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  Home > Faculty > Ruth Westra, DO, MPH

Ruth Westra, DO, MPH

FM DU Ruth WestraAppointment

Associate Professor


Administration, Duluth Campus Chair
Medical Student Education - Duluth, Faculty


Academic medicine, preventive health, health promotion and education, women’s health, rural medicine


DO, Des Moines University
MPH, Loma Linda University
Internship at Mt. Clements General Hospital in Michigan

Bio Summary

Westra chairs the department’s Duluth campus; directs the obstetrical longitudinal elective and Rural Academy of Leadership courses for first- and second-year medical students; and serves as Rural Physician Associate Program faculty and faculty advisor to the student-run HOPE Clinic. Before joining the Duluth campus in 2001, she worked in OB private practice, as a medical clinic coordinator at Iron Range VA Medical Center in Michigan, and at Twin Ports VA Outpatient Clinic in Wisconsin.

Contact Information

143 SMED
1035 University Drive
Duluth, MN 55812

Current Grants

2011-16, HRSA, PI, "Rural Medical Scholars Program"

2010-15, HRSA, co-PI, “Predoctoral Training in Family Medicine”

2010-14, NIH, researcher, "Stress Response and Opioid Dysfunction in Nicotine Dependence"

2010-14, NIH/NIDA, researcher, "Stress, Appetite and Smoking Relapse"

Recent Publications

Zink T, Center B, Finstad D, Boulger JG, Repesh LA, Westra R, et al. Efforts to graduate more primary care physicians and physicians who will practice in rural areas: Examining outcomes from the University of Minnesota Duluth and Rural Physician Associate Program. Academic Medicine. 2010;85(4):599-604.

Westra R, Lange M, Vidor N. HOPE Clinic: Caring for the underserved. Minnesota Healthcare News. 2009;7(10):22-23.

Westra R, Lange M, Vidor N. HOPE Clinic: Caring for the underserved. Minnesota Physician. 2009;XXIII(3):1,12-13.

Elliott BA, Westra R. Reproductive health care in rural communities: Ethical considerations. In: Nelson WA, ed. Handbook for Rural Health Care Ethics: A Practical Guide for Professionals. Hanover, NH: Dartmouth College; 2009.


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