St. George’s University Graduate Elected President of New Jersey Academy of Family Physicians

A primary care physician in the state for more than 30 years, Peter Carrazzone, MD SGU ’83, has been named President of the New Jersey Academy of Family Physicians (NJAFP), and will represent the membership and its best interests during his term of office.

Dr. Carrazzone practices family medicine with Vanguard Medical Group in North Haledon, NJ. He is also the Medical Director for the John Victor Machuga Diabetic Center at St. Joseph’s Wayne Hospital.

“I can promise this board will be focused and work tirelessly to improve the Academy and the landscape for family physicians in this state,” he said during his acceptance speech at the NJAFP’s Annual Scientific Assembly in Atlantic City on June 27.

Peter Carrazzone, MD SGU ’83

The NJAFP, the largest primary care medical specialty society in the state, is comprised of more than 2,000 physicians statewide, and is a leader in health care practice transformation and advocacy. Dr. Carrazzone has chaired the Academy’s Government Affairs Committee for the past three years, and as President, pledged to represent all NJAFP members, from the debt-ridden family medicine resident, to the family physician working in academic medicine, to the solo and large group family physicians and more.

Dr. Carrazzone said he has two primary focuses for his tenure as president – addressing family medicine resident debt and loan forgiveness, and a thorough review of the state’s family practice bylaws. He said that New Jersey has been dubbed a “primary care desert,” with family physicians leaving the state to pursue higher-paying opportunities elsewhere. As a result, New Jersey has the second-highest cost of care per patient in the United States, yet ranks 49th according to quality-of-care metrics.

“For our patients, for our families, for the specialty of family medicine, this is the time we must be advocates,” he said. “This is the time we need to communicate to our legislators. This is the time our collective voice needs to be heard. This is the time to promote value and quality. This is the time to promote a stronger primary care infrastructure to insurances and our government. This is the time to cure a broken health care system. This is the time for family medicine.”

Upon graduating from SGU, Dr. Carrazzone completed his residency in family practice at St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Paterson. In addition to his longstanding tenure with Vanguard, he has taught at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ).

Dr. Carrazzone came to St. George’s University in 1979, and has used the experience as a foundation for his career in medicine. Although he has yet to return to Grenada since his basic science studies, he routinely guides his alma mater’s clinical students who rotate through St. Joseph’s. “It’s a strong academic program,” he said. “The students are bright and motivated, and I don’t see much of a difference between them and students coming from US schools.”

Dr. G. Richard Olds, President and CEO of St. George’s University, Visits With BBC to Discuss Physician Maldistribution

Dr. G. Richard Olds, President and CEO of St. George’s University, appeared on the BBC to discuss how we can assist in reversing the medical brain drain from developing and middle-income countries. This is an important topic as physicians are already scarce worldwide and demand for foreign-born doctors is stretching resources in their home nations to a breaking point. What’s more, many of these people never return to work in their own communities.

Click on the Play button below to hear Dr. Olds outlining his ideas on how we can help mitigate the problem, or visit the World Service here.


St. George’s University Students and Graduates Flourish on Match Day

On March 18, Match Day once again yielded tremendous results for St. George’s University School of Medicine. 831 students and graduates secured highly competitive first-year residency positions at institutions across the US, many at their top-choice programs, through the 2016 National Residency Matching Program (NRMP).

Match Day students celebrating with signs

SGU alumni will report to PGY1 residency programs in the following specialties this summer: anesthesiology, child and adolescent psychiatry, child neurology, diagnostic radiology, emergency medicine, family medicine, internal medicine, internal medicine/pediatrics, neurological surgery, neurology, obstetrics & gynecology, orthopaedic surgery, pathology, pediatrics, physical medicine and rehabilitation, psychiatry, and surgery. Residencies were secured in 41 states as well as the District of Columbia. In addition, nine students matched through the Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS).

“St. George’s University continues its proud tradition of providing the US and Canadian health care systems with highly qualified physicians,” said G. Richard Olds, President and CEO at SGU. “We applaud these students and graduates for the commitment to their goals and to the communities they will serve during the next chapter of their careers.”

Among them is Justin Roberts, who was overjoyed to have matched to an anesthesiology residency at Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Staying local was of utmost importance to the New Jersey native, and he and his fiancée celebrated at home when news arrived that he had matched with his top choice. Mr. Roberts will begin his postgraduate experience this summer by conducting a preliminary year with Jersey City Medical Center’s internal medicine residency program, a position with which he pre-matched.

Match Day students hugging

“I fell in love with the program at Rutgers,” he said. “I really liked the program director and the feel of the place. It’s everything that I wanted in a program. I look forward to practicing anesthesiology because I love working with my hands and I enjoy being around a patient in a true time of need.”

Fellow 2016 graduate Nicole Bilbro spent three years in Grenada – the first to complete a Master of Public Health and the next two studying the basic medical sciences. She had “an incredible experience” at SGU and on the island, and looks forward to starting her general surgery residency at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, her top choice in the field, this summer.

”When I found out, I was ecstatic,” Ms. Bilbro said. “Maimonides was my number one choice because of the outstanding faculty and residents. The hospital also has the only dedicated breast cancer center in Brooklyn and was a perfect fit as I plan to pursue a breast surgery fellowship following residency.”

Since opening in 1977, St. George’s University has graduated more than 13,000 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 five years combined.

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 2016 residency appointments to date, visit the SGU website.

Published on 3/22/16

SGU Partners With Medgar Evers College to Host Principals Forum

Over 60 secondary and primary school principals and educators attended a two-day forum held by St. George’s University in collaboration with Medgar Evers College (MEC) of the City University of New York and the Ministry of Education in Grenada, on January 28 and 29 at Allen Pensick Hall.

Principals forum with group

Spearheaded by Dr. Allen Pensick, Provost of SGU, and Mr. Eugene Pursoo, Director of the International Affairs Center at MEC, the event was to provide Grenadian instructors an opportunity to empower and improve the quality of education on the island as a whole by inviting the school leaders to hear and interact with prominent individuals from North America in education.

“The forum was incredibly well received,” said Dr. Debbi Johnson, an Associate Professor in SGU’s Department of Educational Services. “The best part was that the the principals walked away with real information that they could use and a real desire to use it.”

Dr. Rudolph Crew, a nationally acclaimed educator whose career has spanned from the classroom to the chancellorship of America’s largest school district, New York City Public Schools, shared new and fresh ideas with the local educators about the role of education in the community and the role of community in education.

“Dr. Crew’s keynote address set the tone for the next two days of the forum,” Dr. Johnson said. “He explained the relationship between a community and education, and challenged the principals to think about the importance of what they were doing and come up with plans and strategies for meeting their goals and objectives.”

Principals forum speaker

In addition to Dr. Crew, the principals heard from Dr. Sheilah Paul, Dean, School of Education, MEC, who spoke on the topic of the unique educational challenges in the Caribbean. Ms. Jenelle Bullen and Ms. Tamara Stuart-Barry also covered the use of instructional supervision in the classroom, and SGU’s own Dr. Barbara Landon gave a presentation titled Becoming Brain Smart.

“Although Dr. Landon’s speech ran about 20 minutes into lunch, there was no desire to leave; not one person from the audience seemed to mind because they were all listening attentively and fully engaged,” said Dr. Daniel Flynn, Director of Faculty Development, SGU. “She addressed some deeply scientific information but in very accessible terms.”

“To see 55 or so principals actively engaged in worksheets lets us know they are excited about the information they’re getting and what they’re doing,” added Dr. Flynn “The forum has meaning and value to them and they were investing in this activity.”

At the end of day two, the educators were asked to create a Principal’s Wish List, where they discussed what they would like to see featured in future Principals Forums, what are some of the needs of the Grenadian educational community, and how SGU and its partners can better tailor future presentations to help them in tackling these challenges

Published on 3/8/16

Chancellor Charles Modica Awarded Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of the Nation

St. George’s University Chancellor Charles R. Modica was awarded The Most Distinguished Order of the Nation – Commander 2015 by the Government of Grenada at the 42nd Anniversary of Independence Celebrations at the National Stadium on
February 7.

Charles Modica Awarded Commander of the Most Distinguished Order Nation

Conferred on Dr. Modica by Governor General Dame Cecile La Grenade, The Most Distinguished Order of the Nation is given to an individual who has rendered distinguished and outstanding service to Grenada.

“I am deeply humbled to have been awarded this honor and I thank the country of Grenada for opening its doors to a lifelong partnership with SGU,” said Chancellor Modica. “In the nearly 40 years since my co-founders and I started this University,  I am gratified to see how the University has grown to become an active and vital member of the community, something that could not have been possible without the people of Grenada embracing SGU and nurturing its development.”

Charles Modica Shaking Hands Awarded Commander of the Most Distinguished Order Nation

Under Dr. Modica’s visionary leadership, SGU has solidified its reputation as one of the leading education centers in the region. The University offers degrees in medicine, veterinary medicine, public health, business, and science and features a diverse community of students, faculty, and staff from more than 140 countries. More than 15,000 professionals have graduated from St. George’s University, and with a staff of over 600, SGU is one of Grenada’s largest employers.

Chancellor Modica continues to serve as Ambassador-At-Large for Grenada, an honor bestowed on him in 2005 by Grenada’s Prime Minister, Dr. The Right Honorable Keith C. Mitchell. Through the University, the Chancellor has worked diligently to promote tourism, trade, and investment activities for Grenada, as well as assisting the Government of Grenada in the ongoing development of the country.

Dr. Modica has a strong sense of civic responsibility and currently serves the Grenada Heart Foundation, the Vincentian Children’s Heart Fund, and Co-Chair of the Fund for the Orphans and Elderly of Grenada. The Chancellor earned his Doctor of Jurisprudence from Delaware Law School in 1975 and has been the recipient of several awards and honors, including an Honorary Doctorate of Civil Law from Northumbria University, Newcastle, UK, in 2009, and an Honorary Doctor of Laws from Barry University School of Law, Miami Shores, Florida, in 2000.

Published on 3/7/16

Dr. Daniel Flynn Appointed New Director of Faculty Development

Continuing its mission of developing the teaching and learning skills of its faculty, St. George’s University recently appointed Dr. Daniel Flynn as its new Director of Faculty Development. Dr. Flynn comes to SGU from Chapman University, Orange, California, where he served as the Assistant Director of Chapman’s Institute for Excellence in Teaching and Learning and brings with him over 13 years of teaching experience and a PhD in Educational Policy and Social Context.

In his new role, Dr. Flynn hopes to “support faculty in their pursuit of excellence in scholarship, teaching, and learning.” This includes providing campus-wide workshops, individual consultations, and the formation of a faculty advisory committee with representatives from each school in the near future.

Dr Daniel Flynn

“My goal is for the University to be recognized as an institute of higher learning that has all the attributes that are expected of a higher learning institution, with an established reputation for both strong student support and faculty support,” Dr. Flynn said.

Expanding on SGU’s previous model of faculty development, one of Dr. Flynn’s first priorities was to change the name of the “Let’s Talk Teaching” seminars to “Let’s Talk Teaching and Learning.”

“According to Tom Angelo and Patricia Cross from Classroom Assessment Techniques, teaching without learning is just talking,” stated Dr. Flynn. “Faculty development is far more than just voluntary participation in weekly topical discussions.”

Additionally, Dr. Flynn plans to develop a Faculty Scholars Program, where he would teach a class on pedagogy, highlighting the details of curricular design and instruction in order to cultivate a community of trained higher education researchers — on-site faculty and throughout the campus. “I hope to have a community of faculty developers rather than just an office of faculty development,” said Dr. Flynn.

Ultimately, Dr. Flynn’s vision for St. George’s also includes being recognized by the Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education (POD), which is devoted to improving teaching and learning in higher education; and ensuring that St. George’s University is viewed as an institution that’s focused on being on the cutting edge of faculty development as well as student development.

