University of North Dakota Faculty/Staff Newsletter

Medicine sponsors Joining Forces Wellness Week

In recognition of Veterans Day, the School of Medicine and Health Sciences will sponsor Joining Forces Wellness Week, Nov. 12–16, in conjunction with the AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) to heighten awareness about the health needs of the nation’s veterans, service members, and families, and elevate the role that medical schools and teaching hospitals play in serving this community.

“We are honored to participate in the White House Joining Forces initiative to address the health care needs of military service members and veterans and their families,” said Joshua Wynne, vice president for Health Affairs and dean of the School of Medicine and Health Sciences. In the 1970s, Wynne served as a member of the United States Army Medical Corps and was stationed for two years in the Republic of Korea.

The School of Medicine and Health Sciences is joining more than 100 AAMC member institutions that have committed, through Joining Forces, to help the next generation of doctors and researchers ensure that returning veterans receive the care worthy of their service. Participating institutions are educating and training the nation’s physicians to meet the unique health care needs of veterans and their families.

Medical schools and teaching hospitals that are participating in Joining Forces—including the UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences—are working together with the AAMC to make sure physicians are aware of the unique clinical challenges and best practices associated with caring for these individuals. Broadly, an increased emphasis to include conducting new research on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI) to better understand and treat these conditions; sharing information and effective practices; and growing the body of knowledge that leads to improvements in health care and wellness for the nation’s military service members, veterans, and their families.

At the UND SMHS, efforts are focused not only on medical student education, but also on engaging students in other programs of study in the health care delivery system. For medical students, a viewing of the award-winning documentary “Restrepo,” followed by a discussion is scheduled to be held in November. Following the movie, UND SMHS students who are veterans will participate with their peers in a discussion session led by a retired military clinical psychologist.

Later in the year, national experts in PTSD and TBI are scheduled to come to UND to speak with students during the day and in the evening with veterans and the public.

About Joining Forces
First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden created Joining Forces to bring Americans together to recognize, honor, and take action to support veterans and military families during their service to our country and throughout their lives. The initiative aims to educate, challenge, and spark action from all sectors of society to support veterans and active military.

About the AAMC
The Association of American Medical Colleges is a not-for-profit association representing all 138 accredited U.S. and 17 accredited Canadian medical schools; nearly 400 major teaching hospitals and health systems, including 51 Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers; and nearly 90 academic and scientific societies. Through these institutions and organizations, the AAMC represents 128,000 faculty members, 75,000 medical students, and 110,000 resident physicians. Additional information about the AAMC and U.S. medical schools and teaching hospitals is available at

-- Denis MacLeod, assistant director, Office of Alumni and Community Relations, School of Medicine and Health Sciences, 777.2733,

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