New Zealand Anatomy Conference Examines Impact of “Stethoscope of the Future”

A foundation component of medical education for every clinician, anatomy has recently emerged in the practice of ultrasound technology. Together, they have been called “the stethoscope of the future,” not only in a clinical setting but in the classroom.

For nearly a decade, Dr. Marios Loukas, Dean of Basic Sciences at St. George’s University, has spearheaded its implementation at SGU. As a keynote speaker at the 2017 Australasian & New Zealand Association of Clinical Anatomists (ANZACA), held at the University of Auckland from December 4-6, Dr. Loukas outlined how and why ultrasound has become an integral part of the St. George’s University curriculum.

“We’ve invested a lot in ultrasound training and we’re really ahead of the curve,” Dr. Loukas said. “As more and more schools are teaching it, it’s important that we explain how we did it, why it’s proven beneficial, some problems that we’ve faced, and how we have sorted it out.”

Ultrasound has been a platform for Dr. Loukas at past conferences, including the American Association of Clinical Anatomists (AACA) conference held in Grenada in 2012, after which several attendees obtained hands-on experience utilized SGU’s expansive ultrasound technology during a one-day postgraduate course on the True Blue campus. Dr. Loukas was appointed President of the AACA in 2017.

In New Zealand, he was joined in his presentation by Dr. Anne Agur, a Professor in the Department of Surgery at the University of Toronto and Past President of the AACA; and Dr. Brion Benninger, Executive Director of the Medical Anatomy Center at Western University of Health Sciences in Oregon.

“It was a nice balance,” said Dr. Loukas. “I was able to explain the dean perspective, including our objectives, milestones, and competencies, Dr. Agur provided the health allied sciences angle, and Dr. Benninger showed how ultrasound is integrated into his anatomy course.”

In addition, Dr. James Coey, Associate Course Director for Human Gross and Developmental Anatomy at Northumbria University, and Dr. Sara Sulaiman, Senior Lecturer in Anatomy at NU, were presented with an award for their research on how anatomy instruction across the globe, and what is the most effective way to teach the subject.

“It is imperative to drive our practice by evidence, communicate and collaborate with other medical educators to create an approach fit for today’s requirements and challenges,” Dr. Sulaiman said. “We are very thrilled having received this recognition from an esteemed organization such as ANZACA and we hope that our results and suggestions would drive further discussion and collaboration among anatomy educators.”

Earlier in 2017, Drs. Coey and Sulaiman were recognized for their work by the Anatomical Society of South Africa. In addition, second-year SGU student Jenna Kroeker was recognized by the best clinical anatomy poster presentation at the American Association of Clinical Anatomy annual meeting.

Rutgers New Jersey Medical School Dean Delivers Annual Bourne Lecture at St. George’s University

Dr. Robert Johnson MD, Dean of Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, delivers the 23rd annual Geoffrey H. Bourne Memorial Lecture.

The success of an institution and its personnel can hinge on the professional culture it creates, this according to Dr. Robert L. Johnson, The Sharon and Joseph L. Muscarelle Endowed Dean at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School (NJMS) and keynote speaker at the 23rd Annual Geoffrey Bourne Memorial Lecture.

Dr. Johnson, who also serves as Professor of Pediatrics and Director of the Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine at NJMS, gave the presentation titled “Professionalism in Health Care” at Charter Hall before dozens of hospital administrators who were attending SGU’s annual clinical meetings.

“I think that in these days, it is one of the most important things that we can do,” Dr. Johnson said. “We need to be in charge of that. Many of the things that we used to be in charge of, we aren’t in charge of anymore. Only the profession can adequately define professionalism, set the standards, and make sure that we all adhere to them.”

The Latin phrase “primum non nocere” – or “first, do no harm” – is still the bedrock of the profession, but increased attention is devoted to creating and maintaining a professional workplace, and teaching the principles outlined in “Professionalism in the New Millennium: A Physician Charter,” a groundbreaking research study conducted by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Foundation, the American College of Physicians (ACP)-American Society of Internal Medicine (ASIM) Foundation, and the European Federation of Internal Medicine in 2002. The Charter consisted of three fundamental principles – primacy of patient welfare, patient autonomy, and social justice – as well as 10 commitments ranging from honesty and confidentiality to professional competence and improving access to care.

Such commitments to the profession start at the top and are passed down to students not only through communication but observation, what Dr. Johnson called “the hidden curriculum.”

