From The Dean

  • Friday, September 01, 2017
  • From The Dean

School activities get into full swing next week following Labor Day. On Thursday, Sept. 7, we have two wonderful activities that I hope you’ll be able to attend—the first Dean’s Hour for this academic year, and the 8th year of our annual Joggin’ with Josh run/jog/walk.

Dean’s Hour for the 2017-18 academic year gets off to a rousing start when we welcome Dr. Thomas Lee to UND. I’ve known Tom since early in my medical career in Boston, when we were fellow faculty members at Harvard Medical School. Tom joined Press Ganey, the large and well-respected health care consulting firm, as chief medical officer (CMO) in 2013, bringing to the organization more than three decades of experience in health care performance improvement as a practicing physician, leader in provider organizations, researcher and health policy expert. As CMO at Press Ganey, Tom is responsible for developing clinical and operational strategies to help providers across the nation measure and improve the patient experience, with an overarching goal of reducing the suffering of patients as they undergo care, and improving the value of that care. In addition to his role with Press Ganey, Tom, who is an internist and cardiologist, continues to practice primary care at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Prior to joining Press Ganey, Tom served as network president for Partners Healthcare System and CEO for Partners Community HealthCare Inc., the integrated delivery system founded by Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital. In this capacity, Tom oversaw efforts to improve the quality and efficiency of care delivery. So his visit here is especially timely given the ongoing national debate about health care and health insurance. The title of his talk is “Five Ideas from Outside Health Care—and How they Fit Together.” I hope that you will be able join us on Thursday, Sept. 7, from noon to 1 p.m. either in person (in the Charles H. Fee, MD, Auditorium [Room E101] adjacent to the south entrance to the new SMHS building at 1301 N. Columbia Road, Grand Forks) or through videoconferencing.

The second event—Joggin’ with Josh—is later that same afternoon. In support of the view that we try to practice what we preach, I invite the community and all students, faculty and staff at the School and UND to demonstrate their advocacy for healthful lifestyles by joining me for this informal one-mile, 5K or 10K walk, jog or run. The event is free and open to the public, and you get to keep a Joggin’ with Josh T-shirt as a souvenir. A registration table will be located in the East Atrium of the SMHS at the south entrance to the School. Registration and T-shirt pickup start at 4 p.m. The event itself starts at 4:30 p.m. To get a head start on your fellow participants, please complete the registration form available online and bring it with you to the SMHS on Sept. 7. Forms will also be available in the SMHS East Atrium before the event. Walkers, joggers and runners will then gather on the patio outside the East Atrium before taking off at 4:30 p.m. on a route along the outskirts of the UND campus. A water station will be located at the halfway point of the 5K, and water and healthful snacks will be available after the event. Please come out and join us!

Finally, a heads-up about two activities the following week, both on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017. We’ll start the day with another cup of Java with Josh on the Northeast (Grand Forks) campus. Please join me for complimentary coffee or tea from 8:30 a.m. until 9 a.m., in the Tello-Skjerseth Atrium in the east wing of the new building (across the hall from the departments of Family and Community Medicine and Population Health). I’ll discuss what’s new at the School, particularly the reorganization following several recent administrative retirements, and take any questions you may have. To ensure adequate seating, we ask that you RSVP to Kristen Peterson at by Tues., Sept. 12.

Later that same day, the Dean’s Hour speaker will be our own Andrew McLean, MD, MPH, clinical professor and chair of our Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science. Dr. McLean will address the burgeoning problem of opiate addiction and its treatment, a problem that is growing not just elsewhere but here in North Dakota. His topic will be “Medical Assisted Treatment of Opioid Addiction.” In light of the importance of the topic and Dr. Mclean’s expertise in the subject, I urge you to attend.

Please mark your calendar for all four of these events. I think that you’ll enjoy them all.

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

Dean, UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences