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

Scholars Celebrate at Mahidol

A dual degree affiliation agreement between one of Thailand’s leading universities, Mahidol University, and St George’s University in the Caribbean island of Grenada, has been marked by the award of scholarships, by St George’s University, to two Mahidol students.

Dean of Mahidol University International College, from left, Scholar Chandra Bahadu, Dean Phitaya Charupoonphol and Scholar Natnicha Noppornmongkul

Dean of Mahidol University International College, from left, Scholar Chandra Bahadu, Dean Phitaya Charupoonphol and Scholar Natnicha Noppornmongkul

The main scholarship has been given to Chandra Bahadu from Myanmar, who studied for his first degree in biological sciences at Mahidol University International College. With a scholarship valued at 75 percent (approximately US $190,000) of his total tuition fees,he will now be able to pursue his four year medical degree at St George’s University School of Medicine. A partial scholarship, valued at US$85,000, was also awarded to Natnicha Noppornmongkul, who will also study at St George’s University School of Medicine.

At the award ceremony at Mahidol, the Dean of Mahidol University International College, Phitaya Charupoonphol, said that St George’s University has “an enviable reputation for turning out international graduates who are successful in obtaining residency training placements in the US and UK. I am confident that, through their mutual efforts and commitment, our scholars will achieve much more as they continue to develop their studies.”

Dean Charupoonphol thanked the President and Chief Executive Officer of St George’s University, Dr G Richard Olds, as well as the Chancellor and Founder, Dr Charles R Modica, for their support for the scholarship awards.

“Through our affiliation agreement, our students need to complete three years of pre-medicine study before being accepted as first year medical students and eligible for a dual degree. This is an enormous and career developing opportunity,” he added.

In a special message, read for him by St George’s University representative Patrick Orr, Dr Olds said that he was proud St George’s University had teamed up with one of Thailand’s leading educational establishments.

“I am fully aware of the long and historic contribution that Mahidol has made to the medical profession in Thailand and the region,” he said. “We, at St George’s University, have pioneered the concept of international medical education and have graduated over 13,000 physicians into the global healthcare system. Out two new scholars will be very much at home on our diverse campus with representatives from all over the world.

“We have a philosophy at our university – that those who study with us, particularly those who benefit from our scholarship awards, should return to their countries of origin and bring home their skills, talents and commitment to their own medical professions. “Our congratulations to our two new scholars today.”

Published on 3/3/16

An Amazing Profession Spring 2016 DVM Class Begins Its Journey

The newest class of veterinary students at St. George’s University donned the emblematic White Coat and recited the Oath of Professional Commitment, signifying their entry into the profession of veterinary medicine on January 30.

SVM White Coat Spring 2016

“It’s an amazing and well-respected profession,” declared Dr. Jessica Harmon, DVM SGU ’13.  Dr. Harmon, this term’s emcee, welcomed and congratulated the incoming veterinary class.  “You made it,” she rejoiced, “but this is where the real work begins. This is the beginning of a long but very rewarding journey.”

Currently an associate at the McDavitt Veterinary Clinic in Zionsville, Indiana, Dr. Harmon credits her experience in Grenada as having shaped her successful career as a veterinarian. “The education I received at SGU went past knowledge,” she said. “It taught me to be a compassionate veterinarian and care for all of my patients.”

Attending his second School of Veterinary Medicine White Coat Ceremony was Dr. G. Richard Olds, Chief Executive Officer of St. George’s University and its first-ever President. “The White Coat Ceremony itself is relatively new, started by Columbia University in the early 1990s, with SGU being one of the first medical and veterinary schools to hold a White Coat Ceremony just three years later,” said Dr. Olds. “Symbolic of all health professions uniting in one health, the White Coat Ceremony is now almost universal. And so today, you too will go through the process of donning the white coat as you begin your health professional journey.”

As both a physician and a tropical disease specialist, Dr. Olds has spent most of his professional career working largely with veterinarians. “I know the importance of all the health care professionals who share in the unified theme of improving the health of our planet,” he stated.

Dr. Timothy Ogilvie , Dean of the SVM, shared four tips with the matriculating class that have served him well in his 41 years in the field of veterinary medicine. “Show up – because real change is made by those who show up and stick around. Keep up – don’t fall behind in your studies; this is a volume intensive program. Step up – colleagues, community members, and others will look to you for leadership. And lastly, cheer up – SGU is a great place and you’re going to have fun.” Dr. Ogilvie reminded the newly enrolled students, “You’re going to learn in an international environment, a cosmopolitan environment, and in a different culture. You have every opportunity to count your lucky stars and be cheerful.” He also took the opportunity to introduce his longtime friend and fellow Canadian, Dr. Trevor Ames, to deliver this year’s keynote address.

Twice a year for at least 10 years, Dr. Ames has been welcoming SGUSVM students to the University of Minnesota for their clinical year, where he currently serves as Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine.  Addressing the incoming students, Dr. Ames said,  “Today as you put on this coat you signify to those around you that you understand the professional, ethical, and social responsibilities of being a veterinarian.  “I would encourage you to not only think of today as your entry into veterinary school but also as your entry into the profession and begin practicing the ethical behavior and the responsible acts required of a graduate veterinarian.”

“The PAWS (Professional Attributes Workshop) training will not only help you succeed as a student but, after you graduate, those same traits will be just as important to your success as a veterinarian,” counseled Dr. Ames, “It’s as important as all of the facts and knowledge you will learn over the next four years.”

The School of Veterinary Medicine accepted its first class in August of 1999. In 2005, SGUSVM installed the first international chapter of Phi Zeta National Veterinary Honor Society on campus, the Alpha Delta Chapter. In September 2011, the DVM program was granted full accreditation by the American Veterinary Medical Association Council on Education (AVMA COE) for seven years. Graduates, who come from 27 countries, have been licensed to practice in 47 US states, and in 10 countries around the world including Canada, the UK, and South Africa.

Published on 2/4/16

NYC Health + Hospitals, St. George’s University Award Nearly $2 Million in “Citydoctors” Scholarships to NYC Students Committed to Practicing Primary Care in Public Health System

NYC Health + Hospitals President Dr. Ram Raju today announced 17 students who under the CityDoctors scholarship program will receive scholarships worth $1.8 million to attend St. George’s University School of Medicine. In return, the students have committed to give back to their communities by practicing primary care medicine in NYC’s public health system after completing their medical educations.

CityDoctors scholarship recipients January 2016

“As our population ages, and as health care reform orients itself around a preventive care model, more primary care physicians will be sorely needed,” said Dr. Raju. “I call on other medical schools to work with the public health system to develop programs such as CityDoctors, which will expand access to primary and preventive care for the populations that need it most. Medical schools as well as health care providers have a moral and ethical obligation to create the physician workforce that will be needed in the future.”

“St. George’s is proud to support these students with a CityDoctors Scholarship and we congratulate them on their success,” said St. George’s University Chancellor Dr. Charles Modica. “Their commitment to practicing medicine in the City of New York provides them with a unique ability to have an impact not only on the health of individuals, but on the overall public health of the city.”

”Through the CityDoctors HHC Scholarship Program, these students have the opportunity to train and practice in the city they hold near and dear,” said Dr. G. Richard Olds, President and Chief Executive Officer at St. George’s University. “In doing so, they will follow in the footsteps of the SGU graduates who have given back to the city and to the people of New York by providing high-quality primary care.”

CityDoctors was launched in 2012 to help address the shortage of primary care physicians and to increase educational and career opportunities for local youth. The scholarship recipients have been selected based on their academic excellence and financial need, and will receive either partial or full scholarships to pay for medical school tuition for periods of up to four years, with some scholarships valued at more than $200,000 each.

The program has helped a total of 82 students from in and around NYC attend medical school on the equivalent of 38 full scholarships, and, in return, 152 years of needed primary care services have been committed to NYC’s health care system. In total, more than $11 million in medical school scholarships are expected to be awarded under CityDoctors.

The 2016 class of CityDoctors Scholarship Program recipients are a diverse group of women and men, representing all five boroughs. Many winners hold undergraduate degrees from prestigious institutions including Baylor University, New York University, Tulane University, and Johns Hopkins University. Scholarship recipients have done research, interned, and volunteered at various NYC hospitals including New York-Presbyterian, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, NYU Langone Medical Center, and those within the NYC public health system such as NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue, NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull, NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County and NYC Health + Hospitals/Sea View.

