Snowy campus

Continuing Our Mission

VP Jakub Tolar, MD, PhD

2022 seems to have gone by in the blink of an eye.

The end of the year is a good time for reflection and resetting. In OACA, we are reimagining health by driving innovation and discovery through collaborations across the University, advancing interdisciplinary training and education, and being a strong partner to the state, industry and community. That is a lot of moving parts to bring together!

Here are a few key accomplishments from the past year:

Improving Health Equity and Access

  • The interprofessional Mobile Health Initiative helped expand health care access to thousands of Minnesotans and newly arrived Afghans across the state.
  • The Center for Global Health and Social Responsibility is helping lead an international effort to guide ethical and sustainable health practices that protect patients, prioritize host communities and address power imbalances.
  • Dr. Carolyn Bramante collaborated with CTSI biostatisticians and informatics experts to make significant advancements in COVID-19 research.
  • South Minneapolis-based Community-University Health Care Center (CUHCC) actively engages the people in its communities to help create models of primary care that serve their specific needs. CUHCC works in partnership with Abbott Fund, which is using lessons learned to expand this model in other states.

Interprofessional Training and Workforce Development

Through our Center for Interprofessional Health:

  • We continue to expand clinical training opportunities, especially in rural areas. This past year, over 400 learners from eight professions and across Minnesota engaged in a first-of-its-kind, virtual interprofessional course during their clinical rotations. This is a key step toward building a collaborative practice-ready workforce to serve our communities.
  • We developed a new interprofessional program for preceptors to build tangible collaborative practice and precepting skills to apply in the clinical learning environment.
  • Our new Itasca Ecohealth IPE Experience: Exploring Sustainability through Collaboration is a novel interprofessional education experience for students to learn about ecohealth principles and geopolitical considerations in health.

Advancing Clinical Research

  • Masonic Cancer Center researchers continued making innovative advances in immunotherapy research, from developing TrispecificKiller Engagers (TriKEs) that target specific cancer tumor cells in a first-in-human trial to expanding work on engineered cellular therapies that are more effective and less toxic than existing therapies for acute lymphoblastic leukemia and breast cancer.
  • We continue to drive research in areas like rural health, child brain health, addiction, geriatrics and aging, and more.
  • We fund several grant programs to help faculty and others find solutions to challenging health care issues.

These are just a few of OACA’s outstanding efforts. Please let us know what new opportunities you see arising in 2023 to further the University’s clinical mission together.


Driving Innovation & Discovery

Star shooting across sky

Academies for Excellence 2022 Inductees

The Academies for Excellence recognizes outstanding faculty in the areas of health research, clinical practice, and team science.

Congratulations to the 2022 inductees:
Academy for Excellence in Clinical Practice

  • Keri Hager, PharmD, BCACP, co-associate dean for clinical affairs, Department of Pharmacy Practice and Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Marshall Hertz, MD, Judith H. and John M. Murphy Professor of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine
  • Jody Lulich, DVM, PhD, professor, Internal Medicine, Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences
  • Paul Tuite, MD, professor, Department of Neurology

Academy for Excellence in Health Research

  • Michael Georgieff, MD, executive vice chair and Martin Lenz Harrison Land Grant Professor, Department of Pediatrics

Academy for Excellence in Team Science
Minnesota Center for Prion Research and Outreach

  • Lauren Bernstein, MVB, MPH, assistant professor, Community Medicine, Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences
  • David Fulton, PhD, professor and assistant unit leader, Wildlife - Minnesota Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit
  • Diana Karwan, PhD, associate professor and director of graduate studies, Water Resources Science
  • Adam Landon, PhD, adjunct assistant professor, College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences
  • Peter Larsen, PhD, assistant professor, Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
  • Roxanne Larsen, PhD, associate professor, College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Sang-Hyun Oh, PhD, Distinguished McKnight University Professor, Sanford P. Bordeau Chair, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Jonathan Oliver, PhD, assistant professor, Division of Environmental Health Sciences
  • Marc Schwabenlander, MPH, associate director, Minnesota Center for Prion Research and Outreach
  • Tiffany Wolf, PhD, assistant professor, Department of Veterinary Population Medicine
  • Jason Bartz, PhD, professor and chair of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, Creighton University

Details on a recognition event are forthcoming. The names and photos of this year's recipients will be added to the Academies for Excellence wall plaques in Moos Tower.

