St. George’s University Honors Clinical Studies Pioneer Morris Alpert

Back in its infancy, St. George’s University School of Medicine was guided forward by Dr. Morris Alpert, a hand surgeon and anatomist with a personality as unique as his expertise. The Founding Dean of Kingstown Medical College (KMC) in St. Vincent and a longtime member of the Board of Trustees for St. George’s University, Dr. Alpert built the foundation for SGU’s clinical studies program, creating a bridge between Grenada and the United States and the world that still exists today.

The University honored Dr. Alpert by unveiling a bronze plaque highlighting his accomplishments at a dedication ceremony on March 29 on the True Blue campus. Held outside Morris Alpert Hall, the ceremony was attended by University administrators, faculty, staff, and SOM alumni who knew and enjoyed the company of Dr. Alpert.

He came to SGU from Albany Medical College, where he had been Chair of Surgery. Dr. Alpert’s approach of using a modular system with leading specialists from the US, UK, and the world helped transform the School of Medicine in its early years.

“Starting off with not much—a lecture hall, a small dorm facility and two secretaries—Dr. Alpert single-handedly created the clinical program at KMC,” said Dr. C.V. Rao, Dean of Students. “He was a kind man but very strict and truly cared about all his students. And they also felt the same way, evidenced by the standing ovation he would receive when attending the SOM graduation ceremony in New York.”

“As SGU celebrates the first 40 years of its existence, what better way to do this than a formal dedication to Dr. Morris Alpert—honoring him for both his unique vision and leadership style which served our University well,” added Dr. Allen Pensick, Provost Emeritus. “For our students, there were at least 28 years of classes, twice a year, that went through St. Vincent. A great deal of our students and alumni met Dr. Alpert and got a real-life taste of medicine and how to conduct themselves in the real world.”

A member of the 1977 Charter Class, Dr. Emmett Cox II suffered a tragic bike accident early on in his studies at SGU. The first to treat Dr. Cox was Dr. Alpert, who saved his student’s life. Dr. Cox, has since become a successful orthopedic surgeon—and a hand surgeon like his mentor, Dr. Alpert.

“He was such a strong-willed person and yet so polite. He would tell us to respect our patients and learn our anatomy, and take time out to do a standard physical examination,” recalled Dr. Cox. “I feel so proud to have been trained and received my tutelage from Dr. Alpert. He taught us to never give up on your dreams no matter what. If he told you something, you could bank on it. And in my lifetime, he was a giant.”

The bronze plaque is only the most recent way in which St. George’s University has saluted Dr. Alpert’s impactful role in its growth and success. In addition to dedicating the building of Morris Alpert Hall to his memory, the Morris Alpert Scholarships exist in honor of the high moral and ethical standards he set for his students during his tenure on the faculty of St. George’s University. Dr. Alpert’s knowledge, dedication, and enthusiasm exemplified the University’s commitment to taking the practice of medicine to new and unanticipated heights.

12th Annual SGU Knowledge Bowl Champions Achieve Record Breaking Scores

Affectionately called the battle between the “Brothers and Sisters of Tanteen”, an exciting showdown between the gentlemen of Grenada Boys Secondary School (GBSS) and the ladies of Anglican High School (AHS) concluded the 12th season of the St. George’s University Knowledge Bowl. Squaring off for the second time in the history of the competition, the all-boys ensemble of GBSS sought to redeem itself after the school’s loss in 2008 at the hands of its neighboring rivals.

At the final match held at SGU’s Charter Hall on April 1, not only did the boys get their redemption with a 67-37 victory in the finale, but they achieved an all-time high score for the tournament. The previous record of 65 had been held by Westmorland Secondary School since its victory in 2011. The win earns GBSS its second championship after winning season two of the SGU Knowledge Bowl a decade ago.

“We are so very proud of our students. They’ve done an excellent job especially being undefeated all season and really living up to our school motto: Non Palma Sine Labore (No Reward Without Labour),” praised Coach Korrine Hobson-Mitchell. “They put in the hard work and are now reaping the rewards.”

