as an animal laboratory technician in the Department of Biomedical Sciences on September 26. Her supervisor is Malak Kotb.

Zauna Synnott

     Administrative Assistant

Zauna Synnott began employment as an administrative assistant in the Master of Public Health Program on September 22. Her supervisor is Ashley Evenson.

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Jurivich will present at NPCAD on October 19

Eva L. Gilbertson, MD, Distinguished Chair of Geriatrics Donald Jurivich, DO, will be a speaker at the Northern Plains Conference on Aging and Disability to be held on October 19 and 20 at the Ramada Plaza Suites in Fargo, N.Dak.

Jurivich's presentation titled "A Prescription for a Healthy Lifespan" will review causes of aging and current research to slow or reverse the aging processes.

For more information and to register for the conference, please read more.

14th Annual American Indian Health Research Conference is October 20

The 14th Annual American Indian Health Research Conference (AIHRC) will take place October 20, 2016, at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks. The conference offers opportunities to discuss research directions, partnerships, and collaboration in health research focusing on American Indians. The keynote speaker is Dr. Michael J. Yellow Bird, professor of sociology and director of the Tribal Indigenous Studies program at North Dakota State University. Yellow Bird’s teaching, writing, research, and community work focus on indigenous peoples’ health, leadership, and cultural rights. For his keynote presentation, he will discuss mindfulness and neurodecolonization.

Numerous posters and exhibits will be on display at the conference along with sessions focusing on health risk and health promotion among Native American communities.  For more information or to register for the conference, visit or call Kenneth Davis at (701) 335-3072. There is no registration fee for this conference.

The 14th Annual American Indian Health Research Conference is sponsored by the University of North Dakota Center for Rural Health, North Dakota IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence (ND INBRE), UND’s Seven Generations Center of Excellence in Native Behavioral Health, and the UND Chapter of the Society of Indian Psychologists.

Nikki Massmann, BS
(701) 777-4205
Communication Coordinator
Center for Rural Health

ND INBRE Research Symposium is October 20

You’re invited to the annual ND INBRE Research Symposium on October 20 at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks.

ND INBRE is the North Dakota IDeA (Institutional Development Award) Network of Biomedical Research Excellence, which focuses on health and the environment with research projects that include undergraduate students.

The highlight of the morning session will include a keynote presentation by Dr. Dwight Bergles, professor of neuroscience and otolaryngology–head and neck surgery at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Bergles is the director of the Multiphoton Imaging and Electrophysiology Core at the Solomon H. Snyder Department of Neuroscience. His research focuses on synaptic physiology, in particular glutamate transporters and glial involvement in neuronal signaling. Bergles is a new member of the ND INBRE External Advisory Committee. 

The program will conclude in the afternoon with a poster session highlighting the outstanding research of our undergraduate and graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. The format will strive to provide a friendly atmosphere conducive to open discussions and exchange of ideas on science and training. 

No registration fee! Continental breakfast and lunch provided!  See schedule of events and register here today.

Kim Hansen
Administrative Officer
Department of Pathology/ND INBRE

American College of Physicians ND Chapter Meeting

The North Dakota American College of Physicians Chapter Meeting will be held on Friday, October 21, at the new UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences building, 1301 N. Columbia Road in Grand Forks.

Please click here to view the program.

Register online today!

Or you may print page 6 of the program and mail your payment to the following:

American College of Physicians
190 N Independence Mall West
Philadelphia, PA 19106-1572

*Note: Medical students and nonmember residents are unable to register online. Please register via postal mail at the address above or by contacting Customer Service at 800-523-1546, ext. 2600 in order to get the correct registration rate.

We invite you to join us at this excellent meeting to enjoy a day with internal medicine colleagues from across the state of North Dakota.

Neville Alberto, MD, FACP
Governor—ACP, North Dakota Chapter

Premed Day is October 22

Anyone who is interested in learning about a career as a physician or in the process of applying to medical school is invited to attend the annual Premed Day on Saturday, October 22, from 9:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences (UND SMHS) in Grand Forks. 

Organized by the UND SMHS Student Council, this is a wonderful opportunity for college undergraduates and high school juniors and seniors who are thinking about becoming a physician. Individuals who have applied to medical school and who need more specific information on the admissions process may also attend.

The morning session consists of speakers who will introduce participants to the medical school and the UND premed and medical school curricula. Panels of medical students will discuss what medical school is like.

The afternoon session will provide an overview of the admissions process, and local physicians will talk about their lives as doctors. In addition, a mock interview session will give participants an opportunity to preview the UND medical school admissions process.

Students may attend any or all events during the day.  Lunch will be provided. For a complete schedule, please visit

Premed Day is free. However, space is limited, and reservations are required by October 14. Please e-mail Angela Beardemphl at or call the Office of Student Affairs and Admissions at (701) 777-4221. Sign-in on Premed Day begins at 9:15 a.m. outside the Charles H. Fee, MD, Auditorium (Room E101) at the south entrance to the UND SMHS at 1301 N. Columbia Road, Grand Forks, N.D.

