We work with and through others

We are a fast-paced organization that works to make the greatest impact possible on health and quality of life for the people in our region. Working with and through people like you, we:

LEAD initiatives to create a region of the healthiest people.
 BUILD the fundraising success of charities.
 INVEST in new ideas that create widespread health improvement.

Together, this is WHO WE ARE.

Service Area

Dakota Medical Foundation serves health-related entities, charities, and people in North Dakota and northwest Minnesota residing in the counties listed below.

The foundation is based in Fargo, North Dakota.

Board of Directors

Leading for Exceptional Impact

The board of Dakota Medical Foundation is made up of medical professionals and other community leaders:

They lead us to address complex challenges facing our community
and push us to achieve the greatest possible societal return from our resources.

They test us to understand and teach us best practices,
and challenge us to continually become better by measuring and evaluating our effectiveness.

Together with our staff, they are our most important human capital.

Akkerman, MD

Board member

Dr. Dave Akkerman is a Family Physician at Essentia Health in Fargo, ND. He obtained his medical degree from the University of South Dakota-Vermillion. In addition to serving as a DMF Board Member, he serves on the DMF Governance, Finance & Investment, and Donor Fulfillment Committees. 

Barbra Brookshire, DMF Board Member

Brookshire, OD

Board member

Barbra co-owns Eyecare Associates clinics in Fargo and West Fargo, ND. She attended Illinois College of Optometry and is an adjunct clinical professor at Pacific University, in Forest Grove, Oregon. She serves on the DMF Executive Committee and is a board member and the Vice Chair for Lend A Hand Up.

Julene Brown DMF Board Member

Brown, RN

Board member

Julene is the Chief Compliance Officer of Organizational Integrity and Compliance for Essentia Health System. She has extensive study and experience in nursing, leadership, and management. In addition to leading as a DMF Board Member, Julene serves as the Board Chair for Lend A Hand Up. 

John Deutsch, DMF Board Member

Deutsch, Pharm D

Board member

John is the president and co-owner of InHealth Specialty Pharmacy; a pharmacy specializing in customized prescription medications for humans and pets. John earned a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from North Dakota State University and proudly serves on DMF’s Finance & Investment Committee.

Chris Kennelly, DMF Board Member

Kennelly, JD


Chris is the owner of and an attorney at Kennelly Business Law. He also owns Frontier Title Group. He leads as the DMF Board Secretary, a member of the Executive and Donor Fulfillment Committees, and as the Chair of the Governance Committee. Chris is also a Lend A Hand Up board member.

Rob Lauf, DMF Board Member

Lauf, DDS

Board member

Rob is a Doctor of Dentistry and owns Goose River Dental Associates, P.C., in Mayville, ND. He serves on the Western Regional Examination Board and is a Dental Examiner. Rob is the President-Elect of the Western Regional Examination Board and the President of the North Dakota Dental Foundation  He also serves on the Head Start Health Advisory Board.

Susan Mathison, DMF Board Member

Mathison, MD

Past Chair

Dr. Susan Mathison is the Founder and CEO of Catalyst Medical Center and Clinical Spa.  She is a Past Board Chair of Dakota Medical Foundation and serves on the Executive, Governance, DMF Center for Excellence & Innovation, and Donor Fulfillment (as Chair) Committees. Dr. Susan also serves on the Impact Foundation Board of Directors.

Nola McNeally, DMF Board Member

McNeally, JD

Board member

Nola is the General Counsel/Advisor at Edgewood REIT. Previously, she worked as an attorney within the firm of Dorsey & Whitney LLP for 10 years and as an Officer at the Fredrikson & Byron P.A. law firm. Alongside being a board member, Nola also serves on Dakota Medical Foundation’s Center for Excellence & Innovation Committee.

Kim Meyer, DMF Board Member


vice chair

Kim is the Chief Human Resources Officer at Gate City Bank. She has degrees from Minnesota State University Moorhead, the Graduate School of Banking, HR Management School and Stonier Graduate School of Banking. Kim is the Vice Chair of the Foundation’s Board, and she serves on the Executive and Governance Committees.

Eric Monson, DMF Board Member



Eric is a Director and Executive Coach at Sagency in West Fargo, ND. He has been a Sr. Vice President at Banner Health and the CEO at Novus, LLC and the Anne Carlsen Center. Eric is Dakota Medical Foundation’s Board Treasurer and he serves on the DMF Executive, Governance, and Finance & Investment Committees. 

Seth Novak, DMF Board Member


Immediate Past Chair

Seth is DMF’s Chair of the Board. He is a co-founder of Anchor Ingredients Company and a passionate entrepreneur, starting and leading multiple businesses during his career. He is the Immediate Past Chair of the Dakota Medical Foundation Board. Seth also serves on DMF Executive Committee and Donor Fulfillment Committee.

Hope Yongsmith, DMF Board Member

Yongsmith, MD

Board member

Hope is an Ophthalmologist and since 2010, she has served patients at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Fargo, ND. She attained her medical degree from Boston University Medical School in 1994. Hope serves generously on DMF’s Executive and Donor Fulfillment Committees, and within other organizations in the community.

Amanda Thomas, DMF Board Member



Amanda is a Residential Architect and Consultant and holds a degree in Architecture from North Dakota State University. She is the Chair of the DMF Board. She serves as  the Chair of DMF’s Executive Committee and Center for Excellence & Innovation and on the Governance, Finance and Investment, and Donor Fulfillment Committees. 

J. Patrick Traynor, DMF Board Member

J. Patrick
Traynor, JD

Executive Director, ex-officio

Pat is the Executive Director of DMF and an ex-officio member of its Committees. He is an ex-officio non-voting member of the Board and the Executive Director of the Impact Foundation. He has been with DMF since 2000. Previously, he was the Executive Director and CEO of the ND Workers Compensation Bureau and an attorney in Fargo, ND.



Barb Brookshire, OD
Eric Monson
Chris Kennelly, JD
Susan Mathison, MD
Amanda Thomas • Chair
Seth Novak
J. Patrick Traynor, JD • Ex-Officio
Kim Meyer
Hope Yongsmith, MD


Dave Akkerman, MD
Dianna Hansen
Chris Kennelly, JD Chair
Susan Mathison, MD
Kim Meyer
Eric Monson
Amanda Thomas
Peter Stenehjem
J. Patrick Traynor, JD

Finance & investment

Dave Akkerman, MD
John Deutsch, Pharm D
Jay Eisenbeis
Eric Monson Chair 
Sindy Keller
Susan Mathison, MD
J. Patrick Traynor, JD Ex-Officio 
              Richard Vetter, MD               Amanda Thomas

donor fulfillment

Dave Akkerman, MD
Tom Bresnahan
Joel Haugen, MD
Sindy Keller
Chris Kennelly, JD
Susan Mathison, MD • Chair 
Seth Novak
Jane Skalsky, RN
Amanda Thomas
J. Patrick Traynor, JD • Ex-Officio 
Mary Beth Traynor, RN
Hope Yongsmith, MD

dmf center for
Excellence & Innovation committee

Jay Eisenbeis
Sindy Keller
Susan Mathison, MD
Nola McNeally, JD
Amanda Thomas • Chair 
J. Patrick Traynor, JD • Ex-Officio 

lend a hand up
subsidiary board
established 2019

Godela Iverson, MD
Lisa Faul
Jennifer Thompson
Diane Miller
Julene Brown, RN Chair 
Brian Haugen
Chris Kennelly, JD
Jane Skalsky, RN
Sindy Keller, Treasurer
Barbra Brookshire, OD Vice Chair 
Jason Boutwell
Jessica Kuhn, NP
Logan Eggiman
Peter Hovey
J. Patrick Traynor, JD Ex-Officio 

Note: Board and committee members do not accept solicitations for grant funds.


Here are the hands, feet, and voices of Dakota Medical Foundation and its Initiatives.

Helping you do good and improve lives.

Tara Andresen, Executive Assistant


director of executive operations
Dakota Medical Foundation

Tara supports the Executive Director through internal day-to-day operations and partner initiatives. Tara joined the Foundation in 2020.

Evan Balko, Videographer


Multimedia Lead
Dakota Medical Foundation
Impact Foundation

Evan creates compelling visual content in a variety of video projects for DMF, its initiatives, charity partners, and funds. Evan joined the Foundation in 2020.

Kelly Barbot, DMF Lead Creative


Design Lead
Dakota Medical Foundation
Impact Foundation

Kelly oversees the design and branding for all of Dakota Medical Foundation’s initiatives and is DMF’s graphic designer. Kelly joined the Foundation in 2019.


Executive Administrator
ND Dental & Optometric Foundations

Kelsey supports the Executive Director of the North Dakota Dental and Optometric Foundations with day-to-day operations. Kelsey joined the Foundations in 2021.


community engagement specialist
dakota medical foundation

Ashley coordinates business and community engagement efforts for Dakota Medical Foundation and its initiatives. Ashley joined the Foundation in 2020.

Amber DeKrey, DMF Director of Programs


Giving Hearts Day Director
Dakota Medical Foundation

Amber is responsible for providing the vision, leadership, and strategy for the annual Giving Hearts Day which occurs each February. Amber joined the Foundation in 2019.


Dakota Medical Foundation
Impact Foundation

Riley is responsible for planning and writing content for Dakota Medical Foundation and its partner initiatives. Riley joined the Foundation in 2020.

Lana Foss, DMF Administrative Specialist


Administrative specialist
dakota medical foundation

Lana manages daily operations of Dakota Medical Foundation and provides administrative assistance to the Foundation’s accounting department. Lana joined the Foundation in 2014.


Dakota Medical Foundation

Melissa is responsible for assisting the Chief Financial Officer and Accounting staff with the day-to-day accounting, financial management, and other support functions of the Foundation. Melissa joined the Foundation in 2021.

Michelle Hogan, DMF Accounting Manager


accounting manager
Dakota Medical Foundation

Michelle manages the general accounting functions for Dakota Medical Foundation, Dakota Medical Charities, and other contracted affiliates. Michelle joined the Foundation in 2012.


chief transformation officer

Scott is an innovator in nonprofit growth and development. Through training, coaching, and product creation, he develops pathways for charitable organizations to thrive. Scott joined the Foundation in 2014.


Community Engagement Manager
Dakota Medical Foundation

Emily works with the Giving Hearts Day and Lend A Hand Up programs. She drives awareness and involvement in the community and develops CRM system processes. Emily joined the Foundation in 2021.

Sandy Knutson, DMF Accountant


Dakota Medical Foundation

Sandy is responsible for general accounting functions for Dakota Medical Foundation, Dakota Medical Charities, Impact Foundation, and other contracted affiliates. Sandy joined the Foundation in 2014.

Mike Little, Executive Director ND Dental Foundation


Executive Director
ND Dental & Optometric Foundations

Mike directs the North Dakota Dental Foundation (NDDF) and the  Optometric Foundation of North Dakota (OFND) under the general direction of the board of directors. Mike has been with NDDF and OFND since 2018.

Nate Mickelberg, DMF Communications Director


Communications Director
Dakota Medical Foundation
Impact Foundation

Nate oversees and directs internal and external communications for Dakota Medical Foundation, including content creation, communications strategy, and media relations. Nate joined the Foundation in 2018.


director of executive operations
Impact Foundation

Jessica directs internal operations, Giving Hearts Day charity support, and special projects for the Foundation and its partner initiatives. Jessica joined the Foundation in 2015.

Matt Ohren, DMF Systems Developer


Systems Developer
Dakota Medical Foundation

Matt is responsible for the design, development, and maintenance of the websites and digital applications of DMF and all its partner health initiatives. Matt joined the Foundation in 2019.


Special Projects Coordinator
Impact Foundation

Tanner coordinates pilot programs and special projects for the Foundation. In addition, he provides logistical support and charity resources for Giving Hearts Day. Tanner joined the Foundation in 2013.

Kim Palm, DMF Donor Impact Coordinator


dakota Medical foundation

Kim coordinates the donor management system, membership programs, and charitable and endowment funds. Kim joined the Foundation in 2001.

Jeana Peinovich, Lend A Hand Up Director



Jeana has directed Lend A Hand Up since its launch in 2008. Prior to 2008, Jeana was the Outreach Coordinator for DMF’s Covering Kids & Families Initiative. Jeana joined the Foundation in 2003.

Cheryl Poirier, DMF Events Coordinator


events coordinator
Dakota Medical Foundation

Cheryl manages the DMF Center for Excellence. She greets guests by phone and in-person. She schedules and coordinates event space for nonprofits, employees and other groups. Cheryl joined the Foundation in 2017.

Amanda Sayre, Giving Hearts Day Assistant Director



Amanda supports the mission and goals of Giving Hearts Day. She assists Giving Hearts Day logistics and works directly with charities to provide resources and answer their questions. Amanda joined the Foundation in 2015.

Michael Schumacher, DMF Chief Financial Officer

Schumacher, CPA

Chief Financial Officer
Dakota Medical Foundation

Mike is responsible for the finance and accounting functions of DMF and Impact Foundation. He supports the board of directors and manages investment functions for both Foundations. Mike joined the Foundation in 2013.

J. Patrick Traynor, DMF Executive Director

J. Patrick
Traynor, JD

Executive Director
Dakota Medical Foundation
Impact Foundation

Pat directs DMF and Impact Foundation under the general direction of the board of directors. He is an ex-officio, non-voting member of the DMF Board of Directors and the Executive Director of Impact Foundation. Pat joined the Foundation 2000.

Amanda Whitmyer, DMF Communications Coordinator


Digital Lead
Dakota Medical Foundation

Amanda is responsible for digital content writing and social media strategy for Dakota Medical Foundation and its partner initiatives. Amanda joined the Foundation in 2019. 

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