St. George’s University Approved by Georgia Composite Medical Board

The Georgia Composite Medical Board (GCMB) has approved St. George’s University, allowing its third- and fourth-year medical students to conduct their clinical training in the Peach State. In addition to the GCMB endorsement, SGU has created a partnership with DeKalb Medical Network, an agreement that facilitates clinical education opportunities at the organization’s three Atlanta-area hospitals.

“We are excited to continue expanding our network of affiliated hospitals in order to offer our students an array of clinical experiences,” said Dr. G. Richard Olds, President and CEO of St. George’s University. “This approval and this new partnership represent key cogs in our growing educational network.”

The Georgia Composite Medical Board licenses physicians and other medical professionals within the state. GCMB representatives visited the True Blue campus for four days in August, evaluating the University’s mission, programs, facilities and more. With its approval, Georgia becomes one of 12 US states in which SGU clinical students can obtain training, joining Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, New York, and New Jersey, as well as Washington, DC. Outside the US, clinical rotations are available in Canada, the United Kingdom, and Grenada.

“SGU students can benefit greatly from rotating in a wide variety of locations and fields,” said Dr. Daniel Ricciardi, MD SGU ’81, Dean of Clinical Studies at St. George’s University. “By learning from leading physicians across several different state-of-the-art facilities, they can gain experience and perspective that, upon graduating, will only enhance the quality of care they provide in their own practice.”

In addition to its approval from the GCMB, SGU has created a partnership with DeKalb Medical Network, which opens up clinical education opportunities to the University’s third- and fourth-year students. DeKalb’s hospitals have more than 600 acute care beds and provide specialty care through an emergency department as well as cancer, orthopedic, and wellness centers.

“Our partnership with DeKalb Medical Network will provide hundreds of our students the opportunity to learn and practice medicine at a very high level,” said Dr. Stephen Weitzman, Dean of St. George’s University School of Medicine. “These hospitals are ideal environments for young doctors to take on their first responsibilities in the field.”

Through these clerkships, students can obtain hands-on exposure to all medical roles in a hospital. Each clinical center can accommodate as many as 100 students, who can enroll in sub-internships, up to five rotations, and elective courses.

British Monarchy Honors St. George’s University Clinical Professor for Outstanding Service to Grenadian Health Care

Dr. Beverly Nelson, MD SGU ’86 and Clinical Associate Professor, is awarded a Commander of the Order of the British Empire by the Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace. Photo credit: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Beverly Nelson, MD SGU ’86, an Associate Professor at St. George’s University and a pioneer in pediatrics in Grenada, was awarded the Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) by Charles, Prince of Wales, on February 3 at Buckingham Palace.

Dr. Nelson is the founding Chairperson of the Children’s Health Organization Relief and Educational Services (CHORES) support group in Grenada, which has arranged physician visits to provide sub-specialty care for the community since 1989. CHORES collaborated with the Grenada Heart Foundation to eradicate rheumatic fever, which once had a high incidence in Grenada.

Dr. Nelson also serves as Co-Chair of Pediatrics and Consultant Pediatrician for Ministry of Health Grenada, while also teaching SGU medical students as a Clinical Associate Professor. In spite of her lengthy service to her country and alma mater, she described herself as being “awe-struck” last June when she was hand-delivered a letter from the office of the Governor General of Grenada, Dame Cécile La Grenade, and learned of her selection for the CBE.

“I was shocked,” Dr. Nelson said. “I get up in the morning, and I do what I do because I love it. I never expect any credit, certainly not of this magnitude.”

Last month at Buckingham Palace, Dr. Nelson joined 16 other awardees at the investiture ceremony, as well as one of just two women. Prince Charles presented her with a medal for the CBE, which ranks behind only knighthood (KBE) and damehood (DBE) among Order of the British Empire honors.

“He was so cordial and welcoming,” Dr. Nelson said of the prince. “He asked me about Grenada, thanked me for coming a great distance, and said he wanted to return to Grenada. He also spoke about Prince Harry’s recent visit. The conversation was so comfortable.”

Dr. Nelson attended St. George’s University on full scholarship beginning in 1982, and graduated in June 1986. She completed her pediatrics residency at Brooklyn Hospital in New York, finishing as Chief Resident, before returning to Grenada to begin her pediatrics career.

Noticing a drastic lack of sub-specialty care, Dr. Nelson met with CHORES members in Jacksonville, Florida, and was able to arrange the first CHORES visit to Grenada in 1989. Four years later, CHORES Support Grenada was formed in 1993, with Dr. Nelson serving as Chair. More than three decades later, CHORES continues to welcome specialists to Grenada three times per year, providing no-cost health care – including cardiology, surgery, pediatrics, prosthetics, and more. It also raises funds for patients to fly to the United States for additional care.

“CHORES hasn’t prospered because of myself alone. It has been a team approach,” Dr. Nelson said. “Together we have recruited the support from local persons and businesses to support the endeavor, and because of this conglomerate of persons coming together, we’re still here today.”

On a broader scale, Dr. Nelson points to the rheumatic fever eradication as CHORES’ and Grenada’s crowning achievement.

“We recognized we had to do something, so we joined forces with the Grenada Heart Foundation and worked hard to sensitize the nation as a whole through media and billboards to make sure that persons knew that sore throats can kill or change lives forever. Sore throats must be treated,” Dr. Nelson said.

Dr. Nelson is “very thankful” for her country’s acknowledgment of her contributions to medicine in Grenada. From 1994-1999, she was the only pediatrician on the island, and served terms as President and Secretary of the Grenada Medical Association (GMA), orchestrated with members on the new adoption law as part of the Adoption Board, and is a current member of the Grenada Medical and Dental Council. Her honor comes a year after Dr. Chamarthy Subbarao, Professor of Clinical Skills at SGU, was appointed an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his service to Grenada.

850 St. George’s University Graduates Garner US Residency Positions on Match Day 2017

Match Day was yet another success for St. George’s University and its graduates, with 850 students and alumni securing first-year residency positions at highly competitive programs across the United States through the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP).

SGU alumni will report to PGY1 residency programs in the following specialties this summer: anesthesiology, child neurology, diagnostic radiology, emergency medicine, family medicine, internal medicine, internal medicine/neurology, internal medicine/pediatrics, neurological surgery, neurology, obstetrics and gynecology, ophthalmology, orthopaedic surgery, pathology, pediatrics, pediatrics/emergency medicine, physical medicine and rehabilitation, psychiatry, surgery, thoracic surgery, urology, and vascular surgery. Residencies were secured across the United States as well as in the District of Columbia. In addition to Match Day, one student matched in January’s San Francisco Match, and seven more through the Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS) earlier this month.

“We applaud the 2017 class for its dedication and drive, from the first day of basic sciences to their clinical rotations,” said Dr. G. Richard Olds, President and CEO of St. George’s University. “We look forward to seeing them enjoy long and successful careers in their chosen field, providing high-quality health care for communities throughout the United States and Canada. I also wish to congratulate the hundreds of graduates who are planning to train internationally.”

Many SGU graduates obtained positions in their top-choice positions and at highly competitive programs. Among them was Spencer Leong, who matched into the internal medicine residency program at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

“I would have been happy going to any of the programs I had on my rank list, but Tennessee was my first choice,” he said. “It’s a great IM program in a beautiful city along the river, and it’s just two hours from where my parents live. I’m really excited to officially finish my rotations in five weeks and to get started.”

Sannoor Surani described herself as “absolutely ecstatic” shortly after learning that she had secured an anesthesiology position at her top-choice program – Boston University Medical Center. Although she grew up in Texas, she looks forward to practicing in a city that she calls “the hub of medicine.”

“So many innovations come out of Boston, and the environment is so stimulating with so many brilliant minds,” she said. “It’s where I wanted to be, and I couldn’t be happier. If not for SGU, I wouldn’t be here because it gave me an opportunity that I didn’t otherwise have. It was a great experience, and it gave me all the tools and resources I needed to be successful.”

On Match Day, Dan O’Connor discovered that he will return to his native Minnesota this summer to begin a family medicine residency at St. Cloud Hospital in St. Cloud, Minnesota. He had enjoyed his medicine rotation at St. Cloud, and interviewed for a residency position before leaving. It was and has always been his top choice.

“From when I first went to SGU, this has always been my dream,” O’Connor said. “I’ll be around my family and friends, and I’ll be doing what I love, so I’m very happy about it.”

Since opening in 1977, St. George’s University has graduated more than 14,000 physicians who have gone on to practice in all 50 US states and more than 50 countries worldwide. According to published information, SGU has placed more doctors in first-year postgraduate positions than any medical school in the last six years combined, including more than 880 placements at US and Canadian residency programs in 2016.

Stay tuned as SGU is learning each day about more postgraduate positions gained through the Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program (SOAP) or outside of the Match entirely. For a complete list of 2017 residency appointments to date, visit the SGU postgraduate appointment page.

St. George’s University Professor Named Chair of AOVET Latin America Chapter

For nearly 60 years, the AO Foundation has set the standards of practice for orthopedic and trauma surgeons—both medical and veterinary—around the world. Beginning in July 2017, Dr. Tomas Guerrero, a Professor for Small Animal Surgery at St. George’s University, will chair the Latin America chapter of AOVET, the foundation’s veterinary branch, representing the region’s veterinary health care professionals and connecting them with world-renowned veterinarians through a wide range of courses.

“I’m really proud to have been named to this position,” said Dr. Guerrero, who will chair the chapter through June 2020. “I have worked with AOVET for many years and appreciate the role it plays in establishing principles that will help provide treatments for animals as well as humans.”

Founded in 1958, the AO Foundation is a not-for-profit organization comprised of more than 16,000 surgeons, operating room personnel and scientists across over 100 countries. Its veterinary branch, AOVET, is designed to advance veterinary surgery and improve patient outcomes.

Dr. Guerrero currently serves on the AOVET Latin America Board as its Education Chair in 2015. His appointment as its chair is only the latest step in his work with the Foundation, which began in 2000 when he was a small animal surgery resident at the University of Zurich (UZH) in Switzerland. Dr. Guerrero went on to earn his Doctor of Medicine from UZH in 2003. He came to SGU in 2011 following an 11-year stint as part of UZH’s Vetsuisse Faculty.

Under Dr. Guerrero’s leadership, AOVET will continue to run orthopedic surgery courses attended by professionals in and around Latin America, including a seminar titled “Advances in Orthopaedics and Traumatology in Small and Large Animals,” set for April 1 in Argentina. Worldwide, course topics range from spinal injuries and front limb alignment to fracture management and osteotomies.

The courses not only connect participants with decorated specialists in the surgical field, but they also take their practice’s technological capability into account.

“There is an economic reality that is completely different from the United States and other parts of the world,” Dr. Guerrero said. “It’s important for us to consider that. We organize courses for that introduce new techniques to veterinary professionals and do so based on what they can afford.”

With his appointment, Dr. Guerrero is excited that SGU will be well represented in important congresses and meetings worldwide, including AO Foundation Davos Courses 2017 at the Davos Congress Center in Switzerland.

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.

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.

St. George’s University Celebrates 40 Years of Excellence in International Education

St. George’s University’s highly anticipated 40th anniversary celebration kicked off with a weekend of festivities for which all those who helped author its incredible story—everyone from the faculty and staff to its more than 17,000 graduates — were invited.

SGU’s impact on health care, veterinary medicine, business, and many other fields has been felt both near and far. Close to home, SGU hasplayed and continues to play a large role in transforming the country of Grenada. In addition to contributing millions of dollars to the country’s economy, it is also one of the largest employers of Grenadians on the island, second only to the Government of Grenada. Similarly, SGU is also responsible for transforming education in the region, offering a tertiary education opportunity that has resulted in 1,200 Grenadian alumni, with more than 200 MDs.

Beyond the Isle of Spice, St. George’s University has graduated more than 14,000 physicians and over 1,200 veterinarians, helping to address doctor shortages in the United States, Canada, and around the world.

Dr. G. Richard Olds, who hopes to continue that proud tradition as the University’s inaugural President, welcomed family, friends, and colleagues to a special investiture ceremony at Patrick F. Adams Hall during kickoff weekend. Attendees included Grenada’s Governor General, Dame Cecile La Grenade, Prime Minister Dr. the Right Honorable Keith Mitchell, Baroness Howells of St. David’s, founding members of SGU, parliamentarians, and diplomats. They included Dr. Timothy White, Chancellor, California State University, who delivered the evening’s keynote address, expressing that, in Dr. Olds, SGU had chosen the right person to lead it into the future.

With more than 70 percent of SGU doctors having gone on to practice primary care, many in areas of need, during his address, Dr. Olds reinforced his and the University’s commitment to addressing the primary care shortage and maldistribution of doctors in the US and worldwide.

“I feel privileged to lead St. George’s University at a time when we are doing more than ever to address the shortage of doctors worldwide,” Dr. Olds said. “Our graduates are fulfilling SGU’s mission to shape the future of our world – especially in communities worldwide that most need quality health care.”

SGU also welcomed back members of its charter class who started class at St. George’s University School of Medicine on January 17, 1977. They joined longtime administrators, faculty, and staff, including retired bus driver, Whitley Courtney, the University’s first-ever employee, at a special Founders Dinner in L’Anse aux Epines hosted by Chancellor Charles R. Modica, one of four of SGU’s founders. Other events included a Charity 5K Fun Run, for which more than 100 runners raced from Founders Library to the Grand Anse campus, tours of the True Blue campus, and a library archive exhibition.

Kickoff weekend festivities were punctuated by a Parade of Nations, for which more than 1,000 students, faculty, and staff celebrated SGU’s cultural diversity. In its 40 years, the University has welcomed individuals from more than 140 countries, and to celebrate, parade participants wore their national colors and waved flags of their native countries on their way through lower campus.

 

Kickoff weekend was only the beginning to a yearlong celebration of SGU’s 40 years. For more information and to register, visit www.sgu.edu/beyond40.

St. George’s University Formally Invests Dr. G. Richard Olds as President

Yesterday, St. George’s University formally marked Dr. G. Richard Olds’s appointment as President in an investiture ceremony, a highlight of the university’s 40th anniversary celebration.

“I feel privileged to lead St. George’s at a time when we are doing more than ever to address the shortage of doctors worldwide,” Olds said. “Our graduates are fulfilling St. George’s mission to shape the future of our world — especially in communities worldwide that most need quality health care.”

Co-founder Patrick F. Adams, Baroness Howells of St. Davids, Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell, Founding Chancellor Dr. Charles R. Modica, President & CEO Dr. G. Richard Olds, and California State University Chancellor Dr. Timothy White.

Investiture is a centuries-old academic tradition wherein a new university president receives the symbols of the office. Dr. Olds was appointed President of St. George’s in August 2015.

The Chancellor of the California State University system, Dr. Timothy White, also spoke during the investiture ceremony. He applauded St. George’s for expanding access to medical education among historically underrepresented minorities and recruiting a geographically, ethnically, and socioeconomically diverse student body.

Dr. White was previously chancellor of the University of California, Riverside, where he worked with Dr. Olds to establish the university’s School of Medicine, the first LCME-accredited medical school in California in more than four decades. As its founding dean, Dr. Olds focused on addressing the shortage of primary care physicians in the school’s backyard, California’s Inland Empire, where there are only 120 physicians per 100,000 people. That’s 38 percent fewer than the state average.

Dr. Olds has carried that same passion for serving the needy to St. George’s, which is already the largest provider of new doctors to the U.S. healthcare system. Under Dr. Olds’s leadership, St. George’s has expanded several scholarship initiatives that encourage students to work in underserved areas, including the CityDoctors program and the Keith B. Taylor Global Scholars Program.

