Friday, June 01, 2018

From The Dean

Friday, June 01, 2018

This has been a fun week. I was in Sioux Falls, S.D., on Tuesday and Wednesday as one of eleven invited members of Sanford’s Lorraine Cross Scientific Panel. The Sanford Foundation plans to award a $1 million prize to the scientist who has made the most impactful, innovative, and important recent scientific discovery that positively affects human health and well-being. Under the oversight of Sanford Health’s Executive Vice President of Innovation and Research, David Pearce, PhD, we were able to narrow down the candidate areas of innovation to five over the course of a day and a half. The final selection will follow, with an announcement of the winner in December 2018.

On my return to North Dakota late on Wednesday afternoon, Susan and I were delighted to be able to attend the Internal Medicine and Transitional Year Residency Awards and Recognition Banquet that was held in Fargo. Jointly sponsored by the UND SMHS, Sanford Health, and the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, the event recognized the graduating residents and honored several, along with some faculty, for their teaching and research contributions. The highlight of the evening, however, was a special tribute to William P. Newman, MD, the recently retired former chair of the SMHS Department of Internal Medicine. Bill’s tenure as a faculty member at UND spanned some 37 years from 1981 until this year, and he has taught thousands of medical students and hundreds of residents. Dr. Julie Blehm, the former Associate Dean for the Southeast (Fargo) Campus, gave a very nice tribute to Bill, and then David Newman, MD, Bill and Ginny’s son, gave an even more touching tribute to his dad. David used a slide show to highlight his dad’s career, set to the music that his father loves. I’m not sure everyone in the audience identified with the Beach Boys and Peter, Paul and Mary—but Susan and I certainly did! A really nice final touch was the announcement of the establishment of the William P. Newman Award for Excellence in Research in honor of Bill’s career-long dedication to clinical research. The inaugural recipient of the award was Dr. Laura Wessman. So, congratulations to Laura, and thanks and best wishes to Bill.

Then, yesterday UND was proud to welcome again Dr. Larry Tabak, DDS, PhD, to campus for a return visit. Dr. Tabak is a senior Investigator and Principal Deputy Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). As you probably know, the NIH is the major source of research funding for our Department of Biomedical Sciences and thus one of the more important sources of funding for all of UND. It was a pleasure to welcome Larry back and get his perspective on research funding and NIH priorities looking forward.

Yesterday also was the day we officially welcomed Dr. Don Warne to UND. We held a reception to welcome Don as our new Director of the Indians into Medicine (INMED) program and the School’s inaugural Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. On hand for the event was Dr. Dave Gipp, who attended on behalf of the INMED Tribal Advisory Board. I was pleased to listen to Dr. Warne's comments about his vision for the future of INMED—a future where the UND SMHS does an even better job of helping address the health disparities in this state that especially affect American Indians. Did you know, for example, that the average life expectancy for a male living on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota—Dr. Warne's old stomping grounds—is only 48 years? Those are the type of statistics that need to change, and that our School is in a unique position to address. I hope that you were able to attend the event, but if not, try to say hello at some point to the newest member of the School’s senior leadership team. Welcome aboard, Dr. Warne!

Finally, many of us are participating today in the School’s annual Curriculum Retreat, where we will examine in detail the medical student curriculum in its entirety. Both Dr. Ken Ruit and I participate in accreditation activities of the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), and at the retreat we plan to share the LCME’s perspective and priorities related to curricular design, execution, and management. I’m very pleased that the educational leaders in the SMHS devote their time and effort to looking critically at how we teach our students. I’ll be sure to update you with the takeaway messages and plans that emerge from today’s meeting.

Joshua Wynne, MD, MBA, MPH
UND Vice President for Health Affairs
Dean, UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences

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Dakota Conference on Rural and Public Health is only two weeks away!

The 33rd annual Dakota Conference on Rural and Public Health is just two weeks away! We hope you will find the presentations, exhibits, and networking opportunities a valuable experience that will strengthen the work you do in your community.

If you haven’t already purchased your banquet tickets, we recommend that you do so now; it is always a great time celebrating with the very deserving award recipients who will be recognized at the banquet. Also, if you plan to attend the ND Public Health Association Pre-Conference, Flex/CAH Pre-Conference, or ND Rural Health Association meeting, please go online and register for them. If you don’t remember what you registered for, send Julie Reiten an email.

Please keep the following in mind:

  • Handouts are only available online! In an effort to become more environmentally friendly, we have chosen to not print and distribute handouts for the conference presentations. Handouts may be found here.
  • Jeans Day: Conference attendees (including exhibitors) are asked to participate in Jeans Day to benefit Red River Valley Community Action (RRVCA). Wear your jeans on Friday, June 15 and donate to this cause. If you wear jeans on Friday, please stop by the registration desk any time during the conference to make a donation.
  • Exhibits will be available in the Aurora Ballroom 4 during the “Visit Exhibits” times listed on the schedule. Please take time to learn about what these exhibitors have to offer and thank them for supporting the conference.
  • The Reception will be held on Wednesday from 4:10 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. in Aurora Ballroom 4. Please join us while we visit with the exhibitors over appetizers and a cash bar.

We will send additional information one week prior to the conference.

Zen in 10 is back!

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 held from 10:40 a.m. to 10:50 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays through June 28 on the East Patio of the SMHS, weather permitting. In case of inclement weather, Zen in 10 will meet in SMHS classroom W201.