Step Out to Stop Diabetes Walk is October 22

Most of us know someone with diabetes. Join Team UND on October 22 at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks for the one-hour Step Out to Stop Diabetes Walk.

Registration or check-in on October 22 is at 7:30 a.m.; the Concourse Walk begins at 9:30 a.m.

There is tons of fun for the kids—inflatables and face painting! Register or sponsor a UND walker or family at

UND Primary Care Week 2016 is October 25–29

National Primary Care Week is an annual event to highlight the importance of primary care and bring healthcare professionals together to discuss and learn about generalist and interdisciplinary healthcare, particularly its effect on and importance to underserved populations.

The School has scheduled four days of events.

For more information on any of the events, please e-mail

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A mother's thank you to INMED

Good Morning. My daughter Esperanza Hartman attended INMED for the first time this past summer. She is very excited about it. I am stopping by to let you know how invaluable your teaching for the children actually is.

On September 2, 2016, Esperanza was on the school bus returning home for the weekend. The school bus was hit head on by a drunk driver. The bus driver is her stepfather. The incident can be read about on the Red Cloud Indian School website. It was devastating to say the least. Esperanza was singled out in a prayer group and has received accolades, gifts, cards for her quick thinking and actions to assist the other children in spite of being hurt herself. Parents and grandparents were thanking her in the emergency room. The young girl who hit her head was asking for Esperanza in the Emergency Department to thank her. When Esperanza was allowed to go into her room, she hugged my daughter and cried. Thanking her for helping.

She told me this, "Mom, when the bus came to a stop, I remember feeling something wet on my face. I felt my lip and it was blood. My first thought was what I was taught in INMED, in our first responders course, that if I was hurt, so was someone else and to stay calm. So I wiped my mouth and started cataloguing and triaging the little kids. The little kids were screaming and crying and Glen (the driver) was hurt. I started talking to the kids and telling them they were okay. I looked them over and asked if they were hurt anywhere, checked for cuts. Once I had them catalogued as red, yellow, green, I kept moving. Mom, I came across one girl who said she hit her head and was trying to pass out. I just talked to her and kept her conscious and calm."

According to the EMTs they thought Esperanza was one of them. Lol. She spoke their language. He said she was directing them to who was injured the most and in what order they need to go to the hospital. The amazing thing about this is she was correct. She said her constant thought was what she was taught in INMED, stay calm and keep your senses about you. Focus.

Once it was figured out she was one of the students, she was made to sit down. She had an injured arm, leg, and busted mouth. She was pretty much out of commission over the Labor Day weekend and a few days following. Adrenaline enabled her to respond. She is fine now. Her lip has healed, and her muscles are no longer sore.

I am thankful to God every day that there were no fatalities. A lot of cuts, bruises, broken nose, busted mouths, but that is so much better than the alternative.

I just want to tell you, Thank You. Thank you for your wonderful program and teaching our Native children to have the confidence to embark on something of this magnitude. My daughter has always been a mommy's girl; however, when she returned from INMED, she was a new very confident young lady.


Sonia Garrett

PT and OT grads offer help for all ages in Crosby

Nicki Loucks, BS PT '86, Amber Gunderson, DPT '11, Lexie Traiser, MOT '15, and their work for St. Luke's Medical Center in Crosby, N.Dak., are featured in Cecile Wehrman's September 21 article for The Journal of Crosby, N.Dak.: "Therapy department offers help for all ages."

Call for Nominations—Dr. Alan J. Allery Health Research Award

Call for nominations due October 3, 2016!

The Center for Rural Health is now accepting nominations for the Dr. Alan J. Allery Health Research Award. This prestigious award is presented to two ambitious American Indian students, one graduate and one undergraduate, in recognition of conducting research dedicated to improving the health and well-being of Native Americans throughout the country.

To make your nomination, please visit the American Indian Health Research Conference website.

For more information, contact Kenneth Davis or (701) 335-3072.

Call for Presentations: 2017 Dakota Conference

Rural and public health professionals are encouraged to submit abstracts for the 2017 Dakota Conference on Rural and Public Health. Both oral and poster presentations should feature community or research projects that use creative strategies, facilitate the collaboration between rural and public health entities, can be replicated, and have an emphasis on education and developing partnerships. Abstract submissions must be received no later than 5:00 p.m. Central Daylight Time on Monday, October 10, 2016. Visit the Dakota Conference website for details on submitting an abstract.

The Dakota Conference is coordinated and facilitated by the Center for Rural Health at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

Supported by the following organizations:

Contact Kylie Nissen or (701) 777-5380.

National Rural Health Day photo contest

The Center for Rural Health at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences and the North Dakota Rural Health Association are seeking submissions for the annual photo contest to celebrate National Rural Health Day, which takes place on November 17, 2016.

All North Dakotans are invited to participate by submitting a photo of what rural means to them. Prizes will be awarded to the top-three photos in each of the two divisions. In the Adult (18-years-and-older) division, the first-place winner receives a $150 Cenex gift card, second place a $100 Cenex gift card, and third place receives a $50 Cenex gift card. In the Youth (17-years-and-under) division, the first-place winner receives a $100 Amazon gift card, second place a $50 Amazon gift card, and third place receives a $25 Amazon gift card. Contest winners will be notified after National Rural Health Day (November 17, 2016). If the Center for Rural Health is unable to reach the winner, the entry will be forfeited, and the Center for Rural Health may choose a different winner. All photos will be posted on the Center for Rural Health’s Facebook page and website.