For the school, the GBSS team was presented with the coveted Knowledge Bowl Challenge trophy and awarded $15,000 from St. George’s University. Additionally, each of the five team members – Bjorn Bubb, Tyler John, Darrell Simon, Rich Charles, and Azam Edwards – received a laptop and six months complimentary broadband service from FLOW, along with their choice of $500 in a Super Starter or Honey Bee account from Grenada Co-operative Bank, a certificate of distinction, and a supply of Ribena. Their coaches were awarded a tablet and six months complimentary broadband service from FLOW, and $500 credited to a Grenada Co-operative Bank account.

“By participating in this competition, I feel we got a bit of firsthand knowledge of what to expect when doing our CSEC exams,” said Mr. Charles. “The same type of pressure we experienced here today is most likely what it will feel like during our final exams. Having gone through this process will definitely help us be more prepared and better able to handle the pressure of exams. As for my fellow teammates, we were always a group of close friends but working so closely together, all those long days and nights made us even stronger brothers than we already were.”

Continuing to raise the standard of competition, it was the second year the double-elimination format was utilized. This season also welcomed newcomers J.W. Fletcher Catholic Secondary School, which, although it did not advance in the competition, received an honorable mention.

SGU Knowledge Bowl remains a source of great anticipation, garnering huge support each year as students, faculty, and fans come out to cheer for their favorite teams. It continues to encourage and promote friendly competition between Grenada’s secondary schools. In addition to primary sponsorships from St. George’s University and FLOW, local businesses Grenada Co-operative Bank, George F. Huggins, and Glenelg Spring Water sponsor the SGU Knowledge Bowl, which is regarded as the “Intercol of Academia.”

New York City Council Honors St. George’s University’s CityDoctors Scholarship Program for Addressing Primary Care Shortage

NEW YORK (April 5) – Today, the New York City Council issued a proclamation honoring St. George’s University (SGU) for establishing the CityDoctors Scholarship Program, which covers tuition for SGU medical students who commit to working with underserved patients in the city’s public health care system.

“We are grateful for the New York City Council’s recognition of the good work that our CityDoctors scholarship recipients are doing in New York’s neediest neighborhoods,” said Charles Modica, Chancellor of St. George’s University. “And we at St. George’s look forward to educating the next generation of CityDoctors scholars, who are making an honorable commitment to serve the people of New York.”

St. George’s University established the CityDoctors Scholarship Program in partnership with NYC Health + Hospitals to support students from New York City who might otherwise be unable to afford medical school. Students commit to one year of service with NYC Health + Hospitals for each year of scholarship aid they receive.

This year, the program will award $1.5 million in scholarships to 12 recipients from New York City and its surrounding area, who will commit to practicing primary care medicine in the city’s public health care system after graduation. Since its start in 2012, the CityDoctors program has awarded full- and partial-tuition scholarships to 112 students, totaling more than $12 million in medical school scholarships.

“The collaboration with St. George’s University has enabled more than 80 students the opportunity not only to continue their education, but to have job security following graduation,” said Machelle Allen, MD, Chief Medical Officer, NYC Health + Hospitals. “The program also helps bring more primary care physicians into the workforce and into communities across the city, where they are so desperately needed. Thank you to the New York City Council for acknowledging this important program.”

“St. George’s is committed to educating the top-notch medical graduates that the United States needs to close its doctor shortage,” said Dr. G. Richard Olds, president of St. George’s University. “The CityDoctors Scholarship Program stands out as a great example of how medical schools can work with hospitals to do just that.”

 

SGU Events Management Class of 2016 Raises Funds for the Grenada National Patients Kidney Foundation

The students of the Events Management class of 2016 of St. George’s University presented a donation of EC$6,000 to the Grenada National Patients Kidney Foundation (GNPKF) on March 15, 2017. The funds were raised by hosting a successful themed party event at The Aquarium Restaurant in November.

