Dakota Geriatrics
A HRSA Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program
Great Plains Consortium

Health Promotion Program

The mission of the University of North Dakota (UND) Health Promotion Program is to advance the health and wellness of the greater Grand Forks area with a focus on increasing health equity within the community. Our goal is to promote psychosocial and physical well-being to residents through the provision of resident centered health counseling and motivational interviewing with an emphasis on underserved populations of the area.

Program Description

The Health Promotion Program was established in 2022 by students and faculty at the UND School of Medicine & Health Sciences. Community outreach and visits with residents will be conducted at the LINK, located at 300 Cherry Street in Grand Forks, North Dakota. This office space was generously donated by Grand Forks Housing Authority.

The goal of the program, and the students involved, is to engage in motivational interviewing with Grand Forks area residents. Students will work directly with participating residents and collaborate across health professions to meet the health and wellness goals of each individual resident and provide them with information, education, and resources to help them fulfill their goals.

What happens during the visits?

Students will conduct monthly Wellness Visits over the lunchtime hour every 3rd week of the month. These monthly visits will each focus on a different component of healthy living and will allow students to get to know the residents and encourage participation in the weekly individual visits.

The weekly individual visits will consist of 2 students per resident and will be 45-50 minutes in length. Both students and residents will provide feedback after each visit to be evaluated by the development team to ensure satisfaction and growth of the program. Through this mutually beneficial experience, it is our goal that residents will leave their visits feeling heard, respected, and confident in what next steps they can take to improve their quality of life. In addition, students will develop their skills in effective communication and patient interviewing, both of which can be carried into their future practices.

Note: Students will not be providing medical care to residents, nor will they be giving medical advice. The Health Promotion Program team is composed of students from the MD, PT, OT, Dietetics, and Social Work programs affiliated with UND and has faculty mentors available for consultation and support.

Student Participation

If you're interested in participating in the Health Promotion Program, please complete the interest form below. Filling out this form is NOT a commitment to participate.


Large group monthly wellness visits begins the 3rd week of August 2023 and will continue each month thereafter.

Weekly individual visits begins the 1st week of September 2023 and will continue during a consistent day and time each week.

Training Requirements

Online Video Training

Online Geriatrics Curriculum
Access the online geriatrics curriculum and enter your email. A link will be sent to you that you can click on to access the training at any point thereafter. Sample modules and their respective surveys to be completed are below.

  • Module 1: Biology of Aging
    Duration: 21 minutes
    Take the quiz
  • Module 4: Geriatric Assessment I
    Duration: 33 minutes
    Take the quiz

Health Promotion Training Modules

Recommended Materials

The first lectures series is provided by Dr. Anne Bodensteiner from the department of Nutrition and Dietetics at UND. Her lectures will cover techniques and examples of motivational interviewing. The links for the YuJa recordings are below.

The second lectures series is provided by Dr. Andrew McLean and Dr. Sclinda Janssen from the department of Psychiatry and Behavior Sciences and Occupational Therapy. Dr. McLean's lectures will cover some techniques to use when talking to patients about substance abuse or mental health issues. Dr. Janssen's lecture will cover the role occupational therapy can play on a healthcare team and in improving patients' lives. The links for the YuJa recordings are below.

Recommended Books (not required)

  • Motivational Interviewing: Helping People Change by William Miller and Stephen Rollnick
  • Motivational Interviewing in Healthcare: Helping Patients Change Behavior by Stephen Rollnick, William Miller, and Christopher Butler
  • Motivational Interviewing in Nutrition and Fitness by Dawn Clifford and Laura Curtis

In person peer practice

Our first in-person peer practice in motivational interviewing will be held on August 28, 2023 from 3:00 - 5:00 pm Central at UND. This will be a chance for students to practice having conversations similar to those they can expect to conduct during individual visits, as well as receive feedback and have their questions answered by volunteer faculty members experienced in motivational interviewing.

Additional in-person peer practices will scheduled based on future demands.