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Dr. Randall Flick

Fargo native, MSUM alum to head Mayo children’s center

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GRAND FORKS, ND – A 1987 University of North Dakota graduate and Fargo native has been named medical director of the Mayo Clinic Children’s Center in Rochester, Minn.

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In his new role, Dr. Randall Flick oversees the care that Mayo provides “for all children, regardless of where it occurs,” he said, including relationships with its satellite facilities in Florida and Arizona, as well as through its affiliation with Altru Health System in Grand Forks.

Altru is a major source of referrals of children’s cases, he said. “We have a wonderful relationship with Altru, and we hope to expand that over time.”

Flick, who worked as a registered nurse in Fargo before becoming an anesthesiologist, served on the surgical team that separated conjoined

5-month-old twin sisters Abby and Belle Carlsen in 2006. The family now resides in Mandan.

In his 19-year career at Mayo, Flick has held several leadership positions, including medical director of the Mayo Eugenio Litta Children’s Hospital and director of Children’s Hospital Operations.

His most recent assignment included responsibility for quality control of pediatric care at the Mayo Clinic Children’s Center.

“I have a passion for the care of children,” he said.

“I was always interested in taking care of really sick kids.”

Flick currently provides care to children in pediatric operating rooms, on the pediatric pain service and in the pediatric cardiac intensive care unit.

One of the most exciting developments in the advancement of children’s health is the introduction of proton beam therapy for children with cancer, he said. Mayo has facilities for proton therapy near completion in both Rochester and Arizona.

The facility will allow doctors to better treat children with cancerous tumors, primarily brain tumors, said Flick, who holds the academic rank of associate professor of anesthesiology and pediatrics at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine.

Mayo’s research in the field of regenerative medicine is another area of children’s care that Flick is proud of, particularly as it relates to heart defects, he said.

“Our research is very much at the cutting edge, (especially with) the use of stem cells to improve a heart that’s not fully formed.”

Studies on rhythm problems in the heart promise to help children born with long QT syndrome, a heart rhythm disorder that “unfortunately is all too commonly fatal,” he said.

His own research, funded by the National Institutes of Health, is aimed at discovering how exposure to anesthesia in very young children, typically 3 and younger, affects their cognitive development and later performance in elementary school, he said.

The Mayo Clinic Children’s Center has been consistently recognized by U.S. News and World Report as the top-ranked children’s hospital in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Iowa.

Mayo has “top-ranked experts in all areas of pediatric care,” he said. “At any time, we can bring those folks to the bedside in a seamless way — which Mayo does so well, probably better than anyplace in the country.”

Flick graduated from Moorhead High School and earned a bachelor’s degree from Moorhead State University, now Minnesota State University Moorhead. He also earned a registered nurse diploma from the former St. Luke’s School of Nursing in Fargo and a Master of Public Health degree from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md.

After earning his Doctor of Medicine degree at UND, he completed residency training at Barnes/St. Louis Children’s Hospital and fellowship training at Johns Hopkins.

Flick is the son of Arlis McCauley of Fargo and the late Burton Flick. His wife, Loree Kreps-Flick, is also a native of the Fargo-Moorhead area and a graduate of Moorhead State University.

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