Friday, June 22, 2018

From The Dean

Friday, June 22, 2018

Susan and I are off today to the annual meeting of the American Society of Echocardiography (ASE). Although both of us have longstanding interests in cardiac ultrasound, this is not a meeting that I at least have been to before. While the meeting should be interesting and informative, our major motivation in attending is that a long-time friend and colleague is being recognized. Priscilla Peters, BA, RDCS, FASE, was my chief echocardiographic technologist (usually now called sonographer) at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston where I once ran the Noninvasive Cardiac Laboratory. I was able to recruit Priscilla to Michigan when I moved there as Chief of Cardiology at Wayne State University School of Medicine. Although she too has moved on (to Cooper University Hospital in Camden, New Jersey), she is one of the most knowledgeable, experienced, and superb sonographers in the country. So both Susan and I are very pleased to see that Priscilla’s colleagues are going to recognize her contributions with the ASE’s Cardiovascular Sonographer Distinguished Teacher Award. The award will be presented this Sunday evening during the 9th Annual ASE Foundation Research Awards Gala.

If you are not familiar with the field, echocardiography (AKA cardiac sonography) has progressed phenomenally in the past four decades or so. In cardiology, we routinely use it to make definitive diagnoses—diagnoses that previously were difficult or impossible to make confidently without an invasive procedure like a heart catheterization. And while the developments in the field have been nothing short of extraordinary, I was reminded just last week of how far we still need to go to achieve better health. A study that appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine explored which workplace interventions were most successful in getting employees to stop smoking. It turns out that adding a financial incentive to other quit-smoking interventions tripled the likelihood that an employee would cease smoking. That’s the good news. But the depressing news is that such a program was successful in fewer than three percent of participants!

This is why the SMHS places such an emphasis on trying to address behavioral and other potentially modifiable determinants of health and disease. That’s why we started a department of population health and recruited Dr. Gary Schwartz to chair it. That’s why we (along with NDSU) started a program in public health. Our Master of Public Health (MPH) program has been guided from its inception by Dr. Ray Goldsteen, who, along with his wife Karen, has provided the leadership to get our program not only up and running, but accredited and respected. As you may know, both Ray and Karen are retiring at the end of the month, and I’d like to thank them again for their fantastic contributions. I know that you join me in wishing them all the best.

I’m confident that the strong foundation they helped to establish for the MPH program will be the base upon which we continue to build. So I’m pleased to indicate that Dr. Don Warne, our newly installed Director of the Indians into Medicine (INMED) program and inaugural Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, has agreed to serve as the interim director of the MPH program until the new director is named. The recruitment process is progressing nicely, with four candidates to be interviewed on Monday.

I’m hopeful that the new director will continue the maturation of our MPH program and add to our ongoing efforts to reduce the modifiable conditions that contribute to disease (like cigarette smoking). As a society, we simply have to do better in controlling those health risk factors that—at least potentially—are under our control.

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

back to top


Cathy Perry Retirement Celebration June 27

Please join the Department of Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) in honoring and thanking Cathy Perry for her 40 years of service to UND. In April of 1978 Cathy began her UND career with the Department of Pathology, which included the MLS program. She continued her position as Administrative Officer when the Department of Medical Laboratory Science was established in 2015. A reception celebrating Cathy’s tremendous contributions to UND will be held on Wednesday, June 27, 2018, from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. in Room E224 of the UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences, 1301 North Columbia Road in Grand Forks.

Everyone is welcome and we hope to see you there!

Zen in 10 this summer

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®.

back to top


SMHS inducts Gold Humanism Honor Society members

Eleven medical students from the Doctor of Medicine Class of 2019 at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) were inducted into the Gold Humanism Honor Society (GHHS) on June 18 at the School’s 10th annual GHHS induction ceremony in Grand Forks.

The event’s keynote speaker John J. Hagan, MD, clinical associate professor of internal medicine at the UND SMHS, is a 2011 recipient of the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award.

Limited to fifteen percent of the senior class, this year's inductees were selected through a process that included peer nomination and subsequent confirmation by the School’s Gold Humanism Honor Society Oversight Committee. Students considered for chapter membership are in good academic standing and are recognized for their outstanding humanistic behaviors.

Honorees from the Class of 2019, and their hometowns, are the following:

  • David Anderson, Walcott, N.D.
  • Kate Berg, Hazen, N.D.
  • Theodore Betting, Bismarck, N.D.
  • Christine Hanish, Fargo, N.D.
  • Sean Henley, Casper, Wyo.
  • Janet Julson, Galchutt, N.D.
  • Mitchell Messner, Hutchinson, Minn.
  • C. Leigh Moyer, Cheney, Wash.
  • Jacy O’Keefe, Bismarck, N.D.
  • Quinn Rufsvold, Fort Ransom, N.D.
  • Britta Stjern, Roseville, Minn.

