L. Gary Hart has been named director of the Center for Rural Health at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences
Hart graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa with a bachelor of science in geography and a secondary school teaching certification from the University of Utah, where he also earned his master of science in geography. He is a graduate of the doctoral opportunities program in the Department of Health Services at the University of Washington School of Public Health. Hart received his Ph.D in medical geography from the University of Washington.
Before joining the Center for Rural Health, Hart was director and endowed professor of the Rural Health Office in the Community, Environment and Policy Division of the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health at the University of Arizona in Tucson. He served on the advisory committee of the Arizona Area Health Education Center at the University of Arizona.
Hart has research interests in rural health, health workforce, rural geographic taxonomies, access to health care, state and federal rural health policy, and rural health care for the elderly, infant and underserved. Hart's research findings have been widely published by professional journals in medical geography, family medicine, health education and health workforce, and rural health research and policy.
Health department issues blue-green algae bloom advisory
The North Dakota Department of Health issued an advisory concerning blooms of blue-green algae, known as cynobacteria. The advisory comes after tests of water from Lake Josephine in Kidder County indicated the presence of cynobacteria in the lake.
Kirby Krueger, director of the Division of Disease Control for the department of health, said that blue-green algae is normally found in many lakes in the state, and under certain conditions, the blue-green algae can grow into blooms and can produce toxins. The toxins are a severe illness risk to people who swallow water containing a harmful algae bloom; and the toxins have no known antidotes. People, their pets or other animals that swallow water containing the toxins can become sick, with symptoms including severe diarrhea and vomiting; numb lips, tingling fingers and toes, or dizziness; or rashes, hives or skin blisters. Children are at higher risk because they weigh less and can get a relatively larger dose of toxin.
Blue-green algae blooms occur when organisms that are normally present grow abundantly in lakes and pools. Blue-green algae blooms can form in warm, standing or slow-moving waters that are rich in nutrients. Faster-moving water bodies like rivers are less susceptible. Blooms can occur at any time, but most often occur in late summer or early fall.
Halaas named senior associate dean at UND Medical School
Dr. Gwen Wagstrom Halaas ha been named senior associate dean for academic and faculty affairs at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences. Halaas has served as associate dean for academic and faculty affairs since September 2009.
Halaas is a graduate of Concordia College, Moorhead, Minn., and Harvard Medical School. She completed her family medicine residency with the University of Minnesota Medical School at Bethesda Hospital in St. Paul, Minn. Halaas has also earned a Master of Business Administration in medical group management from the University of St. Thomas.
Halaas has practiced family medicine and worked in medical education in Minnesota as assistant director and director of two family medicine residency programs, director of the Rural Physician Associate Program and founding director of the Center for Interprofessional Education. The Minnesota Academy of Family Physicians honored her as "2008 Teacher of the Year." Halaas was medical director for UCare at the University of Minnesota, and has served as associate medical director of HealthPartners, a health care system in Minnesota.
Halaas is nationally known for her work in ministerial health and wellness and has written two books "Clergy, Retirement and Wholeness" and "The Right Road: Life Choices for Clergy."