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

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North Dakota high schooler wins major scholarship at International Science and Engineering Fair

Award winners have been announced for Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) that was held in Pittsburgh, Penn., recently. Among the winners was Cavalier, N.D., native Alyssa Kemp, the Senior Division’s third place winner at the 68th Annual North Dakota State Science and Engineering Fair, held in the UND Memorial Union in April.

In Pittsburgh, Kemp won two very generous scholarships from Arizona State University and Drexel—the Intel ISEF Scholarship and Full Tuition scholarship, respectively—for her poster Buffering the Bloom: The Effect of Nutrient Management Practices on Pond Eutrophication.”

Kemp’s trip was aided by the North Dakota IDeA (Institutional Development Award) Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE), which is administered by the UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences and coordinated the State Science Fair that sent Alyssa to Pittsburgh. The immediate goal of INBRE is to build biomedical research capacity by serving research universities, baccalaureate institutions, and tribal colleges within the state. This will ultimately increase the number of North Dakota students entering the technical, educational, and health professional workforce pipeline in the state.

Kemp and fellow North Dakotans Abigail Post and Juliann Spilman, were among the approximately 1,800 high school students from more than 75 countries, regions, and territories who were awarded the opportunity to showcase their independent research and compete for on average $4 million in prizes at the ISEF.


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Next Evidence-Based Teaching Group meeting is June 5

The Evidence-Based Teaching Group (EBTG) will meet on Tuesday, June 5 from 11 a.m. to noon in SMHS room W201. You are invited to attend! The meeting topic is "Evidence-Based Precepting: Challenges, Opportunities, and Solutions."

Are you a healthcare professional charged with providing high-quality learning experiences for healthcare students in clinical settings while simultaneously meeting your responsibilities as a provider? You are not alone! Many preceptors have demanding healthcare practices, have rarely had formal training as educators, and find it challenging to bring evidence-based teaching practices into the clinical setting. What are the best ways to ensure high-quality precepting under these kinds of constraints?

This SMHS Evidence-Based Teaching Group session will explore evidence-based precepting. We’ll start with a panel of healthcare educators who will share some of their solutions and strategies. For example, contrary to conventional wisdom, the role of feedback, scaffolding, and guidance are just as important on the job as they are in formal learning environments. This will be followed by an interactive discussion of solutions to your precepting questions and challenges.

Panelists, who will be moderated by Richard Van Eck (Education Resources), include Steve Westereng (Sports Medicine), Bryan DeLage (Family & Community Medicine), and LaVonne Fox (Occupational Therapy).

The EBTG hosts events based on topics determined by the expressed interest of its members. The EBTG meets the first Tuesday of every month in W201 or W202; meetings are free and open to anyone—no RSVP needed! Past topics have included assessment, online learning, precepting, active learning, simulation, ADA compliance, and educational scholarship. Many of the past events can be streamed from our website. If you are interested in anything related to evidence-based teaching, join us! If you have any questions, would like more information, or would like to suggest (or lead!) a future meeting topic, please contact Adrienne Salentiny at

Hope to see you there!

Mallory Skorheim presents Psychiatry Grand Rounds on June 6

Mallory Skorheim, DO, will present "Renal Function and Psychotropic Medications” from 12:10 p.m. to 1:10 p.m. on Wednesday, June 6, 2018, at the UND Southeast Campus auditorium in Fargo. Dr. Skorheim is a second-year resident in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science. James L. Roerig, PharmD, BCPP, a UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences professor with the Psychiatry Residency Training Program, will serve as Dr. Skorheim’s discussant.

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

  • Identify levels of renal impairment  
  • Distinguish psychotropic medications that need adjustment based on renal function
  • Identify dosing strategy based on kidney function

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, 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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Great Plains IDeA-CTR grant writing workshop to be held at SMHS on June 18

One Monday, June 18, 2018, the Great Plains IDeA Clinical and Translational Research Network will offer area researchers a Grant Writing Workshop. The workshop will be held in SMHS room W202 from 8 a.m. to 12:20 p.m. and will cover writing for publication, writing grant applications, and speaking for success.

The workshop will be facilitated by Paul Casella, MFA, a graduate of Dartmouth College and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Since 1988, Casella has worked with health professionals to improve the clarity and effectiveness of their manuscripts for publication, formal presentations, grant applications, slides, posters, videos, and other media for scientific purposes. He was writer and primary editor of the funded Great Plains IDeA-CTR grant application.

This workshop schedule is as follows:

8 a.m. to 9:20 a.m.
Writing for Publication--This presentation examines the structures and positions of emphasis in the sentence, paragraph, and sections of the formal study to help authors authorize their claims. The session includes a test of reasoning that authors can apply to the articles they read and the papers they write.

9:30 a.m. to 10:50 a.m.
Writing Grant Applications--This session reviews the principles of good grant writing to produce clear, direct, and compelling proposals. It focuses on understanding the psychology of reviewers and the review process, how to engage readers and facilitate understanding, and how to manage the proposal writing process. The session also suggests proposal templates and includes exercises related to specific elements of a scientific proposal, particularly the Specific Aims page.

11 a.m. to 12:20 p.m.
Speaking for Success--This course reviews how adults learn as a means to examine effective delivery techniques to engage scientific and clinical peer audiences. It provides practical information on how to deliver powerful oral and PowerPoint presentations in the classroom, conference room, auditorium, and at regional or national meetings.

Register for the workshop here.

Questions? Contact Jonathan Geiger or 701.777.2183.

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