"UND Gives" to INMED
UND’s trailblazing Indians Into Medicine Program sees more than 70 donors during UND inaugural UND Gives campaign.
The UND School of Medicine & Health Sciences (SMHS), in conjunction with the UND Alumni Association & Foundation (AAF), raised more than $27,000 from more than 70 donors as part of the University’s inaugural UND Gives day on April 24, 2019. These funds will be directed primarily to the University’s Indians Into Medicine (INMED) Program.
UND Gives was a 24-hour online fundraising challenge that aimed to rally philanthropic support for UND initiatives. In particular, the SMHS challenged donors to give a donation supporting INMED’s priority needs, which benefit middle and high school students, pre-med students, and medical and health sciences students.
Although the School pulled in more than $10,000 for INMED that day, an additional $10,000 was provided by UND alumnus Greg Shega and his spouse Amy Weber, giving INMED more than $20,000 for the day.
All eight UND colleges—plus athletics—participated in the campaign, which was designed to provide scholarships, program support, and expanded experiential learning opportunities to UND students across campus.
“We can’t thank enough everyone who donated to INMED for UND Gives, and to everyone who made the campaign possible,” noted Donald Warne, M.D., M.P.H., director of the INMED Program at UND. “These gifts will directly support students of all classes—whether middle school students from tribal communities hoping to come to our Summer Institute, pre-med students looking to apply to one of the professional programs here at the SMHS or practicing for their MCAT test, or our current medical students honing their clinical and scientific skills.”
Established in 1973, INMED is a comprehensive education program assisting American Indian students who are preparing for health careers. The program addresses three major problem areas: too few health professionals in American Indian communities, too few American Indian health professionals, and a substandard level of health and health care in American Indian communities.
“Growing up in northern Minnesota, we saw the challenges and biases that many Native Americans faced, and it is even more evident down here in Arizona,” Shega told the UND Alumni Association & Foundation last year. “It is obvious that we lose too many bright young minds from the professional fields as a result of them being unable to navigate the cost hurdles of a university education. We hope that we, in some small way, help a young person realize her or his dream of entering the medical or STEM field.”
“I’d always wanted to be a physician, and INMED played a crucial role in that journey,” added first-year medical student and Michigan native Eric Leveille. “I’ve been in three different INMED programs—MCAT Prep, CLIMB, and as a med student. Besides providing resources and opportunities, INMED was a driving force in my decision to attend med school at UND. INMED’s staff and students gave me a feeling of home away from home, which has been crucial during med school.”
“Our INMED Program is responsible for graduating a considerable number of the American Indian physicians practicing in the United States today,” added SMHS Dean and UND’s Vice President for Health Affairs Joshua Wynne, M.D., M.B.A., M.P.H. “It’s no exaggeration to say that this historic program is changing the face of health care and its provision across the country. We’re very proud of INMED and all it’s done for North Dakota and the region over the past 45 years.”
Learn more about giving opportunities available through the UND Alumni Association & Foundation by visiting UNDalumni.org/smhs.