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Outreach Committee Members:

Dr. Mary Wakefield, Chair
Mary K. Wakefield, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N., is associate dean for Rural Health and director, and professor (tenured), Center for Rural Health at the School of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of North Dakota . Dr. Wakefield has held administrative and legislative staff positions in the U.S. Senate. Currently, she serves on many public and private health-related advisory boards including: co-chair, National Quality Forum's Committee on Hospital Performance Measures; member, Catholic Health Initiatives Board of Trustees; and member, Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System. Locally Dr. Wakefield serves as a member, Board of Directors at the North Dakota Health Care Review (Quality Improvement Organization) and member, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota Board of Directors. Dr. Wakefield has also served as a member of the, Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, which is responsible for advising the U.S. Congress on the Medicare program and as chair, of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Committee on Health Care Quality for Rural America. Dr. Wakefield has presented nationally and internationally on public policy and strategies to influence the policymaking and political process. She has received numerous awards and recognition for her work in nursing, rural health, and public policy. She is a member of the Institute of Medicine . She has authored many articles and columns on health policy and is on the editorial board of a number of professional journals, including the Journal of Rural Health, Nursing Economics, and Annals of Family Medicine. Dr. Wakefield received her B.S. in nursing from the University of Mary , Bismarck , N.D. , and her M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin . She is a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing.

Sue Offutt, Ph.D.
Dr. Susan Offutt is the Associate Director for Operations at the Center for Rural Health, at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences (UNDSMHS). She is the project coordinator for the North Dakota Traumatic Brain Injury State Needs Assessment; dissemination director for the Upper Midwest Rural Research Center; and facilitates the development of the Interprofessional Health Education course at UNDSMHS. She also is an instructor in the UND Early Childhood Education Department. Dr. Offutt has over 20 years of working with children and families in rural settings. She has served a speech/language pathologist, pre-school screening coordinator and a center director for Head Start programs in three rural North Dakota counties. She was project director for the North Dakota Family to Family Network at the Center for Rural Health. Dr. Offutt received her Bachelor of Science degree in speech pathology from Mankato State University in Minnesota and her Master of Science degree in special education and her Doctorate of Philosophy degree at UND.

Kristine Sande
Kristine Sande serves as the project director of the Rural Assistance Center at the Center for Rural Health at the University of North Dakota (UND) School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Grand Forks.

The Rural Assistance Center (RAC) was established in 2002 as a rural health and human services "information portal" to help rural communities and other rural stakeholders access the full range of available programs, funding, and research that can enable them to provide quality health and human services to rural residents. As the project director, Sande manages the development of RAC's products and services, including its web-based resources. She also coordinates the activities among the RAC partners and works to develop and promote RAC activities.

Sande previously served as the project coordinator for the North Dakota Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility (Flex) Program at the Center for Rural Health . In that capacity, she provided technical assistance to North Dakota 's rural hospitals . She continues to serve as a Steering Committee member for the Flex Program. Prior to joining the Center for Rural Health, she worked in the finance departments of two rural electric cooperatives.

Sande was raised on a family farm outside of a North Dakota town of 1,200 people. She has a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in economics and a Master of Business Administration degree, both from UND.

Jacque Gray, Ph.D
Dr. Jacqueline Gray is assistant professor at the Center for Rural Health at the University of North Dakota (UND) School of Medicine and Health Sciences. Dr. Gray works with several projects including the Robert Wood Johnson State Policy Forums, Project CRISTAL, the Upper Midwest Rural Health Research Center , and BORDERS Alert and Ready. She is also part of the Minority/Outreach Committee for the Center of Excellence on Women's Health Demonstration Project. Dr. Gray is of Choctaw and Cherokee descent from Oklahoma and a counseling psychologist by training. She has over 25 years of experience working with American Indians to address issues such as domestic violence and sexual assault, child abuse, child development and head start programs, suicide prevention and crisis intervention, and health and nutrition issues. Dr. Gray is a member of the Society of Indian Psychologists and the Native Research Network

Marlene Miller
Marlene Miller , MSW , LCSW is the project director for the North Dakota Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility (Flex) Program at the Center for Rural Health at the University of North Dakota (UND) School of Medicine and Health Sciences, in Grand Forks , N.D. Miller currently directs and coordinates the activities of the Flex Program in North Dakota . The Balanced Budget Act of 1997 created the program to assist rural hospitals and to improve access to health services in rural communities. Miller provides technical assistance to rural hospitals through community assessments, internal audits, focus groups, strategic planning and workshop development.

