Graduates of St. George’s MPH Program Obtain US National Board Certification in Public Health

First to Obtain CPH after CEPH Accreditation

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Earlier this year, dual degree students, Alexander Faludi and Alexander Juusela, earned the distinction as the first graduates of St. George’s University’s Master of Public Health program to obtain US National Board Certification in Public Health. In addition to earning their MPH, Faludi and Juusela are currently completing degrees in veterinary medicine and medicine, respectively. They will join more than 1,500 certified public health professionals in the US and abroad.

The Certification in Public Health (CPH) exam is offered once a year to students who successfully complete their MPH studies at colleges and universities accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH). As the US accreditation authority for public health programs, the CEPH granted full accreditation to St. George’s Master of Public Health degree program in 2010. The University is only the fifth non-US institution approved by the CEPH to hold this coveted distinction.

“We are incredibly proud of both students. They seized the first opportunity to earn their CPH, further validating their credentials as public health professionals as well as bolstering the University’s reputation in the international arena,” commented Dr. Omur Cinar Elci, MD, PhD, FRSPH, Chair of the Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine (DPHPM). While Faludi chose to specialize in Environmental and Occupational Health, Juusela opted for the Health Policy and Administration track. The 42-credit MPH program also offers students the option to specialize in Epidemiology and Veterinary Public Health. Dr. Elci, along with DPHPM faculty, offered his support when the students requested a one-week leave in order to complete the exam in the United States.

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Alex – Processing Hepatitis A blood samples Dominican Republic

The MPH program also offers its students the opportunity to register in a practicum in more than 150 sites all over the world—one of the main reasons Juusela applied to the program at St. George’s. He explains, “I really liked the idea of being able to travel while getting my education. Most MPH programs in the US only offer limited hands-on practical experience in the local public health departments.” Juusela spent two months with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) in the Dominican Republic. Additionally, he volunteered in Haiti for one month post-earthquake, providing free medical services to displaced Haitians.

“My MPH studies have taught me to think outside of the box. Whether you are an MPH, MD, or DVM— the concept of One Health One Medicine applies to all health care professionals. Collaboration between disciplines is important when considering how to manage global health issues. My MPH degree allows me to more readily see the interconnectedness,” explains Faludi on how his MPH will further his future career aspirations to work with international health organizations. “With my dual degree I now have the skills to explore the inextricable link between animal and human health, particularly when using animals as an indicator species for human diseases.” Currently, Faludi is the lead veterinary student researcher for the snake relocation program in Grenada, which works to relocate snakes instead of killing the already rapidly declining species in the region. “In addition to relocation, we’re working to change peoples existing opinions on these creatures. Working in the Grenada rainforest, I have the opportunity to see the impact of my internship and research work.”

As students earn their certifications and take their knowledge abroad, Dr. Elci predicts Faludi and Juusela have opened the door for other students in Grenada. “We expect additional MPH graduates to follow in their footsteps and participate in the next CPH examination in February 2012.”

About St. George’s University’s Public Health Program
Administered by the Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, the graduate Public Health Program was established in 1999 at St. George’s University’s School of Medicine and offers graduate degrees in Public Health (MPH) as well as dual-degree opportunities resulting in MD/MPH and DVM/MPH degrees.

St. George’s and American University – A Unique Partnership, A Remarkable Experience

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St. George’s University student Krystle Noel recently returned from American University’s Washington DC campus. She is the first School of Arts and Sciences student to take advantage of the Washington Semester Program, a partnership between St. George’s University and American University. The International Business major spent her fall semester at American University—including a three week visit to China in November. Krystle has returned to the St. George’s campus with rave reviews of the program, saying, “This program reinforced so much of what I have learned at St. George’s—I felt very well prepared for participation in the program.”

Dr. Reccia Charles, Associate Professor and Program Coordinator of the Department of Business, is behind the St. George’s partnership with American University. On the success of the first participant, Dr. Charles said, “In observing Krystle after her return, I can see a transformation in her outlook on the world as well as an increase in her overall confidence.” The Washington Semester Program allows students to research topics in their field of study, network with leaders and experts in their respective fields, engage in international travel, and build friendships with other college students— the byproduct of which is usually an increase in a student’s enthusiasm in their education. Dr. Charles continued, “I am very proud of Krystle’s success.”

The Washington Semester Program’s intense schedule included presentations from more than 50 guest speakers—including Krystle’s now favorite author, Pulitzer-winning New York Times columnist and author of The Lexus and the Olive Tree, Thomas Freidman. In addition to rigorous study, Krystle, along with her classmates, had the opportunity to visit various government agencies and corporations in the US and China, including the Library of Congress; the Embassy of the Sultanate of Oman; the International Monetary Fund and World Bank; the United States Federal Reserve; the New York Stock Exchange; Goldman Sachs; Beijing’s Peking University, Hyundai, and IDC China; Shanghai’s Autodesk (the company which produces AutoCad); and the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Additionally, Krystle volunteered at the Annual Global Services Summit and interned at the Center for Social Leadership.

“It was better than I thought possible,” commented Krystle. “The University put so much effort into making the experience remarkable. It is something that I will be able to draw from for the rest of my life.” Krystle was very impressed by the cultural diversity she met in the Washington Semester Program and was happy to have been exposed to the business cultures of both China and Washington DC.

Dr. Charles offered insight into some of the challenges of recruiting for a study abroad program for local students. “The families of some students are often reluctant to allow their children to study abroad or travel much on their own or with peers,” she said. “However, the Washington Semester Program offers a supervised compromise that is acceptable to parents, especially with available generous financial aid. This unique program gives students an opportunity they might not have otherwise had to expand their knowledge beyond the borders of their home country.”

The next group of students is expected to go to Washington DC in Fall 2011. Beginning this spring, directors of the Washington Semester Program plan to hold information sessions via video conference to answer any questions students may have regarding the program.

St. George’s University, which began its partnership with American University in 2009, is the only university in the Caribbean (apart from Puerto Rico) to be part of this affiliation. Dr. Charles and the rest of the University have high hopes for the partnership as it extends St. George’s mission to offer an international education beyond its Schools of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, to a blossoming School of Arts and Sciences.

St. George’s University School of Medicine Award Scholarships to the Exceptional

St. George’s University is proud to announce that in the January 2011 School of Medicine entering class, 46 students were awarded prestigious scholarships. The University has awarded the prestigious Chancellor’s Circle of the Legacy of Excellence (CCLOE) Scholarship to 24 medical students and the Legacy of Excellence (LOE) scholarships to 22 highly-qualified students, over a dozen of whom will spend their first year in the Keith B. Taylor Global Scholar’s Program in Newcastle, UK.

“No other school I applied to had a program remotely similar to the KBTGSP. My experiences have been great so far and I feel that this moment will be a cherished memory once I begin to practice medicine,” commented scholarship recipient, Clifton Espinoza. “I would like to thank St. George’s University for giving me the opportunity to be part of this amazing program.” Another scholarship recipient, Bhumi Patel explained why she chose to attend the University, “SGU provides thorough medical education and fully prepares its students without excessive tuition-something that U.S. medical schools cannot offer. I am also impressed by the Chancellor’s belief regarding medical education and medical school admission.”

The scholarship recipients were awarded based on academic merit and their commitment to their school and to their chosen profession. The CCLOE scholarship is automatically awarded to the first 50 accepted students fulfilling the minimum requirements of an undergraduate 3.7 cumulative GPA, 3.5 science GPA, and total score of 29 on the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). This elite group of students will receive one-third tuition scholarships toward their entire four year medical education. Since the LOE scholarship was first created in 2003, the University has awarded over $5.6 million in tuition scholarships to over 200 students in its Schools of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine.

Although the students just beginning their first term of rigorous study, Dean of Enrollment Planning and University Registrar Margaret Lambert looks towards a bright future. “We are happy to reward the hard work and dedication of these students and support them in fulfilling their dreams.” St. George’s University has created these elite scholarships to award partial-tuition scholarships to entering students who demonstrate the commitment and dedication but may not have the means to achieve their dreams. “We look forward to the future contributions our students will make to the medical profession as a result of their education at St. George’s University.”

St. George’s University is dedicated to making a unique international medical education accessible to the best and brightest students from all over the world – regardless of circumstance. The University offers a wide variety of institutional scholarships designed to recognize academic excellence and the University has awarded over $100 million dollars in scholarships to more than 5,000 students over the years.