Peter L. White, MD, clinical professor of Internal Medicine at the SMHS and critical care specialist at CHI St. Alexius Health in Bismarck, N.D., was also inducted into the Gold Humanism Honor Society as the faculty recipient of the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award.

Committed to fostering a culture of professionalism and humanism, the School’s Gold Humanism Honor Society chapter provides a formal mechanism to highlight and recognize, as a group, those students who exhibit high levels of humanistic qualities in their day-to-day lives. These qualities include integrity; sound moral reasoning; compassion and empathy toward patients; effective communication skills; the ability to engender trust and confidence among patients, staff, and colleagues; and a deep commitment to humanitarian services.

The Gold Humanism Honor Society is funded by a grant from the Arnold P. Gold Foundation.

Joshua Ranum named Emerging Rural Leader

Joshua C. Ranum, MD, of West River Health Services in Hettinger, N.D., received the Emerging Rural Leader award at the 2018 Dakota Conference on Rural and Public Health June 14 in Grand Forks. The award recognizes a new professional who has demonstrated tremendous promise for and commitment to improving the health of rural North Dakota residents. 

“Dr. Ranum understands the need for dedicated providers to serve rural communities,” said Mitch Schultz, pharmacy manager at West River Regional Medical Center. “His choice to return to rural North Dakota following completion of his internal medicine residency speaks volumes about his dedication to serving rural communities.”

Ranum has been an internal medicine specialist at West River Health Services since 2012. He is from the Hettinger area and understands the challenges that face rural health providers and patients. That is why he actively promotes, educates, and mentors young medical students who come to Hettinger for internal medicine clerkships, noted the video submitted for Ranum's nomination.

Ranum is also a clinical assistant professor of Internal Medicine at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences, where he serves as a preceptor and mentor to the next generation of rural physicians.

The Dakota Conference is a joint effort by the North Dakota Rural Health Association, the North Dakota Public Health Association, Altru Health System of Grand Forks, the UND College of Nursing and Professional Disciplines, and the UND Center for Rural Health.

To see videos of all awardees for 2018, visit

Medical students recognize faculty for Outstanding Block Instructor Awards for blocks IV and VIII

In recognition of outstanding performance in the encouragement, enrichment, and education of tomorrow's physicians, the medical classes of 2020 and 2021 have recognized six faculty for Outstanding Block Instructor Awards in Block IV and Block VIII of the 2017-18 academic year.

The Class of 2020 (Year 2) Block VIII awardees are the following individuals:

  • Andrew McLean, MD, Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
  • Catherine Brissette, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences
  • Stephen Wonderlich, PhD, Professor Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science

The Class of 2021 (Year 1) Block IV awardees are the following individuals:

  • Pat Carr, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Education Resources
  • Ken Ruit, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences and Associate Dean for Education and Faculty Affairs
  • Kumi Combs, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology

Congratulations and thanks for all you do for SMHS students!

Eighth Annual R-COOL-Health Scrubs Academy is next week!

The 8th Annual R-COOL-Health Scrubs Academy, hosted by the Center for Rural Health, will take place at the School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Grand Forks next week. SMHS students, faculty, and staff can expect to see junior high students, healthcare providers, and other volunteers around the School and campus attending and presenting sessions that expose participants to the various career options in healthcare and encourage them to enter the field.

Thank you to all the staff, faculty, and students who have volunteered their time and efforts to make this Academy happen. If you have any questions, please contact Kylie Nissen at 701.777.5380.

Tze Shien Lo, MD, back from teaching stint in Japan

Tze Shien Lo, MD, professor in the SMHS Department of Internal Medicine and and infectious disease specialist at the VA Medical Center Fargo, is back from a recent teaching tour of Japan. Over the course of ten days in May, Dr. Lo gave workshops and lectures in six Japanese cities on herpes simplex, urinary tract infection, and antibiotic resistance. Congratulations, Dr. Lo!


back to top


RefWorks "Write-N-Cite" no longer automatically available in SMHS classrooms

Any faculty who plan to teach RefWorks and its accompanying Microsoft Word add-in this summer or fall semester should be aware that "Write-N-Cite" will no longer be deployed automatically on SMHS classroom computers. Please contact Information Resources prior to your class in order to have the platform installed. Or you can call your librarian liaison to request alternatives, such as updated screenshots or video tutorials, or to schedule a librarian to teach the program to your class.

If you don’t know the name of your librarian, please call 701.777.3993.

back to top