Transformational Times

Words of Hope, Character & Resilience from our Virtual Community

Friday, Sept. 22, 2023

In this Issue: Partnering with the Ojibwe Community

Guest Director's Corner: Bruce Campbell, MD, FACS: 'To be understood and appreciated': A trip to Lac du Flambeau


"The vision of this project is to document Native educational leaders who center their ancestral knowledge and the cultural practices of their communities as they lead from the middle. Leading from the middle acknowledges a cultural lens to compare that approach to the indigenous. Leading from the middle acknowledges being centered and authentically grounded and reflects Native American lifeways.​"

— Brian Jackson, EdD​

Assistant Professor,

Department of Epidemiology and Social Sciences

"The professional development session, Understanding Historical Trauma in Native American People, is an incredible example of the power of connection that occurs when rooted in cultural understanding. I applaud the organizers for their efforts to create a transformative experience that prioritized listening and authenticity. ​


"I am humbled by the overwhelming attendance from a variety of leaders, faculty and staff. In partnership with our indigenous communities, important collaborations embody the best of MCW.​"

— Joseph Kerschner, MD

Provost and Executive Vice President

The Julia A. Uihlein, MA, Dean of the School of Medicine

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Poetry Corner

The Kiowa No-Face Doll 

Kiowa Boarding School, Anadarko 

By N. Scott Momaday 

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What are your favorite fall traditions, and why?

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Responses from last week: Who has been the most influential person in your life, and why?

  • My grandmother (my 'Bauaji'), who taught me through a million mythology tales, and through her actions — Himanshu Agrawal
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Guest Director's Corner

'To be understood and appreciated': A trip to Lac du Flambeau

By Bruce Campbell, MD, FACS

In July 2023, Dr. Campbell joined a group of Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) researchers, clinicians, faculty and staff for Lac du Flambeau Family Circles Professional Development Training with the Ojibwe Community in Lac du Flambeau, Wis. Despite many visits to Wisconsin’s Northwoods, this was his first effort to learn about the historical trauma the region’s Indigenous peoples have experienced ...


Native writer Sherman Alexie, in his short story, “War Dances,” tells of an Indigenous son whose father has just come out of surgery. The father is shivering and, when the thin, white hospital-issue blanket is insufficient, the son sets off on a quest through the hospital — with its “white sheets in a white hallway under white lights” — looking for a “particular kind of patient and family.” He eventually locates a Native man who has an extra Pendleton wool blanket. After a blessing (“It doesn’t matter if you believe in the healing song ... it only matters that the blanket heard”), the son returns to his father and wraps him. The father begins to sing. The son joins in. “The sick and the healthy stopped to listen.” I have always viewed this as a heartwarming story.

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David Cipriano


Take 3 with Brian Jackson, Matt Dellinger and Amy Poupart: Building a Framework to Acknowledge Indigenous Ways

Leaders who have helped build the alliance between Medical College of Wisconsin and the federally funded Great Lakes Native American Research Center for Health (GLNARCH) share the organization’s funding, goals and future. GLNARCH has established collaborative research, built capacity and promoted science important to the Tribes and Urban Indian organizations within the three-state Indian Health Service (IHS) Bemidji Area ...

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Building relationships: MCW-Central Wisconsin and the Lac du Flambeau Ojibwe people

By Amy Prunuske, PhD and Corina Norrbom

Drs. Amy Prunuske and Corina Norrbom, faculty members at the Medical College of Wisconsin-Central Wisconsin, traveled with a group of colleagues to Lac du Flambeau for a workshop in July. They share some of the moments that moved them and look forward to returning soon …

Above all, we came to “Be Curious” – something branded on Amy’s purple notebook from a recent MCW Kern Institute for the Transformation of Medical Education workshop by its Human Centered Design Lab.

We were excited to meet with tribal

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A path to healing: Overcoming historical trauma of Native American people through cultural restoration

By Cecilia J Hillard, PhD

Dr. Hillard, part of the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) team that participated in a recent workshop on the Lac du Flambeau Reservation, reflects on historical trauma experienced by Native Americans and a promising program for enhancing social and emotional well-being by strengthening cultural knowledge and participation. She also expresses her gratitude for the opportunity to learn from the Ojibwe people ...

The Lac Du Flambeau Reservation in Northern Wisconsin is beautiful, particularly in the middle of summer. It covers nearly 90,000 acres, including 24,000 acres of wetlands, 260 lakes, and 65 miles of streams and rivers teaming with walleye, ducks, geese, furbearing animals, deer, osprey, eagles, and waterfowl. The Lac du Flambeau tribe has occupied this part of Wisconsin for centuries; the reservation was established by the Treaty of 1854.

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The Kiowa No-Face Doll 

Kiowa Boarding School, Anadarko 

By N. Scott Momaday 


They see how you hold your doll 

With love and desperation. 

Are they to imagine expression 

On the bare, impenetrable mask? 