January 2011 Chancellor’s Circle Legacy of Excellence Awardees

Anthony Saad
Ashwani Gore
Bhumi Patel
Brijesh Patel
Clifton Espinoza
Diako Amirhamzeh
Erin Little
Farzin bagheri
Kee Hyon Eom
Maneesh Kanal
Matthew Campbell
Moh’d Wasim Mansoor Sandra Guerguis
Silpa Somepalli
Sinziana Mahalean
Srikanthi Kopuri
Syed Hussaini
Usman Shehzad
Wallisa Roberts
William Nickles
William Raoofi
Yulya Kozlova
Zachary Port Zeshan Jilani

January 2011 Legacy of Excellence Awardees

Aadit Patel
Alena Naumova
Amandeep Singh
Caitlin Mulholland-Olson
Christopher Folterman
Daniel Breznau
Daniel Hillman
Darcy Bains
Edward Mulligan
Gloria Lee
Grace Stephan Iram Ashraf
Lisa Kim
Megha Patel
Natalie Pozzi
Natasha Adlakha
Reenal Patel
Sachin Patel
Sahbaz Ahmed
Saumya Rachakonda
Sejal Kothadia
Tuongman Phan

Sport for Health launched in Grenada

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Sports for Health committee members with Secondary school principals and sporting ambassadors

Principals and sporting ambassadors from each of Grenada’s 22 secondary schools attended the launch of the Windward Islands Research and Education Foundation’s (WINDREF) Sport for Health Program. A collaborative program between WINDREF, St. George’s University, the Ministries of Sport and Health, and the Grenada National Olympic Committee, the goal is to help reduce the public health problem of chronic disease by increasing awareness and educating the public about delaying or preventing the onset of chronic disease by leading a healthier lifestyle.

Participants from all secondary schools in the tri-island nation of Grenada, Carriacou, and Petite Martinique participated with Sport for Health Program committee members in the launch of this ambitious, long term program. At the Grenada launch ceremony, principals representing 22 schools received a cheque for $2,000 (EC) to support sporting activities at their schools. They also received wrist bands with the inscription, “Sport for Health, Grenada. I Am the Future of My Country.” to be distributed to athletes participating in Intercol on April 6 and 7. Grenada’s record-breaking athlete, Kirani James, will act as a role model for the Sport for Health Program and is its first sporting ambassador.

The initiative for the Sport for Health Program followed an inaugural successful fundraising function at the House of Lords in London, sponsored by Baroness Howells of St Davids – the only Grenadian in the House of Lords – and Lord Soulsby of Swaffham Prior, the President of WINDREF. The function was addressed by Lord (Seb) Coe, the Olympic double-gold medallist and Chairman of the London Organising Committee for the 2012 Olympic Games, who praised the program for “inspiring a healthier generation of youth. Your campaign,” he said, “to work with sporting ambassadors across your schools shows what imaginative thinking can do.”

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(on the right) Mr. Dorani Marshall (Sport for Health Program committee member and father of Kirani James) presenting the $2,000 ECD to one of the principals, (on the left) Mr. Victor Ashby (Chair of the Principals Association of Grenada)

Speaking at the ceremony, Trevor Noël, Assistant Director of WINDREF, and a member of the Sport for Health Program committee said that there was “overwhelming scientific evidence of the positive effects of sport on a healthy lifestyle, which helps to prevent chronic diseases including cardio-vascular disease, diabetes, hypertension and obesity.”

George McGuire, Director of Athletics, Sports and Recreations at St George’s University, and also a member of the Sport for Health Program committee, pointed out that a recent study conducted by the world renowned cardiovascular disease expert, Dr. Fuster and his research group at Mt. Sinai working in collaboration with the Grenada Heart Project and the Ministry of Health had recently presented their findings which showed that approximately 80 percent of Grenadian women over the age of 25 were obese.”

Marlon Glean, Sport for Health Program Chairperson said that the sporting ambassadors identified from all of the secondary schools had a key role to play. “They will be the catalyst for maximizing the benefits which our schools and local communities can achieve through the program. Not only will they be responsible for developing, implementing and coordinating health programs and activities in their schools – one will be selected to go to London to attend part of the Olympic games to be held in the UK in Summer 2012.”. We also hope that with additional sponsorships, sports scholarships will be given for some of our outstanding athletes to attend St George’s University and other universities in the UK, US and Canada.”

