Friday, January 05, 2018

From The Dean

Friday, January 05, 2018

Happy New Year! Susan and I are just back from a wonderful week with our grandkids, and we are energized for an exciting 2018. Here are a few previews of some upcoming events:

  • The next Java with Josh will be on Wednesday, January 17 from 8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. in the Tello-Skjerseth Atrium (across from the departments of Family and Community Medicine and Population Health office suite). Please join me for a conversation about matters of interest regarding the School over a cup of coffee. Faculty, staff, and students are invited to attend.
  • The very next day--Thursday, January 18--I will be presenting the annual SMHS "State of the School Address" in the Charles H. Fee, MD Auditorium (Rm. E101). I would like to invite all faculty members to attend this Faculty Assembly, which will begin at 3:30 p.m. (CST) and will be broadcast to our campuses in Bismarck (Rm 2108), Fargo (Rm 219), and Minot (Northwest Campus Conference Room–Trinity Location) via videoconference.

But it seems that good news often is mixed with bad. While we are excited about these events and the start of the spring semester, UND and North Dakota lost two wonderful people recently. Sarah Nissen, executive director of Marketing & Creative Services at UND, recently lost her battle with cancer and passed away at the age of only 35 years. She leaves three young children, a husband, and a legion of friends. She will be missed.

North Dakota, the SMHS, and I also will miss Tom Nehring, who died suddenly just before the New Year. Tom recently had retired from the North Dakota Department of Health where he had been director of the Division of Emergency Medical Services and Trauma. As a cardiologist, I have a particular appreciation for the work that Tom did to improve the delivery of emergency cardiac care across the state. He was instrumental in helping set up North Dakota’s state-wide system for rapidly managing heart attack victims through the North Dakota Cardiac System. He also helped bring SIM-ND to fruition, providing oversight to our Simulation Center staff in the program’s first few years.

Both Sarah and Tom will be missed, but their impact and contributions will endure. UND and North Dakota are better for their efforts.

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

Dean, UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences

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Next Java with Josh to be held on Wednesday, Jan. 17

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 Wednesday, Jan. 17, in the Tello-Skjerseth Atrium in the east wing (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, Jan. 15.

We hope to see you there.

Check out Lego Social Hour at the SMHS on Jan. 17

The UND Department of Wellness and Health Promotion and the UND Work Well program invite you to a Lego Social Hour to be held from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. in room E226 of the SMHS on Wednesday, January 17.

The program is part of the Work Well team's Wellness Connect initiative and falls under the twin pillars of social and intellectual wellness:

  • The Social Dimension of Wellness is described as creating a support network of friends and family members who care about and love you for who you are. Friends can serve as a source of encouragement and reinforcement for practicing healthy habits. In order to grow your Social Wellness Dimension, try to stay connected to people, form new relationships, and participate in various social activities.
  • The Intellectual Dimension of Wellness is characterized by the ability to make sound decisions and to think critically. It encourages openness to new ideas, motivation to master new skills, a sense of humor, creativity, and curiosity.

Come to socialize, relax, or take a break while you create your own LEGO® masterpiece! Each Social Hour will have a theme with a chance to win a LEGO® set.

For more information, contact Andria Spaeth, MBA, UND Work Well Coordinator, at 701.777.0210 or

Zen in 10 in the New Year

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 will be from 10:40 a.m. to 10:50 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays from Jan. 9 to March 1 in Classroom W201 at the SMHS in Grand Forks. (Note that Zen in 10 will not be held on Tuesday, Jan. 30 or Thursday, Feb. 1.)

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

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UND Center for Rural Health to advance palliative care in rural communities

The Center for Rural Health (CRH) at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) is one of three entities selected by Stratis Health to lead local implementation in a multi-state project to increase access to palliative care services in rural communities. The CRH, which is also the State Office of Rural Health for North Dakota, received $75,000 from Stratis Health for the 11-month Palliative Care North Dakota Statewide Project. The project aims to build local capacity to cultivate palliative care programs, frame services within emerging payment models, and explore how technology can enhance the quality and efficiency of services.

“We are grateful for this opportunity to improve quality of life and quality of care for people living in rural areas,” said Jody Ward, principal investigator for the CRH project.

