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Giving to medicine and health at the University of Minnesota


Discover what’s possible. Browse these features to find out more about the impact of University of Minnesota research, education, and care—and how you can help.


Important information regarding alumni programs at the University of Minnesota Medical School.

Though he stays in bounds now, Thomas Crowley, M.D., still enjoys mountain skiing. (Photo: Sharp Shoooter Imaging)

Thomas J. Crowley, '62 M.D., discovered the joys of mountain skiing through the University of Minnesota Ski Club. The Minneapolis native's first trip west took him to Aspen for some traditional downhill skiing. But over time he discovered his true passion was for the backcountry. He did worry, however, about the very real and ever-present danger of avalanches. After a fair bit of tinkering, Crowley invented and patented the AvaLung.

Anne Keating, M.D., with Aaron Weingeist, M.D., and Daniel Briceland, M.D.

Dr. Anne Keating has been recognized for her participation in the Leadership Development Program (LDP) XV, Class of 2013. All LDP alumni were recognized with the 2013 Special Recognition Award during the opening session. Dr. Keating was among a select group of 18 participants chosen for the LDP XV, Class of 2013, from among a large group that was nominated by state, subspecialty, and specialized interest societies.

Elizabeth Seaquist, M.D., says endowed chairs foster the pursuit of novel ideas. (Photo: Jim Bovin)

University of Minnesota professor of medicine and endocrinologist Elizabeth Seaquist, M.D., was recently named President of Medicine and Science, on the Board of Directors for the American Diabetes Association, the nation’s largest voluntary health organization leading the fight to Stop Diabetes®.


William Lewis Anderson never had the chance to fulfill his dream of becoming a doctor. The combat medic died trying to save a wounded soldier on the battlefield in Italy during WWII. Now, more than seven decades later, a $4 million gift made in his honor will help train today's medics and help heal the psychological scars that haunt some veterans who return home.

Champions for Children Celebrity Golf Classic

Join us for one of these upcoming events.

Bettina Dordoni-Willson joins her husband, Richard Willson, M.D., and his 1962 classmate Bruce Bayley, M.D., as they celebrate their 50-year reunion at the McNamara Alumni Center. (Photo: Tim Rummelhoff)

Reunite and celebrate with your fellow alumni this fall. All Medical School alumni, including the reunion classes of 1948, 1953, 1958, 1963, 1973, 1983, 1988, 1993, and 2003, are invited back to campus for the 2013 Alumni Celebration, September 19-21.

Tim MEade, M.D., and volunteer Molly Pederson screen young patients for HIV in the village of Lechwe near Lusaka, Zambia (Photo courtesy of Tim Meade, M.D.)

When Tim Meade, M.D. (Class of 1986), chose internal medicine as his specialty, he had no way of knowing that it would lead him, nearly 20 years later, to establish a charity in Zambia dedicated to combatting the spread of HIV/AIDS in children. But it turned out to be the perfect choice.

(Photo courtesy of Richard Stennes, M.D., M.B.A.)

Richard Stennes, M.D., M.B.A., isn’t sure just how many passports he has gone through in his life. When you’ve visited 176 countries as well as the North Pole and Antarctica, that can happen.

The son of a nurse, Elliot Twiggs learned at an early age that magic helped him connect with patients. (Photo: Jim Bovin)

In the summer of 2007, before he applied to medical school, Elliot Twiggs spent two months as a volunteer in Nairobi, Kenya. He taught biology to high school freshmen and tutored many young boys in the orphanage where he was staying. But it wasn’t all about academics: Twiggs also wowed his pupils with magic tricks—leaving them surprised, delighted, and clamoring for more.

William Johnson was inspired to become a doctor after a tour of duty in Iraq with the Marine Corps. He's now a medical student at the University and a medical officer in the Minnesota Air National Guard. (Photo courtesy of William Johnson)

William Johnson thought he’d serve in the Marines his entire life. Then, while he was on duty in Iraq, one of his troops was critically wounded. “I watched the medical team save his life and save his limbs,” says Johnson. “It was the most amazing thing I’d ever seen."

Becoming a Doctor: Reflections by Therese Zink, M.D., M.P.H.

U medical students and alumni tell their stories in this updated compilation.

Lillian Repesh, Ph.D.

During her lifetime, University of Minnesota, Duluth alumna Lillian Repesh, Ph.D., contributed immensely to the University and community where she got her start. The beloved associate dean for student affairs and admissions at the Medical School, Duluth campus died of pancreatic cancer on August 20.


