From The Dean

  • Friday, March 16, 2018
  • From The Dean

As I mentioned in last week’s E-News, we have exciting speakers lined up for the next five Dean’s Hours to round out the schedule for this academic year. All of the presentations take place on Thursdays at noon. Please mark your calendar for next Thursday, March 22 from noon until 1 p.m. when we welcome Dr. Martin Maron. Martin will speak on the challenging topic of "Does Pre-participation Screening Save Competitive Athletes' Lives?” We all have read, with dismay, news reports of youngsters who have died during an athletic event. Although rare, these tragedies obviously are devastating when they occur. But the real question is whether most can be prevented. One approach is to screen kids ahead of time. But how much screening is appropriate? And does it work? Dr. Maron’s talk should be interesting and informative to all health care students and providers—not to mention parents, and brothers and sisters—and I strongly urge you to attend. I’ve heard Dr. Maron present several times, and he’s an excellent and extremely knowledgeable speaker. The Dean’s Hour presentation will be in the Charles H. Fee, MD Auditorium (Room E101) near the south entrance to the UND SMHS building, and can be viewed on-line. Please RSVP here.

And shortly after Dr. Maron’s presentation, the School will welcome UND Writers Conference speaker Molly McCully Brown for a discussion about her recent book, The Virginia State Colony For Epileptics and Feebleminded. The book won the 2016 Lexi Rudnitsky First Book Prize for Poetry. She will give a brief presentation followed by Q&A. McCully Brown has cerebral palsy, and her book is an interpretation of real events from a colony near her hometown where people with physical and mental disabilities were forcibly committed and sterilized in the early to mid-1900s. The get-together will be from 2 p.m. until 3 p.m. on Thursday March 22, and will also be in the SMHS Fee Auditorium (Room E101).

Finally, I’d like to alert you to two events that will be taking place on the Northeast (Grand Forks) campus on Wednesday March 28, 2018. The first event is for our legislators and is intended to give them a more personal and intensive exposure to health care education than they would get ordinarily. Called "MD In A Day," the day-long event is modeled after a program promulgated by the Association of American Medical Colleges through its Project Medical Education. Our legislative guests will receive a birds-eye view of what medical students go through during their four years with us—from acceptance, the white coat ceremony, patient-centered learning (PCL) blocks, clinical experiences, research, simulation, residency match, and then residency. All in a span of five hours! So if you see some—shall we say more senior—“students” on campus that day, you’ll know who they are.

Following the "MD In A Day" event, we’ll hold one of the periodic meetings of the UND SMHS Advisory Council, a legislatively mandated group of representatives from various health-related entities from across the state. The UND SMHS Advisory Council is charged by the North Dakota Legislature to review the School’s strategic direction and accomplishments, and to advise both the School and the Legislature as to how we’re doing. In many ways it functions like a corporate board, although its powers are essentially advisory. Nevertheless, I very much appreciate its oversight function and the sagacity of its analyses and findings. Chaired by Altru CEO Dave Molmen, the members of the council work hard to provide cogent advice to help the School maximize its effectiveness and optimize its educational programs.

Joshua Wynne, MD, MBA, MPH
UND Vice President for Health Affairs

Dean, UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences


Next Dean's Hour features Martin S. Maron, MD

  • Friday, March 16, 2018
  • Events

Martin S. Maron, MD, assistant professor of medicine and director of the Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Institute at Tufts Medical Center, is the speaker for the next Dean's Hour, to be held at noon on Thursday, March 22 in the SMHS Charles H. Fee, MD, Auditorium (E101) in Grand Forks. Dr. Maron will give a Dean’s Hour presentation titled "Does Pre-participation Screening Save Competitive Athletes' Lives?”

Lunch will be provided for those on the Grand Forks Campus. If you plan to attend in Grand Forks, RSVP here.

This presentation will be broadcast to the following UND SMHS campus sites:

  • Bismarck, Southwest Campus, Room 2108
  • Fargo, Southeast Campus, Room 219
  • Minot, Northwest Campus Office – Trinity Location

Or, you may view Dr. Maron’s presentation online here.

Dr. Maron’s research interests are the diagnosis and management of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, including the role of cardiovascular magnetic resonance in assessment of patients with HCM and novel drug therapy to modify disease. Dr. Maron has co-authored over 140 original publications on HCM and has been published in the New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet, Circulation, and Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

If you are interested in meeting with Dr. Maron during his brief visit at the UND SMHS, please contact Jeanette Gratton (, 701.777.2514).

Java with Josh to be held on March 22

  • Friday, March 16, 2018
  • Events

You are invited to join Dean Joshua Wynne for complimentary coffee or tea at Java with Josh from 8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. on Thursday, March 22 in the Tello-Skjerseth Atrium (across the hall from the Family and Community Medicine and Population Health suites) at the SMHS building in Grand Forks.