Originally a psychology major, Dr. Flynn obtained his bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Irvine, followed by a master’s degree in clinical social welfare from the University of California, Los Angeles. However, it wasn’t until his second bachelor’s degree in 2009 and a successful career in teaching that he discovered his second career path.

Dr. Flynn’s doctoral training was, in his own words, “learning how to make people who are expert researchers, engineers, or MDs into teachers, that was my new mission in life, especially since it’s not a regular part of doctoral training to be taught how to lecture, teach, test or create curriculum.” He has been the recipient of numerous teaching research awards including; the Future of the Field Award, Civic and Community Engagement Program, UC Irvine, in 2014 and the Graduate and Professional Student Development (GPSD) Award, Professional Organizational Development (POD) Network, Seattle, Washington, in 2012. He has also been a member of POD, the Association for Institutional Research, and the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning since 2011.

Published on 2/5/16

St. George’s University Academic Enhancement Program Honored by National Academic Advising Association

The Academic Enhancement Program at St. George’s University was selected to receive the 2015 Outstanding Institutional Advising Program Certificate of Merit Award by The National Academic Advising Association (NACADA). The NACADA Annual Awards Program honors people, programs, institutions, and innovations in technology resulting in improvement of academic advising and student-related support services.

nacada wide 300

The Academic Enhancement Program (AEP) team plans to fly to Las Vegas, NV, to attend NACADA’s 39th Annual Conference from October 4-7 where it will receive the Certificate of Merit Award in person. According to Dr. Sara Rabie, Director of Student Academic Support and Development and Associate Dean of Students at SGU, winning the award not only brings awareness to the entire SGU community of the AEP’s role but also lets prospective students know how invested SGU is in supporting its students.

“The transition into medical and veterinary medical school is challenging for most students; however, by being proactive, all of available resources are leveraged to help students make a quick adjustment and allow them to reach their full academic potential,” she said. “We’ve seen the program work and we’re pleased that it has been recognized at this level for its innovation and quality.”

Initiated in 1997, the Academic Enhancement Program is a student support program administered by the Department of Educational Services (DES) at St. George’s for students in their first year in the Schools of Medicine or Veterinary Medicine. In the last four years, more than 2,300 medical students have been enrolled in the AEP at St. George’s with more than 90 percent of participating students recommending the program. Despite the large number of participants, the AEP prides itself on providing individual attention to each student through a network of administrators, faculty advisors, learning strategists, facilitators, and peer mentors.

nacada main

“Connectedness is really important to success,” said Dr. Rabie. “When the number of students participating in the program grew, it prompted a change in the system. In collaboration with SGU’s Dean of Student’s Office, faculty advising has become one of the most significant components of the AEP. Now there are 8-10 students per academic advisor in addition to being assigned two ‘term buddies.’ We’ve found that being part of a smaller group is essential for achieving positive results.”

NACADA is a US-based international organization that represents more than 11,000 members from all 50 United States, Puerto Rico, Canada, and several other international countries. Members include faculty, advisors, counselors, administrators and students all working to promote and support quality academic advising in institutions of higher education to enhance the educational development of students. St. George’s University has twice won the Outstanding Institutional Advising Program Certificate of Merit Award before, first in 2003 for its SOM pre-medical program, becoming the first Caribbean institution outside of Puerto Rico to be recognized. In 2011, NACADA acknowledged SGU’s Supplemental Learning Program.

Queen’s Medal Awarded to Lord Soulsby

Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Bestows Highest Honor Upon Friend of St. George’s University

Lord Soulsby of Swaffham Prior has been awarded the Queen’s Medal – the highest honor that can be bestowed on a veterinary surgeon by Britain’s Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS).

lord soulsby revs day 2015

A former president of both the RCVS and the Royal Society of Medicine, Lord Soulsby was given the medal “in recognition of his outstanding life-time contribution to veterinary science and the profession, above and beyond the call of duty.”

