GRAND FORKS, N.D.—The 27th annual Dakota Conference on Rural and Public Health, an interdisciplinary forum for professionals, educators and students to share strategies for building and sustaining healthy North Dakota communities, will take place May 30–June 1, at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks.
This year's conference, "Working together for a healthier North Dakota," will offer participants a chance to learn about a variety of topics in the areas of rural and public health. Preconference workshops, a variety of breakout sessions, poster presentations and the annual awards banquet are all a part of the conference. The following keynote presentations highlight the conference:
"The Affordable Care Act and Rural Health" by Mary Wakefield, PhD, RN, administrator, Health Resources and Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
"Primary Care Transformation in North Dakota: Payment Transformation and Information Technology in support of the Patient-Centered Medical Home" by David Hanekom, MD, FACP, CMPE, chief medical officer, MDdatacor, Inc.; and Terry Dwelle, MD, MPHTM, FAAP, CPH, state health officer, North Dakota Department of Health
"H3–Happier, Healthier YOU; Happier, Healthier Work Environment; Happier, Healthier Community" by Maria Kliavkoff, president/CEO, MK Facilitations
"Innovative Strategies for Building and Sustaining Health in Rural America" by Jack Dillenberg, DDS, MPH, dean, AT Still University, Arizona School of Dentistry and Oral Health
In addition to keynote presentations, Senator Kent Conrad and Representative Rick Berg are confirmed to provide messages via video about the status of rural and public health in the state.
"The purpose of an annual statewide health care conference, such as the Dakota Conference, is not only to gain newfound skills, knowledge and resources," said Lynette Dickson, associate director at the Center for Rural Health at the University of North Dakota (UND) School of Medicine and Health Sciences and chair of the Dakota Conference planning committee, "but also to encourage people to work in partnership to develop creative solutions that positively impact the health of North Dakota residents."
There will also be a film shown the evening prior to the conference, May 29. The film, "Bad Sugar" will start at 8 p.m. and will be hosted by members of the North Dakota Public Health Association and the Dakota Conference planning committee. The 29-minute film explores the impact of water diversion and the dependence on government commodities on the diabetes rates among the O'odham and Pima Indians in Arizona. The featured writer and narrator in the film, Don Warne, MD, MPH, will be present. People not registered for the conference can attend the film for $5.00.
Health professionals from all disciplines in addition to researchers, educators and all those interested in improving rural and public health in the state should visit www.ruralhealth.und.edu/dakotaconference, where a complete schedule and more information can also be found. Those interested in attending may register onsite at the conference.
The Dakota Conference is facilitated by the Center for Rural Health. Support is provided by Altru Health System, North Dakota Public Health Association, North Dakota Rural Health Association, UND College of Nursing and UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences Center for Rural Health and Department of Family and Community Medicine. Financial sponsors contributing $1000 for the conference include Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota, Experience Health North Dakota, the Greater Grand Forks Convention and Visitors Bureau, the North Dakota Area Health Education Centers, Prairie St. John's, Sanford Health, and The University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences.