For Your Health
For Your Health

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

From the Dean: A new hospital complex for Minot

Last week I traveled with Dr. Jon Allen, professor of medicine and director of our Simulation Center, to our Northwest Campus in Minot, N.D., for the long-awaited opening of the new hospital complex of Trinity Health. Jon wanted to come along because he spent a number of years in Minot before he joined the UND SMHS. The ribbon-cutting ceremony by CEO John Kutch and colleagues was a somewhat emotional culmination of years of planning and preparation. Jon and I were privileged to get a guided tour of the new facility from clinical faculty member Dr. Scott Knutson, chief of staff at Trinity Health, and Dr. Jeffrey Sather. The new facility is quite amazing, with state-of-the-art physical plant, equipment, and programmatic capabilities. Also impressive was the strong community support and involvement in the project and the facility. Thus, both the physical aspects and the community culture seem well-aligned and in-sync. Everything looks to be in place for the first patient who is scheduled to be transferred to the brand-new building this weekend. All the best wishes to everyone in Minot and the surrounding region for this impressive and major addition to the community!

Another wonderful development that I am pleased to announce is that Dr. Andy McLean, clinical professor and chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, has accepted additional responsibilities as our inaugural associate dean for wellness. We felt that it was important to dedicate even more resources to student and faculty wellness in the wake of the demonstrable increases in burnout, depression, substance use disorder, and suicide among medical students and practicing physician populations that has been seen throughout the U.S. over the past two decades. The UND SMHS is fortunate already to have two wellness advocates in place (Michelle Montgomery and Dr. Melissa Naslund) who work in particular with UND SMHS students and residents (post-M.D. trainees). With Dr. McLean’s new position, he will lead the School’s effort in education and practice regarding health promotion and integrative wellness as well as issues related to substance use and mental health; advocate for programs that foster and maintain an institutional culture of well-being; serve as the School’s representative to external partners in efforts related to health promotion; and serve as an ad hoc member on my administrative leadership team. I’m sure that you will join me in welcoming Andy to his new position.

Finally, the countdown definitely is on as we move closer and closer to graduation. The medical student Class of 2023 graduates a week from Saturday, and senior students in our other health sciences programs do so in two weeks. There are a variety of other graduation-related activities in addition to the commencement ceremonies themselves that will be taking place over the next two weeks, and I look forward to attending as many of them as I possibly can. What an exciting time for our students and their families, not to mention the faculty, staff, and others who have supported the efforts of the students. All the best to all of you! And many thanks for entering the health care field.

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