Lord Soulsby has, for many years, had a close association with St. George’s University, Grenada. He was a former chair of the University’s academic board and chaired St. George’s Trust in the UK.

He was also President of the Windward Islands Research and Education Foundation (WINDREF), a scientific research center with its headquarters on St. George’s University’s True Blue campus.

“We congratulate Lord Soulsby on this outstanding honor,” commented St. George’s University’s Chancellor, Dr. Charles R Modica. “He has made an enormous contribution to the reputation of our University and the award of the Queen’s Medal is justly deserved.”

Lord Soulsby was given the award by Professor Stuart Reid, the then President and now Senior Vice-President of the RCVS on the occasion of the College’s Annual General Meeting and awards’ day.

Professor Reid said, “Lord Soulsby has had a truly exceptional career, which in several respects is unique in its achievements, not least bridging the worlds of medical and veterinary science. He has worked tirelessly to promote the importance of veterinary science to society and is admired not only for his intellect, hard work and breadth of interests, but also his endearing personality.”

He added, “He has given an outstanding service to the profession, to veterinary science and to animal welfare and he has enhanced the reputation of the profession immeasurably.”

Accepting the award, Lord Soulsby said, “Looking back on my career, membership of the RCVS has carried me to many countries in the world and all the work I have enjoyed, and I hope that I have been able to progress veterinary medicine and ‘one health’ in all of those places.”

St. George’s University Welcomes High School and College Students to the 2015 Med/Vet Summer Leadership Academy

Hands on Activities Provide Students with an Introduction to Medical and Veterinary Medical Careers

Successfully balancing a challenging academic program with extracurricular activities, 81 students recently participated in St. George’s University Med/Vet Summer Leadership Academy, a summer program on the True Blue Campus in Grenada, West Indies for college and high school students interested in exploring a career in medicine or veterinary medicine.

Students from the United States, England, Canada, Puerto Rico, Trinidad, Tortola, and Grenada participated in activities that highlighted the culture and beauty of Grenada in addition to courses that combined didactic lectures, small-group problem solving sessions, practical lab work in state-of-the art facilities, and hands-on training through simulated and real-life situations.

Attending this year’s Med/Vet Summer Leadership Academy were Matt and Maria Coppola, a brother and sister duo interested in internal medicine and veterinary medicine respectively. As the children of Drs. Matthew and Carmela Coppola, who met at SGU and were both part of SGUSOM’s graduating class of 1984, the beautiful St. George’s True Blue campus overlooking the Caribbean Sea seemed all too familiar to them.

“We’ve spent our entire lives hearing stories about how our parents met each other for the first time here at SGU and what an amazing experience they both had while going to school here,” said Matt, a pre-med senior majoring in bio-chemistry. “This has been an incredible experience, not only did we learn about what it would be like to attend classes here but we also had a lot of fun exploring Grenada through snorkeling, hiking and island touring,” said Maria, a pre-vet sophomore studying biology.

Now in its thirteenth year, both the Med/Vet Summer Leadership Academy provides college students the added benefit of Medical Leadership concepts integrated into the curriculum with an introduction to international health care systems, global public health issues, and the concept of “One Health, One Medicine” as it affects healthcare delivery throughout the world.

The high school student program ran for ten days from June 24 to July 3 while the Medical Leadership component of the college student program ran for 12 days from June 8-19. Qualified students are eligible for college credit through the School of Arts and Sciences.

St. George’s University Hosts 60th Diamond Jubilee Anniversary of the CARPHA Health Research Conference

Caribbean Health Professional Focus on Violence and Injury Prevention as Urgent Public Health Issue

Caribbean nations’ health professionals recently gathered at St. George’s University to discuss violence and injuries prevention as an urgent public health and development issue at the 60th Annual Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) Conference.

carpha logo

St. George’s University (SGU) in partnership with the Ministry of Health, Grenada and the Windward Islands Research and Education Foundation (WINDREF) partnered together to host the conference and 14 satellite conferences at its True Blue Campus in June. The region’s leading authorities in health research, and the Deans and Directors of most of the regions leading academic and research institutions were in attendance.