“Over our next 40 years and beyond, St. George’s will continue to expand opportunity to more students from geographically, ethnically, and socioeconomically diverse backgrounds — because they are the ones who will make a difference,” said Dr. Olds. “Whether they’re filling the global need for high-quality providers of primary care or solving public health crises, I am excited to see the impact that our students will have on the world.”

Published on 1/16/17

St. George’s University Adds Borrego Health to Clinical Network

St. George’s University’s network of clinical affiliates recently welcomed Borrego Community Health Foundation (BCHF), a non-profit Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) based in southern California. Starting in 2017, SGU clinical students can complete their family medicine rotations at the Cathedral City Health Center in Cathedral City, California. Borrego Health joins a family of more than […]

SAS Alum Outlines Coral Reef Restoration Program During Prince Harry Visit to Grenada

An alumnus of St. George’s University School of Arts and Sciences was part of a day-long welcoming party for Prince Henry of Wales – Prince Harry – during his visit to Grenada on November 28.

For a glass-bottomed boat tour in Grand Anse Bay, His Royal Highness was accompanied by Kerricia Hobson, BSc SGU ’08, Project Manager in the Environment Division in Grenada’s Ministry of Education, Human Resource Development, and the Environment. One of few individuals aboard the charter boat, Ms. Hobson explained the Grenada Coastal Ecosystem-Based Adaptation (EBA) Project, which is designed to reinforce deteriorating reef structures in Grenada and Carriacou through the creation and maintenance of coral nurseries.

She and Prince Harry observed five of the program’s divers, or “gardeners,” assess and clean the nurseries, tasks that will have many long-term environmental and sociological benefits to Grenada.

“Prince Harry was impressed and pledged to be a voice to help raise awareness about the importance of coral reefs,” Ms. Hobson said. “Coral reefs produce the sand on our beautiful beaches, and they’re also important for our tourism and fisheries industries. To restore them, coastal ecosystems have proven to be less costly to implement and a better fit than hard infrastructures such as seawalls.”

The EBA program is run jointly with the Government of Grenada and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), and is the first such project in the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS). Since the program’s launch last year, EBA Project personnel, including another SGU grad, Leyana Romain, BSc SGU ’14, have constructed and overseen two nurseries off the coasts of Grenada and Carriacou. As a result of their efforts, nearly 2,000 reef fragments have matured and been installed on existing structures. Ms. Hobson and Ms. Romain are seeking additional funding that will allow them to reach their goal of planting upward of 10,000 fragments in the next 3-5 years.

Following his visit, His Royal Highness left a note that read, “Globally, 75% of coral reefs are under threat from overfishing, habitat destruction, pollution and acidification of the sea due to climate change. It is fantastic to see Grenada doing their bit for their surrounding ocean and coral reefs. We must protect the things that give us so much.”

Ms. Hobson described her conversation with Prince Harry as surreal. “He asked a number of questions and showed that he’s knowledgeable about our work and the issue of coastal preservation,” Ms. Hobson said. “For a while, I forgot that I was talking to His Royal Highness. He didn’t act like he was royalty; he acted like a person who was genuinely interested in the work we were doing.”

Jason Roberts, awarded an honorary doctorate from SGU in May 2016, meets with Prince Harry at Queens Park, Grenada.

Jason Roberts, awarded an honorary doctorate from SGU in May 2016, meets with Prince Harry at Queens Park, Grenada.

Prince Harry represented Queen Elizabeth II in his visit to Grenada, which included a royal welcome at Maurice Bishop International Airport, as well as sporting events at Queens Park Grounds. Prince Harry visited with members of the Jason Roberts Foundation, who launched the Youth in Action initiative to help improve the wellbeing and lifestyle of Grenada youth. Mr. Roberts, a former Premier League and Grenada National Team football player, was honored with an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters by SGU’s School of Graduate Studies in May 2016 for his longtime work on behalf of disabled children in Grenada through the Foundation.

Prince Harry’s visit was part of a 15-day tour of the Caribbean that also included stops in Antigua, Barbados, Barbuda, Guyana, Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Published 12/6/2016