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UNU Indians Into Medicine has launched a $1 Million Campaign for Indigenous Medical Education – Grand Forks Herald

GRAND FORKS – The UND College of Medicine and Health Sciences’ INMED has begun a comprehensive $1 million campaign, the largest of its kind for Indigenous medical education.

“For nearly 50 years, this program has led the nation in training Aboriginal physicians,” said Don Warren, director of the International Institute for Medical Research, in a press release. “Unless our students are awarded one of a limited number of scholarships, most of which only go so far, they pay their full tuition like everyone else. Therefore, we are always looking for ways to be more efficient in our operations and to broaden our base of supporters. This campaign will help us to do both.”

The sweeping campaign, timed to coincide with the program’s 50th anniversary in 2022-23, hopes to generate funds that will directly support many different INMED programs.

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

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

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

INMED not only provides direct support to Indigenous medical students and other UNU health professions students, but also provides pre-college students and teachers through programs such as:

  • Summer Institute (SI), a program in which students in grades 7-12 live together on the UND campus while learning about science and healthcare.
  • Med Prep, a summer program for top American Indian colleges and graduates preparing to take or retake the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) and apply to medical school.
  • Career and Life Education for GCSEs, a summer program for incoming INMED medical students designed to help new medical students adjust to the rigors and culture of medical school and develop a sense of community before classes begin.
  • Native Educator University Research Opportunity in Neuroscience (NEURO), a professional development program for secondary school teachers that places teachers in the UND Division’s Biomedical Sciences Research Laboratory in the College of Medicine and Health Sciences.

The statement said Alexandria McClern is one of those prospective physicians who has benefited from many INMED programs even before entering the MD program.
“During my MCAT prep, I really initially felt like I could imagine myself as a medical student, because, for the first time in my life, I met Aboriginal medical students and doctors,” McClaren said. “Even then, I was on the road without any guidance or support, not expecting to really make it into the MD program. INMED has been the key to my success since before I applied to medical school.”

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

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