For Your Health
For Your Health

News from the University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences

From the Dean: LCME update and a special Giving Hearts Day gift

Earlier this week we had a mock visit to help prepare us for the accreditation visit for our medical student program that will occur in April. Like that forthcoming visit, this practice session was done virtually. We contracted with a group of former medical school deans who help schools prepare for their accreditation visits by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME). I think that all involved thought that the exercise was productive and useful. During the wrap-up discussion at the end of the session, the LCME team was complementary about many aspects of our program, but the one thing that stood out in particular was the great working relationship between medical students and faculty that has been strengthened as we worked through – together – a variety of issues. As I’ve mentioned, our current students have been enduring a triple whammy of stresses – medical school, which is stressful to begin with; a major curricular overhaul; and the pandemic.

We came away from the mock survey team visit with a list of things we need to do as we make the final preparations for April. None of the issues are overly problematic, but there was a common observation that when answering questions, we need to be as concise and clear as possible. To be sure, that challenge is one that I in particular need to be sensitive and responsive to. The challenge, of course, is that there are so many good things to say about the efforts of our faculty, staff, and students. But I’m going to work at trying to be very focused in my comments and responses.

This mock visit started on the fourth day that our new Associate Dean for Administration and Finance, Namil Choi, was on board at the UND SMHS! Namil and his wife join us from the University of Chicago, and we have been thrilled to welcome them to UND and North Dakota. We will be having a virtual welcome reception in honor of Mr. Choi today. The virtual reception will be held at noon on Friday, Feb. 11, 2022, and can be accessed using this Zoom link. I hope that you can join us, and hope to see you there!

As you probably know, yesterday was Giving Hearts Day, the annual day of giving sponsored by the Fargo-based Dakota Medical Foundation (DMF). As usual, UND and our Alumni Association & Foundation were recipients of gifts from many generous donors to our many programs, student scholarships, and endowment funds. Thanks as always both to the donors who make the day such a success and DMF Executive Director Pat Traynor, a UND alum who is hardly shy about his love for the University. And special thanks to Liz Bossart-Mathison of the Marv Bossart Parkinson’s Foundation, who provided students in our physical and occupational therapy programs (plus students in UND’s Department of Communications Sciences & Disorders) a very nice gift in the form of the Marv Bossart Foundation Endowment. This fund will be used to support students seeking advanced training through the LSVT BIG and LOUD certification course for treating patients with Parkinson’s disease. What an incredible gift to our students and their future clients!

In other news, the 2022 UND Founders Day winners were announced this week and, as usual, the School of Medicine & Health Sciences claimed many winners. Of particular note are our School’s Department of Family and Community Medicine, which will be given the UND Award for Departmental Excellence in Service, and Jane Loscheider, assistant professor of occupational therapy, who will receive the UND Foundation/McDermott Faculty Award for Excellence in Graduate or Professional Teaching. A number of other SMHS faculty and staff will be honored at the Feb. 17 event as well, including five faculty who are part of a group receiving the Award for Interdisciplinary Collaboration in Research and Creative Activity. Learn more about all Founders Day winners here.

It truly is an honor to work with such creative, dedicated, and innovative faculty and staff. Thanks, as always, for everything each of you do for the School and UND.

Oh—and last but not least, our hybrid White Coat Ceremony for the MD Class of 2024 went well last week. Congratulations, again, to this entire class. If you missed the event, a video of it is available here.

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