Laurie Betting, DPT
Laurie A. Betting, DPT, is engaged as the first Director of Wellness for the University of North Dakota. She began her employment in May of 2002. She currently oversees the construction of a $20 million dollar Wellness Center and operates the interim facility on the University campus.
Laurie has been a member of the American Physical Therapy Association's section on Women's Health since 1999. While in practice she specialized in treatment of incontinence, pelvic floor pain and other related women's health issues.

Sharon Ericson
Sharon R. Ericson, M.A. is the Chief Executive Officer for Valley Community Health Centers in Northwood and Larimore. Ms. Ericson has previously served in the following rural healthcare organizations:
•  Network Director for the Northland Healthcare Alliance headquartered in Bismarck , North Dakota . Northland Healthcare Alliance is a network of 17 rural health provider organizations with programs in a 32 county area of west-central North Dakota
•  Executive Director for Minnesota Rural Health Cooperative, a provider Cooperative comprised of 26 clinics and 17 hospitals in 12 counties in west-central Minnesota ;
•  Executive Director for Valley Rural Health Cooperative, an 11 member hospital cooperative covering 10 counties in northwest Minnesota and northeast North Dakota ; and
•  Executive Director for Upper Mississippi Mental Health Center , a rural, private, non-profit community mental health center covering 6 counties located in Bemidji , Minnesota .
Ms. Ericson also has served in university, state government and consulting positions involving grant and contract funding, management and monitoring; community assessment and research; and training and technical assistance in relation to federal, state and private foundation funding sources.
Ms. Ericson's experience and accomplishments have focused on the following three areas:
•  Quality Improvement - Development of rural quality improvement programs including clinical continuous quality improvement in diabetes, asthma and behavioral health in collaboration with local rural clinics and the state Quality Improvement Organization (QIO); education and resource development for quality improvement and peer review in Critical Access Hospitals ; and cooperative quality improvement involving best practices, bench marking, education, credentialing and other activities among rural hospitals and clinics.
•  Information Technology - Development and direction of information system projects including the collaborative development and implementation, with the state QIO, of diabetes, asthma and behavioral health care management software for rural clinics; directing the development and beta testing of a diabetes registry addressing information sharing, technology, HIPAA and organizational change issues; and directing team development of a rural cooperative information network connecting 51 nodes in 43 hospitals and clinics with a corporate intranet operating on plain old telephone service (POTS) telecommunications technology.
•  Organizational Development - Formation and expansion of multi-organization, multi-county rural health networks including establishing business and management systems; staff recruitment and development; negotiating and managing network contracts with managed care health plans; developing equipment and educational shared services; securing grant, contract and revenue funding streams; and providing leadership in community-based development of health and social services including Federally Qualified Community Health Centers and a rural Community Access Program.
Ms. Ericson has presented her work at national, state and local forums including the Annual National Conference of the National Rural Health Association, the National Rural Health Network Development and Rural Health Outreach Grant Program Conferences, the Minnesota and North Dakota Rural Health Conferences and a National Community Access Program grantee meeting. She has served on the Boards of Directors of non-profit organizations focusing on domestic violence and at-risk children and is currently on the North Dakota Diabetes Collaborative planning group. Ms. Ericson received her Master of Art in Political Science from the University of North Dakota.

Deb Arnold
Deb Arnold, BA, M.Mgt. is the Director of the North Dakota Family Planning Program and the Women's Health Coordinator for the North Dakota Department of Health. As Program Director for the Family Planning Program she monitors program activities to assure compliance with program performance standards, writes and negotiates grant applications and contracts with community, federal and state agencies. She provides consultation, technical assistance and training to the program delegate agencies. She is responsible for program planning, development, management and ongoing public and staff relations. As the Women's Health Coordinator her role is to act as a catalyst to facilitate increased awareness of the importance of women's health through discussion of issues and gaps in service and enhance availability of services through cross referral between programs providing services to women.
Deb Arnold has worked with women's health issues for 31 years acting in collaboration with numerous programs within Maternal and Child Health, Community Health and Medical Services areas of the Health Department as well as across departments including Human Services and Public Instruction.
She serves and has served on numerous boards and committees including: past chair, North Dakota Public Health Association; past national chair, State Family Planning Administrators; member, Women's Health Summit planning committee; member, Women's Health.Women's Lives Summit planning committee; member, Regional Stakeholders to Strengthen State Health and Education Agency Partnerships; chair, Partnership for Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Among Women of Reproductive Age.
She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Mt. St. Vincent College , Riverdale , NY and her Masters in Management from the University of Mary , Bismarck , ND .