“What students really learn from their professors is not only based on what they say but what they do,” Dr. Johnson said. “They learn to be doctors as a result of mimicking what you do – how you talk to your patients, how you handle problems, how you handle mistakes, and how you talk to each other.”

He also stressed the importance of setting expectations for students through ceremonial events, written documents, and training, with assessments and remediation done based on their performance.

“People come to us with a variety of experiences and backgrounds that determine how they will acquire and administer new material,” Dr. Johnson said. “You must have a process for identifying problems and remediating them.”

In addition to his roles at NJMS, Dr. Johnson chairs the New Jersey Governor’s Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS and Related Blood-Borne Pathogens, as well as the Newark Ryan White Planning Council. He has previously served as the President of the New Jersey Board of Medical Examiners, the Chair of the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Council on Graduate Medical Education. Dr. Johnson joins a decorated list of Bourne speakers that includes Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), and neurology pioneer Lord Walton of Detchant. The lecture series is named for St. George’s University’s first Vice Chancellor, Dr. Geoffrey H. Bourne, an educator, scientist, writer, and visionary who helped guide the University in its early development.

Dr. Kenneth R. Bridges, Expert in Sickle Cell Research, Delivers Annual Keith B. Taylor Memorial/WINDREF Lecture

More than 100 years ago, sickle cell disease was discovered while two doctors examined Grenadian-born Walter Clement Noel. One of the world’s leading authorities on the disease, Dr. Kenneth R. Bridges, Founder and Director of the International Sickle Cell Anemia Research Foundation, delved into this disease, and its treatments, in his keynote address at the annual Keith B. Taylor Memorial/WINDREF Lecture on January 18 at St. George’s University’s Bourne Lecture Hall.

“Sickle cell disease is the world’s most common single gene disorder,” said Dr. Bridges in his address. “However, the disease is not simply a blood disorder but a systematic disorder that affects every part of the body. Tell me which area of the body you’re interested in studying and I will tell you what sickle cell disease does to it.”

Sickle cell disease is a disorder of the blood caused by an inherited abnormal hemoglobin (the oxygen-carrying protein within the red blood cells) that causes distorted (sickled) red blood cells leading to tissue and organ damage and chronic pain.

The current treatment of sickle cell disease focuses on treating symptoms while the more challenging and expensive treatments like disease modification therapies remain underutilized, including a promising new drug treatment called GBT440, which causes the inhibition of polymerization of deoxygenated sickle cells.

“The GBT440 drug was specifically and carefully designed to fit into this one area of the body where it stops the abnormal hemoglobin cells from sticking together in the first place, which is at the very start of the problem,” explained Dr. Bridges. “Now with the help of our colleagues here in Grenada, we’re hoping to recapitulate this treatment in a much more profound way and to really deliver on the promise made to Walter Clement Noel 100-plus years ago in that we will now be able to effectively treat this disorder.”

Dr. Bridges received the MD degree from Harvard Medical School, and subsequently trained in internal medicine and hematology in Boston, at Massachusetts General and Brigham and Women’s Hospitals, respectively. Following medical subspecialty training, Dr. Bridges worked on the biology of cellular iron metabolism for three years at the National Institutes of Health in Maryland. He later returned to Harvard as a member of the Hematology Division at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where he reached the faculty rank of Associate Professor of Medicine. During this time, Dr. Bridges also maintained active clinical work and established the Joint Center for Sickle Cell and Thalassemic Disorders at the two aforementioned Boston-based institutions, emphasizing bench-to-patient translational research.

WINDREF and St. George’s University have long attracted world experts on climate change, health needs, and drug abuse and addictions, among other topics to its various lecture series. Past speakers have included Dr. Robert C. Gallo, best known for his role in the discovery of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV); Dr. Ruth Macklin, a bioethics pioneer; and renowned cardiologist Dr. Valentin Fuster.

The annual Keith B. Taylor Memorial/WINDREF Lecture is named for SGU’s second Vice Chancellor, whose vision and dedication to the international growth of St. George’s University led to the creation of the Windward Island Research and Education Foundation (WINDREF) in 1994; was instrumental in instituting the School of Arts and Sciences in 1996; and whose memory was honored with the creation of the Keith B. Taylor Global Scholars Program and the establishment of Keith B. Taylor Hall on the True Blue campus in 2007.