Marlon Glean added that the second phase of the program would be targeted at “ students who do not participate in sporting activities who may be at a greater risk of developing chronic diseases.” It is hoped that the lessons learned from the programme will be lifelong.

Other members of the Sport for Health Program committee include Baroness Howells of St. Davids, former Governor General of Grenada, Sir Paul Scoon, prominent business person, Denis Noël, President of the Grenada Olympic Committee, Royston LaHee, , father of Kirani James, Mr. Dorani Marshall, and the WINDREF board members.

IFMSA-Grenada Attends General Assembly in Indonesia

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Members of the Grenada chapter of the International Federation of Medical Students Association (IFMSA) recently attended the 60th IFMSA General Assembly (GA) March Meeting in Jakarta, Indonesia where the week-long conference focused on health equity and disparity. Through lectures, panel discussions, field work, and committee sessions, delegates were encouraged to promote health equity on the national and international levels by engaging with national health care systems within developed, developing, and poor countries.

Students from more than 55 countries were in attendance and the delegation from Grenada reflected the diversity found at St. George’s. Students represented Asian, Indian, European, and Caribbean ethnicities as well as the nations of the United States, United Kingdom, and Trinidad and Tobago. “Regardless of our citizenship, we were eager to introduce the other delegations to Grenada—the country where we receive our education and that has become our second home,” recounts Ayan Sanyal, Secretary-General of IFMSA-Grenada. “There was rarely a moment when our delegation was not proudly wearing bandanas or handkerchiefs with Grenada’s colors or waving our flags.”

Ayan represented IFMSA-Grenada at the Standing Committee on Research Exchange (SCORE), which oversees the exchange of students between member countries for the purposes of working on research projects. He made several contacts with the Research Exchange Officers of other countries who expressed great interest in helping to establish IFMSA-Grenada’s SCORE program and who would like to offer research exchange between their schools and SGU.

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Ayan, along with IFMSA-Grenada President-External Antonio Thomas, also participated in plenary sessions, where they cast votes on motions and resolutions involving constitutional by-laws, elections, future meeting sites, and position statements. Members from the SGU delegation distributed information about the University and Grenada to other attendees, as well as discussed the opportunities for Professional Exchanges in Grenada.

“Its really unique to have that many countries under one roof who all care about global health issues,” says Yon Chong, Alumni Coordinator for IFMSA-Grenada. “I’m grateful to St. George’s and IFMSA for allowing me to participate in amazing experiences like this.”

Ayan adds of his experience, “Despite different cultures and modes of education, we all found common ground in the joys and struggles of a medical student.”

IFMSA organizations meet biannually in March and August. IFMSA-Grenada delegates attended their first General Assembly last August in Montreal, where the group was voted in as a full National Member Organization (NMO). Copenhagen, Denmark, will host the next General Assembly in August 2011, with the focus on both possibilities and challenges concerning health in the future.

St. George’s Dedicates New Cardiology Centre

Aid in Reducing the High Morbidity and Mortality Rate Linked to Cardiovascular Disease

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A proud moment for St. George’s University was the dedication of its Cardiology Centre on November 22. This opening of the centre, facilitated by the partnership between the Grand Anse Diocese of the Roman Catholic Church, has been much anticipated. Now cardiology services will be available in an easily accessible, central, and disability-friendly 2400 sq. ft. facility. The medical centre will also house the University’s Visiting Cardiology Program, which has historically provided quality health care at no cost to patients.

The cardiology center offers cardiac consultations, electrocardiography (ECG) testing, two-dimensional echocardiogram, exercise stress tests, and pacemaker interrogations. St. George’s alumni as well as non-alumni will continue to facilitate pacemaker implantations and interrogations at Grenada’s General hospital and conduct further testing and services through the Visiting Cardiology Program. The Cardiology Centre’s purchase of a new echocardiogram machine and exercise stress testing equipment with PC based software was made possible by a generous $56,000 USD donation from local electricity company, Grenada Electricity Services Limited (GESL).

