Friday, September 15, 2017

From The Dean

Friday, September 15, 2017

I hope that you enjoyed my last column discussing some of the foundations of the American health insurance system. I’ve heard from some of you, and thank you for your positive comments. We plan to have more discussions about health care and health insurance in future issues of E-News.

Until then, here are some updates of activities that have been occurring at your UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences. Our Simulation Center helped us celebrate Healthcare Simulation Week with an open house this past Monday. The Center was open to the public, and the turnout was strong. Visitors were treated to multiple clinical scenarios that were demonstrated using the patient simulators. They followed a fictitious patient by the name of Jimmy from his birth through an asthma attack as a child through an injury as an adult that required surgery. The last stop for participants was outside at one of the four SIM-ND mobile simulation labs that we use to bring health care education to rural areas of the state. Last year, more than 4,000 learners from across North Dakota participated in simulation scenarios and education thanks to SIM-ND.

This week’s Dean’s Hour speaker was our own Dr. Andy McLean, clinical professor and chair of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, who addressed some of the challenges and successes in the treatment of individuals involved in the opioid epidemic. He spoke on “Medical-Assisted Treatment of Opioid Addiction.” We had a fantastic turn-out, with almost 300 people attending (including about a dozen online); we had to move about three dozen participants to an overflow room for seating! The audience included folks from across campus and the community. It was great to see Pete Haga from the Mayor’s Office as well as Debbie Swanson, the director of the Department of Public Health in Grand Forks, in attendance as well.

As you know, there has been a significant increase in substance-abuse-related complications and death in the past few years—and not just in large urban areas. In fact, the current opioid epidemic, because of both prescription and illicit drug use, is impacting rural states like ours in a profound way. For example, according to data compiled by the Kaiser Family Foundation, deaths from opioid overdose more than doubled in North Dakota in the decade from 2004 to 2014. The School has taken the initiative in helping to address a contributor to the problem, which is the abuse of prescription narcotics. If you’d like to learn more, please enroll here (it just takes a minute) to access six (soon to be seven) video tutorials on this topic. And for physicians, you even get continuing medical education (CME) credit for viewing the videos.

Governor Burgum and the First Lady have made this problem a focus of their attention. I will be joining Dr. McLean, colleagues from the School and University, and concerned citizens from across the state at a symposium called Recovery Reinvented in Bismarck on Sept. 26 to discuss what more we can all do to address this crisis. If you have time, please try to join us.

I shared a cup of coffee with faculty and staff on the Northeast (Grand Forks) Campus yesterday during the latest Java with Josh get-together. There were good questions (and, I hope, good discussion from me!) about a variety of issues. One great question from professor Gary Schwartz was about the School’s strategic plan and what we can do to make it more concrete, with better defined outcome measures. As it turns out, we will be starting to work on this in the near future. As I’ve discussed before, the recent release of UND’s new strategic plan means that we need to integrate our own game plan for the future into the seven goals of the UND plan. And we need to come up with measurable outcome variables that we track over time. You’ll hear more about this process soon, but I invite and encourage you to be involved as we chart our course more precisely over the next few years.

Finally, we have a variety of searches gearing up to identify candidates for several key SMHS positions that are vacant due to retirements. Perhaps the most important is the search for the next associate dean for Administration and Finance. As you know, Randy Eken retired in June after ably serving the School and UND for decades. One of the important aspects of the position is that it oversees not only the finances of the School but also all of our non-academic operations, including the operations at our regional campuses. To reflect this important dual responsibility, the new associate dean also will be called our chief operating officer (COO), a position found routinely in firms outside of education. For example, Brad Wehe, DPT, is the COO of Altru Health System here in Grand Forks.

We will be announcing several other searches soon, and I’ll keep you updated on the progress of those searches. Because there will be several searches going on simultaneously, we’ll use our website to consolidate information about the various searches (especially information about public forums and similar opportunities for faculty and staff to meet the candidates and provide feedback). More to come soon!

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

Dean, UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences

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Welcome: Michael Skinner

Michael Skinner, MLS, is the new Clinical Campus Librarian for the SMHS northwest campus in Minot. Michael comes to us from Longview Regional Medical Center in Longview, Texas, where he worked as a floor nurse on the Surgical Unit. Prior to that, he worked for the University of Texas at Tyler’s Muntz Library as their Nursing and Health Sciences Librarian. His supervisor is Kelly Thormodson.

As Northwest Clinical Campus Librarian, Michael provides research and education needs to the faculty, students, and residents at the NW campus and the Center for Family Medicine. As the director of the Library at Trinity Hospital, he manages a small collection and aids physicians and health care workers in the clinical setting with their information needs. NW clinical campus faculty, students, and staff are encouraged to contact Michael if they need to arrange training sessions or assistance with literatures searches.

In addition to his experience in health sciences librarianship, Michael has worked in other academic library contexts including Baylor University Libraries where he served as their Religion, Theology, and Philosophy Librarian for three years. He holds undergraduate degrees in Nursing and History, as well as dual master’s degrees in Library Science (Kent State University) and Theology (Brisbane College of Theology, Australia).

