Skip to main content

Speakers Bureau

Our faculty and staff are available to give presentations on topics relating to rural and tribal health and human services. Below is a list of the topics and speakers we have available, along with information on what you can expect to learn.


Identifying our Needs: A Survey of Elders
Collette Adamsen, PhD

Over the past 15 years, the National Resource Center on Native American Aging has spearheaded efforts to assist tribes, Alaska Native villages, and Hawaiian homesteads to identify the needs of their elderly. Chronic disease, poverty, and the social and health status of Indigenous Elders are discussed in this presentation, as well as the efforts tribal organizations are making to help Elders attain a high quality of life.

Community Development

Developing Healthy Communities
Brad Gibbens, MPA

Rural health systems need to have strong, positive relationships with their communities. Rural community development refers to how health organizations can stay connected and engaged with the community overall, and key sectors within it. The dynamics associated with rural culture, organizational structure, decision making, and environmental factors are discussed.

Economic Development

Rural Health as an Economic Engine
Brad Gibbens, MPA

A rural hospital in North Dakota is commonly the largest or second largest employer. In addition, all rural health organizations need viable communities with economic resources that, in turn, have a positive impact on those organizations. This presentation discusses how rural health makes an economic contribution and how and why the community and its economic vitality are important to local health structures.


How to Conduct Small Program Evaluations
Brad Gibbens, MPA

This session explains what an evaluation is, key concepts, how they can be developed and conducted, the relationship between the program evaluation and implementation, how an evaluation can be used for better management, and the importance of program sustainability and the role of evaluation to sustainability.

Grant Writing

You Want Me to Write a Grant?
Brad Gibbens, MPA

Grant writing is a skill that can be learned and is one that is critically important to rural communities and rural health organizations. While this workshop is primarily targeted to novices, those with some experience will learn different ideas and approaches. This workshop addresses the importance of grants, types of grants, sources of grant funds, resources to help in writing a grant, budgeting, and other key subjects.

Healthcare Quality

Healthcare Quality – Will You Know It When You See It?
Jody Ward, MS, RN, APHN

The definition of this can vary according to the stakeholder involved. What does it mean to the provider, payers, employers and patients? Healthcare systems are getting involved in tracking and reporting their quality of care. The presentation will describe the difference between process of care and outcomes of care for a healthcare setting.

Health Workforce

Rural Health Workforce: Opportunities to Improve Recruitment and Retention Results
Stacy Kusler, BA

This presentation reviews state and federal loan repayment programs rural communities can use to attract primary care providers. Additionally, communities will learn what recruitment and retention resources are available through the Center for Rural Health.


Trends and Issues Facing Rural Hospitals
Brad Gibbens, MPA

This session looks at common issues facing rural hospitals such as financial conditions, health professional workforce, health information technology, quality of care, and others. It also addresses factors associated with changing hospital models such as the critical access hospital and new ideas on alternative models. The rural hospital has changed a great deal over the last quarter century, and will continue to change. The primary focus will remain on providing quality access to care for rural citizens and the appropriate delivery mode.

Network and System Development

Collaboration and Working Together: The Ways We Provide Healthcare
Brad Gibbens, MPA

This session will discuss why health providers - sometimes with long histories of competition - may move to collaborative models. What are the benefits and barriers to networking? How does this help a provider and how can it strengthen community health structures? Examples of different collaborative models found in North Dakota will be shared, as will the role of specific federal grants, such as the Rural Health Outreach and Network Development grants, in fostering networks.


Health Policy
Brad Gibbens, MPA

Health policy is fundamental to rural health as it shapes the practice and delivery of healthcare, financing of organizations and services, and the priorities and focus of the health system (e.g., treating illness or preventing illness, movement to coordinated care structures, emphasis on quality of care, use of health information technology). The Health Policy session can be presented to address either 1) a general overview of current health policy issues impacting rural health or 2) what is the potential impact of health reform on rural North Dakota? The latter explores issues in rural health and how the new law addresses rural health problems.

Quality Improvement

What is Quality Improvement?
Jody Ward, MS, RN, APHN

This presentation will describe what quality improvement is and the commonly used approaches to reach quality. Discussion will include methods of quality improvement such as the FADE model, PDSA, and Six Sigma. No one model is best for each situation. It will describe the difference between quality assurance and quality improvement.

Rural Health

The Rural Health Challenge: Opportunities that Transcend our Issues
Brad Gibbens, MPA

This overview of the primary issues facing rural North Dakota healthcare organizations and communities is presented in a manner so the audience can understand both the issues facing rural health and how rural communities are addressing these concerns. In addition, the importance of community is discussed in its relationship to rural health and building community relevant solutions.

Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic Brain Injury: Definitions, Prevalence, and Consequences
Rebecca Quinn, MSW, LMSW

This session will provide an overview of traumatic brain injury prevalence and causes. Coverage will be given to acute symptoms, possible long-term consequences and potential intervention resources.


Rural Health Issues/Traumatic Brain Injury
Rebecca Quinn, MSW, LMSW

This presentation covers issues related to access to care for rural veterans and ways to collaborate with veteran organizations. Issues relating to returning veterans who have sustained a traumatic brain injury can also be covered, including the prevalence of traumatic brain injuries in veterans and treatment options.