Dr. Johansen Sylvester, Coordinator of the Visiting Cardiology Program as well as 2,000 graduate of St. George’s University, was instrumental in seeing the Cardiology Center come to fruition. As chair of the dedication ceremony, his speech acknowledged the presence of many medical professionals and guests who had a hand in making this dream a reality, including Dr. Ralph Cardamone.

A St. George’s graduate from the Class of 1983, Dr. Ralph Cardamone remembered his first clinic. “My heart patients walked uphill to the hospital and stood in the sun to be attended to. We’ve certainly come a long way. Things happen when we have a dream and are willing to work to make that dream reality.” Dr. Cardamone expressed his love for the country that helped him build his career “I have a great passion to give back to the country that has given me so much.” He also expressed his hope that organizations that provide heart care in Grenada — such as the Children’s Health Organization Relief and Educational Services (CHORES), Grenada Heart Foundation, and World Heart Organization (WHO) —will collaborate and combine efforts and resources, especially with such things as centralized patient records.

Dr. Allen Pensick, Provost of St. George’s University, commented, “Today is really a happy day for us at SGU with the dedication of this very important facility, which will continue to provide quality care at no charge.” Dr. Pensick commended Frs. Charles, Harris and Bishop Darius on their work with the program. “This stands as evidence that when we work as a team dreams can become reality.”

Secretary of St. George’s Board of Trustees, Mr. Patrick Adams touched on a more personal note during the dedication. “Having undergone a triple by-pass operation in 1980, I can personally testify to the part modern technology has played in keeping me alive to be able to do more of the things I want to do.” He expressed his hope that the Cardiology program would branch into other specialties and that the program would bring to Grenada a level of medical care that would be on par with the United States.

Dr. Sylvester wishes to thank St. George’s University, GESL, the Government of Grenada, and other benefactors (many of whom prefer to remain anonymous) that assisted in raising funds for the program as well as contributing personally. He is also grateful for Mr. Roy Hall, who provided invaluable consultancy in engineering. Lastly, Dr. Sylvester wishes to acknowledge St. George’s University student group, Emergency Medicine Club, for its kind donation of EC $5,500 which will go towards the purchase of cardiac event recorders.

If you are interested in becoming a Visiting Cardiologist, please contact Dr. Johansen Sylvester at
473-405-3930 or jsylvester@sgu.edu .To see more pictures of the Dedication of the Cardiology Centre, please visit the “Photos” tab at www.facebook.com/StGeorgesU.

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SGU in the New York Times

Dear Students, Faculty, Staff and Friends,

A week ago I sent you a letter outlining the situation with the deans of New York medical colleges demanding that the prevalence of students from Caribbean students in New York hospitals be reviewed by the New York State Board of Regents.

The Chronicle of Higher Education published an article on the situation. Today, The New York Times published an article on the same topic. This article highlights the fact that St. George’s University has excellent students who were unable to get a seat in a US medical school. It also highlights the need to review the academic standards of Caribbean medical schools that places medical students in New York hospitals.

We laud this effort at tightening up the standards. We think it is necessary and have thought so for some time. Please listen to the radio interview. One of the issues facing St. George’s is that all Caribbean schools tend to be lumped together; certainly the “Big Three” are lumped together. But all Caribbean schools are not equal, and St. George’s outshines all the other schools in any quantifiable performance outcome. The article mentions a 75 percent pass rate for foreign trained students in the Clinical Knowledge section of the USMLE II. SGU students had a 88 percent first time pass rate on this exam during the 2008–2009 academic year. Also, St. George’s pass rate for all first-time takers of USMLE I in 2009 was 91 percent (2009 was the last complete year of examinations). This score represents the pass rate for all 917 students who took the examination for the first time in 2009. There are no disclaimers or qualifiers on this number, unlike the disclaimers/qualifiers we see for other international schools.

When it comes to pass rates, we have had years of setting the record straight about the misrepresentations of many international medical schools. In 1983, JAMA published a report which showed that St. George’s had the highest initial pass rate for any international school with a substantial number of US test takers during a 10-year period up to 1982—we were then only five years old. Since that time, there has been no external report of the examination results for 25 years. In October of 2008, the journal Academic Medicine published a 15-year study of USMLE first-time pass rates. It shows clearly that Grenada clearly outperforms the Caribbean countries; the closest private Caribbean country performed 14 points below Grenada students over the 15-year period.

