Dakota Medical Foundation

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To measurably improve health and access to healthcare services, with an emphasis on children.


DMF adheres to the following strategies to maximize societal impact:   
• Selecting specific health issues to measurably address 
• Working with stakeholders to develop measurable evidence-based strategies 
• Engaging community partners and resources to implement effective strategies 
• Building capacity of DMF and our partners for superior performance and results 
• Sharing actionable knowledge and best practices

Service Area
: Generally, the geographic area representing the patients served by the former Dakota Hospital.  North Dakota counties include:  Barnes, Benson, Cass, Dickey, Eddy, Foster, Grand Forks, Griggs, Kidder, LaMoure, Logan, McIntosh, Nelson, Ramsey, Ransom, Richland, Sargent, Steele, Stutsman, Traill, Walsh, and Wells. Minnesota counties include:  Becker, Clay, Clearwater, Hubbard, Mahnomen, Norman, Ottertail, Pennington, Polk, Red Lake, Wadena, and Wilkin.

Endowment Size
: Approximately $90 million

Began Grantmaking
: 1996 following sale of Dakota Hospital

Annual Grants and Initiatives:
 $3 - $4 million per year

Amount Granted Since Inception
: About $40 million in 1,850 grants to 350 organizations (since 1996)


Access to Healthcare

• Healthy Steps Outreach Initiative (Statewide ND):  DMF received a $650,000 grant from the ND Dept. of Human Services to conduct outreach efforts which connect uninsured children and families to free/low-cost health coverage.

• Healthcare Workforce Initiative (Regional):  Focuses on ensuring an adequate supply of physicians, nurses and other medical personnel to serve our region over the long-term.  Supports the Grand Forks Family Medicine Residency, Mission Physician, Robert Wood Johnson (RWJ)/DMF Partners in Nursing (PIN) Initiatives, placement of clinical simulation equipment, distance education, recruitment/retention programs, health scholarship programs and nursing education faculty.

• Children’s Mental Health Initiative (Cass County, ND, and Clay County, MN):  Targets children ages 0-8.  A $395,000 RWJ grant and a $395,000 DMF match grant support early mental health assessment through the Innovis Health Pediatrics pilot, referral services through FirstLink and Child Care Resource and Referral and free consultation services.  Additional strategies include annual health fair, community education events and planning summit, as well as a resource guide and website. 

• Prescription Assistance Initiative (Fargo-Moorhead area, Valley City, ND):  Provides application assistance for low-income persons eligible for free or low-cost prescriptions from pharmaceutical companies.  Over 4,550 low-income people have completed 23,200 applications for medications and accessed over $11 million of prescription drugs.

• Lend A Hand Initiative (Cass County, ND, and Clay County, MN):  Supports volunteer efforts to raise funds for individuals and families experiencing a medical crisis by offering a fundraising toolkit, web resources, matching funds and online donation opportunities.  Since 2008, more than $2.7 million has been raised to help over 100 area families.

• Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Initiative (Regional):  525 AEDs placed in police, fire and first responder vehicles and at select public locations to provide cardiac arrest victims with immediate access to emergency care. 1,500 individuals trained on equipment use and 23 lives saved to-date!

Chronic Disease Prevention

• Cass Clay Healthy People Initiative (Cass County, ND, and Clay County, MN):  Partnership of DMF and multiple community organizations to prevent chronic disease through a movement about movement and healthy eating which in 2010 resulted in 6,500 people participating in Streets Alive, four metro schools strengthening and implementing wellness policies affecting more than 20,000 students, and a 4½% reduction in overweight and obese children at GoFar Childcares.  Current vision includes 20 x 2020! - to reduce overweight and obesity by 20% in 0-19 year olds by 2020.  Current strategies include improved school wellness policies (snacks, ala carte lunches, concessions and fundraising), healthy child care and community outreach.     

• Worksite Wellness Initiative (Statewide ND):  DMF, BCBSND and Healthy ND are partnering to improve the health of employees by developing an effective, cost-efficient worksite wellness program to be implemented at worksites across ND.

• North Dakota Goes Red (Statewide ND):  $1.25 million initiative to prevent heart disease by 1) educating women about their risk, 2) educating health professionals about heart disease in women and 3) implementing lifestyle interventions.  Outcomes include: 20% reduction in heart disease/stroke in ND from 1999-2006; ND ranks #1 in nation for % of women registered for Go Red (12,000); nearly 11,000 ND women have completed the Go Red online heart check-up; 88.8% of ND women are aware that heart disease is their #1 killer vs. 67% nationally.

Organizational Effectiveness

• Impact Institute Nonprofit Organizational Effectiveness Initiative (Regional):  The Institute has provided education and training in advanced leadership, board governance, fundraising, strategy development and implementation, volunteer management, and shared services/mergers for over 300 regional nonprofit organizations.  Dramatic performance improvements have been achieved by most Institute nonprofit partners.  A sampling of 22 nonprofits trained by the Institute resulted in 2007 fundraising totals of $14,160,788 and 2009 totals of $20,961,825, a 48% increase.

• Give While You Live (Regional):  DMF supports www.impactgiveback.org, which connects nonprofits with donors of time, talent and treasure and enables nonprofits to share their stories, accept online donations, engage volunteers, coordinate conference/event registrations and hold online auctions.  402 nonprofits are registered on the GiveBack site, more than $2.3 million has been donated online since 2007 and more than 50,500 volunteer hours were recorded.  Giving Hearts Day, held on Feb. 11, 2010, raised over $886,000 through 5,350 online donations, benefitting 75 DMF nonprofit partners and funds.

• High Impact Philanthropy (HIP) (Regional):  Inspiring funders to create and adopt community wide strategies to collaboratively address societal issues and maximize impact in the region.  This group of funders and individuals invests about $75 million annually in the region.


Organization Info

Executive Director
J. Patrick Traynor
1 part-time
9 full-time
Board Members and Affiliations
Year Formed
Counties Served
Becker, MN
Clay, MN
Clearwater, MN
Hubbard, MN
Mahnomen, MN
Norman, MN
Otter Tail, MN
Pennington, MN
Polk, MN
Red Lake, MN
Wadena, MN
Barnes, ND
Benson, ND
Cass, ND
Dickey, ND
Dunn, ND
Eddy, ND
Foster, ND
Grand Forks, ND
Griggs, ND
Kidder, ND
LaMoure, ND
Logan, ND
McIntosh, ND
Nelson, ND
Ramsey, ND
Ransom, ND
Richland, ND
Sargent, ND
Steele, ND
Stutsman, ND
Traill, ND
Walsh, ND
Wells, ND
Meeting Frequency
Tax-Exempt Organization Type

Financial Info

Organization Files Form 990
Last Financial Audit
Dakota Medical Foundation profile image

Contact Info

Street Address
4141 28th Ave. S
Fargo, North Dakota (ND) 58104
(701) 271-0263
(701) 271-0408
Email  | Website
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Board Members

David Clutter, MD  
Jay Eisenbeis  
Joel Haugen, MD, Chair
Walter Johnson, MD
Sindy Keller
Chris Kennelly, JD
Larry Leitner
Debra Magnuson, BSN, RN
Susan Mathison, MD
Fadel Nammour, MD
Curtis Noyes, Treasurer 
Jane Skalsky, RN
J. Patrick Traynor, JD, President
Richard Vetter, MD, Vice Chair
Jon Wanzek, Secretary  
Michael Warner