Addressing 200 delegates at the opening ceremony, the Minister of Health, the Honorable Nicholas Steele, welcomed the largest group of CARPHA delegates to Grenada and stated that their deliberations and outcomes had important economic implications for the region.
“Spending $100.00 on prevention today is repaid many times over in the prevention of disease at a later time” said the Honorable Minister Steele.

Dr. James Hospedales, the Executive Director of CARPHA stated that the conference was now the longest running health research conference in the entire region, and Dr. Donald Simeon, Deputy Executive Director and Director of Research of CARPHA, reported that a special edition of the West Indian Medical Journal would be produced highlighting how the research presented at the conference had been translated into policy.

Dr. Calum Macpherson, Vice Provost of SGU and Director of WINDREF, highlighted the evolution of the University since the last time the CARPHA Conference was held in Grenada in 2004.

“The University has grown enormously since the last time we hosted the conference with our accreditation by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) for our DVM program and accreditation of our MPH program from the Council on Education for Public Health accreditation,” Dr. Macpherson said.

He also highlighted that the largest number of students in conference history had attended, taking advantage of the opportunity to meet many of the leading authorities in health research from the region and internationally.

The Master of Ceremonies, Dr. George Mitchell, Grenada’s Chief Medical Officer, shared his enthusiasm for co-hosting the Conference. “The CARPHA Conference is a partnership which holds great promise for translating research into policy for the benefit of the peoples of the region,” he said.

A record number of over 178 oral and poster presentations were made during the conference covering the theme of “Violence and Injuries Prevention: an Urgent Public Health and Development Issue’” as well as other research topics relevant to the Caribbean region such as communicable diseases like Chikungunya. SGU’s faculty, students and collaborators contributed 28 oral and poster presentations to the meeting.

Dr. Donald T. Simeon, Deputy Executive Director and Director of Research, Training and Policy Development, CARPHA shared his thoughts on the importance of the conference as, “a treasured standard-bearer for the protection of the health of the Caribbean peoples that has stood the test of time. I am privileged to have been associated with the Conference first as a researcher, then as Scientific Secretary and now as Director of Research. We are well poised for 60 more years of service; facilitating the generation and uptake of the research evidence required for improved health and wellness.”

The conference was preceded by 14 satellite meetings and these together with the health research conference brought more than 250 delegates from all the CARICOM countries, the US, the UK and Canada. The satellite meetings comprised The Chief Medical Officer’s Annual Meeting which was chaired by Dr. Rudolph Cummings, MD, MPH, to which 16 CARICOM CMO’s attended. The Technical Advisory Committee Meeting, Data Analysis Workshop, Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR), Built Environment, Evidence Informed Policy Workshop, Policy Dialogue/Research to Policy, Launch of Evidence, School Debate, Research Advisory Committee Meeting, Regional Communications Meeting, and a Town Hall Meeting, which was held in Gouyave. During the banquet at the end of the Conference Professors Fletcher (Dean of Medicine, UWI Mona), Susan Walker (Director, Tropical Medicine Research Institute, Jamaica), and David Chadee, UWI St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago, were honoured for their outstanding contributions to health research in the region.

“The hosting of all the satellite meetings and the conference afforded many opportunities for informal discussions on forging future research partnerships and collaborations” said Dr. Cal Macpherson, Director of Research for SGU. “We welcome the development of partnerships within the region” said Dr. Pensick, Provost of SGU, and it was a pleasure to have so many regional health care professionals visit our campus.

The CARPHA Conference is the largest health research conference in the English speaking Caribbean with participants comprised of researchers, policy makers and health care providers. The Caribbean Public Health Agency is a merger of five previous regional health institutions (RHIs) namely the Caribbean Epidemiology Centre (CAREC), Caribbean Health Research Council (CHRC), Caribbean Food and Nutrition Institute (CFNI), Caribbean Environmental Health Institute (CEHI) and the Caribbean Research Drug Testing Laboratory (CRDTL).
Next year’s CARPHA Conference will be held in the Turks and Caicos.