There is nothing to reflect 

The face of a child, glad or sad, 

Who see upon this sere surface 

Anonymity only, a random 

Fetish of precise uniformity. 

For those who brought you here,  

Yor are the image of your doll. 

For those who relegated you 

To military sameness, you bear 

The visage of a faceless race. 


From The Death of Sitting Bear: New and Selected Poems. Harper Perennial. 2020. 


N. Scott Momaday, PhD, is a renowned writer who celebrates Native American art and oral tradition in his novels and essays. A member of the Kiowa tribe, he is a poet, playwright, painter, photographer, storyteller, and professor of English. Among other accolades, he is the recipient of a Pulitzer Prize and the National Medal of the Arts. 

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Connection Cafe: Learning Communities as a Crucible for Medical Student Professional Development

Thursday, Oct. 5, from 4 to 5 PM

Virtual. Registration Required.

Join the Kern Institute as we welcome presenters and panelists to discuss learning communities and coaching in medical education, and how the Medical College of Wisconsin has implemented them in the curriculum.

Our panelists will discuss how learning communities have increasingly become part of medical education, providing personal and academic support to students and fostering professional identity development.


Navigating Ambiguity: Using Mindfulness & Self-Compassion in Healthcare Innovation

Thursday, Oct. 5, from 3 to 4 PM

Hybrid event


Medical College of Wisconsin

HUB A1035, Dunn Conference Room

8701 Watertown Plank Road

West Allis, Wisconsin 53227

OR Virtual (link to be provided to registrants)

Registration Required.

Join the Kern Institute for this TI2 Wellbeing Workshop featuring Amelia Coffaro (she/her), C-IAYT, Certified Yoga Therapist in oncology support. This workshop is open to any healthcare professional who is curious about ways to integrate evidence based, mind-body practices and skills into their lives in a way that can help meet the emotional demands of their work, and encourage personal and collective wellbeing. There is no experience necessary to participate. Everyone is welcome!

Navigating ambiguity is an inevitable and essential part of innovation. We bring our ideas into the world without any guarantee of what may come — taking risks, pivoting, letting go of failed ideas and beginning again — putting our entrepreneurial thinking and skills to the test in a way that is both exciting and unsettling. As we live into the space of the unknown, how might we equip ourselves with the necessary skills to support our personal and collective resilience and well-being?


Qualitative Analysis of medical students and their professional identify as it relates to the healthcare system 

Wednesday, Oct. 11, from 12:15 to 1 PM

Virtual event

Registration Required.

Join the Kern Institute to discuss recent published scholarship with its author as part of the Collaboration for Scholarship Journal Club. 

On Oct. 11, Andrea Leep will discuss perspectives on the article "Qualitative Analysis of medical students and their professional identify as it relates to the healthcare system."

Andrea N. Leep Hunderfund, MD, MHPE is Medical Director for the Office of Applied Scholarship and Education Science at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science and Associate Director of the Mayo Clinic Program in Professionalism and Values. She also serves as Co-Chair of the Research in Medical Education (RIME) Committee for AAMC and leads Mayo Clinic’s engagement with the Kern National Network (KNN) for Flourishing in Medicine. She enjoys teaching neuroscience to medical students, physical therapy students, residents, and fellows and exploring ways to make systems work better for people. 


Faculty Vitality Award Overview and Recipient Presentation

Noon to 1 p.m.

Wednesday, Oct. 25

Virtual event

Join this presentation to learn more about the Faculty Vitality Award and hear from prior year recipient, Kathlyn Fletcher, MD, MA, professor in the Department of Medicine, as she presents her completed project.

This session will be facilitated by Meena Bedi, MD, MS, professor in the department of radiation oncology and FY24 chair of the Faculty Career Development Committee. Dr. Bedi will provide an overview of the award and application process. 

Contact: Alex Holle, Office of Faculty Affairs, [email protected]

Night on Call Consortium Update: The State of Our Near Graduates' Readiness

7:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Monday, Nov. 6

Hyatt Regency 305 Chehalis

Seattle, WA

Are you planning to attend the AAMC Annual Meeting in Seattle? Please join Drs. Sondra Zabar and Adina Kalet for this session and networking opportunity. The program will include a review of Night on Call data to date and a discussion about the future of assessing readiness for residency, followed by appetizers and networking.

RSVP: [email protected]

Learn more about Night on Call

Learn more about AAMC's Annual Meeting

The Transformational Times publishes weekly, delivering stories of hope, character and resilience to our virtual community.

Wendy Peltier, MD and Himanshu Agrawal, MD, Co-Editors-in-Chief

Editorial Board: Bruce Campbell, MDKathlyn Fletcher, MD, Adina Kalet, MD, Karen Herzog, Justine Espisito, Joy Wick, William Graft. Jr., Julia Bosco, Linda Nwumeh, Wolf Pulsiano, Sophie Voss, & Emelyn Zaworski

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