Eight University of Minnesota Medical School alumni were honored for their work in the service of the medical profession at the Medical School Alumni Awards Banquet on Thursday, October 4, at the University Hotel Minneapolis.

Bettina Dordoni-Willson joins her husband, Richard Willson, M.D., and his 1962 classmate Bruce Bayley, M.D., as they celebrate their 50-year reunion at the McNamara Alumni Center. (Photo: Tim Rummelhoff)

More than 450 Medical School alumni and guests returned to the University of Minnesota for the Medical School Alumni Celebration, October 4 and 5. Medical School alumni from all classes were invited to take part in the festivities.

(Photo: Mark Luinenburg)

What could be better than homemade bread in five minutes a day? Homemade pizza!

Jeffrey Hertzberg, M.D., M.S., a resident alumnus in internal medicine and coauthor of the popular bread-baking books Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day and Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day, teamed up again with pastry chef Zoë François on a third book — Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day.


Mark your calendars for this year’s Alumni Celebration, October 4-5, 2012 (new date!). All Medical School alumni are invited to reunite with old friends, celebrate achievements, and learn what’s new at the Medical School. Join us for an alumni awards banquet, a medical education forum, a scholarship luncheon, class reunion receptions and dinners, and more.


Nominate a deserving physician for one of the following Medical School alumni awards.

Nominations must be received by May 15. Awards will be presented during the Alumni Celebration’s Medical School Alumni Awards Banquet on October 4.


Remember the first time you slipped on your white coat? Relive those memories at the Medical School’s White Coat Ceremony, at 1 p.m., Friday, August 10, at the Ted Mann Concert Hall.

Submitted photo: Jerome Modell, M.D., D.Sc. (Hon.) and Shirley Graves Modell, M.D.

While stationed at the Naval Hospital in Pensacola, Fla. in 1962, Jerome Modell, M.D., D.Sc. (Hon.), had a career-changing close call involving a critically ill patient. “A flight surgery student from Japan drowned,” recalls Modell, a 1957 graduate of the University of Minnesota Medical School. Although he was able to save the patient’s life, Modell was hampered by a lack of treatment protocols related to drowning. Another complication: “We didn’t have intensive care units back then,” he says. In the years that followed, Modell led efforts to establish one of Florida’s first Intensive Care Units at Jackson Memorial Hospital at the University of Miami, and later became a national expert in resuscitation and drowning.

Kathleen Annette, M.D., Class of ’83, has traveled the country on a winding career path that recently brought her to a brand-new place — and back home again.

On September 1, after 25 years with the Indian Health Service, Annette began her new role as CEO of the Blandin Foundation, based in Grand Rapids, Minn. There she plans to work with the foundation’s board and 26-person staff to accomplish its mission: to strengthen rural Minnesota communities.

She wants to do that in part by examining diversity in the context of race, gender, poverty, and access to education to determine how the foundation can help communities be their healthiest.

Augustine Biomedical + Design's lobby showcases many of the patent plaques belonging to Scott Augustine, M.D. (Photo: Scott Streble)

Scott Augustine, M.D., has built a career out of being skeptical.

“I question most things,” says Augustine (Class of 1979). “Instead of trying to do what everybody’s always done, what’s a better way of doing this?”

All of that questioning has made Augustine, a self-described “philosophical heretic,” a successful inventor and entrepreneur. Now founder and CEO of Augustine Biomedical + Design, Augustine holds about 150 patents. There’s not enough room in the entry space of his Eden Prairie office building — vaulted ceilings and all — to display the full collection of patent plaques.


Broke your leg? You’ll want to see an orthopaedist, of course. Experiencing cloudy vision? Call your ophthalmologist.

Having trouble sleeping, lost your energy and appetite? Well, you could call a psychiatrist … or a psychologist, counselor, social worker, therapist, or even a personal “coach.”

A new book, Shrink Rap: Three Psychiatrists Explain Their Work, explains the sometimes fuzzy distinctions between these professionals and what they do.

Daniel Watson, M.D., Kay Johnson, M.D., and Joseph Zunt, M.D., were among those celebrating their 20-year reunion. (Photo: Tim Rummelhoff)

Nearly 250 Medical School alumni and guests returned to the University of Minnesota for Alumni Weekend September 22, 23, and 24. In addition to the classes that were celebrating milestone reunions, Medical School alumni from all classes were invited to take part in the festivities.

Utility met style at Scrubbed into Fashion (Photo courtesy of

It's not often that we in the medical profession interact with the fashion industry. Last spring, however, fourthyear University of Minnesota medical student Phillip Radke teamed up with students in the College of Design to put on a one-of-a-kind fundraiser called “Scrubbed into Fashion.”