A panel of judges from the Center for Rural Health and the North Dakota Rural Health Association will critique the photos based on creativity, originality, photo quality, how well it communicates the concept of “rural health,” and overall appeal. There will also be a public vote on the top-10 photos in each division held on National Rural Health Day.

Submissions of photos will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. (CST) on Friday, November 11, 2016. Citizens within North Dakota are eligible to enter the contest. Each photo and caption is one submission; however, you may submit as many photos as you would like. All photos must have been taken in North Dakota.

Images must be royalty-free. By submitting a photo, you understand you have the right and permission of the owner of the photo to use it for this contest. Photos not meeting this requirement will not be eligible for prizes and will be disqualified from the National Rural Health Day Photo Contest.

To submit a photo, send a high-resolution version of the photo in a JPEG, GIF, or TIF file format to Include a caption of the photo, any other information you would like included about the photo, your name, e-mail address, and phone number. Terms of use for the photo contest can be found on the Center for Rural Health’s website.

The National Rural Health Day efforts for North Dakota are facilitated by the Center for Rural Health and are supported by the North Dakota Rural Health Association. To learn more about National Rural Health Day, visit

Social Media—Insights on the new UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences Building

On our Facebook page, read the overview of Healthcare Training and Education correspondent Marty Kauchak's exclusive interview with Dean Joshua Wynne regarding the School’s newly opened building.

Also on our Facebook page, Dean Wynne answers questions about a blood clot in the lung and about heart valve replacement 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—Study finds American children among least fit in the world

An international research team co-led from the University of North Dakota and the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) studied the aerobic fitness levels of children and youth across 50 countries. The results were just published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

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.

"Newborn Screening for Hearing Loss and Critical Congenital Heart 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. September's presentation is "Beyond the Blood Spot: Newborn Screening for Hearing Loss and Critical Congenital Heart Disease." All of the webcasts are archived for later viewing.

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UND forges partnership with Norwegian university on public health education

Faculty members in the Master of Public Health Program at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences will partner with colleagues at the University of Bergen in Norway (UiB) to train graduate students from both universities in each university’s respective field of expertise.

UND SMHS Assistant Professor Arielle Selya, PhD, and Master of Public Health Founding Director and Professor Raymond Goldsteen DrPH, in collaboration with Associate Professor David Wheat and Professor Pål Davidsen in the Department of Geography at UiB, were awarded a grant titled “Model-based Public Health Education.” The Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Education under the Partnership Program with North America will fund 2,000,000 Norwegian kroner (approximately $250,000) for this project between January 2017 and December 2020.

Under the project, UiB exchange students receive public health training at UND, and UND exchange students receive system dynamics training at UiB. Up to five students per year combined from both universities could be involved.

“System dynamics is a simulation method that uses principles from engineering to study systems that contain feedback loops and show complex behavior,” Selya said. “System dynamics was originally developed for business applications, but in recent years has been more frequently applied to public health topics. Conventional analytical approaches in public health are often limited because of ethical, practical and financial reasons, and system dynamics can be a powerful tool for overcoming these limitations because analysis takes place in a simulation setting.”

Participating students will also work on research projects that apply system dynamics modeling to study public health problems. The students will conduct the projects in conjunction with MPH faculty at the UND SMHS, UiB faculty, and partners in the North Dakota Department of Health and Altru Health System.

“This is a very exciting opportunity for MPH students to develop a highly marketable analytics skill while at the same time preparing themselves for the global marketplace,” Goldsteen said. “And for MPH faculty, the project affords new opportunities for interdisciplinary and cross-cultural collaboration. We are grateful to Dr. Selya and our Norwegian partners for their great work in securing this grant.”

“This project will strengthen the international and interdisciplinary relationship between UND and UiB by enhancing both educational and research opportunities,” Selya said.

For further information about the exchange program please contact Arielle Selya at or (701) 777-6138. For information on UND’s Master of Public Health degree, please visit

Mandatory PHS Financial Conflict of Interest Education sessions

The Public Health Service (PHS) requires that all PHS grantees or those considering submitting to the PHS complete a mandatory education class. According to the new policy, all grantees must be trained in conflict of interest every four years. The Division of Research and Economic Development will be conducting training sessions on the following dates:

  • Wednesday, October 12, from 11 a.m. to noon in the Presidents Room at the Memorial Union.
  • Monday, November 21, from 11 a.m. to noon in the Presidents Room at the Memorial Union.

You only need to attend one of the sessions if you have not already done so. Training is necessary every four years. 

The session will be presented by Barry Milavetz, PhD, associate vice president for Research and Economic Development.

PHS agencies include

  • National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)
  • Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR)
  • Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)
  • Indian Health Service (IHS)
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

If you have questions, please contact Barry Milavetz, PhD, (701) 777-4151.  

Diane Hillebrand, CRA
Grant and Contract Officer

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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