Woman smiling at Computer

Write Winning NIH Grant Proposals

Learn to write grant proposals that get funded at this popular annual event hosted by the Clinical and Translational Science Institute on Jan. 5 and 6. National speaker and grant writing expert, John D. Robertson, PhD, will comprehensively address practical and conceptual aspects important to the proposal-writing process.


Doctor helping patient

Child Health Collaborative Grant
Improve health outcomes for Minnesota children and adolescents with support from the Child Health Collaborative Grant. Up to $100,000 will be awarded to support child health research partnerships among community and U of M researchers. The program is a partnership among the Clinical and Translational Science Institute, Children’s Minnesota, and the U of M Department of Pediatrics. Proposals accepted until Jan. 27.


Advancing Interprofessional Education & Training


Students: What Do You Enjoy Most About Interprofessional Activities?

“Prior to medical school, my education and interests were very interdisciplinary. When I started medical school, I hoped to continue this by seeking out opportunities for learning beyond the medical school's curriculum. Getting involved in interprofessional activities early in my medical training helped me keep in mind the bigger picture of patient care and think critically about the systems and structures that encompass health care in our society.” - Lauren Elyse Penz, medical school student


CLARION 2023 Case Competition
Registration for the CLARION Local and National Case Competitions is now open. All health professional students are encouraged to consider registering for the competition. Experience interprofessional and problem-solving to address health care issues through a student-driven lens. Registration deadline is Jan. 23.



Partnering with Other Minnesota Schools to Expand Access to Interprofessional Education for Health Professions Students

The Center for Interprofessional Health (CIH) is partnering with the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth and Augsburg University to help integrate interprofessional education into their health professions programs. “These cross-institutional partnerships signify a willingness to engage with non-U of M institutions not only to create richer learning experiences for students, but also to openly share innovative interprofessional experiences and models that have been developed by the CIH,” said Heather Mead Kim, CIH operations director.


UMN Wins Inter-University Interprofessional Geriatric Case Competition

This fall, the top scoring teams from the U of M and St. Louis University went head-to-head in the annual inter-university Geriatric Case Competition, and the U of M team won. The Minnesota Northstar Geratric Workforce Enhancement Program offers this competition annually. The competition includes students from many disciplines across several university campuses. It is a unique opportunity to develop interprofessional collaboration skills by creating an individualized plan of care for a simulated medically complex older adult.

People at Lakee

Apply for the Itasca Ecohealth IPE Experience

The Itasca Ecohealth IPE Experience: Exploring Sustainability through Collaboration is an intensive, fun weekend-long collaborative learning retreat for health sciences students, situated in a Minnesota state park to foster appreciation for ecohealth principles and geopolitical considerations in health. Applications for the next experience are due Jan. 9. Learn how past participants spent time in nature with a guide learning about the local ecosystem and the health benefits of spending time in nature, and analyzed interprofessional case studies.


U-Wide Events and Opportunities

Mini Medical School

Watch Now: Mini Medical School
The recordings of Mini Medical School: Healthy Planet, Healthy Lives are now available for you to view at your convenience. The three-session series covered planetary health, the effect on local communities, and rebuilding relationships with the natural world; the local and global health efforts at the intersection of humans, animals and the changing environment; and inspiring the next generation of sustainable leaders, and building a future for all life on Earth. Thank you for joining us for the virtual fall series!

woman at prize wheel

Reserve Your Research Space NOW for the 2023 MN State Fair

Recruit hundreds of participants within days at the Driven to Discover Research Facility at the Minnesota State Fair. D2D provides turnkey research space for any U of M faculty, staff or student investigator wishing to recruit participants from among the fair’s nearly two million annual visitors—either for on-the-spot research or studies conducted elsewhere. The building annually attracts tens of thousands of visitors, with over 16,000 fairgoers enrolling in 2022. Studies recruited at a rate of 134 participants per half-day shift (range 22-402). Funding is available for eligible MCC or Department of Pediatrics investigators for next year’s fair. A brief online application is due Jan. 17.

MN department of health

Minnesota Health Care Loan Forgiveness Programs

The Minnesota Office of Rural Health and Primary Care grants Loan Forgiveness to various health care professionals serving in high-need areas. All eligible professions may apply for the Minnesota Health Care Loan Forgiveness program cycle; applications will be accepted through Jan. 6.


Woman on a computer

SPH Behind the Scenes

The new video series, “SPH Behind the Scenes,” shines a spotlight on the people and places that make the School of Public Health (SPH) such an amazing school. Join Interim Dean Tim Beebe as he tours some of the 30+ nationally and internationally recognized SPH centers in fall 2022.

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