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School of Medicine and Health Sciences


Grand Forks, ND

I’ve invited the senior leaders of the School to contribute their thoughts in the form of a guest column. Each month a different member of the leadership team will, in their own words, contribute some observations on a topic of their choosing. This month's guest columnist is Stephen Tinguely, MD.

Our Future Generation of Health Care Professionals

Eighty percent of our first-year medical students and a majority of our health sciences students are North Dakota residents. You might find the following demographics interesting as we consider the current state of affairs of the children who will become our future generation of health care professionals.

The following data are extracted from the North Dakota Kids Count 2011 Fact Book, which is funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Total births per year in North Dakota have climbed over the past decade from 7,635 in 1999 to 8,974 in 2009, and the percentage of children ages 0–5 years old has increased in 31 of 53 North Dakota counties (36 percent increase in Sioux County). The percentage of children 0–17 years old, however, decreased from 25 percent to 22 percent over that same period. We are still an “aging state.”

The number of children in our largest minority group (American Indians) grew 14 percent, whereas the number of Hispanic children increased 77 percent, African American children increased 76 percent, and Asian children increased 41 percent. The percentage of white children decreased 14 percent over the past decade. We are slowing becoming ethnically diverse.

Fewer North Dakota children live with both parents (72 percent in 2009 compared to 82 percent in 1990); 4 percent live with a grandparent, and 1 percent are in a foster home.

North Dakota may have risen to become the nation’s strongest economy, and we can boast the nation’s lowest unemployment rate, but despite those positive gains, the percentage of North Dakota’s children in poverty (14 percent) has not changed over the past 10 years. One in two children in Sioux County are impoverished.

Since 1997, K–12 student enrollment statewide has decreased 2 percent per year, and per student expenditures have increased 7 percent. Academically, our fourth- and eighth-graders’ reading, math, and science 2009 achievement scores exceeded the national average; although, there are significant disparities with regard to race and income. In 2010, North Dakota public high school students taking the ACT scored an average of 21.5 compared to the national average of 21.0.

Benchmarks for success in first-year college courses finds 71 percent of 2010 ACT-tested North Dakota high school graduates are ready for college English, 48 percent are ready for college math, 56 percent are ready for college reading, and 31 percent are ready for college science. Twenty-four percent were ready for all four courses.

Two percent of North Dakota students drop out of high school (Rolette County was the highest at 8 percent). Fourteen percent of the total students enrolled in public education in North Dakota received special education (32 percent specific learning disorder, 25 percent speech impairment, 6 percent emotionally disturbed, and 6 percent mentally handicapped).

Six percent of babies born in 2009 were of low birth weight, and 4 percent of pregnant women received late or no prenatal care. Our infant mortality rate is 0.6 percent of all live births, which compares to 0.7 percent nationally. (When compared internationally, the United States ranks 34th, and by comparison, Norway ranks sixth with a 0.3 percent infant mortality rate).

Eight percent of our state’s children are uninsured. Of these, 63 percent are living in families with incomes below 200 percent of the federal poverty level. Four percent of North Dakota’s children in 2010 were suspected of being abused and neglected; this statistic has remained essentially unchanged since the mid-1990s.

Children are our greatest natural resource (surpassing even oil and agriculture), and it only makes good sense that we care enough for them so they grow up smart and healthy—if for no other reason than that one day they will be caring for us.

Stephen Tinguely, MD
Clerkship Director and Chair
Department of Pediatrics

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Tenth Annual American Indian Health Research Conference is today

The 10th Annual American Indian Health Research Conference takes place today at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks. The conference offers opportunities to discuss research directions, partnerships and collaboration in health research focusing on American Indians. The conference will feature Diane J. Willis, PhD, professor emeritus of pediatrics and medical psychology in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, who will provide the conference's keynote address titled "Futility, Timidity, Stagnation, or Comfort: Making Research Fun, Meaningful and Relevant." Her keynote address at 9 a.m. will be followed by an opportunity for participants to ask questions. Read more

Today's Foundations of Biomedical Science Seminar features Archana Dhasarathy

Archana Dhasarathy, PhD,  assistant professor in the SMHS Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, is today's Foundations of Biomedical Science seminar speaker. Dhasarathy's talk is titled "Moving at a Snail’s pace: The Snail family of transcription factors in cancer metastasis" and takes place at 1 p.m. in Room 5510 at the SMHS in Grand Forks.