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 Monday, March 19.

We hope to see you there.

Health Professionals' Diabetes Workshop to be held in Grand Forks on April 11

  • Friday, March 16, 2018
  • Events

Mark your calendar for the Health Professionals' Diabetes Workshop to be held at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks on April 11, 2018.

This one-day workshop, presented by the Altru Diabetes Center, is geared toward the health professional who cares for people with diabetes. Its purpose is to provide best practice recommendations to improve diabetes care in a culturally sensitive way.

Presenters include:

  • Marilyn Gardner, RN, BS, Massachusetts Department of Public Health
  • William Zaks, MD, Altru Health System
  • James Brosseau, MD, MPH, Altru Health System
  • Tara Feil, PhD, CHI St. Alexius
  • Eric Johnson, MD, University of North Dakota and Altru Health System

A detailed brochure for the event can be found here. The registration fee for Altru employees and students is $25; the fee for non-Altru employees is $80.

To register, go here and: 1) Select "2018 Diabetes Conference," and 2) input username "Diabetes" and password "2018Conf." Pre-registration required by April 2, 2018. Lunch will be included for pre-registered participants only.

Providers--this workshop counts toward your Continuing Medical Education requirements:

  • Dietitians/Dietetic Technicians: This program has been submitted to the Commission on Dietetic Registration for continuing education approval.
  • Nurses: This activity has been submitted to Montana Nurses Association for approval to award contact hours. The Montana Nurses Association is accredited by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation for approving continuing nurse education.
  • Physicians: Altru Health System is accredited by the Minnesota Medical Association to provide continuing medical education for physicians. Altru Health System designates this live educational activity for a maximum of 6 hours AMA PRA Category 1 credits. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Contact for more information.

Rosanna Peeling, PhD, is Frank Low Day keynote and Dean's Hour speaker on April 19

  • Friday, March 16, 2018
  • Events

Rosanna Peeling, PhD, will be the keynote speaker at this year's Frank Low Research Day on April 19, 2018. Dr. Peeling is currently professor and chair of Diagnostics Research at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and director of the International Diagnostics Centre. Her talk is entitled "The Global Crisis of Antimicrobial Resistance: Be part of the Solution!"

Before assuming her current positions, Dr. Peeling was research coordinator and Head of Diagnostics Research at the World Health Organization's Special Program on Research and Training in Tropical Diseases in Geneva, Switzerland, and was chief of the Canadian National Laboratory for Sexually Transmitted Diseases. Her work at the World Health Organization focused on the evaluation of diagnostics to inform policy and procurement decisions in developing countries. Dr. Peeling’s work at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine spans from facilitating test development and evaluation to translation of evidence to policy, appropriate placement of new diagnostic technologies into different health care settings to ensure maximum impact, and innovation in the uptake of testing by marginalized populations. In 2014, she was awarded the George MacDonald Medal by the Royal Society of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine for contributions to tropical medicine, becoming the first woman to receive this honor.

Dr. Peeling is currently serving on the Expert Advisory Panel for a new Global Fund, and spoke on antimicrobial resistance at the 2016 United Nations General Assembly in New York; the 2017 World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland; and at the World Health Assembly convened by the World Health Organization in 2017. She is currently working with the newly established Africa Centre for Disease Control on their Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance Network, and is putting together a Massive Open Online Course on the role of diagnostics in the global antimicrobial resistance response.

If anyone has interest in meeting with Dr. Peeling during her short time at the UND SMHS, please contact Dr. Jonathan Geiger, Department of Biomedical Sciences at or 701.777.2183.

Lunch will be provided on the Grand Forks Campus. If you plan to attend in Grand Forks, please RSVP here.

This presentation will be broadcast to the following UND SMHS campus sites:

  • Bismarck, Southwest Campus, Room 2108
  • Fargo, Southeast Campus, Room 219
  • Minot, Northwest Campus Office – Trinity Location

The talk is also available at your desktop here.

For additional information, contact Lori Sannes at 701.777.2516.

Fifth Annual Epigenetics & Epigenomics Symposium to be held at UND May 7-8

  • Friday, March 16, 2018
  • Events

The Fifth Annual Epigenetics & Epigenomics Symposium will be held at the School of Medicine and Health Sciences on the campus of the University of North Dakota May 7-8, 2018. We are expecting participants from around the region--including North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Nebraska, and Manitoba--to share their research on epigenetic mechanisms in health and disease.

The symposium is sponsored by the Epigenomics Centers for Biomedical Research Excellence (CoBRE). The CoBRE program was established by the National Institutes of Health to promote collaboration among researchers and strengthen research infrastructure at biomedical research institutions. The purpose of the symposium is to bring nationally recognized experts in the biomedical sciences to share their work as well as to highlight the research being accomplished at the University of North Dakota.