Palliative care improves quality of life and quality of care for those with advanced illnesses and complex care needs, as well as their families. It customizes treatment to meet the needs of each person, such as those with multiple chronic conditions, long-term cancer diagnoses, or the frail elderly. This whole-person care seeks to relieve pain, anxiety, and other symptoms, as well as provide emotional and spiritual support, so people can live more comfortably with illness. Studies have shown that palliative care can increase patient satisfaction and reduce 30-day re-hospitalizations and emergency department visits.

“This project will enhance our state’s ability to establish and expand palliative care services in our rural areas,” said Lynette Dickson, associate director of the CRH. “The focus on improving care delivery is so important now. As our rural communities age, the need for palliative care is increasing.”

The three-year project will build skills within the State Offices of Rural Health in North Dakota, Washington, and Wisconsin to expand access to rural, community-based palliative care services in these states. Each organization will support the launch of palliative care services in five to eight rural communities in its state.

North Dakota Brain Injury Network and Community Options offer monthly support group for brain injury

In 2018, the North Dakota Brain Injury Network and Community Options are offering a statewide, monthly support group for brain injury survivors, their families, and their caregivers. The group will meet the third Wednesday of each month from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. via teleconference at sites across North Dakota.

The support group will connect via video conferencing at the following Community Options locations:

  • 4909 Shelburne St., Bismarck
  • 425 S. College Dr., Suite 3, Devils Lake
  • 193 24th St. E., Suite 103, Dickinson
  • 2701 9th Ave. S., Suite E, Fargo
  • 2300 Library Circle, Grand Forks
  • 420 20th St. S.W., Jamestown
  • 300 3rd Ave. S.W., Suites D and E, Minot
  • 115 2nd Ave. W., Williston

At support group sessions, information will be shared regarding brain injury, and Brain Injury Network staff will be available to answer questions.

For more information, contact Nickie Livedalen at 701.317.4172 or 1.855.866.1884.

UND's Faculty/Staff Directory has been updated

Please check out UND's updated Faculty/Staff Directory, which can be found online here.

The information listed in the directory now comes directly from data contained in the NDUS PeopleSoft account for each faculty/staff member and will be updated on a monthly basis. All changes must be made in PeopleSoft before they can be reflected on the UND website's Faculty/Staff Directory page. You are able to make changes to your e-mail address and phone number using the HRMS Employee Self-Service platform. For all other changes, please work through your appropriate departmental contact to request corrections/updates.

Women needed for Human Nutrition Research Center weight loss study

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 701.795.8385 or 1.800.562.4032.

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Great Plains IDeA-CTR Institutional Coordinator to speak at Biomedical Sciences Seminar Jan. 31

You are invited to the next Biomedical Sciences Seminar Series event, featuring Ted R. Mikuls, MD, MSPH, vice chairman of Research and Umbach Professor of Rheumatology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

Dr. Mikuls will present a talk titled “Biorepositories in Clinical Translational Research” at the SMHS Department of Biomedical Sciences Seminar Series on Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018, at noon in SMHS Room E101. For more information about Dr. Mikuls’s biography, see his CV here.

Dr. Mikuls is also the Institutional Coordinator for the Great Plains IDeA-Clinical Translational Research (CTR) grant. The Great Plains IDeA-CTR Network is a collaborative effort between nine institutions in Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota (including the UND School of Medicine & Health Sciences), and Kansas to reach the medically underserved populations in these states and transform health delivery and outcomes in the Great Plains region.

Everyone is welcome.

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Great Plains IDeA-CTR calls for proposals for three grant programs with a deadline of Jan. 31

The Great Plains IDeA-CTR, a coalition of nine research institutions that includes both the University of North Dakota and North Dakota State University, has posted calls for proposals connected to three clinical-translational research programs: Cancer Related Research, the Biomedical Informatics Big Data Pilot Program, and the Community-Academic Partnership Program. Each of the grant programs have a submission deadline of Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018. More information on the specifics of each proposal can be found by clicking on the links below.

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 in the center’s history. Funding for the network is provided through the Institutional Development Award (IDeA) program and the NIH’s National Institute of General Medical Studies. The network 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.

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