To be eligible for CityDoctors scholarship, students must fulfill all the requirements to be accepted to medical school and also meet at least one of the following criteria: graduated from a NYC high school; have five years of residency in NYC; have a parent employed by NYC Health + Hospitals or the City of New York; or be employed themselves by NYC Health + Hospitals or the City of New York for at least five years.

In return for their scholarships, for each equivalent year of tuition they receive each student has committed to provide one year of service as a primary care attending physician at one of 11 hospitals within the public health system. Several of the students have already completed part of the medical school educations, while others are beginning their studies this term.

The 2016 CityDoctors scholarship recipients are:

NameResidence Scholarship TypeCommitment to NYC Health + Hospitals
Adeniyi AdedotunManhattanFull4 years
Shelley PersaudBronxFull4 years
Fayeza AliouBronxPartial2 years
Alice BasinNew JerseyPartial2 years
Tomasz WasikBronxPartial2 years
Tania KahnQueensPartial2 years
Genna PearlQueensPartial2 years
Karen LouBrooklynPartial2 years
Benjamin KahnManhattanPartial2 years
Arafat NasanBrooklynPartial1 year
Michelle RiveraQueensPartial1 year
Kristen RoyStaten IslandPartial1 year
Shamriz TamannaQueensPartial1 year
Rasheedat YussufStaten IslandPartial1 year
Kandace LaMonicaBronxPartial1 year
Vanessa Pierre-LouisBrooklynPartial1 year
Nadya ChowdhuryQueensPartial1 year

Bios and photos of the scholarship winners can be found at:

The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) has estimated that nationally there will be a shortage of approximately 20,000 primary care physicians by the year 2025. Research published in the Annals of Family Medicine suggests the shortfall may be more than double that. The AAMC says a reason for this shortage is primary care clinicians earn less than half of what the top two earning specialties make, and medical students often choose to enter the higher-paying specialties, rather than primary care, when faced with their medical school loans.

To apply for the CityDoctors scholarships, applicants must submit essays explaining how they will contribute to the health care of New York City using their attending position in primary care at a hospital within the NYC Health + Hospitals system. For more information and to apply for a scholarship, visit the CityDoctors website at

Published on 1/7/16

St. George’s University to Award $50,000 to Saint Barnabas Medical Center for its Simulation Center

St. George’s University is awarding a grant of $50,000 to Saint Barnabas Medical Center, in Livingston, NJ, to enhance the Center’s Regional Perinatal Simulation Center.

Opened in 2011, the Regional Perinatal Simulation Center is a learning laboratory designed to replicate various clinical scenarios.  It provides training and practice for    healthcare providers on how to react in rare and critical cases. A state-of-the-art mannequin responds much like a human patient during normal labor and delivery, as well as during obstetrical and other emergencies such as post-partum bleeding and cardiac arrest. The center focuses on improving teamwork and communication while training medical students, residents, nurses, physicians and EMTs.

The Simulation Center is set up like a real hospital room with the mannequin’s vital signs controlled via a computer. The room has cameras recording clinical scenarios as well as a two-way mirror allowing observers to provide immediate feedback on medical procedures that may include blood transfusions, urinary catherization, endotracheal intubation and anesthesia administration.

“We are delighted to provide this grant to an institution that upholds the highest standards of clinical education, “said Fred M. Jacobs, MD, JD, Chair, Department of Medicine and Executive Vice President, St. George’s University School of Medicine. “The training program at Saint Barnabas provides our students with experience under the guidance of excellent faculty using state-of-the-art equipment, and with whom we have had a long and mutually beneficial relationship.”

“The Regional Perinatal Simulation Center at Saint Barnabas will augment the quality and breadth of education our medical students have received from its clinical faculty over the years,” added Stephen Weitzman, MD, Dean, St. George’s University School of Medicine.  “By mimicking a wide range of critical care scenarios, the Simulation Center will prepare students to handle the array of cases they may face once they are physicians. Ultimately, this will lead to improved health care for the people of New Jersey since many of our students undergo their postgraduate training at Saint Barnabas and other New Jersey hospitals prior to practicing in New Jersey.”

“The grant from St. George’s will be enormously helpful as we currently are expanding our simulation capacity and curriculum,” said Richard C. Miller, M.D., Medical Director of the Regional Perinatal Simulation Center and Chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Saint Barnabas Medical Center. “The immense impact the Simulation Center has is not only on novice learners. We can create complex clinical events that challenge even the most experienced physicians, nurses, and community first responders, allowing them to practice rare but critical procedures repeatedly, resulting in improved safety for patients.”

Published on 1/5/16

St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine Class of 2015 Take Oath of Professional Commitment at White Coat Ceremony

Veterinary students brimming with excitement donned their white coats at the Fall 2015 White Coat Ceremony at St. George’s University and recited the Oath of Professional Commitment, symbolizing their entry into the veterinary profession.

svm wcc fall 2015

Having once sat where they are now, alumnus and Master of Ceremonies, Dr. Patrick Flynn, SGU DVM ’06, knew exactly how the matriculating class felt and counseled them to make the most of this opportunity. “As with your veterinary education, the sum of your career can only equal the effort you are willing to give and the sacrifices you are willing to make. Through the highs and lows you must always remember how truly blessed you are to be given the honor of pursuing a career in veterinary medicine,” Dr. Flynn said. “You’re blessed because you will be able to make a difference in the world; your actions and your conduct while performing them will have the power to change the lives of your patients and the people associated with them.”

Dr. Flynn’s sentiments were echoed by Dr. Allen Pensick, Provost of St. George’s University, who welcomed and congratulated the students. “The world needs more trained veterinarians, and by taking the oath tonight, you pledge your commitment to doing what’s needed to make things better for everyone.”

The Provost also took the opportunity to introduce, Dr. Richard Olds, the founding Dean at University of California Riverside Medical School and first-ever President and Chief Executive Officer at St. George’s University. Dr. Olds shared a brief history of the White Coat Ceremony, noting its association with the medical profession, the nursing profession, dentists, and many others in the healing arts. He also spoke of society’s earlier need for medicine to be guided by the scientific method, thus the white coat is also a lab coat.

“The purpose of the White Coat Ceremony is to remind you that, from the very first day you are involved as a health professional and you don the white coat, you also assume a great responsibility for your behavior,” Dr. Olds said. “How you carry yourselves, how you interact with people, with your patients, and with those you are attempting to help is a responsibility that will stay with you throughout your entire professional career.”

dr clark fobian

Dr. Clark Fobian, Immediate Past President for the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and member of its Executive Board, gave the keynote address where he shared a study which professed that doctors who wore their white coats were rated 15 percent higher in competency, knowledge, and clinical skills by their patients than those who did not. He discarded his own jacket in favor of a crisp white coat to emphasize his point.

“You are coming into a family, not just a profession,” said Dr. Fobian. “There are approximately 100,000 veterinarians currently practicing in the US. That may sound unimpressive, but the impact that veterinarians have on their communities and on society far exceeds those numbers.”

St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine was first established in August 1999, followed six years later by the installation of the first international chapter of Phi Zeta National Veterinary Honor Society on campus, the Alpha Delta Chapter. In September 2011, the American Veterinary Medical Association Council on Education announced its full accreditation of the St. George’s University Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program for seven years. The School of Veterinary Medicine continues to strive toward being leaders in providing veterinary knowledge and technology, while expanding its curriculum and adding new state-of-the-art laboratories and classrooms.


St. George’s University Builds Teaching Excellence

Teachers teach, right? They are trained and they know what to do. This is not always true. Professors have an enormous grasp of their subject matter, but in the 21st century, the plethora of learning styles and teaching tools have identified a need for training teachers in order to be able to reach all students with all the teaching platforms.

news builds teaching excellence

SGU is one of the few universities to devote energy and resources on this type of training. The Department of Educational Services (DES) at St. George’s University promotes excellence through academic development and support services for students—but its outreach doesn’t stop there. Their innovative and highly popular Let’s Talk Teaching series focuses on faculty development.

