Although the flurry of activity surrounding commencement has ended, we have been busy getting the School’s budget set for fiscal year 2019 (which begins on July 1, 2018). Such work has entailed conferences with all department and unit chairs/directors, and included newly appointed Associate Dean for Administration and Finance/Chief Operating Officer Laura Block and the appropriate academic dean (either Senior Associate Dean for Medicine and Research Marc Basson or Associate Dean for Health Sciences Tom Mohr). I think that we are in pretty good shape for FY19, and we hope to finalize the budget very soon. One of the reasons that we are not expecting major financial issues for FY19 is that it is the second year of the biennium, meaning we already have adjusted our spending to be in line with the two allotments (budget reductions) that occurred earlier. Thus, there have been and should be no major issues, or “shocks” as economists might say, for FY19.
On the other hand, the FY20/21 biennial budget still is a work in progress. Associate Dean Block has been coordinating with the UND budget folks (led by Vice President for Finance and Operations Jed Shivers), as well as the North Dakota University System staff (led by Vice Chancellor for Administrative Affairs/Chief Financial Officer Tammy Dolan). Because the North Dakota Legislature and Governor Doug Burgum have the final word on our state appropriation for the coming biennium, we won’t know the “bottom line” until about a year from now. So the upcoming biennial budget remains very much a work in progress. To use a phrase I’ve used before, “stay tuned!”
And speaking of the upcoming legislative session, one of the joint tasks of the School and its Advisory Council is the preparation of a biennial report on the state of health, healthcare, and the healthcare workforce in North Dakota. Under the overall guidance and supervision of Associate Dean Tom Mohr and Senior Research Analyst Mandi-Leigh Peterson, we have been hard at work on the fifth iteration of this report; here is a copy of the Fourth Biennial Report on Health Issues for the State of North Dakota we prepared and distributed just prior to the most recent legislative session. The fifth edition will feature a much expanded analysis of nursing workforce and care delivery issues, more information on American Indian health issues, and more detailed data and analysis about the impact our various workforce programs (like the Indians into Medicine [INMED] program, the Rural Opportunities in Medical Education [ROME] program, and the Healthcare Workforce Initiative [HWI]) are having on the state. I think that this upcoming edition will be our best yet. It will be available for distribution in December. As we did for the last edition, we’ll only print and distribute the executive summary. The rest of the report—all the data, charts, analysis, and discussion—will be available online. Look for it in December.
Joshua Wynne, MD, MBA, MPH
UND Vice President for Health Affairs
Dean, UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences