SMHS pulls in over $26,000 for INMED and other programs with “UND Gives”

The UND School of Medicine & Health Sciences (SMHS), in conjunction with the UND Alumni Association & Foundation (AAF), raised more than $26,000 from dozens of donors as part of the University’s inaugural UND Gives day on April 24, 2019. These funds will be directed primarily to the University’s Indians Into Medicine (INMED) Program.

UND Gives was a 24-hour online fundraising challenge that aimed to rally philanthropic support for UND initiatives, including the SMHS Indians Into Medicine (INMED) Program. The AAF and SMHS challenged donors to give a donation supporting, among other programs, INMED’s priority needs, which benefit middle and high school students, pre-med students, and medical and health sciences students.

Although the School initially pulled in more than $16,000, matching funds of up to $10,000 were secured by UND alumnus Greg Shega and his spouse Amy Weber for INMED specifically, giving the School more than $26,000 for the day.

“We can’t thank enough everyone who donated to INMED for UND Gives, and to everyone who made the campaign possible,” noted Donald Warne, MD, MPH, director of the INMED Program at UND. “These gifts will directly support students of all backgrounds—whether middle school students from tribal communities hoping to come to our Summer Institute, pre-med students looking to apply to one of the professional programs here at SMHS, or our current medical students honing their clinical skills.”

All eight UND colleges participated in the campaign, which was designed to provide scholarships, program support, and expanded experiential learning opportunities to students across campus.

“I was part of INMED as an undergrad and in medical school, and I appreciate the support they gave me throughout,” noted New Town, N.D., native and SMHS graduate Michael LeBeau, MD, president of Sanford Health Bismarck. “I spend a lot of time speaking to med students. Any chance I get, I mention that we, as graduates of UND, are fortunate—we belong, whether here or at Mayo or Johns Hopkins. Some of the best candidates these places get are from North Dakota.”

Established in 1973, INMED is a comprehensive education program assisting American Indian students who are preparing for health careers. The program addresses three major problem areas: too few health professionals in American Indian communities; too few American Indian health professionals; and a substandard level of health and health care in American Indian communities.

“Our INMED Program is responsible for graduating a considerable number of the American Indian physicians practicing in the United States today,” added SMHS Dean and UND’s Vice President for Health Affairs Joshua Wynne, MD, MBA, MPH. “It’s no exaggeration to say that this historic program is changing the face of health care and its provision across the country. We’re very proud of INMED and all they’ve done for North Dakota and the region over the past 45 years.”