This FREE event includes a poster session and three keynote speakers:

  • Jim Davie, PhD, professor, Department of Biochemistry and Medical Genetics; scientist, Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba; senior scientist, Research Institute in Oncology and Hematology; and director of the Manitoba Epigenetic Network
  • Mike Levine, PhD, professor of Molecular Biology and Director of the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics, Princeton University
  • Amber Mosley, PhD, associate professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Indiana

The schedule for the event is:

  • 1 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on May 7
  • 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on May 8

The deadline for submitting abstracts for the symposium's poster session is April 3, 2018. Registration deadline is April 23, 2018.

Register for the symposium and submit a poster abstract here.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Register now for the Dakota Conference on Rural and Public Health to receive discount rate

  • Friday, March 16, 2018
  • Events

The 33rd Annual Dakota Conference on Rural and Public Health is taking place June 13-15 in Grand Forks, N.D. The Dakota Conference provides an opportunity for 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.

Early Bird Registration and Payment is Due May 11. Register Now to Save!

Two ways to register:

The Dakota Conference is coordinated and facilitated by the Center for Rural Health at the UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences, and is supported by:

Contact Kylie Nissen at or 701.777.5380 with questions. Visit the Dakota Conference on Rural and Public Health’s website for more information.

Welcome Our Newest Employees

Pamela Givan

administrative clerk

Pamela Givan is the new administrative clerk at the UND Center for Family Medicine in Bismarck. Her duties include billing, medical records, and roles with the Regional Children’s Asthma Clinic. Pam is a native of Napoleon, N.D., and prior to joining UND was employed with CHI St. Alexius Health in Bismarck. Her supervisor is Carrie Germann.

Laurie Nitz

Administrative Secretary

Laurie Nitz is the new administrative secretary for the UND School of Medicine & Health Sciences Occupational Therapy site in Casper, Wyo. Her supervisor is Nicole Harris. Prior to her new role, Laurie was an office assistant senior for the University of Wyoming in Casper. Originally from Alaska, Laurie lived in Colorado, Montana, and Wyoming before finally settling in Boise, Idaho, where she worked as an administrative assistant for Boise State University in their Nursing, Internal Audit, and Counselor Education Departments. While in Boise, Laurie took the opportunity to study pre-architecture, visual art, and art history. Laurie also studied museum studies with Casper College after returning to Wyoming and while working with UWC. In her spare time, Laurie enjoys spending time with her son by playing board games, visiting the local museums, reading, drawing, watching movies, and seeing which park has the best slide.

Alissa Hancock

Administrative Assistant

Alissa Hancock is the new administrative assistant in the SMHS Office of Education Resources. Alissa earned her bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design Technology from the University of North Dakota. Prior to this position she worked at Presbytery of the Northern Plains. When not working, Alissa enjoys doing puzzles, coloring, fishing, and playing card and board games. Her supervisor is Pat Carr.


SMHS annual staff performance evaluations due March 26!

  • Friday, March 16, 2018
  • Announcement, News

Remember--annual performance evaluations for benefited staff are to be submitted to Jean Altepeter, associate director of Human Resources at the SMHS, on or before Monday, March 26, 2018. Supervisors may access the appropriate form on the UND Human Resources website here. Please direct any questions to Jean at 701.777.0870 or

Next PHS Financial Conflict of Interest Education session April 2

  • Friday, March 16, 2018
  • Announcement, Research

The U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) has revised its policy that requires all PHS grantees (or those considering submitting to the PHS) to complete a mandatory education class. According to the new policy, all grantees must be trained in Financial Conflict of Interest (FCOI) every four years.

The UND Division of Research & Economic Development will conduct its next FCOI session in the President’s Room of the UND Memorial Union on Monday, April 2 at 2 p.m.

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 Services (IHS)
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

Sessions will be coordinated by Barry Milavetz, Ph.D., associate vice president for Research & Economic Development. 

James Roerig presents Psychiatry Grand Rounds on March 21

  • Friday, March 16, 2018
  • Announcement, Education

James L. Roerig, Pharm.D., BCPP, will present "Current Application of Genotyping to Clinical Practice” from 12:10 p.m. to 1:10 p.m. on Wednesday, March 21, at the UND Southeast Campus auditorium in Fargo. Dr. Roerig is assistant director of and professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science at the UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

Upon completion of this program, the listener will be able to:

  1. Identify the enzymes that have the most genotyping data
  2. Identify two types of genotyping used in psychiatry
  3. Identify the country with the most genotyping programs           

This grand rounds presentation, sponsored by the UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences and the School’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, is broadcast via videoconference to many sites throughout North Dakota and Minnesota. It is also streamed via personal computers. If you want information on how to attend, please contact Betty Jo Tostenson at 701.293.4101 or

The University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences designates this live activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™.  Physicians should only claim the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Name Badges

  • Friday, March 16, 2018
  • Announcement, Brand Corner

In the interest of brand consistency, note that UND has also developed a policy describing the design of your UND name badge. Per this policy, all SMHS name badges should list the following information (in this order):

  • Your Name
  • Department/Unit
  • School of Medicine and Health Sciences

This information will be engraved on a badge that includes the UND logo. Furthermore, all badges should be ordered from the same local vendor.