Offered by SGU’s Department of Business and Management Studies, the events management course aims to fulfill two major objectives, according to lecturer Helen Bhola-Paul. “Firstly, students must demonstrate that they have learnt the necessary concepts and skills to host a successful practical event,” said Ms. Bhola-Paul, who lectures alongside colleague Naline Joseph. “Secondly, all profits generated from the event must be donated to a local charity.”

Receiving the much-needed funds on behalf of the Grenada National Patients Kidney Foundation was its director, Heather Sylvester. She thanked the class and lecturers for their hard work and charitable contribution to the Foundation. Last year, 12 people required dialysis, costing each of them EC$2,250 per week and EC$9,000 per month for treatment.

Established in 2007, the Grenada National Patients Kidney Foundation aims to supplement the fees for dialysis for kidney patients and to raise awareness in the community about kidney disease. The Foundation works with the Ministry of Health, health care professionals, and other agencies to improve the provision of care for individuals who are faced with the challenges of living with renal failure.

Social Media Impact and Mixed Reality Explored at St. George’s University’s First-Ever Tech Day

The Educational Computing Team (ECT) at St. George’s University launched the Spring 2017 Series of its Teaching with Technology Tuesdays (TwTT) with its first-ever Tech Day on March 10, 2017 at Allen Pensick Hall. With the theme “Innovative Use of Technology in Teaching and Learning,” Tech Day centered on social media and video in education, 3D technologies, and the use of augmented/mixed reality in medical education.

“Tech Day provides an opportunity for participants to actually see, touch and play in what we call our sandbox,” explained Shereene Twum-Barimah, Educational Technology Specialist. “At our past TwTT launches and workshops, our audience expressed an interest in interacting directly with the various technologies our presenters were showcasing. With our introduction of Tech Day, everyone now has a chance to physically connect with a variety of different technologies on display before them, including 3D printing and several virtual and augmented reality devices.”

With the prevalence of mobile devices, students are learning anywhere and everywhere. According to Ms. Twum-Barimah, teachers all over the world can easily record their lectures and lessons and make them available for students to consume on multiple platforms and non-traditional classroom environments. As a result, students can come prepared to have more meaningful discussions in the classroom with their instructors and peers. Technology has been modifying and redefining the face of education for years now and is getting even more innovative. The classroom is no longer defined by the walls the students are sitting within. Today’s students will now need the knowledge and skills to navigate these new learning environments.

In his presentation, “Using Augmented/Mixed Reality for Medical Education,” guest speaker Ted Dinsmore, Business Technologist and Co-Founder of SphereGen in Connecticut, focused on the evolving work in applying technology to learning in the medical education arena. He covered the basics of understanding what is virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality, and how it is used throughout life currently and what the future of this technology looks like. Additionally, Mr. Dinsmore discussed how medical schools are using this technology and how it is being used in hospitals by doctors from surgery to collaboration boards. Lastly, attendees were given a demonstration of how the anatomy of a heart can be taught using a mixed reality device with the assistance of Dr. Mark Clunes, Assistant Dean of Basic Sciences.

“My presentation is all about getting people to try out the new technology. If you’ve played Pokémon Go, you’ve used augmented reality,” stated Mr. Dinsmore. “We live in a physical world, but today’s kids and students live in a virtual world in that game where they’re enjoying that experience of being in their environment. So when we overlay the virtual world over the physical world, that is what we call augmented reality.

“Mixed reality is the blending of physical reality with a virtual program, a see-through effect which can be achieved through the use of many different devices on the market today,” added Mr. Dinsmore. “Movies such as ‘Minority Report’ were designed off of this technology. And now the profits from these movies are funding a lot of this technology today. One such device, the HoloLens, provides an untethered full physical PC on your head with all the technology you need in one unit.”

