UND’s Indians Into Medicine program launches $1 million campaign for Indigenous medical education – Grand Forks Herald

UND's Indians Into Medicine program launches $1 million campaign for Indigenous medical education - Grand Forks Herald
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GRAND FORKS – The Indians Into Medicine (INMED) program at the UND School of Medicine & Health Sciences is kicking off a $1 million comprehensive campaign, the largest campaign of its kind for Indigenous medical education.

“For nearly 50 years this program has led the nation in training Indigenous physicians,” INMED Director Dr. Don Warne said in a news release. “Unless our students are offered one of a limited number of scholarships, most of which only go so far, they pay full tuition like everyone else. So, we’re always looking for ways to be more efficient in our operations and expand our base of supporters. This campaign will help us do both.”

Timed to coincide with the program’s 50-year anniversary in 2022-23, the comprehensive campaign hopes to generate funds that will directly support many of INMED’s various programs.

Founded in 1973, the UND Indians Into Medicine Program was one of the first university-based programs in the nation dedicated to cultivating and producing Indigenous physicians and other health providers. In 50 years the program has graduated nearly 300 American Indian/Alaska Native physicians and countless other health providers: physical and occupational therapists, medical laboratory scientists, physician assistants and public health professionals.

“It is our goal to put INMED in the best position to assist our students with all of their needs during their academic career at UND,” said Dr. Daniel Henry, co-director of INMED. “We assist our students with technology needs, test prep, skill‐building, textbooks, mentorship, shadowing, research opportunities and much more. And all of this is getting more expensive, all the time.”

The campaign will run through April 20, 2023, at which time the campaign ends with a celebration at the 2023 Time Out Wacipi powwow event on the UND campus, according to the news release.

INMED program provides not only direct support to Indigenous MD and other health professions students at UND, but pre-college students and instructors through programs such as:

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  • Summer Institute (SI), a program in which students in grades 7-12 live together on the UND campus as they learn about science and healthcare.
  • Med Prep, a summer program for American Indian college upperclassmen and graduates who are preparing to take or retake the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) and apply to medical school.
  • Career and Life Instruction for Matriculation Building, a summer program for incoming INMED medical students designed to assist new medical students to acclimate to the rigors and culture of medical school and develop a sense of community prior to the start of classes.
  • Native Educator University Research Opportunity in Neuroscience (NEURO), a professional development program for high school teachers that places teachers in a UND Department of Biomedical Sciences research laboratory at the School of Medicine & Health Sciences.

Alexandria McLearen is one of those future physicians who benefited from INMED’s many programs even before entering an MD program, the release said.
“It was during the MCAT prep program that I first truly felt like I could envision myself as a medical student, because I had, for the first time in my life, met Indigenous medical students and doctors,” said McLearen. “Until then, I was walking down the path without any guidance or support, not expecting to really make it to an MD program. INMED has been the key to my success since before I even applied to medical school.”

Anyone interested in contributing to the campaign can contact Jeff Dodson, the AAF director of development at the UND School of Medicine & Health Sciences, at jeffd@UNDfoundation.org or 701-777-5512.

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