From the Dean

I’ve been chairing a medical school accreditation survey team visit to a western school on behalf of the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) this week. As I’ve discussed before, there are two good reasons for me to do this: first is the public service component—accreditation is a U.S. Department of Education requirement, and having volunteers like me do it ensures that the process is carried out by people actually involved in medical education rather than by professional bureaucrats. But the second (and parochial) reason is that I always learn something from these visits that I can apply back here at UND. And this visit was no exception: one of the things I learned from chatting with the staff at the school we visited was a neat idea for scholarship fundraising. Once I run the idea by the UND Alumni Association & Foundation, you should be hearing more about the concept.

And speaking of scholarships, I’m pleased to congratulate the three winners of this year’s Giving Hearts Day scholarships. The School, in partnership with Dakota Medical Foundation, was pleased to award scholarships worth $12,500 to three randomly chosen SMHS students. The scholarships are part of Dakota Medical Foundation’s annual Giving Hearts Day, which occurred on February 14, 2019. The UND SMHS Giving Hearts Scholarship winners for 2019 are:

  • Shenae LaCroix, a second-year physical therapy student from Newcastle, Wyo., who received the Dr. Susan Zelewski Giving Hearts Scholarship.
  • Brooke Lentz, a third-year medical student from Rolla, N.D., who received the Dr. David Schmitz Giving Hearts Scholarship.
  • Andrea Lerick, a junior from Savage, Minn., majoring in medical laboratory science, who received the Dr. Steffen Christensen Giving Hearts Scholarship.

Congratulations to all—and thank you, again, to the more than 50 donors who made these scholarships possible.

I’d also like to extend congratulations—and thanks—to Jon Solberg, MD, who has accepted our invitation to be the first chair of the new Department of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Solberg is a Stanley, N.D., native and 2006 graduate of the SMHS. Welcome aboard! Dr. Solberg will give a presentation in the School’s Charles H. Fee, MD, Auditorium (Room E101) at noon on Thursday, March 14 (lunch provided). RSVP for the presentation here. A welcome reception will be held for him at 1 p.m. on that same day in the School’s West Atrium.

So as I get back up to speed here at the School after several days away, here are some reminders about upcoming events, two of which were rescheduled due to weather-related UND closures:

  • UND SMHS Faculty Assembly – As you may recall, we had to cancel the Faculty Assembly that was scheduled to be held last month when UND closed due to frigid weather. The Faculty Assembly is rescheduled for Monday, March 4, 2019, from 3 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. in the Charles H. Fee, MD, Auditorium (Room E101) in Grand Forks. For those on other regional campuses or unable to attend in person, the presentation will be live-streamed, and I’ll post my slides after the presentation as well. Despite the event’s name, staff and students are welcome to attend along with faculty members. During this meeting I will deliver the “State of the School” address, in which I will go over the School’s agenda for the coming biennium (July 2019 through June 2021). I plan to review the School’s trajectory over the past decade and then I’ll set the stage for future activities and challenges. I hope to see you there. And I welcome questions and discussion especially about our strategy going forward. I know that the budget situation and our discussions with the North Dakota Legislature will be of great interest to most of you, and I’ll be prepared to review the current status of those discussions.
  • Heart Health Presentation – February was American Heart Month, and I had been scheduled to contribute to the festivities on campus last month by discussing the determinants of heart disease and tips to reduce risk. This rescheduled talk will take place Thursday, March 14, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. in the School of Medicine & Health Sciences building in Grand Forks (Room E226).
  • Java with Josh – Please join me for complimentary coffee, juice, or tea at Java with Josh on Wed., March 20, from 8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. in the Tello-Skjerseth Atrium in the SMHS building’s east wing (across the hall from Family & Community Medicine and Population Health). I plan to discuss what’s new at the School, including the status of our discussions with the current North Dakota Legislative Assembly, and take any questions you have.

I hope to see you at as many of these upcoming events as you are able to attend.

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