illustration of one plane flying in a different direction from three others

Clinical Connections: Be Bold

VP Jakub Tolar

You know how that first snow of the winter looks so beautiful and magical? And how by the end of winter it just looks like a long commute followed by an evening shoveling? But to a young child, that end-of-winter snow may look like one more wonderful opportunity to go sledding.

So many health care problems are the same way. The first time we encountered them we might have seen so many possibilities for solutions, but after having tackled the same problems year after year, we might have trouble seeing them as opportunities instead of tasks.

This is one of the beauties of collaboration. Someone else’s viewpoint can, in an instant, change how we see things. Their ideas and perspectives bring life to our own. Their complementary knowledge gives us a new set of tools to work with.

In our problem-filled world, we can draw on the University’s broad range of expertise to help us see challenges differently and to bring new skills to help find solutions. OACA’s BOLD Ideas grants―designed to inspire collaborations that bring new ideas to intractable problems of health and wellness―do exactly that.

In 2019, BOLD Ideas funded nine projects (6 six-month grants of up to $30,000 and 3 three-month grants of up to $10,000) which were selected from 31 applications from teams originating in our all of our health sciences schools and built from disciplines across the University. See a list of the funded projects here. They demonstrate approaches across the many “vexing” problems that face health care and in many cases engage communities in this important work.  

For the second round of BOLD funding we have received over 60 applications. We anticipate announcing the next portfolio of funded proposals in early February. In addition, we are analyzing the outcomes for the projects funded in the initial round and will use that information to determine a priority area for problem solving that builds on the great work of the participants from the 2019 funding cycle. More to come on the latter.

Challenges can be daunting, but they are also an opportunity to be creative and collaborative. Just remember as we work to reimagine the possibilities of wellbeing and health care―sometimes you start out to shovel the driveway and end up throwing snowballs. Either way, it’s more fun to do it together.

Mini Medical School: A 20/20 View of Cancer

Mini Medical School offers a unique perspective into the health sciences at the University of Minnesota. Once a week for six weeks, students -- ranging in age from high school students to retirees-- with a shared interest in health embark on a journey examining the scientific foundations of health and disease. Presented using common language for ease of understanding complex topics, your guides are internationally renowned University of Minnesota experts who are shaping the way health care is delivered locally and globally.

Why should you register? In addition to learning from our world-renowned faculty in the classroom, students have the opportunity to get supplemental information relevant to the session topic from exhibitors. A 20/20 View of Cancer is designed to give students insight into research centric key cancer concepts and on cancer in Minnesota.

Your Genes Don’t Have to Determine Your Future

Epigenetics is a novel, rapidly growing field of biology and medicine that is transforming our understanding of life. The Epigenetics Consortium was created in 2015 and is led by Natalia Treyakova, PhD. The interprofessional group spans across the College of Pharmacy; College of Biological Sciences; College of Veterinary Medicine; Medical School; College of Science and Engineering; and the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences. They hold monthly seminars and are leading the way in epigenetics research.

Read more on the Epigenetics Consortium here.

Advancing Critical Care Training Using Simulation

The University has developed a regional biocontainment unit to care for patients with high consequence infectious diseases including Ebola virus, Lassa fever and other hemorrhagic illnesses. This unit will provide specialized care to the region with a highly developed infrastructure and processes in place to safely care for these patients. M Simulation has teamed with critical care, OB/GYN and infectious disease to maximize training in procedural skills, communication and teamwork.

M Simulation will continue this training in the new year and further develop the regional center to deliver the highest level of care.  

Innovative Team Science

Northern LITeS is an annual structured year-long leadership training experience for senior or advanced mid-career faculty and academic leaders involved in clinical or translational research. The program provides executive-level training and is tailored to the needs of experienced academics in biomedical, clinical, and health-related sciences. The program fosters team functions, expands opportunities for cross-disciplinary collaboration, and enhances leadership skills. 

The 2019 cohort which includes 28 faculty and academic leaders and will complete the program in January. 

FREE Webinar: A Guide for Mindful Communication

Join the University of Minnesota's Earl E. Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing for a Feb. 6 webinar on How to Say What Matters Most: A Guide for Mindful Communication.

We’ve probably all had conversations that have gone south when our intention was otherwise. In this session led by Bakken Center Mindfulness and Wellbeing Instructor Mariann Johnson, we will explore a model for mindful communication that supports meaningful connections and civil conversations; at work, at home and in our larger communities. Practical tips will be shared for enhancing your skills and your confidence in putting mindful communication into daily practice.

Learn more about the Earl E. Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing at

Let Your Students Know: 2019 CLARION Interprofessional Local Case Competition

CLARION is a student-driven, faculty and staff guided student organization that develops and implements co-curricular, interprofessional experiences for health professional students, preparing them to work effectively on collaborative health care teams. The case competition is a unique opportunity for health professional students to apply classroom learning and develop innovative solutions to complex, systemic health issues. This year's local competition will take place on February 29, 2020 and the national competition on April 17 and 18, 2019 in Minneapolis, MN. 

Please encourage students to register by Jan. 21. 

 Case for Thinking Outside the Box

Solving the world’s complex health challenges requires a multidisciplinary team approach. To gain skills and experience thinking outside the box during school, CGHSR hosts the U of M Global Health Case Competition––a unique opportunity for graduate and undergraduate students from multiple schools and disciplines to come together to develop innovative solutions for 21st century global health issues. Join this innovative and exciting opportunity next year by coaching a team of passionate and engaged students.

Learn more about the teams’ proposed solutions to this year’s case during the final presentations on February 2, 2020.

Other News

Group of older adults smiling for a picture
Our community of leaders in aging science, practice, and policy are advancing initiatives that enhance the quality of life for older adults.
An adult man with a backpack on his shoulder admires the sunset on the sea standing with his back to the viewer
With the success of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) treatment, more people with HIV are living longer.
 Kandeija Bagurusi and Connor Oetzmann
Kandeija Bagurusi and Connor Oetzmann are working to enhance access to quality health care.