When not working, Michael likes to relax by playing his acoustic guitar, cooking, or reading stuffy old books on theology, history, and metaphysics. He also enjoys recreational walking and hiking. He has two grown sons and a granddaughter who all live overseas. Michael has lived in the rust belt (having grown up in eastern Ohio) so he knows his way around cold weather and snow.

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Interment Ceremony honors donors of SMHS Deeded Body Program Today

An interment ceremony honoring the memory of persons who donated their bodies for the benefit of medical education will take place at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) plot at Memorial Park Cemetery in Grand Forks today.

The service, wherein the School pays respect and tribute to Deeded Body Program donors, begins at 2:00 p.m.

“This service is a way to give thanks to both the donors and their families, and a way to express honor for the gift we have been given through their donation,” said Mandy Meyer, PhD, assistant professor in the departments of Occupational Therapy and Biomedical Sciences and director of the Deeded Body Program at the SMHS. “The education these individuals have given is invaluable to our future health care providers; they truly teach students about the form of the human body and in many ways are students’ first patients.”

The School conducts the interment ceremony once every three years to inter the cremated remains of donors who have chosen to be interred in the UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences plot. Family members of donors being interred have been invited, as have the School’s faculty, staff, and students, who often look forward to the opportunity to show their respect and appreciation for the donors who have contributed to their learning and scholarship.

At the event, Meyer and Pat Carr, PhD, assistant dean for medical curriculum at the SMHS, will speak from a faculty perspective about the value and significance of the Deeded Body Program. UND clergy participating in the service include Chad Brucklacher of Christus Rex Lutheran Campus Center and Luke Meyer of St. Thomas Aquinas Newman Center.

To attend the service, turn east off of Columbia Road onto 10th Avenue North and proceed to the Memorial Park entrance. There will be signs posted to direct you to the exact location.

UND Host-Pathogen Interactions CoBRE Symposium set for September 18

The Center for Biomedical Research Excellence (CoBRE) for Host-Pathogen Interactions is inviting UND faculty, staff, and graduate and undergraduate students to attend the Annual Host-Pathogen CoBRE Symposium to be held at the University of North Dakota Gorecki Alumni Center on Monday, September 18, 2017. This event will bring together experts studying cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying host responses in acute infections and chronic disease conditions, and will include a poster session showcasing research carried out by UND faculty and UND graduate and undergraduate students.

Confirmed Speakers for the event are:

  • Dr. Elaine Tuomanen (St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital): “Expanding bacterial signaling vocabulary from inflammation to neuroproliferation”
  • Dr. Anjana Rao (La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology): “Epigenetic and transcriptional responses driven by the calcium-calcineurin-NFAT pathway in T cells”
  • Dr. Nadeem Khan (University of North Dakota): “A double edge function of host type 17 immunity in pneumococcal infections”

In addition, investigators from the University of North Dakota will present their research related to infection and immunity.

A full schedule for the event is available here.

This event aims to promote interaction and collaboration among researchers in the area and provide opportunities for learning about cutting-edge tools, approaches, and resources to advance their research in broad areas of infection and inflammation as it applies to human disease.

The event, which runs from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., is free; a continental breakfast and lunch will be provided. Prior registration is appreciated. The Gorecki Alumni Center is located at 3501 University Avenue in Grand Forks, N.D.

Zen in 10 returns

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 Sept. 12 to Oct. 19 on the east patio at the SMHS in Grand Forks. In the event of inclement weather, the event will move to W201 on Sept. 12 and Oct. 10, and the Charles H. Fee, MD, Auditorium on all other days.

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

American College of Physicians - ND Chapter Annual Meeting set for September 22

Registration is now open for the 2017 American College of Physicians - North Dakota Chapter Meeting! The meeting will be held on Friday, September 22, 2017, at the Hilton Garden Inn in Fargo.

In addition to the networking potential and collegiality offered by our meeting, it is also a valuable learning opportunity. For the chapter meeting, the American College of Physicians (ACP) designates this live activity for a maximum of 6 AMA PRA Category 1 credit(s).™ Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

To view the full meeting program, visit the Chapter website.

Members can register online. Or, members and non-members may contact the ACP Customer Service team to register via phone at 1-800-523-1546, ext. 2600, and refer to Course Code: RM1823.

Contact Carla Mosser with any questions.

We hope to see you in Fargo in September.

Neville Alberto, MD, FACP
ACP Governor, North Dakota

SMHS partners with Alumni Association and Foundation for UND Homecoming Week Oct. 4-7

UND's Homecoming Week 2017 (Oct. 4-7) is just around the corner, and as always the SMHS has partnered with the UND Alumni Association and Foundation on many of the week's events. A website providing more details and online registration options for all events can be found here. Unless otherwise noted, SMHS-related events will be held at the new SMHS building, 1301 N Columbia Rd., Grand Forks, N.D. Events include:

New Building Tours
The Office of Alumni and Community Relations will provide tours of the new SMHS building from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 6. Tours of the new facility start in the main floor lobby and can be arranged here.

