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School of Medicine and Health Sciences


Grand Forks, ND


NORTHSTAR is supported by the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of North Dakota’s School of Medicine and Health Sciences.  NORTHSTAR is the first practice-based research network (PBRN) in the state of North Dakota. PBRNs are composed of a group of practitioners who come together to conduct research in their practices.  These networks are rapidly becoming a successful and powerful tool for increasing the knowledge base in primary care as well as increasing the interaction between the research and patient care processes.  PBRNs adopt a method of research that combine the traditional research approach of discovery with the aspect of quality improvement.  The issues and research topics are developed through the input of the network participants; thus, creating a research environment tailored to the needs of those who work with patients on a daily basis.  NORTHSTAR will become a learning community where North Dakota practitioners can come together and share their unique perspectives concerning the improvement of health care delivery within the rural setting.


  • Improve the quality of care within the rural primary care setting.
  • Address issues that are important to practitioners in the field of primary care.
  • Conduct best practices research.
  • Identify and test new methods of health care delivery in the rural setting.
  • Create a learning community composed of professional primary care practitioners from across the state of North Dakota.

NORTHSTAR Board of Directors

  • Charles E. Christianson, M.D., Sc.M. - Network Director
  • Kimberly Krohn, MD, MPH - Board Chairman
  • Eric Johnson, MD - Family Practice Provider
  • Abe E. Sahmoun, PhD - Epidemiologist
  • Lyle Best, MD - Family Practice Provider
  • Wesley Canfield, MD - Pediatric Nutrition Researcher
  • Madeline Luke, MD - Geriatric Medicine, Internal Medicine
School of Medicine & Health Sciences
501 North Columbia Road Stop 9037
Grand Forks, ND 58202-9037
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