All are welcome to attend.

The seminar director is Dr. Jon Jackson (701) 777-4911.

Bonnie Kee
Administrative Assistant
Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology

"Diverticular Disease" is today's Surgery Grand Rounds topic

Andrew McCoy, MD, PGY V surgery resident in the Department of Surgery, will be presenting his talk titled “Diverticular Disease” from Sanford Health in Fargo today from 8 to 9 a.m.

The objectives of his talk are the following:

  1. Understand the different variants of diverticular disease.
  2. Treatment of complicated and uncomplicated diverticulitis.
  3. Management of diverticular hemorrhage.

This Surgery Grand Rounds Conference, sponsored by the UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences Department of Surgery, is broadcasted via video conference to many sites in North Dakota and Minnesota.

All are welcome to attend.

Geralyn Lunski
Administrative Assistant, Faculty and Conference Coordinator
Department of Surgery 

John R. Henley to present at Anatomy and Cell Biology Fall Seminar Series on October 22

John R. Henley, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience at Rutgers University, will present a seminar titled “Transduction mechanisms mediating bidirectional chemotaxis of nerve growth cones” from noon to 1 p.m. on Monday, October 22, in Room 5510 at the SMHS in Grand Forks.

Everyone is welcome—and encouraged—to attend.

The seminar director is Dr. Sergei Nechaev (701) 777-2566.

Bonnie Kee
Administrative Assistant
Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology

Alcohol and Other Drugs Town Hall Meeting is October 22

You are invited to the Alcohol and Other Drugs Town Hall Meeting to be held on Monday, October 22, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Altru Building One, 860 S. Columbia Road in Grand Forks. We would also appreciate your help in encouraging students to attend and spreading the word to others. The purposes of the meeting are the following:

  • To raise awareness of the negative impacts of high risk alcohol and other drug use/abuse and their effects on the quality of life of our community.
  • To help people understand that no matter who they are, no matter what role they play, they can have an influence in reducing negative consequences associated with high risk alcohol and other drug use/abuse through the choices they make in their own lives, through their relationships with family, friends, and coworkers, and through their involvement in the community.
  • To obtain input and share ideas about concrete actions our community could take that would make a difference and how citizens can help make that happen.
  • To mobilize the community to get involved and support policy/environmental changes.

Thank you for your consideration and assistance.

Becky Lamboley and Jane Croeker,
UND Alcohol and Other Drugs Committee Cochairs

Honeywell speaker to present lecture on neurotechnology October 23

Santosh Mathan, PhD, Honeywell Laboratories, will discuss neurotechnology for the development of piloting skills and the assessment of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and other human performance topics from noon to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, October 23, in Room 244 Odegard Hall on the UND campus in Grand Forks. Read more

Adopt-a-Med-Student Program is October 25

First-year medical students will be presented with engraved stethoscopes at the Adopt-a-Med-Student program at noon on Thursday, October 25, in the Vennes Atrium at the SMHS in Grand Forks. 

Biomedical Sciences Virtual Grad School Fair on October 25

Are you or do you know of students planning to apply to graduate schools of biomedical sciences? Registration is now open to attend the free Biomed Virtual Grad School Fair on October 25. Get answers to your most pressing questions from 17 of the nation's top biomed schools. Read more

Kenneth G. Ruit, PhD
Assistant Dean, Undergraduate and Graduate Education
Associate Professor, Anatomy and Cell Biology

Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes is October 27

Register for the Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes. The walk will be held at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks on October 27.