I just spoke with a past president of a New York medical school who called to speak about this article and its implications. He told me that our most important task was to differentiate ourselves from many of the other schools, to hold our heads high, to be proud of the performance of our students and graduates, and to continue to show the world how well our graduates are doing in a health care system with a serious shortage of physicians.

You should all be proud to be a part of this great University. I know I am. I wish you all a happy and peaceful holiday season and best wishes for the New Year.

Sincerely,

Charles R. Modica
Chancellor

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Father and Son Conduct Podiatric Clinic

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Nursing staff from St. George’s General Hospital and representatives from the Ministry of Healthpose for a group photo with Dr. Jay Helman at the Ministerial Complex.

More than 120 Grenadians took advantage of free foot care during a week-long podiatry clinic held at the Tivoli Health Center and St. George’s University Health Services Clinic in Grenada, West Indies. Dr. Robert Helman, a 1997 graduate of the St. George’s School of Medicine, has been volunteering his services to the people of Grenada since 2003. During one of his customary visits to the island, he revealed that his father, Dr. Jay Helman, was a podiatrist—a class of doctors not commonly found in Grenada. When his services were requested, Dr. Jay Helman was thrilled at the opportunity to give back to Grenada and to the University responsible for his son’s successful career in medicine. The father son duo has been conducting clinic visits ever since.

During the podiatry clinic in December, nearly 90 percent of those who sought health care required wound care. Nurses and practitioners provided compression dressing in order to speed up the rate at which the wound heals. Dr. Jay Helman took the opportunity to meet with nurses and present a lecture on how to prevent and treat wounds. “The nursing staff is caring; they are interested and they are very competent,” he described. “The problem is that they don’t often have the things they need. I try to bring down as many wound-care supplies as I can, but unfortunately supplies do run out. What I try to do when I’m in these clinics, with these nurses, is to try to teach them how to make use of what we have and improvise with available materials.”

For Dr. Robert Helman the visit served as an opportunity to exchange current medical knowledge and procedures with practitioners on the island. As the Director of Emergency Medicine at Peninsula Hospital Center in New York City, he has dealt with a wide range of medical emergency situations —from gun shot wounds to strokes and heart attacks. Because of his specialization in emergency medicine, Dr. Robert Helman e took the opportunity delivered lectures about the field to the physicians at the Casualty (Accident & Emergency) Department of the General Hospital in Grenada. “I’ve been well-received, and I’ve gotten to know them (medical practitioners) very well. We have both learned a lot from each other so it’s been a really great experience. It’s quite rewarding.”

The week-long podiatry clinic was organized through the Virtual Hospital Program which enables St. George’s University alumni and friends to aid the Ministry of Health and government of Grenada in improving healthcare in the country. Coordinator of the Virtual Hospital Program, Mr. Brendon La Grenade, comments, “We at SGU are thankful to the vast network of friends and associates volunteering their time and expertise to this venture as we continue to work hand-in-hand towards the goal of top-notch healthcare delivery here in Grenada.” In addition to clinics, the program involves mentoring, lectures, and teaching workshops for nurses and doctors.

Dr. Jay Helman provides tips for good foot health, “The first thing is to complete self-examination daily. If you notice your legs swelling at the end of the day, you need to get your feet elevated—not just off the ground but higher than your chest to get the blood flowing again.” Ultimately, the father and son team hope to establish a wound care team of visiting and local medical personnel—both physicians and nurses—to help care for patients and reduce the number of amputations by at least 50 percent. Dr. Jay Helman explains, “The cost—economic, psychological and physical— both to the individual and their families is enormous. If we can help prevent amputations with the preventive care offered in this clinic, we can save a lot of limbs and a lot of heartache.” The Helmans, along with the Virtual Hospital Program and Ministry of Health, once again demonstrate how the University and Grenadian people stand to benefit by working together.

The University is grateful to Drs. Jay and Robert Helman and family, St. George’s University Virtual Hospital Coordinator Brendon La Grenade, Grenada’s Ministry of Health, as well as the participating clinics, nurses, doctors, patients, and all stakeholders who were involved in making this year’s clinic a success.

