From the Dean


As you know, the SMHS relies on practitioners from all across North Dakota to help train our medical and health sciences students. Although much of our clinical educational efforts occur in the outpatient (non-hospital) setting, the six tertiary care hospitals (along with the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Fargo and 36 smaller Critical Access Hospitals located in rural areas of the state) are important partners in our educational enterprise. Accordingly, I hope that those of you who are based in the Grand Forks region are able to attend the Altru Community Forum that will take place Nov. 1, 2018. Jonathan Holth, community and client development manager for JLG Architects, the firm designing the facility that will replace the current Altru Hospital building, is hoping to get a lot of feedback from faculty, staff, and especially students as to what is important to them from an educational standpoint in the new hospital. Jonathan is hoping to get as much feedback as possible regarding JLG’s preliminary concepts. To facilitate this, the event will be set up with interactive stations that will highlight various components of the new Altru facility that will be part of the institution’s 25-year master facility plan. Jonathan hopes to get a lot of feedback that can be passed on to the team at JLG, as well as the leadership of Altru Hospital, so that your ideas and feedback can be incorporated into the design of the new building. The Altru Community Forum will take place from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 1 at the Gorecki Alumni Center. For additional information, please contact Jonathan Holth at I hope to see you there.

Another event that I hope you’d consider attending takes place in Grand Forks tomorrow. The SMHS is sponsoring the 16th Annual American Indian Health Research Conference. The conference is an opportunity for students to present their research and to learn about other research happening within American Indian communities. It also serves as an opportunity for participants to network and partner with communities, tribal colleges, and researchers on other projects. “Cancer Prevention and Health Promotion Research in Indian Country” is the theme for the conference. The keynote speaker is Rodney Haring, PhD, MSW, assistant professor of Oncology at the Department of Cancer Health Disparities Research at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center in Buffalo, N.Y. The conference will take place in the SMHS building in Grand Forks on Saturday, Oct. 20, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Check out the conference agenda here. This is a free event, but pre-registration is encouraged. Register here. Breakfast and lunch will be served. I hope to see you there as well.

And last but not least, an important event for students to pencil in on your calendars is the upcoming Community Meet and Greet, which is a job fair to connect UND’s health profession students with job opportunities here in North Dakota. Representatives from a variety of health care facilities from both rural and urban settings will be on hand. The event is hosted by the Center for Rural Health during Primary Care Week. The event takes place Tuesday, Oct. 30, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the second floor of the SMHS building in Grand Forks. Complimentary lunch will be provided. Please pre-register here. Again, I hope to see you there!

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