Margo Adams-Larsen, Ph.D
Margo Adams Larsen, Ph.D., has served as the Director of the Psychological Services Center as an Assistant Professor University of North Dakota School Department of Psychology. She earned her bachelor of arts and bachelor of science degrees in psychology at the University of North Dakota. She earned a doctorate degree in child clinical psychology from Western Michigan University in 1999. She completed her predoctoral internship at The Ohio State University School of Medicine Children's Hospital Inc. where she specialized in pediatric psychology and pediatric neuropsychology. She has worked in multidisciplinary medical settings since 1994, service children and their families, who experience medical and behavioral concerns. Since coming to UND, she has been involved actively in the training of graduate students in clinical psychology, as well as maintaining a very active pediatric psychology practice within the community. From time to time she has been involved in providing medical education lectures. She is currently the Secretary for the North Dakota Psychological Association. Her experiences involve both training and direct service to woman of all ages and stages, and the promotion of healthy lifestyles and health care accessibility for all. Her recent research interests have involved the evaluation of social skills training programs for parents and children, as well as the evaluation of psychosocial factors related to diabetes mellitus type 1 in children.
She is a proponent of breastfeeding, and a mother of 2.

Dr. Tom Arnold
Thomas F. Arnold, MD, FACOG, FACS is a native of southwestern North Dakota . He is a graduate of Dickinson State University with a Bachelors Degree in Secondary Education in chemistry and biology. Thomas received his Medical Degree from the University of North Dakota and started his post-medical training at the University of South Dakota . He completed his residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Mount Sinai Hospital in Milwaukee , Wisconsin . Thomas is in private practice with Dickinson Clinic/Medcenter One Health Systems in Dickinson , North Dakota . In addition to his position as an Assistant Clinical Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology with the University of North Dakota, he has completed the Primary Health Care Policy Fellowship with the Department of Health and Human Services and was honored with the 2004 McCain Fellowship with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. He is presently serves the College as District VI Treasurer.

Kristi Hall-Jiran
Community Violence Intervention Center executive director, Kristi Hall-Jiran, is a licensed professional clinical counselor who has been with CVIC in a variety of capacities since 1990, serving as the executive director since 1995. Since she began as director, Hall-Jiran has been instrumental in developing new programs and increasing program revenues by more than 150%. She serves on a variety of boards and as a panelist and presenter at many events and programs throughout the region. Hall-Jiran received her bachelor's degrees in psychology and health from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN in 1989 before going on to receive her master's degree in counseling from the University of North Dakota in 1990.

Tracy Evanson
Tracy Evanson is an Assistant Professor at UND College of Nursing, Department of Family and Community Nursing. She received her PhD in Nursing from the University of Minnesota; an MSN in Community Health Nursing, with a concentration in vulnerable populations, from Seattle University; and a BSN from the University of North Dakota. Her clinical background is in public health nursing, and she is a clinical nurse specialist in community health nursing. She has worked with multiple vulnerable populations, including children with special health care needs, homeless, immigrants and refugees, substance abusing pregnant and parenting women, battered women, prisoners, and youth at risk for gang involvement. She is a qualitative researcher, with expertise in descriptive phenomenology. Dr. Evanson's primary research interest is in the area of domestic violence, specifically looking at the role of public health nurses in prevention and intervention. In addition, she is also studying the impact of international experiences on baccalaureate nursing students. She can be contacted at:

Mary Ann Foss
Mary Ann is the State Coordinator for Women's Way, responsible for overseeing the coordination of all components of the statewide program, managing fiscal aspects of the program, supervising staff, and evaluation program outcomes. Mary Ann has worked for the North Dakota Department of Health for the past ten years. In her previous position at the Health Department, Mary Ann served as nurse consultant for Women's Way , the North Dakota Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program. Mary Ann served as program liaison with the public and health care professionals. As Professional Education Coordinator, she planned and implemented educational opportunities for health care professionals. Prior to working for the Department of Health, Mary Ann worked as a registered nurse in a variety of settings, including medical-surgical charge nurse, ICU primary care, emergency room staff and head nurse, flight nurse, EMT, EMT instructor, CPR instructor, Hospice primary RN.Mary Ann is a Mott, North Dakota native, with a wonderful blended family of six children, their spouses and nine grandchildren. She is an avid reader, walker, pilates exerciser, and is often the office instigator of fun and laughter.

Elsie Grossman

Kathy Detke, NP


North Dakota Women's Health CORE
National Center of Excellence in Women's Health Region VIII Demonstration Project
UND School of Medicine & Health Sciences, Room 2510
501 N. Columbia Rd.
Grand Forks, ND 58202-9037
Telephone: (701)777-3274
Fax: (701)777-3849