University of North Dakota Faculty/Staff Newsletter

Halaas named senior associate dean of School of Medicine and Health Sciences

Gwen Wagstrom Halaas has been named senior associate dean for academic and faculty affairs at the UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

Halaas has served as associate dean for academic and faculty affairs of the School of Medicine and Health Sciences since September 2009.

“I have really enjoyed my year here, and I continue to be impressed with the quality and enthusiasm of our students and faculty,” said Halaas. “I am honored and excited to partner with the faculty in leading our School into the future as a model of success and innovation.”

Halaas is a graduate of Concordia College, Moorhead, and Harvard Medical School. She completed her family medicine residency with the University of Minnesota Medical School at Bethesda Hospital in St. Paul. Halaas also earned a Master of Business Administration in medical group management from the University of St. Thomas.

Halaas has practiced family medicine and worked in medical education in Minnesota as assistant director and director of two family medicine residency programs, director of the Rural Physician Associate Program, and founding director of the Center for Interprofessional Education. The Minnesota Academy of Family Physicians honored her as “2008 Teacher of the Year.” Halaas has extensive administrative experience in health care organizations. She was medical director for UCare at the University of Minnesota, and she served as associate medical director of HealthPartners, a health care system in Minnesota.

Halaas has lectured nationally and internationally on rural health education and interprofessional education. She is nationally known for her work in ministerial health and wellness and has written two books: “Clergy, Retirement and Wholeness” and “The Right Road: Life Choices for Clergy.”

She is profiled in Fitzhugh Mullan’s book, “Big Doctoring in America: Profiles in Primary Care,” which profiles 15 dedicated health care providers whom Mullan describes as humanist, comprehensive, efficient and flexible; doctors who build on the rich legacy of the past and the rich tradition of care in medicine and nursing.

Halaas and her husband, Rev. Mark Halaas, a pastor for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, have three adult children: Per, Liv and Erik.

-- Denis MacLeod, assistant director, Office of Alumni and Community Relations, UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences, 777-2733,

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