For Your Health
For Your Health

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

From the Dean: A new chair for our Department of Occupational Therapy

In last week’s column I highlighted the contributions of Dr. Janet Jedlicka, chair of the Department of Occupational Therapy, who will be retiring at the end of this month after 17 productive years as chair of the department. This week I am pleased to announce that recently promoted Professor of Occupational Therapy Dr. Sarah Nielsen has accepted my offer to succeed Janet as the new chair of the department effective July 1, 2023. Sarah has a lot to build on, given the very solid foundation that Janet and her colleagues have built in the department over the years. But I’m sure that there are even better things to come in the future. Many thanks and best wishes to Dr. Jedlicka as she transitions to the next phase of her life!

On another note, this week I’ve been in Chicago at the national meeting of the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), the national body that accredits all of the medical schools in the U.S. under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Education. I am one of 17 appointed individuals who together constitute the decision board for the LCME. It was a busy couple of days, with the need to review and adjudicate a variety of reports regarding the accreditation status of some 28 of the 156 medical schools in the country. This will be my final meeting as a member of the LCME, as members are limited by LCME rules to two consecutive three-year terms, and I’ve reached my limit!

Overall, I’ve found my service on the LCME national committee to be a productive and worthwhile effort on at least two levels. First, I learned a lot about the accreditation process that we’ve been able to apply productively here at the UND SMHS (witness our very successful re-accreditation effort recently); and second, I think I and my colleagues have provided an important service to the medical community through our accreditation efforts that have positive impacts across the country. Our focus has always been to try to ensure that the learning experience of medical students across the U.S. is optimized so that they become the very best doctors possible, and thus are destined to take the very best care of their future patients. I believe that we have succeeded in achieving this goal!

Finally, I’m happy to report that the salary merit and market equity increases for many faculty and staff members that I’ve mentioned before are all just about finalized and entered into the university system computers. Team members who will be seeing a market equity salary increase as a result of comparison with a relevant market standard will be implemented for this upcoming pay period in June and merit increases will become effective with the first pay period in July. Additionally, recently promoted full-time faculty members also benefit from salary increases that are awarded upon promotion.

For most faculty and staff members, these salary increases are noteworthy on at least two levels: obviously the first is the increased income and resultant purchasing power that becomes available to the team member, but the second also is important – and that’s that the increase in salary is a tangible demonstration that UND and the SMHS care about the team member and are grateful for their efforts. So – congratulations and thanks to all who have earned one or more of these salary increases.

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