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Fall 2010 ICSA Culture Show: “Taal, a Beat of Passion”

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This November, the Indian Cultural Student Association (ICSA) held its semi-annual cultural show, “Taal, a Beat of Passion.” The collaboration and camaraderie between students of different nationalities and backgrounds to produce such a show speaks to the multicultural environment at St. George’s University. It was an event that brought a taste of India to all faculty, staff, students, as well as to the local community.

The show began with an introduction of the ICSA Fall 2010 board members Neha Rana, Priti Dave, Johnny Wu, Rushabh Shah, Simran Nahal, Satjit Sanghera, Prashanth Boddeti, and Kyrie Kanhai. President of ICSA, Neha Rana explained the importance of the event. “We are normally consumed by class and studying. The show allows students to share something beyond medical school that they enjoy with the SGU community.” One of the emcees of the cultural show, Ayanna Rocke agreed, “It is important to the Indian Student body as well as SGU to have a cultural show as it helps in a way to give the students a voice.”

Dances of the night ranged from classical to bhangra to hip hop. A semi-classical dance was followed by fusion hip-hop, bhangra, and Bollywood dance performances. Neha describes the audience and recalled, “Charter Hall was completely packed with people standing in the aisles to catch a glimpse of the performers. Members from the entire SGU community were in attendance, ranging from professors and their families to students and local vendors.”

Overall, the ICSA was successful in showcasing the talents of the entire student body as well as bringing traditional Indian culture to share with the St. George’s University community. As fifth term medical student, Satjit Sanghera explains, “ Not only was it a night of tradition, entertainment, culture and rhythm, but also a night in which the SGU community came together under one roof to watch students showcase talent that is often buried deep in the blur of medical school.”

ICSA is one of the largest student organizations at St. George’s University. It was founded in 1996 to share the Indian culture with the entire University and Grenada. ICSA hosts several events throughout the year including Holi, Diwali, dance classes, semiannual theme-based parties, and the ICSA Cultural Show.

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Seven Students Awarded Veterinary Mentor Scholarships

Since its inception in 1999, St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine has trained more than 550 veterinarians—the majority of whom are in private practice in countries around the world. Every year the School of Veterinary Medicine awards Veterinary Mentor Scholarships as a means to give back to the field of veterinary medicine and support the hard-working and dedicated students who come to Grenada with the dream of becoming veterinarians.

This year’s seven winners from the entering class of August 2010 hail from the United States, Canada and Ireland. The 2010 Veterinary Mentor Scholarship winners are:

  • Kristen Barnes
  • Kristen Cash
  • Erin Cooper
  • Alicia Chivers
  • Lorenza Malaguti
  • Jaclyn Piet
  • Sara Twerdok

Each scholarship recipient is nominated by a practicing veterinarian who feels strongly that his or her protégé has shown academic excellence and has proven dedication to the veterinary medical profession.

Kristen Cash is one such student, having spent six years working with her mentor, veterinarian Dr. Robert Pfister.

“This scholarship has given me an amazing opportunity that I may not have had otherwise. It enabled me to have the opportunity to share one of the biggest moments of my life with two of the most influential people in my life. I would not be where I am if it weren’t for the constant encouragement and support given to me by Dr. Pfister and his wife Dr. Hurley.”

The Veterinary Mentor Scholarship awards between 20 to 40 percent of the full-tuition of the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Program to accepted students. To apply, students must be nominated by a licensed veterinarian who can answer questions about the commitment and compassion of the prospective student to the veterinary profession. In addition to the partial tuition scholarships, winners are encouraged to invite their mentors to Grenada to witness the White Coat Ceremony, a trip paid for by St. George’s University. The White Coat Ceremony is an important moment in a veterinarian’s career as it marks a student’s formal entry into the profession.

Dr. Pfister is most excited his protégé now has the opportunity to attend an “international school that will open her eyes, providing a worldly experience that will educate her beyond just medical school.” He is confident that in her years ahead she will make St. George’s University proud as well.

St. George’s offers a wide range of academic and needs-based scholarship opportunities to help ensure that the unique international education St. George’s provides remains available to the best and brightest students—regardless of circumstance. The Veterinary Mentor Scholarship is just one way that St. George’s gives back to the veterinary medical profession that has so generously embraced the University and its educational mission since the school welcomed its first class in September 1999.

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