“The idea of the Let’s Talk Teaching series is to fill the gap between being content experts and being expert teachers,” said Dr. Bill Blunt, DES Deputy Director and the University’s Director of Faculty Development. “Any one member of faculty influences many hundreds of students, so helping just one faculty member strengthen their teaching has a huge impact on our students.” The series clarifies what is “good teaching” in higher education, and addresses how students learn, how to structure lectures, labs, tutorials, courses, and curricula using technology, evaluating effectiveness of teaching, developing higher order critical thinking, and reliably assessing learning.

Faculty members are excited about the well-attended Let’s Talk Teaching series. “I find the seminars extremely valuable because of the interesting and thought-provoking topics,” says Dr. Amy Baldwin, Associate Professor of Microbiology who has both attended and presented at the series. “We are all here to teach, so having a series that focuses on teaching is noteworthy. As professors, we are always looking for new and better ways to teach.” She notes that camaraderie is an added benefit: “The sessions are supportive in an emotional way. It is easy to get caught up in your specific subject and department, but there is a lot of strength, value and insight when we all come together in this way.” She says the sessions help the faculty to be well-rounded and provide a steady reminder to practice student-focused teaching.

Dr. Satesh Bidaisee, Associate Professor and Deputy Chair of the Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, an attendee and former presenter, extols the merits of the series. “Let’s Talk Teaching is an opportunity for educators to discuss and explore the discipline of education. Our diverse faculty lends itself well to these discussions as their wide range of backgrounds can offer unique insights into techniques, providing participants with a distinctive learning experience. We have the opportunity to learn from each other’s experience and apply new techniques that have worked well in the classroom and lab. “

Visiting professors and resident faculty members pitch in to assist Dr. Blunt in delivering the sessions. Each semester, the series reintroduces the basics of teaching and covers several topics geared at introducing new ideas and encouraging faculty to take new initiatives in teaching. A theme is chosen each term and topics include teaching and assessment strategies, professional and organizational development, community building, leadership and technology.

The Education Computing Team led by Dr. Avril Best is also instrumental in faculty development, providing an important complement to the Let’s Talk Teaching series with seminars on the effective use of technology in education.

Instituted 12 years ago, and held twice each week, the Let’s Talk Teaching series has had impressive success. “Our attendance rate illustrates that the faculty are enjoying these sessions, and finding them useful,” Dr. Blunt said, referring to SGU’s more than 150 faculty who participate in the series each semester. “The best proof, however, may be our students and graduates, who continue to achieve impressive results on licensing exams and to pursue successful careers after graduating from St. George’s.”

SGU Student Takes First Place in American College of Physicians Competition

news tanvir kahlon

A research poster on medical overuse to treat headaches assembled by St. George’s University clinical student Tanvir Kahlon took first prize in the medical student category at the 2013 American College of Physicians (ACP) Michigan Chapter Scientific Meeting, held at Shanty Creek Resorts in Bellaire, MI, in October.

“Those on the judging team are all in academia, and for them to recognize my work as something important to the medical field is a great feeling,” said Ms. Kahlon, who is currently rotating at St. John Hospital and Medical Center in Detroit. “This topic may have resonated with the judges because it’s a widely applicable case that is overlooked so frequently. It’s important to address because patients with chronic pain are often disregarded as drug-seeking patients.”

Her presentation, “Considering Medical Overuse Headache with an Underlying Etiology of Headache,” was selected from hundreds of abstracts submitted for the meeting. It stemmed from the treatment of a female patient at St. John in 2012, Ms. Kahlon’s first clinical year. The patient was in her 30s and experiencing chronic headaches, a predicament that had been addressed both medically and surgically with the insertion of a shunt to drain spinal fluid. Despite continued medical intervention, the headaches persisted. Ms. Kahlon met with the patient and learned that she had been taking analgesics too frequently and a long-acting opiate only intermittently. When her pain medication prescription was lessened and taken correctly, the headaches subsided.

“She responded very well,” Ms. Kahlon said. “All she needed was supportive care and for someone to talk to her about pain management and the side effects of pain medicine.”