Professor Ian McConnell Delivers Annual Keith B. Taylor Memorial/WINDREF Lecture at St. George’s University

Professor Ian McConnell, most recognized for his fundamental discoveries on the immune system, drew upon his distinguished career in research while delivering the Keith B. Taylor Memorial/WINDREF Lecture at Bourne Hall on November 8. His address, titled “One Health: Successes and Opportunities,” focused on the immunology of infectious diseases of both animals and man, and was delivered to an audience of more than 1,100 faculty, staff, community members, and online viewers.

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Dr. McConnell is an Emeritus Professor of Veterinary Science and Director of Research at the University of Cambridge, England. One Health has been a theme of his extensive research and teaching, with particular emphasis on zoonotic diseases and genetic diseases of animals that have parallels with genetic diseases in man. In particular, his work is currently focused on the scientific basis of infectious diseases of animals and man and how they impact public health at a global level.

“One Health is a concept that has had a long history in both medical and veterinary science,” said Dr. McConnell. “It is an important and defining concept which recognizes the interconnectedness between medicine, veterinary medicine, epidemiology, and the biomedical and biological sciences. Public health, environmental health, and biodiversity all play in to the issues and concerns affecting the health of animals and man.”

ian-mcconnell-lectureAlthough One Health is a broad subject that covers many areas in veterinary medicine, human medicine, and biological sciences, Dr. McConnell chose to focus his lecture on two areas: global infectious diseases and comparative medicine. He used the examples of the eradication of rinderpest and rabies in animals in Europe to illustrate the successes and opportunities for One Health in global infectious diseases. For comparative medicine, he discussed the opportunities for translational research in man based on the repair of spinal cord injuries in dogs.

In addition to his professorship, Dr. McConnell is a Founder Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, the UKs foremost Academy of medical science. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (FRSE), and was elected to Fellowships of the Royal Society of Medicine, and Royal College of Pathologists’ on scientific merit. He is a Professorial Fellow in Veterinary Science of Darwin College Cambridge.

After he graduated in veterinary medicine from the University of Glasgow and in Natural Sciences (Pathology) from the University of Cambridge, he carried out his doctoral studies (PhD) in immunology in the laboratory of Professor Robin Coombs, one of the founding fathers of immunology, in the Department of Pathology at Cambridge. Professor McConnell also gave the 13th Annual Geoffrey H. Bourne Memorial Lecture at St. George’s University in 2007.

The Annual WINDREF and Keith B. Taylor Memorial Lecture, named after SGU’s second Vice Chancellor, has drawn the attention of numerous renowned presenters willing to share their expertise on topics such as climate change, health needs, and drug abuse and addictions. Past speakers at the lecture have included Dr. Robert C. Gallo, Director of the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, best known for his role in the discovery of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and Dr. Valentin Fuster, a renowned cardiologist who presented on the topic, “The Worldwide Challenge of Cardiovascular Disease.”

Published on 11/15/16

Dr. Ruth Macklin Presents at Annual Keith B. Taylor Memorial WINDREF Lecture at St. George’s University

A Founder of Bioethics Field Discusses Ethical Challenges in Confronting Disasters

Dr. Ruth Macklin, one of the founders of the field of bioethics, spoke on the difficult ethical issues involved with the allocation of scarce resource in times of disaster in her lecture, Ethical Challenges in Confronting Disasters: Some Lessons Learned on April 14, 2015 at St. George’s University Caribbean House, attended by a mix of faculty, staff and members of the community.

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Using case studies which looked at the responses, outcomes, and lessons learned from Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, as well as the earthquake in Haiti, Dr. Macklin pointed to the many complex ethical decisions disaster preparedness and response involves—from gauging the severity of a disaster to the planning, coordinating and predicting of the human response.

“In the case of medication, one of the basic pervading ethical principles is to save the most lives, where patients are treated according to the severity of their condition,” said Dr. Macklin. Patients are organized using a triage system so that those for whom immediate care might make a positive difference in outcome can be treated as quickly as possible.

“The aftermath of a disaster can be felt for a very long time, often beyond the immediate effects and treatment,” said Dr. Macklin. “At the end of the day there are no easy answers.”