In addition to his more than 20 years in the field, Mr. Dinsmore’s company has developed mobile and web-based applications for SGU. He is also the co-author of the book “Partnering with Microsoft.” Other Tech Day presentations featured were “Video in Education” by rich media team members Dari Twum-Barimah and Kellidon Niles, and “3D Technologies” by Jessica Holland and Wes Price; Alyssa Bierzynski, an Instructor in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, also gave a lively presentation on Social Media in Education, illustrating how easy it is to enhance the learning experience by incorporating elements of social media into the classroom.

“For more and more of our students, virtual reality is becoming the only reality they know,” said Ms. Bierzynski. “Many of today’s students have no idea what it was like to go to an encyclopedia for information. For today’s students, their source of information is Google.”

St. George’s University Educational Computing Team is committed to providing quality training and support to the faculty, staff and students at the University. Tasked with improving methods of teaching and learning at SGU, it promotes greater utilization of cutting-edge technology, so that the highest quality of education can be provided to the students that attend this institution.

Dr. Nadia Lopez Presents at 3rd SGU Principals and Teachers Forum

By attending the 3rd SGU Principals and Teachers Forum, more than 150 secondary and primary school educators were able to engage in critical dialogue on issues that impact their schools’ success and the major role they play in the development of Grenada’s most valuable capital – its children.

Held at Allen Pensick Hall on March 7, the event was the brainchild of Dr. Allen Pensick, Provost Emeritus of SGU, who encouraged the University’s administration to host a series of workshops that provided Grenadian instructors with an opportunity to empower themselves and improve the quality of education on the island as a whole.

“Teachers have extraordinary commitment. First of all, you’re committed to your students. The fact that you’re here today to discuss ideas and new ways and techniques to extend your own expertise to them – that speaks volumes,” said Dr. Joseph Childers, Provost, SGU. “Also, you’re committed to learning, to making yourself better, to learn to communicate better, to learn new approaches, and to learn from each other. But mostly, I want to thank you for your commitment to the future because what you do is perhaps the most important thing anyone can do. You are visionaries, and you are helping to shape our future.”

Delivering an inspirational keynote address, encompassing this year’s theme “Empowering Teacher Leaders”, Dr. Nadia Lopez is pioneering a path of outstanding leadership carrying her message to classrooms far from Brooklyn of how under-privileged communities can beat the odds and create positive institutions that have a global impact.

“My vision was to open a school to close a prison. So that every child will be able to take over this world, become globally competitive, and know that they have value,” shared Dr. Lopez, Principal, Mott Hall Bridges Academy, Brooklyn, NY. “My goals were to find teachers who are passionate about teaching, have compassion for the community they serve, and a willingness to learn; to ensure that students receive social and emotional support so they can access knowledge with confidence and develop strategies to navigate life; and to build partnerships that support learning and teaching, by providing resources for access and opportunities.”

As the Academy’s founding principal, Dr. Lopez rose to international fame after the popular photoblog, Humans of New York (HONY), featured one of her students touting her as the most influential person in his life. Millions of people around the world learned of the positive learning environment, high expectations, and growing success rate at a school right in the middle of one of the most underserved communities in America. Her success story was shared through numerous media outlets and resulted in Dr. Lopez’s guest appearance on the Ellen Show, a visit with President Barack Obama at the White House, and receiving the Medal of Distinction from Barnard College.

“As part of SGU’s educational outreach to the community of Grenada, it is important for us to work with our principals and teachers and support them in matters such as strengthening leadership,” commented Dr. Glen Jacobs, Vice Provost of Educational Services at SGU. “That’s why we felt it so necessary to have Dr. Lopez here to share her experience of not having many resources and how important it was for our educators to hear how she did it anyway.”

This year’s Principals Forum built on the success of last year’s event, more than doubling its attendance. “Considering that many of the Grenadian students may become future students at SGU, we believe that the more help we can provide in educating and empowering our school leaders, the better for everyone,” said Dr. Jacobs.”

St. George’s University Welcomes Families From Around the World at Beyond Spice Family Weekend

Hemant and Rajul Gandhi traveled from Long Island, New York, along with many other families from North America, the Caribbean, and Europe to St. George’s University’s picturesque True Blue Campus to attend the 13th Beyond Spice Family Weekend in January.