Physical Therapy Alumni Reception
A reception for alumni, faculty, and staff connected to the School's Physical Therapy Department will be held from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the SMHS Therapy Lab (room E312, third floor) on Friday, Oct. 6. The Physical Therapy program is celebrating its 50th anniversary this fall. Register for the reception here.

Continuing Education Symposium
Held in the new SMHS building from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 6, the Continuing Education Symposium will focus on Pain Management with medical marijuana and opioid abuse receiving special emphasis. Business attire suggested. To register, go here or contact Kristen Peterson at 701.777.4305 or

SMHS Banquet
An SMHS Homecoming banquet will be held from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 6 at the Grand Forks Hilton Garden Inn, located at 4301 James Ray Drive. Due to limited seating, RSVP is required for the banquet, which will be in the hotel's Buchli/Bahl Banquet Room. Business attire suggested. For more information or to RSVP, go here or contact Kristen Peterson at 701.777.4305 or

2017 Homecoming Parade
And don't forget to attend the Homecoming Parade, which starts at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 7. The parade route follows University Avenue within the UND campus. To enter a float in the parade, see the registration form here.

Inaugural Scientific Meeting of the Great Plains IDeA-CTR Network is October 23-24

The UND SMHS is a member of the Great Plains IDeA-CTR Network, which will hold its inaugural scientific meeting on Oct. 23–24, 2017, at the University of Nebraska Medical Center's 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 North Dakota, North Dakota State University, the University of Kansas Medical Center, and the University of South Dakota.

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

UND / USD Alumni Reception in Boston on November 4

In conjunction with the annual meeting of the Association of American Medical Colleges, a reception will be held for University of North Dakota and University of South Dakota alumni on Saturday, November 4, 2017, in Boston, Mass. The reception will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the Dartmouth Room of Boston Marriott Copley Place, 110 Huntington Ave., in Boston, Mass.

Hors d’oeuvres and refreshments will be served. All UND / USD alumni and friends are welcome!

Please RSVP by October 9.

More information on this gathering is available here.

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Col. Michael R. Nelson, MD, PhD, presents Psychiatry Grand Rounds on Wednesday, Sept. 20

Michael R. Nelson, MD, PhD, will present "Does it matter if the resident learning and providing healthcare is healthy?” from 12:10 p.m. to 1:10 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 20, at the UND SMHS Southeast Campus auditorium in Fargo. Dr. Nelson is a colonel in the U.S. Army Medical Corps. He currently serves as the Chief Consultant to The Army Surgeon General and Chief of Clinical Policy and Services for the Office of the Surgeon General Healthcare Delivery Directorate in Falls Church, Va.

The objectives of Dr. Nelson's talk are to help listeners:

  • Understand the resident wellness rationale for program accreditation requirements changes
  • Identify resources for resident well-being self-help and GME program leaders
  • Develop initial understanding of Army Medicine and Army GME initiatives to improve resident well-being

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 and is also streamed via personal computers. If you want information on how to attend or view the event online, 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.

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Public Health Service Financial Conflict of Interest Education -- NEW DATE: Wednesday, September 27

U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) requires that all PHS grantees, or those considering submitting grant applications to PHS, complete a mandatory education class. According to the policy, all grantees working on research funded by PHS agencies must be trained in Conflict of Interest every four years. UND's Division of Research & Economic Development will conduct a PHS Conflict of Interest session on the following date:

  • Wednesday, September 27 at 2 p.m., Memorial Union, President’s Room (NOTE the new date, which replaces the session previously scheduled for Monday, Sept. 18)

PHS grantees only need to attend this session if you have not attended one in the past four years.

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.

Writing an NIH grant proposal? Update your Personal Profile

The Grants Management Office at the SMHS encourages any faculty, staff, and graduate students developing grant proposals for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) through the Application Submission System & Interface for Submission Tracking (ASSIST) system to update their NIH personal profile, including the employment section. Why? We have learned that some information is automatically pulled into ASSIST through the researchers’ NIH commons ID. Updating your profile will not only guarantee that your most current information is “caught” by the ASSIST system, but should save you time—and possibly some headaches—come submission time.

And as a reminder, applicants can also apply for NIH grants using Workspace, which separates the application package into individual forms. Applicants can create a workspace, complete the individual PDF forms, and submit their application workspace package. For any funding opportunities where applicants have downloaded the legacy PDF application package, they will be able to continue to submit that package until March 31, 2018. For any funding opportunities where applicants have NOT already downloaded the legacy PDF application package, they will be able to continue to download and submit through December 31, 2017.

For more information about Workspace, please visit our various Workspace resources:

For more information, feel free to contact Diane Hillebrand, CRA, Grants Manager at the SMHS, at

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