Dr. Ruth Macklin is a Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Population Health and a Dr. Shoshanah Trachtenberg Frackman Faculty Scholar in Biomedical Ethics at the Global Health Center, at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. She has published extensively in the areas of biomedical research, public health ethics, stem cell research and end-of-life issues. Dr. Macklin has served on committees of the World Health Organization, including its vaccine advisory committee and was elected to the Institute of Medicine, a branch of the National Academy of Science. Dr. Macklin is a past president of the International Association of Bioethics and currently serves on its board of directors.

WINDREF and St. George’s University have long attracted world experts on climate change, health needs, and drug abuse and addictions, among other topics to its various lecture series.

Past speakers include, Dr. Robert C. Gallo, Director of the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, best known for his role in the discovery of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), who spoke on the topic “Virus and Epidemics: Our Attempts to Control them with emphasis on HIV and AIDS”, and Dr. Valetin Fuster, a renowned cardiologist, who presented on the topic, “The Worldwide Challenge of Cardiovascular Disease.”

This lecture was presented in partnership with the Caribbean Research Ethics Education Initiative (CREE) and supported in part by the US National Institutes of Health (HIH) Fogarty International Center.

Spring 2015 School of Veterinary Medicine White Coat Ceremony Keynote Speech

Vet school isn’t easy, but Cornell’s Dr. Donald Smith offered a few words of encouragement at the Spring 2015 SGUSVM White Coat Ceremony.

Dr. Jeffrey Ponsky Visits With Residents-to-Be

Guest lecturer Dr. Jeffrey Ponsky—named one of America’s Top Doctors® for over a decade—offers his advice for residency seekers.

Stanford University’s Dr. Desirée LaBeaud Delivers Public Lecture at SGU

One of the world’s experts on Chikungunya and Dengue, Dr. Desirée LaBeaud, Associate Professor of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Stanford University, delivered an insightful lecture on the debilitating mosquito-borne infections that have recently affected the Caribbean as part of the St. George’s University Public Lecture Series.

Chikungunya and Dengue in Grenada and the Americas: What Are We In For?

news labeaud public lectureChikungunya is a hot topic in Grenada, as well as in other parts of the world where it is beginning to be seen. Chikungunya and Dengue have affected many people in Grenada and its impact in the nation is of great interest to all concerned.

One of the world’s experts on Chikungunya and Dengue, Dr. Desirée LaBeaud, Associate Professor of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Stanford University, delivered an insightful lecture on the debilitating mosquito-borne infections that have recently affected the Caribbean as part of the St. George’s University Public Lecture Series on November 11.

“We don’t really understand the true economic or health impact of these infections,” said Dr. LaBeaud.  “It is critical to try and prevent an outbreak rather than trying to deal with one once it occurs.  We need to optimize epidemic vector-borne disease control.”

In her presentation titled “Chikungunya and Dengue in Grenada and the Americas: What Are We In For?” Dr. LaBeaud stressed the role that increased global travel plays in the spread of these diseases to epidemic proportions. Citing recent research, she presented her audience with an overview of the chikungunya and dengue viruses, a chronological history of their spread, their symptoms, control, and prevention strategies. Their recent spread to the Caribbean has brought their treatment and preventive measures into the spotlight.

“Active, ongoing surveillance is crucial, and you need to respond within the first few weeks of an infection presenting itself in your community,” said LaBeaud. “A delay of just two weeks can result in an exponential increase in both the human cases and the costs to abort an outbreak.”

Dr. LaBeaud stressed that, on an individual level, the only way to prevent chikungunya is to prevent the bite of an infected mosquito. While mosquito nets are great for preventing malaria because its vectors feed at night, they are generally ineffective against preventing CHIKV whose vectors bite during the day. She recommends wearing repellent, and destroying potential breeding sites around households.

More intense measures are being considered by scientists for a global response to these threats in the future. These include RIDL technology, releasing insects with a Dominant Lethal gene that causes only males to be bred, and the promotion of the Wolbachia bacteria which make mosquitoes inefficient transmitters of disease. Several vaccines are also being developed to prevent both chikungunya and dengue.

St. George’s University introduced its Public Lecture Series in 1998 to educate, inform, and enrich the public on topical issues. The series has brought several regional and international experts to Grenada to lecture on diverse topics that include the CARICOM Single Market & Economy (CSME), challenges facing small-island economies in a changing world, sustainable agriculture, the US Civil Rights Movement, West Indies cricket, and sickle cell research. Previous speakers include Sir Paul Scoon, former Governor-General of Grenada, Dr. Hilarian Codippily, World Bank consultant/economist, and Dr. Merle Collins, award-winning Grenadian author.