“This was our first time visiting the Spice Isle so we spent time exploring the island’s history and  enjoying the natural beauty and cultural heritage of Grenada,” shared Mr. Gandhi. “I was very proud to learn that my son, Jason, was accepted to St. George’s not only because it’s an excellent school, but its also the environment is beautiful.”

The bi-annual Family Weekend festivities included guided campus tours, the historical sightseeing tour of Fort Frederick, the famous Grand Etang Lake, and the 30-foot Annandale Waterfalls.

“We highly recommend that any family members who have  an opportunity to experience Family Weekend should do it,” praised Mrs. Gandhi. “The island is beautiful, the campus is amazing, and the food is great, but most importantly, Jason is happy and he loves it here and that is all that matters to us.”

The weekend also coincided with the White Coat Ceremonies for the entering MD and DVM class. This allows families to take advantage of all that Family Weekend has to offer without missing the special event that marks their students’ entry into the medical or veterinary profession. Students and their families attended a weekend full of activities throughout campus and the island, prior to the momentous White Coat Ceremony.

“Family Weekend serves as more than an occasion to bring families together; it is a chance to showcase the diversity of the University’s student body and welcome families from across the globe to the SGU family,” stated Colin Dowe, Associate Dean of Enrolment Planning. “The weekend’s events also display St. George’s deeply held commitment to education and development through its collective vision for success.”

Family Weekend Fall 2017 is set for September 1-3. Learn more about the festivities by visiting the Family Weekend webpage or by emailing familyweekend@sgu.edu.

Spring 2017 Class Begins Journey as Future Veterinarians at School of Veterinary Medicine White Coat Ceremony

At the Spring 2017 School of Veterinary Medicine White Coat Ceremony on January 28, the newest class of St. George’s University students donned their newly received white coats and collectively recited the Oath of Professional Commitment. Like the more than 1,200 veterinarian graduates of SGU had done before, they dedicated their professional future to the thorough and ethical care of animals.

“The White Coat Ceremony is one of my favorite events of the year, and I am thrilled and honored to be here to share this day with you,” enthused keynote speaker Douglas A. Freeman, Professor and Dean of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Canada. “The White Coat Ceremony is our opportunity to formally induct you into the profession and to welcome you as colleagues into the amazing and wonderful veterinary medicine community.

“This profession has evolved from farm animal care, to equine care to small animal care, and you too must be resilient as you evolve throughout your veterinary medical career,” advised Dr. Freeman. “There are many jobs available in the veterinary profession, from academia and research to the military and industry. You may try a lot of different things. You don’t have to choose just one path. So as you embark on your journey of lifelong discovery, I wish you great success.”

Alumnus and Master of Ceremonies Heather Douglas, DVM SGU ‘06, knew exactly how the matriculating class felt as first-term students, and counseled them to make the most of the opportunity to study at SGU. Dr. Douglas is now the owner and veterinarian at Douglas Animal Hospital in Osseo, Minnesota. She said that, through the commitment of her professors, colleagues, and the welcoming community, she gained invaluable opportunities and a deep-rooted love for the Spice Isle.

“Being in Grenada and attending this University gave me a wonderful opportunity, and I feel I am successful in my career in veterinary medicine because of SGU,” shared Dr. Douglas, President of Douglas Animal Hospital and Visiting Professor at St. George’s University. “You too have everything you could possibly need right here to become a successful veterinarian.”

Attending his first-ever School of Veterinary Medicine White Coat Ceremony was Dr. Joseph Childers, recently appointed Provost of St. George’s University. He welcomed and congratulated the students on this next step they were about to take and, although not a veterinarian himself, connected with the students through his area of expertise—literature.

“Some of the greatest literature that was ever produced—works by Anna Sewell, George Orwell, and Jack London—are actually written by the point of view of an animal,” Dr. Childers said. “This was emblematic of who we are as human beings and our connection to the animal world. We are absolutely dependent on our animals, and who will speak for them, who will communicate with them?

