For Your Health
For Your Health

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

From the Dean: Host-Pathogen symposium, Simulation Week, Joggin’ with Josh right around the corner

In last week’s column I summarized the many events that took place at UND and the SMHS with the start of the fall semester. Today I’d like to give you a “heads up” about some exciting upcoming events so that you can check your calendar for possible attendance at one or more of the public events (although some may be sold out already!).

The first event is the 8th annual Host-Pathogen Interactions Symposium sponsored by the investigators in our federally funded Center for Biomedical Research Excellence (CoBRE) program. It will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 19, at the Grand Forks SMHS building and will feature guest speakers from the University of Texas Medical Branch, Michigan State University, the University of Victoria, and the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.

That same day (Tuesday, Sept. 19) our Simulation Center in Grand Forks will host an open house from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m.  in celebration of Simulation in Healthcare Week 2023. The Sim Center also has a series of related events the entire week of Sept. 18–22. Our Sim Center is the largest and most active such center in North Dakota and supports the education and training of a wide variety of healthcare students and providers both in Grand Forks and across the state via the Simulation in Motion – North Dakota (SIM-ND) mobile program.

That same day there is a reception and dinner to honor faculty who have been promoted and/or advanced to tenure status effective this academic year. The event will take place at the UND Alumni Association and Foundation’s Gorecki Center the evening of Tuesday, Sept. 19. Faculty from the SMHS to be honored include:

  • Rebecca Bakke, Department of Medical Laboratory Science – promoted to Assistant Professor
  • Catherine Brissette, Department of Biomedical Sciences – promoted to Professor
  • Roberta Carrlson, Department of Occupational Therapy – promoted to Assistant Professor
  • Emilie DeKrey, Department of Surgery – promoted to Research Associate Professor
  • Jessa Hulteng, Department of Occupational Therapy – promoted to Assistant Professor
  • Sarah Nielsen, Department of Occupational Therapy – promoted to Professor
  • Sandeep Singhal, Department of Pathology – promoted to Associate Professor and granted Tenure

For those of you who might overdo dessert at the promotion celebration, you can join us later that week for our annual Joggin’ with Josh event on Thursday, Sept. 21, at 4:30 p.m. We will be exploring a new route through the beautiful UND campus as we walk, jog, or run the 5K course. Please join us and get a Joggin’ with Josh branded T-shirt!

The following Tuesday, Sept. 26, a big turnout is expected for the annual Wake Up to UND event sponsored by the regional Chamber of Commerce. The event takes place in the UND Memorial Union and starts at 7:30 a.m.

Then, Thursday, Sept. 28, promises to be a busy day with two events on tap, the first being the latest iteration of the Java with Josh discussion I hold periodically with faculty, staff, and students to discuss topics of interest related to UND and the SMHS. Since we went to a virtual format, attendance at the event has soared; typically, we get well over 100 participants.

Later that afternoon, the next meeting of the SMHS Advisory Council will take place; the Council is a legislatively mandated group with a wide spectrum of individuals from across the state who have healthcare expertise and experience. The Advisory Council is charged with advising the School, the legislature, and the constituent member groups represented on the Council regarding the programs and strategic direction of our healthcare-related efforts here. The advice and counsel of the group has been extremely helpful as the School has grown so dramatically over the past decade or so.

And for any legislators who may be reading this but have not yet signed up, we have re-inaugurated our previously successful “M.D. in a Day” event on Friday, Sept. 29, in Grand Forks. This event, held specifically for members of the North Dakota Legislative Assembly, gives each attendee a sense of what is involved in the training of medical students on their path to becoming doctors. From the initial donning of white coats to graduation, lawmakers get a highly compressed sense of what students experience over four years.

All of these events in September set the stage for UND Homecoming 2023, which takes place the first week in October. In addition to the multiple UND events, the SMHS will be sponsoring two special events. The first is the annual Continuing Medical Education Symposium on Interprofessional Approaches to Wellness that will take place from 8:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. in Room W203 in the Grand Forks building. The other event will be a Milestone Program and Banquet to celebrate the graduates who are 10, 20, 30, or more years post-graduation. The event will be held in the Cloud 9 Events Center in downtown Grand Forks starting at 5 p.m.

I hope to see you at one or more of these events!

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