Start your own team, or join an existing team:

  • Team UND, open to students, faculty, and staff. Cocaptains: Kim Rullifson, Wellness Center, and Dr. Eric Johnson, School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

You can find more information about diabetes on Dr. Johnson's Facebook page.

Primary Care Week is October 29–November 3

Primary Care Week is an annual event to highlight the importance of primary care by bringing health care professionals and students together to discuss and learn about generalist and interdisciplinary health care, particularly its effect on and importance to underserved populations.

Medical students coordinate and host activities that are scheduled throughout the week. Medical, nursing, nutrition and dietetics, occupational therapy, and physical therapy students will culminate the week with a free Health Screenings Fair at Walmart in Grand Forks from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, November 3. For a schedule of events, please read more.

Northwest Campus Lecture Series continues on November 7

We are continuing our lecture series on Wednesday, November 7, at the Holiday Inn Riverside in Minot. The lecture will be held in conjunction with the Northwest District Medical Society meeting, which begins at 6 p.m., followed by dinner at 6:30 p.m., with the lecture at 7 p.m. Our lecture series is held in the spring and fall of each year and has met with terrific success. I hope you will make an effort to attend and enjoy an evening of education and camaraderie.

Our speaker is Paul G. Mariani, MD, an infectious disease specialist who trained at the University of Miami and currently practices at Sanford Health in Fargo. His topic is "Sexually Transmitted Infections." He will discuss the epidemiology, diagnosis, and treatment of sexually transmitted infections.

All costs are covered, and an educational credit will be provided.

Martin L. Rothberg, MD
Assistant Dean, Northwest Campus, Minot

UND Epigenetics and Epigenomics Symposium is November 15

UND faculty, staff, and students are invited to attend the First Epigenetics and Epigenomics Symposium to be held at the University of North Dakota on November 15. This event will bring together experts from fields such as dynamics of chromatin structure and function; epigenetics and gene expression; genomics; and computational biology and human health. Two keynote speakers have been scheduled: Dr. Michael Kladde from the University of Florida Shands Cancer Center and Dr. Beth Sullivan from Duke University's Genome Sciences and Policy Institute. In addition, we have scientists from North and South Dakota who will be presenting their research related to epigenetics. Read more

Archana Dhasarathy, PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Save the Date—2013 Dakota Conference on Rural and Public Health

The 2013 Dakota Conference on Rural and Public Health will be June 5–7 at the Seven Seas Hotel & Waterpark in Mandan, N.Dak. Reserve your room today. Read more

Kylie Nissen, Project Coordinator
Center for Rural Health

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“Public Health Approaches to Reducing U.S. Infant Mortality"—CDC Grand Rounds

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Public Health Grand Rounds is a monthly webcast created to foster discussion on major public health issues. Each session focuses on key challenges related to a specific health topic, and explores cutting-edge scientific evidence and the potential impact of different interventions. The Grand Rounds sessions also highlight how the CDC and its partners are already addressing these challenges and discuss the recommendations for future research and practice. October's presentation is titled “Public Health Approaches to Reducing U.S. Infant Mortality.” All of the webcasts are archived for later viewing.

Social Media: Homecoming Photos

Thanks to all who represented us in the Homecoming Parade last Saturday, especially our occupational therapy and physical therapy students! Thank you to all of our alums who participated in tours of the School, the reception at the North Dakota Museum of Art, and at tailgating before the football game. View Homecoming photos on Flickr.

On our Facebook page, the fall issue of North Dakota Medicine is now online.

Also read the latest Health Matters column, written by Dean Wynne, which can be found in the Grand Forks Herald every other Monday. Please submit any general health-related questions to

You can also get the latest SMHS news by following the School on Twitter.