“I recognize the importance of seeking an MD and the importance of what people do as medical doctors but they have a distinct advantage, they are able to communicate directly with their patients,” added Dr. Childers. “ You are called to something a little bit higher, a little bit more noble and I think in many ways much more self less. You’re advocating for creatures that cannot advocate for themselves, the creatures that we depend on. You have a double responsibility to not only deliver that kind of care and compassion but also to be those advocates. I think this speaks to the core of humanity and I congratulate you on your choice and I welcome you to St. George’s University. “

Dr. Chadd Tindall, an alumnus from the very first class of the School of Veterinary Medicine in 1999 and currently the Director of the SVM Office of Career Guidance, attended the ceremony. In addition, Dr. Austin Kirwan, Assistant Dean of UK Affairs in the School of Veterinary Medicine, who took the opportunity to robe his son, Elliot, now a first-term veterinary student.

“It was a fantastic experience. It was a long journey to actually get where you are and you would never believe that your child would be following so closely in your own footsteps but I think it brings home what SGU is actually all about,” Dr. Kirwan said afterward. “We are one family, it’s one nation, it’s one health, it’s one medicine, and it’s an absolute privilege. I graduated on that stage with my MBA from SGU and I’ve introduced my son to the veterinary faculty and school on that same stage, so it was a fantastic moment.”

The School of Veterinary Medicine accepted its first class in August of 1999, followed six years later by the installation of the first international chapter of Phi Zeta National Veterinary Honor Society on campus, the Alpha Delta Chapter. In September 2011, the American Veterinary Medical Association Council on Education announced its full accreditation of the St. George’s University Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program for seven years. Five years later, in October 2016, the American Animal Hospital Association gave its stamp of approval, accrediting the SVM Small Animal Clinic for two years, making it only the second practice outside of the US and Canada to earn the distinction.

School of Arts and Sciences Welcomes New Class of Nursing Students at Spring 2017 Nursing Induction Ceremony

Aspiring nurses were recently inducted into St. George’s University School of Arts and Sciences Nursing Program, and marking their entry into the profession were presented with lamps as a symbol of the care and devotion administered by nurses around the world.

“You are about to enter a profession that is held in high regard across the globe. Take all of the opportunities that are open to you. It may seem a long journey but embrace it. You’ve done a lot of work to even sit here at the start of this journey,” praised Master of Ceremonies, Mrs. Jennifer Solomon, RN and Chair and Director, Nursing and Allied Health, SGU.”

In addition to being welcomed into the School of Arts and Sciences by Acting Dean, Dr. John Swartz, the incoming class was also greeted by recently appointed Provost of SGU, Dr. Joseph Childers. “I want to congratulate all of you on your personal and professional choice,” commended Dr. Childers.  “As nurses, you will be the first line of care for patients. You will be that connection between the doctor and the patient. That is an extraordinary responsibility and I congratulate you on choosing this career and taking on that responsibility.”

Mrs. Hazelene Benjamin, Acting Director of Nursing Services, General Hospital, Grenada and the keynote speaker, focused on the evolving roles of nurses and the challenges of a diverse, complex health care system.

“Over the years, nursing has become more complex in ways that could not have been imagined a generation ago. Now there is an imperative to not just be great caregivers, but great innovators too. Nursing is now a profession for the intellectually curious, the life-long learner, the caring enthusiast, and the innovative advocate,” stated Mrs. Benjamin.

“Today nurses are not only empowered to face the associated health care challenges, but are better prepared and able to play a significant role in the transformation of health care systems nationally, regionally, and internationally.”

“As future nurses, today marks the beginning of your journey into the beautiful, exciting and rewarding career of service filled with wonderful opportunities and possibilities. The sky is the limit,” promised Mrs. Benjamin. “Your attitude will determine your altitude of success. Go light your candle of service, go light your world,  and be an outstanding trailblazer.”

