From the Dean: Thank you, Veterans

This will be a shortened column because of the shorter week due to the Veterans Day holiday yesterday.

I’ll begin with a tip of the hat to each of the countless military veterans who have dedicated at least a portion of their lives to the protection of the United States. Your sacrifices—large and small—on behalf of your country and your fellow citizens are acknowledged, remembered, and greatly appreciated. We of course have many veterans at UND—faculty, staff, and students—and a U.S. Air Force Base just a short drive west from the School. I too served in the U.S. Army decades ago and understand personally the significance of a national holiday like Veterans Day. I was stationed in the Republic of Korea where there was a daily reminder present of the extant threats to freedom and democracy. So, to any and all veterans: thank you for your service.

Looking ahead, please grab your calendar and pencil in 6 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 15 for our annual Holiday Gathering. As was the case last year, this year’s event will be virtual, but we are planning to make it as engaging and fun as possible. Please try to join us for what promises to be a festive event. More details are forthcoming.

Finally, let’s continue to encourage vaccination in the unvaccinated so we can bring this pandemic to an end, and work to understand and assist those individuals who remain vaccine hesitant. As a healthcare provider, I’ve found that a respectful discussion with my patients who are unconvinced regarding the plusses and minuses of vaccination will often—although not invariably—help them arrive at a decision to proceed.

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