Please remember this the next time you need to order a name badge for yourself or your team. (On visiting the website to order name badges, you first will need to enter your ID login information.)

Call for Abstracts: Frank Low Research Day is Thursday, April 19

  • Friday, March 16, 2018
  • Announcement, Research

Students, faculty, and staff in biomedical sciences, health sciences, and clinical departments are encouraged to participate in the poster presentations for the 38th Annual Frank Low Research Day, to be held Thursday, April 19, 2018, at the SMHS in Grand Forks.

Persons wanting to submit an abstract to be an oral or poster presenter on Frank Low Day are required to submit your abstract online. The deadline for submitting abstracts is Monday, March 19, 2018. Please follow the instructions carefully, especially with regard to authorship. Awards will be given for best posters, but only first authors are eligible to compete for the award(s).

Note that the online submission form asks if you would like to be considered by event organizers to give an oral presentation. If you are selected to give an oral presentation, you will be notified by e-mail with further instructions.

In addition to the online submission, please print your submission information and provide a hard copy to Lori Sannes either in person (Room E481, phone 701.777.2516) or email (

Turn North Dakota Blue for Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month on March 23

  • Friday, March 16, 2018
  • Announcement, News

March is the American Cancer Society's Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. To help raise awareness for colorectal cancer, and to encourage screening and prevention, the North Dakota Cancer Coalition (NDCC) is sponsoring a "Turn North Dakota Blue for Colorectal Cancer Awareness" photo contest.

Health providers, area businesses, and other organizations are being asked to submit a photo of their members wearing blue to the Coalition by the end of March. One winning image will be selected from each submission category (hospitals, nonprofits, businesses, educational institutions, etc.) by a panel of NDCC judges.

To that end, a photo shoot has been scheduled at the Grand Staircase in the SMHS building in Grand Forks for 10:30 a.m. on Friday, March 23.

Faculty/staff/students interested in being part of the shot should arrive at the staircase by 10:30 wearing BLUE for colorectal cancer awareness.

Evidence-Based Teaching Group to meet April 3

  • Friday, March 16, 2018
  • Announcement, Education

The Evidence-Based Teaching (EBT) Group will meet from 11 a.m. to noon on Tuesday, April 3 in SMHS Room W202. You are invited to attend! The meeting topic is: "Educational Scholarship: Interdisciplinary Scholarly Research Options and Methods."

Interdisciplinary research can be an incredibly fruitful process, often leading to the formation of paradigm-shifting ideas, new professional networks, and invaluable collaborative experiences. However, conducting research with other professionals from across separate disciplines can be as difficult as it is rewarding, especially if a breakdown in communication or technology occurs. This session will present solutions to some of the more frustrating aspects of interdisciplinary research, focusing on methods, tools, workflows, and conceptual frameworks.

The session will be led by Devon Olson and Annie Nickum, Library Resources, and Richard Van Eck, Education Resources

The Evidence-Based Teaching group meets monthly at the same time. This group will host topics as determined by expressed interest of its members. It is free and open to anyone—no RSVP needed! If you are interested in ANYTHING related to Evidence-Based Teaching (assessment, online learning, precepting, active learning, simulation, ADA compliance, or any topic you see fit) join us and let us know what you’d like to see at future meetings. If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact Adrienne Salentiny at

Women needed for Human Nutrition Research Center weight loss study

  • Friday, March 16, 2018
  • Announcement, Research

The Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center is seeking female volunteers to participate in a 16-week weight loss study to determine if when protein is eaten during the day can improve a woman’s ability to stay "on track" with her weight loss goals.

You may qualify for this study if you are:

  • Between age 20 and 44 (you may be older if you have regular monthly periods)
  • Overweight
  • Eating animal products (meat, eggs, dairy)
  • Not taking medications known to affect appetite, weight, or food intake (including steroid-based medications)

The study requires that subjects:

  • Eat a research specific diet (food provided)
  • Come to the Center to pick up food daily
  • Attend weight loss classes
  • Stay at the Center for 24 hours on three separate occasions

You may be compensated up to $820 for your participation.

Sign up for this exciting opportunity online or call 701.795.8148 or 1.800.562.4032.