For Your Health

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

From the Dean: Faculty Assembly Jan. 24

I hope that you will be able to join me and your colleagues and friends for the annual Faculty Assembly, which will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023, from 3 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. in the Charles H. Fee, M.D. Auditorium (E101) and virtually via this link. I will present an overview of the “State of the UND SMHS.” With the kind concurrence of Faculty Council (FC) Chair Dr. Gary Schwartz, non-faculty members are invited to attend as well as guests of the FC. As you may be aware, the Faculty Council is the ultimate faculty governing unit in the SMHS that is part of the shared governance model that has been so effective over the years.

During my presentation, I’ll try to address where the School has been, where it is, and where we hope to guide it in the future. I’ll review the incredible accomplishments of the faculty, staff, and especially students during calendar year 2022. There should be ample time for questions (and hopefully answers!) as well. Among the topics I plan to address are the following:

  • Status and accomplishments of the faculty, staff, and students of the UND SMHS
  • Update on accreditation activities of our educational programs
  • Recruitment update
  • Repatriation update
  • Update on areas of interest
    • Annual reviews
    • Hybrid work arrangements
    • Salary issues
  • Budget presentation/request to the North Dakota Legislative Assembly
  • Strategic direction going forward
    • Where we hope to go
    • Adaptation of UND LEADS Strategic Plan at the School
  • Opportunities and Challenges
  • Discussion/Questions

If there is another topic that you think warrants discussion, please let me know and I’ll see if we can work it into the agenda. I hope that you’ll be able to find time to join us for the presentation next week. If not, we’ll post the slides after the event. By the way, I also hope that you can attend (in-person or virtually) the launch of UND’s revised strategic vision plan, UND LEADS, at the kick-off event today at 1 p.m. in the Memorial Union or online here.

Finally, later today our Department of Physician Assistant Studies will hold its annual White Coat Ceremony, also in the School’s Charles H. Fee, M.D. Auditorium. At this event, the 32 members of the UND School of Medicine & Health Sciences physician assistant (PA) Class of 2024, who are set to begin the clinical portion of their studies next week, will be given their white coats. As many of you already know, physician assistants are an increasingly important part of the American healthcare system, particularly as communities grapple with physician shortages. As our recently released Seventh Biennial Report notes, North Dakota is no exception to this trend. To help address that challenge, the North Dakota legislature moved to make our state the first in the nation, in 2019, to expand the PA scope of practice, removing the requirement that PAs practice under the direction of an MD. This has been an important and productive development for our rural counties in particular, where physician shortages can be especially acute. So, congratulations – and thanks – to our PA students as they begin their clinical training!

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