In this well-attended runway show, medical students modeled stylish outfits created by design students that were then judged by a panel of local experts. The catch? All of the outfits were made out of scrubs!

Lee Wattenberg_thumbnail.jpg

Ahead of the curve, Medical School alumnus Lee Wattenberg, M.D., first recognized in 1965 that certain chemical compounds improved disease prevention in animals, a discovery that helped launch the field of chemoprevention — and his own illustrious career.

A year later, he published a paper in the journal Cancer Research that laid the groundwork for research into chemopreventive compounds and coined the term “chemoprophylaxis” — the prevention of disease by chemical agents.


“I feel both personal pride and increased responsibility — an ownership of the curriculum for these students,” says Alan Johns, M.D., M.Ed., of this year’s incoming medical students. “I want them to become excellent practicing physicians, and this is their first step.”

Johns (Class of 1976) is taking his first steps, too, as the new assistant dean for medical education and curriculum at the Medical School, Duluth campus. He replaces Richard Hoffman, Ph.D., who left that role in anticipation of his retirement in 2012.


Five University of Minnesota Medical School alumni will be honored for their work in the service of the medical profession at a banquet on Friday, October 28, at the University of Minnesota’s McNamara Alumni Center.

John I. Coe, M.D.

We remember Medical School alumni who have recently passed away and honor their contributions to improving health and advancing medicine.


Trim in appearance and outgoing by nature, James H. House, M.D. (Class of 1963), a renowned hand surgeon, revered teacher, and enthusiastic ambassador for the University of Minnesota Medical School, describes the 50 years he and his wife, Janelle, have spent together at the University as "a wonderful life."


Patrick G. Hays, M.H.A., has had plenty of career success. Hays founded Sutter Health in Sacramento, California, in 1980. Hays also served from 1995 to 2000 as president and CEO of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, and in 2003, he received the American College of Healthcare Executives' Gold Medal Award. Though his own personal determination surely cannot be discounted, Hays is quick to credit his education at the University of Minnesota for those achievements.


The University of Minnesota Medical School celebrated its own version of "March Madness" last month in a national annual rite of passage known as Match Day. During the celebration, which takes place simultaneously at medical schools across the country, graduating students learn the site of their medical residencies.

Thumbnail image for Class of 2000 alumni Julie Anderson, M.D., Peter Lund, M.D., Shannon Parkos, M.D., and Eric Haug, M.D., share a smile. (Photo: Tim Rummelhoff)

Save the date for this fall's Medical School Alumni Weekend, September 22-24, and a chance to reconnect and reminisce with friends and former classmates while enjoying social activities, a medical education forum, tours, an all-class luncheon, and more. All alumni are welcome to attend the weekend's events.

Retired neurosurgeon Thomas Kenefick, M.D., has found that both medicine and winemaking require a solid base of chemistry knowledge. (Photo courtesy of Kenefick Ranch Winery)

University of Minnesota alumnus Thomas Kenefick, M.D. (Class of 1960), followed an unconventional retirement path when he started Kenefick Ranch Winery in Napa Valley in 2000. "There aren't a lot of neurosurgeon-winemakers," he acknowledges.

Patricia Wolff, M.D., examines a child in Justinian Hospital's malnutrition clinic in Cap-Haitien. (Photo courtesy of Meds & Food for Kids)

While short-term relief has its place, Patricia Wolff, M.D., is partial to the permanent fix. Wolff, a pediatrician, 1972 Medical School alumna, and founder of the nonprofit Meds & Food for Kids, is focused on combating malnutrition in Haiti — starting with its root causes. “‘Rescue’ is simpler, and it looks really good in the media,” the Minnesota native muses. “But you need to employ people, educate and mentor people, as well as preserve brain capacity by fighting malnutrition.”


We remember Medical School alumni who have recently passed away and honor their contributions to improving health and advancing medicine.

Locally grown peanuts are used to make Medika Mamba, a high-calorie, protein-dense treatment for malnutrition. (Photo courtesy of Meds & Food for Kids)

North-central Minnesota surgeon Paul Severson was enjoying a full life and a successful career, but he was looking for the chance to make a bigger impact. The 1978 Medical School, Duluth campus graduate had joined the medical community serving Crosby/Aitkin in 1984. He had championed the advancement of new surgical and medical services there and, later, with Howard McCollister, M.D., cofounded and codirected the Minnesota Institute for Minimally Invasive Surgery.