University Letter: UND again named to "Military Friendly Schools" list

The 2013 Military Friendly Schools list honors the top 15 percent of colleges, universities, and trade schools in the country that are doing the most to embrace America’s military service members, veterans, and spouses as students and to ensure their success on campus.

More information about this and other UND news can be found in the University Letter. Published on Tuesdays and Thursdays, it is distributed electronically to the University community and is always available online. For more information, contact editor Jan Orvik at (701) 777-3621.

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New conflict-of-interest forms and mandatory training need to be completed

Federal regulations regarding conflict of interest changed as of August 24, 2012. The Central Division of Research has been providing the education and has added the revised policy and forms to its website.

The Public Health Service (PHS) revised its policy to require that all PHS grantees or those considering submitting to PHS have all key personnel complete a mandatory education class. Conflict-of-interest forms also need to be filed annually. If your form was filed prior to 8/24/2012, new forms will need to be filed to be in compliance with the annual filing date.

The Central Office will not sign off on any proposal unless the Principal Investigator and all Key Personnel listed in the proposal have taken the training and ALSO filed the new conflict-of-interest forms. The Central Division of Research is in the process of determining a best-practice process for ensuring this has been done. They also plan to work on getting the word out.

This notice is to let you know of these changes and to make sure you are aware that proposals may take longer to get through the process. I encourage you to submit early if possible to avoid any timing issues.

Public Health Service agencies include the following:

  • National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC)
  • Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)
  • Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR)
  • Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)
  • Indian Health Service (IHS)
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

If you have questions, please contact Barry Milavetz, PhD, (701) 777-4278.

Diane Hillebrand, CRA
Grant & Contract Officer

Intellectual Property Education Seminar is November 2

An Intellectual Property Education Seminar, presented by the UND Office for Intellectual Property Commercialization & Economic Development, is on Friday, November 2, from 1 to 3 p.m. in Room 7 of the Education Building on the UND campus in Grand Forks.

  • 1–1:45 p.m.—“Patents 101,” Gary Speier, Esq., from Schwegman, Lundberg & Woessner, P.A. (Minneapolis, Minn.). 

    “Patents 101” includes a discussion of patentable subject matter (novelty, non-obviousness, etc.), inventorship issues, the overall patent process, timing issues (bar dates), foreign jurisdiction issues, and a brief overview of infringement (contrasted with patentability).
  • 1:45–2 p.m.—Question and Answer. 
  • 2–2:45 p.m.—“Copyrights Basics,” Jason Jenkins, Esq., assistant general counsel, Schwegman, Lundberg & Woessner, P.A.

    Copyright is an area of law that is often misunderstood but its importance cannot be overstated, especially on campus. Recent developments have shed considerable light on the notion of copyright and fair use in the academic context. You will be introduced to basic copyright concepts, including what is covered by copyright, how works are protected, and who owns what. 
  • 2:45–3 p.m.—Question and Answer

We invite all interested faculty, staff, and students on campus to attend this event. This presentation is free and open to the public. There will be coffee and refreshments served.

Please contact Ms. Michael Sadler with any questions regarding the presentation (701) 777-6772.

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Jennifer Hackmann

     Medical Records Technician

Jennifer Hackmann has been hired as a medical records technician at the Center for Family Medicine–Bismarck. Her supervisor is Carrie Germann.

Hackmann has a bachelor’s degree in social work. Before joining the Center for Family Medicine, Hackmann was the owner of an in-home childcare business, and she worked as a health information management technician and hospital social worker for Trinity Health.

Hackmann enjoys making jewelry, reading, and spending time with family. She is the mother of Connor, a seven-year-old boy.

Rosalyn Marcellais

     Project Coordinator

Rosalyn Marcellais has been hired as a project coordinator in the Center for Rural Health. Her supervisor is Jacque Gray. Marcellais will develop and maintain project goals and objectives as well as oversee daily operations, personnel, and budgeting for the Seven Generations Center of Excellence.

She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Minot State University, and she is a student in the MBA program at the University of Mary.

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