Ms. Kahlon was born and raised in India before she and her family moved to Michigan when she was 13. At the University of Michigan, she earned bachelor’s degrees in economics and political science, but medicine didn’t enter the picture until she began taking care of her ill grandmother.

“My grandparents contributed a lot to my life and my education, and through taking care of her, I wanted to pursue medicine and I began looking for where I could pursue that dream,” she said. “SGU was the perfect option.”

Ms. Kahlon took advantage of the wealth of international opportunities at SGU, completing selectives in Kenya and India, and attending conferences in Canada, Denmark, and India as a member of SGU’s International Federation of Medical Students’ Association (IFSMA) chapter. Ms. Kahlon credits the IFSMA experiences with helping her gain confidence when presenting to large audiences, confidence she drew on when speaking at the ACP conference.

Now in her final year, she looks forward to starting an internal medicine residency in the Midwest upon graduating next June.

“It has been a great experience,” Ms. Kahlon said. “SGU has prepared me not only from a knowledge standpoint but in helping me become a well-rounded person and clinician.”

SGU’s Research Institution Joins International Team of Medical Virologists Targeting Global Threats

windref team target obesity main

St. George’s University and the Windward Islands Research and Education Foundation (WINDREF) officially pledged their support of the Global Virus Network (GVN) at September’s annual GVN meeting in Moscow, Russia, with a donation of $100,000 to support the collaboration. GVN is dedicated to identifying and addressing global threats, performing international collaborative research, and training young medical students and virologists to do the same.

“This is a perfect example of a partnership that will benefit all parties, as WINDREF will benefit from IHV’s deep expertise in viruses such as HIV and HTLV – which directly affect Grenada, and from GVN’s global reach to expertise in these and all other viruses,” said Dr. Robert Gallo, Co-Founder and Scientific Director of GVN and Director of IHV. “At the same time, GVN and IHV will benefit from WINDREF’s provision of unique research opportunities and St. George’s University’s worldwide base of alumni physicians and researchers.”

“We are excited by the partnership as partnerships in research and educational are essential when pursuing excellence in these areas,” added Dr. Calum MacPherson, Vice Provost for International Program Development, Dean of Research, and Director of WINDREF.

The purpose of the collaboration is to support a range of activities aimed at reducing the burden of disease from viruses facing Caribbean nations. Of the partnership, Dr. Charles Modica, Chancellor and Co-Founder of St. George’s University, said, “We are excited to join forces with the IHV and GVN to address viruses, such as Human T Cell Leukemia Virus (HTLV) that disproportionately affect populations in the Caribbean.”

Over the next three months, GVN, IHV, WINDREF, and SGU will develop an action plan on outreach activities and training opportunities for future medical virologists. The first joint activity includes a workshop for journalists on current viral challenges. The workshop aims to bring virologists and journalists from the Caribbean region together in an academic setting and will be hosted on the SGU campus. Expected lecturers include GVN members from SGU, IHV, and the Karolinska Institute.

“We want to empower people with understanding of viruses so that they can protect themselves and their families from infections. Journalists are key in this initiative,” said GVN President Sharon Hrynkow.

About Global Virus Network (GVN)
The Global Virus Network (GVN) is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization, comprised of leading medical virologists from more than 20 countries. The GVN’s mission is to combat current and emerging pandemic viral threats through international collaborative research, training the next generation of medical virologists, and advocacy. For more information, contact Nora Grannell at and visit Follow us on Twitter @GlobalVirusNews.

About Institute of Human Virology (IHV) at the University of Maryland School of Medicine
Formed by co-founders Dr. Robert Gallo, Dr. William Blattner, and Dr. Robert Redfield in 1996 as a partnership between the State of Maryland, the City of Baltimore, the University System of Maryland and the University of Maryland Medical System, IHV is an institute of the University of Maryland School of Medicine and is home to some of the most globally recognized and world renowned experts in all of virology. The IHV is the first center in the United States to combine the disciplines of basic research, epidemiology and clinical research in a concerted effort to speed the discovery of diagnostics and therapeutics for a wide variety of chronic and deadly viral and immune disorders – most notably the HIV virus that causes AIDS.

Global Virus Network and Institute of Human Virology Awarded $100K from the Windward Islands Research and Education Foundation