The Boulger family: Jim Jr., seated, with his brother, Peter, and parents, Dee and Jim Sr. (Phot: Dan Schleis)

James Boulger, Ph.D., professor of behavioral sciences and director of alumni relations at the University of Minnesota Medical School, Duluth Campus, is widely known for his commitment to medical students. But this year, the Boulger name became truly synonymous with boosting student success.


The University of Minnesota Medical Alumni Society has selected four exceptional physicians to receive two of its awards in 2010. Please join us in congratulating and thanking these deserving doctors for their work in the service of the medical profession. New this year, the Minnesota Medical Foundation is recognizing alumni for philanthropic support of the Medical School as well. All awardees were honored at an alumni celebration banquet on October 15.


Though he had long wanted to become a physician, John E. Larkin, M.D., admits that he spent most of high school focused on football rather than academics. But when Larkin entered the University of Minnesota in 1949, a General College faculty member recognized and fostered his potential. Larkin thrived, earning his bachelor’s degree in science education in 1953.


Medical School alumnus Martin Stillman, M.D., J.D. (Medical School Class of 1997), has found many ways to give back to the University of Minnesota but says the Connections Physician-Student Mentoring Program offers a unique way to help students.

"Serving as a mentor keeps you in touch with today’s students and the Medical School on a personal level," says Stillman, president of the Medical Alumni Society. "And when I'm helping my mentee, I'm always learning."


For three decades, medical examiner Janis Amatuzio, M.D., made her hard job even harder—voluntarily—because she believed it was the right thing to do. "My father inspired me to look at forensic medicine with a compassionate heart," says Amatuzio, a member of the University of Minnesota Medical School Class of 1977. "For me, that became talking to the families after the death of a loved one."


After 26 years as a teacher and steward of the Duluth Family Medicine Residency Program, Thomas W. Day, M.D., has stepped down as program director and is now practicing family medicine with the SuperiorHealth Medical Group in Duluth.

The family of Nancy English, M.D., established a scholarship for nontraditional women students in her memory. (Photo: Courtesy of Hilary Crook)

When second -year University of Minnesota, Duluth medical student Anya Gybina, Ph.D., joined the Dr. Nancy English Memorial 5K Walk/Run on July 31, she was running in the footsteps of someone a lot like her.

Gybina is the first medical student to receive the Nancy I. English, M.D., Scholarship, which was designated for a woman medical student on the Duluth campus by English’s daughters, Hilary and Emily Crook; husband, Thomas Crook; and father, Blake English. Nancy English, a member of the Medical School Class of 1992, died suddenly in August 2008.

Class of 2000 alumni Julie Anderson, M.D., Peter Lund, M.D., Shannon Parkos, M.D., and Eric Haug, M.D., share a smile. (Photo: Tim Rummelhoff)

Excitement runs high in September at the University of Minnesota with the return of students and events of all types. On September 23, 24, and 25, Medical School alumni joined the fun when members of eight classes reconnected at the Medical Alumni Society’s Reunion Weekend.


We remember Medical School alumni who have recently passed away and honor their contributions to improving health and advancing medicine.

Martin J. Stillman, M.D., J.D.

Last year, we started hosting informal dinners that offered first-year medical students and alumni a chance to network and learn from one another. We received so much positive feedback from students and alumni alike that we have planned more of these dinners. The next one will take place on May 25 at True Thai in Minneapolis.

When medical students told us that they wanted more opportunities to connect with alumni, we at the Medical Alumni Society (MAS) responded.

Thumbnail image for Medical School associate deans Paul White, J.D., and Kathleen Watson, M.D., say new admissions standards reward such qualities as compassion, tolerance, and resilience. (Photo: Scott Streble)

Nominate a deserving physician for one of the following Medical Alumni Society awards: Harold S. Diehl Award, the Distinguished Alumni Award, or the Early Distinguished Career Alumni Award.

Thumbnail image for University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital is one of three buildings in the country to use these distinctive metal panels that reflect blue, green, purple, maroon, or gold, depending on how the sunlight hits them.

Thank you to the nearly 700 readers who responded to the Medical Bulletin readership survey conducted last spring and summer via mail. Your input is extremely valuable, and we've already made changes to the magazine in response to your suggestions.

Will Nicholson, M.D

As a family medicine resident at St. John’s Hospital in Maplewood, Will Nicholson, M.D., saw every day how health insurance coverage affected the care his patients received. Patients wouldn't get the medicine he'd prescribe because they couldn't afford it. Or when they had health concerns that needed follow-up, they'd be charged for another office visit and often any diagnostic tests that were done.

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