SMHS to celebrate 50 years of Physician Assistant Studies at Homecoming 2020
GRAND FORKS, N.D.—The UND School of Medicine & Health Sciences (SMHS) is hosting a series of virtual Homecoming 2020 events to keep its alumni and friends safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, the School is recognizing the 50th anniversary of its Department of Physician Assistant Studies, as well as milestone alumni from 1940, 1950, 1960, 1970, 1980, 1990, 2000 and 2010.
Founded in 1970 as the Medical Extension or “MedEx” program, the SMHS Department of Physicians Assistant Studies has trained nearly 2,000 physician assistants (and at one time nurse practitioners) for the rigors of health care in a rural environment. The pioneering program was one of the first such programs in the United States, one of the first to offer a master’s degree, and one of the first to offer online education.
Speakers during Friday night’s Milestone Program include program founder Dr. Robert Eelkema, former program chair Mary Ann Laxen, current department chair Jeanie McHugo, and SMHS Dean Joshua Wynne.
The schedule of Homecoming events also includes a Continuing Education Symposium Friday, which will address virtual care during COVID-19 and offer complimentary continuing education credits to participating health care professionals.
The School has also prepared a narrated, 360-degree virtual tour of its Grand Forks campus, which can be viewed at: https://med.und.edu/about/.
Virtual reunions were also offered to milestone classes.
For more information and to register for events (before Wed., Oct. 7), visit med.UND.edu/events/homecoming.
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Brian James Schill
Assistant Director, Office of Alumni & Community Relations
University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences
701.777.2733 direct | 701.777.4305 office
brian.schill@UND.edu | www.und.edu