About St. George’s University Nursing Program

Uniquely structured, the Nursing Program at St. George’s provides an opportunity for students to be taught by professors from both the School of Medicine and the School of Arts and Sciences, as well as visiting professors from outside of Grenada. In addition, student nurse training experiences will include working at the Grenada General Hospital, lab work at SGU’s Simulation Center, and community-based learning opportunities. At the end of training, and with the completion of regional and international licensing exams, successful students will become fully fledged Registered Nurses as approved by the Caribbean Nursing Council.

St. George’s University Welcomes Newest Class of Future Doctors at Spring 2017 School of Medicine White Coat Ceremony

An ocean away and in a two-week span, the Spring 2017 class of St. George’s University took their Oath of Professional Commitment, the first step in their journey to becoming physicians, at the School of Medicine White Coat Ceremonies in the United Kingdom and Grenada.

Students in the Keith B. Taylor Global Scholars Program ushered in the spring term with a ceremony held at Domain Hall on the campus of Northumbria University on January 13. They will spend their first year of Basic Sciences in the UK before joining the Grenada class in Spring 2018.

Delivering a touching keynote address to this year’s entering class was Dr. Gerard Corcoran, recently retired Lead Clinician for Cancer Services at Aintree University Hospitals in the UK. He reflected on the growth of SGU, having arrived in Grenada in 1979 and working one year in the General Hospital and at St. George’s University School of Medicine.

“Back then as a young 28-year-old, many of the students at St. George’s were my age and I was really impressed by all of their varied backgrounds,” Dr. Corcoran said. “Some had previous occupations, others had military experience, some had not studied sciences and others had endured quite a lot of hardship before coming here. But rather than looking at this as a disadvantage and a roadblock to their progress, I actually think that, for the future doctor, this different life experience was an advantage and not only for themselves but for our profession. It has been delightful for me to watch the University flourish over the years, and so in this its 40th year, I hope the Class of 2017 will continue to prosper.”

“Please take an interest in each other and share your experiences,” he added. “While in Grenada try to gain some insight on what it means to provide healthcare in a low resource country. And, never forget that universal access to health care is something that still has not been attained. There is a worldwide shortage of primary care physicians and also health professionals and SGU is to be commended for its efforts in trying to offer up opportunities for people from different countries to train here to become doctors.”

Also present at the ceremony was the Honorable Mr. Nickolas Steele, Minister for Health and Social Security. He welcomed the newly enrolled medical students and congratulated them on their choice of such an admirable profession. The Minister implored the students not only to work hard to acquire their degree but to also take the opportunity to make a difference to Grenada because their time spent in the Spice Isle will surely make a difference to them.

In Grenada, students and their friends and families filled Patrick F. Adams Hall for the School of Medicine White Coat Ceremony on January 27. Dr. Bruce Bonanno, MD SGU ’83, a member of the fifth entering class at SGU, served as the evening’s master of ceremonies. In addition to his professional career as an emergency medicine physician at CentraState Medical Center in Freehold, NJ, Dr. Bonanno has a second career as a media personality. He hosted a 30-minute medical television show and was the Chief Medical Consultant for a New Jersey station for more than 10 years.

As an alum, his involvement with SGU has included interviewing candidates for admission, teaching students and residents, and becoming re-involved with the SGUSOM Alumni Association two years ago when he was elected President. He arrived in Grenada 38 years earlier, and never ceases to be amazed at the development of both the country and his alma mater.

“Although many things have changed since I was a student at SGU, one thing has remained constant and that is you, the students,” said Dr. Bonanno. “We all arrive here with a chip on our shoulder because of those that said we couldn’t do it. But I’m here to show you that you can do it and you will do it.”

The School of Medicine White Coat Ceremony has coincided for the sixth straight term with Beyond Spice Family Weekend at SGU. Students’ family members enjoy a fun-filled weekend of activities, exploring Grenada’s rich cultural heritage and getting a taste of life at SGU before attending the special ceremony, which serves as an affirmation of commitment to their studies and marks the beginning of their medical career.