Don Warne named one of Explorers Club’s 50 people “changing the world”

Donald Warne, M.D., M.P.H., director of the Indians into Medicine and Master of Public Health Programs at the UND School of Medicine & Health Sciences (SMHS), has been selected as a member of the inaugural Explorers 50 (EC50) class of the Explorers Club based in New York City.

The Explorers Club is an international multidisciplinary professional society dedicated to the advancement of field research and exploration. The group has a close partnership with the Discovery Channel, which has produced an article spotlighting the 50 recipients.

Nominated by North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum for the honor, Dr. Warne joins a club that since 1905 has honored researchers, explorers, and scientists such as Theodore Roosevelt, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, and Jane Goodall.

“I want to sincerely thank Governor Burgum for nominating me,” said Warne, noting that he was both surprised and “deeply honored” by the nomination. “When I read the bios of the other members of the EC50 cohort, I am truly inspired and humbled. It is great to see other Indigenous peoples recognized in the cohort as well. This helps build on an opportunity to expand awareness of Indigenous health challenges that can lead to more opportunities for medical and health sciences students, faculty, and programs at UND to broaden our collaborations and programming.”

As an EC50 awardee, Dr. Warne will receive a complimentary Club membership for three years, access to the EC network of explorers, amplification of his work through various media outlets (including a special edition publication), lecture opportunities, and more.

“North Dakota is fortunate to have a world-renowned Indigenous health expert and advocate in Dr. Donald Warne,” said the Governor and First Lady Kathryn Burgum in a joint statement. “His unwavering commitment to Native American populations is informing public policy, empowering healthcare professionals, and saving countless lives by raising awareness of the struggles and disparities Indigenous people face on a daily basis.”

Indigenous issues have long been important to both the Governor and First Lady. Governor Burgum’s five strategic initiatives include tribal partnerships, and Dr. Warne has worked with First Lady Burgum through her Recovery Reinvented platform and was recently recognized as a 2020 Recovery Reinvented Trailblazer Award recipient.

“Thank you for your engaging and transformative work and we look forward to celebrating you in 2021,” wrote Explorers Club President Richard Wiese and Explorers 50 Chair Joe Rohde in their email to Dr. Warne. “You are part of an exceptional group that will set the Club on its course for decades to come.”

A South Dakota native, Warne also serves as the associate dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the SMHS.