 

SGU Announces Dates for 2014 One Health One Medicine Caribbean Conference

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St. George’s University (SGU) embraces the philosophy of “One Health One Medicine” – that the wellbeing of all animal species, including humans, are interrelated, and that knowledge gained in one species benefits the others. Scientists at SGU will further analyze the convergence of human, animal, and ecosystem health at the second annual One Health One Medicine Caribbean Conference, which will take place from March 14-16, 2014, on the True Blue campus.

“This meeting,” said Dr. Calum Macpherson, vice provost for international program development and director of research at St. George’s University, “ will bring together scientists from public health, veterinary and human medicine, bioethics, climatology and agricultural and animal sciences to address the global health problems we are facing in an increasingly interconnected world. ”

The conference will be addressed by, amongst others, Dr. Donald T. Simeon, the deputy director of the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) and senior lecturer in biostatistics at the University of the West Indies, as well as Dr. Dennis Trent, a professor of microbiology and immunology at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) and former deputy director and chief of the molecular biology branch within the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases.

The first One Health One Medicine Caribbean Conference attracted by more than 150 participants, including scientists and scholars from Guyana, Trinidad, the United States, and Grenada, as well as 20 scholarly presentations. Dr. Leslie Ramsammy, Guyana’s Minister of Agriculture, delivered the keynote address, speaking on the critical need for integrating health and agriculture. Minister Ramsammy is uniquely placed to speak on this topic as he is the former Minister of Health in Guyana, a post he held for more than a decade.

For more information on the 2014 One Health One Medicine Caribbean Conference, visit sgu.edu/onehealth or contact Ms. Riba R. David at rrdavid@sgu.edu or 473-444-4175 ext. 3373.
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Dr. Macpherson’s book, coedited with Francois Meslin (WHO, Switzerland) and Alex Wandeler (CFIA, Canada) “Dogs, Zoonoses and Public Health,” examines the relationship between veterinary and human medicine, microbiology, parasitology, and public health. The second edition, released in February 2013, includes new chapters on the human-dog relationship and its benefits, as well as non-infectious disease issues humans share with dogs.

SGU Hosts Regional Conference on Bird Conservation and Climate Change

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St. George’s University welcomed leading authorities in regional bird conservation from across the Americas, Europe and the Caribbean to the 19th regional meeting of the Society for the Conservation and Study of Caribbean Birds (SCSCB), the largest organization devoted to wildlife conservation in the Caribbean.

This conference is being held at the University’s True Blue Campus from July 27 – 31, 2013, in collaboration with the Grenada Forestry and National Parks Department, Grenada Dove Conservation Programme and Grenada Fund for Conservation. Over 150 delegates from 37 countries are expected to attend.. The theme of this year’s conference, “Bird Conservation in a Changing Climate,” is an extension of the 2013 Earth Day theme, “The Face of Climate Change.”

In a press release about the event, Dr. Howard Nelson, president of the SCSCB described the conference as “an invaluable opportunity to share a growing body of knowledge that shows that climate change has broad far-reaching environmental impacts with both conservationists and the public at large.” Dr. Nelson commented, “We feel especially privileged to have this conference in Grenada given the threat of climate change to the survival of the critically endangered Grenada Dove.”

The Grenada Dove – ‘Leptotila wellsi’ which is the national bird of Grenada, is endangered because of its extremely small and fragmented population. According to Bonnie Rusk, Founding Director of the Grenada Dove Conservation Programme, the most significant threats to the species’ survival are habitat loss and invasive predators. Dr. Nelson noted that both local and international support could not be more urgently needed to prevent further population decline and possible extinction of this unique Caribbean specie.

Executive Director of SCSB, Dr. Lisa Sorenson noted that more than 560 species of birds call the Caribbean region ‘home’. The islands also provide a critical habitat for hundreds of long-distance migratory birds that spend the winter in our forests and wetlands, or use them as a “refueling” stop en route to their final destinations in Latin America, especially during times of poor weather. Sorenson further stated that an astounding 72% of the approximately 208 resident island-birds are endemic to the Caribbean islands and is found nowhere else on the planet. Chair of the Grenadian organizing committee, Tyrone Buckmire affirmed that “the conference would provide a powerful exchange about habitat conservation, environmental advocacy, and the tools to face the global challenge of climate change.”