Practical Veterinary Dentistry Continuing Education Conference at St. George’s University

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Alumni of St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine (SGUSVM) and veterinarians from around the world gathered at St. George’s University in September for the Practical Veterinary Dentistry Continuing Education (CE) Conference covering the importance of oral health for animals.

The main presenter, Dr. Johnathon Robert Dodd, Clinical Professor with the Department of Small Animal Clinical Science at Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine, noted that oral health is sometimes overlooked, but stressed its importance as an indicator of general health and the overall well-being of animals.

“We recognize that as you begin taking care of a pet’s oral condition, their health drastically improves,” he said. “In the last 20 years we have been doing a better job at keeping the oral cavity healthy – in both pets and humans. Our pets are living longer, as are we, in part because of good preventative dental care.”

Dr. Dodd honed in on the need for keeping oral health exams as part of routine office visits by highlighting the prevalence of periodontal diseases. “ The rate of dental disease is about 80 percent for dogs and 70 percent for cats. By the time a dog is 3, it’s likely that the animal will show some form of dental disease. ”

According to Dr. Gregory Wybern, Director of Continuing Education within the School of Veterinary Medicine at St. George’s University, “These CE conferences allow our alumni and other veterinarians to expand their knowledge while raising the bar for veterinarians around the world. It’s an added benefit that participants at this conference are awarded eight AAVSB-approved credits toward their continuing education.”

The objective of the Practical Veterinary Dentistry Continuing Education (CE) Conference was to familiarize participants with current diagnostic and treatment modalities in the practice of small animal dentistry. Instructional course included presentations on various stages of periodontal disease, oral pathology, basic prophylaxis techniques and dental radiography were presented throughout the conference.

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.

Over 80 Global Scholars Celebrate White Coat Ceremony in UK as St. George’s University Ushers in New Class of Medical Students

On the first step of their path to becoming an MD, 782 incoming students took part in the St. George’s University School of Medicine White Coat Ceremony, with 86 Keith B. Taylor Global Scholars taking part in the ceremony at Northumbria University, Newcastle on August 15, 2013. Baroness (Ros) Howells of St Davids, the only Grenadian in the House of Lords, was guest of honor at the ceremony.

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Addressing the new intake, Baroness Howells said she envied the students for “the wonderful years you will spend in Grenada, not least after your experience in this modern and progressive city of Newcastle – and at such an outstanding university as Northumbria.”

She congratulated them on having “chosen a great and noble profession.”

Baroness Howells is a trustee of St George’s University’s UK Trust and serves on the board of the Windward Islands Research and Education Foundation (WINDREF), the research institute situated on St George’s University’s True Blue campus.

At the ceremony, Kenya’s Joyce Mbogo – a former St George’s scholar and now paediatric endocrinology lecturer at Nairobi’s Aga Khan University Hospital – introduced keynote speaker Leslie Hamilton, consultant cardiac surgeon with the Freeman Hospital, Newcastle; and Ian Postlethwaite, Northumbria’s Deputy Vice Chancellor.

After the students had been robed with their symbolic white coats, Dr. Mbogo led the students in stating their professional commitment to work alongside colleagues and professors “with tolerance, compassion and honesty.”

About the Keith B. Taylor Global Scholars Program.
The Keith B. Taylor Global Scholars Program (KBTGSP) provides students accepted to St. George’s University School of Medicine the unique opportunity to spend their first year of Basic Medical Sciences at Northumbria University in Newcastle, England, followed by study in Grenada and clinical rotations in the United States, United Kingdom, and Grenada. Students follow the same curriculum as Grenada and are taught by SGU faculty while in the United Kingdom. The Keith B. Taylor Global Scholars Program (KBTGSP) provides an opportunity for medical students to students to take their first year of basic sciences at Northumbria before moving to St George’s University, Grenada, to complete their preclinical training.

Future Veterinarians Profess Their Oath at White Coat Ceremony

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More than 100 students expressed their commitment to the profession of veterinary medicine at the St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine White Coat Ceremony, held on August 20 at Bourne Lecture Hall on the True Blue campus. The future veterinarians came from near and far, with eight countries represented in the Fall 2013 class, including the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Grenada, and as far away as Taiwan.

Dr. Lila Miller, cofounder of the Association of Shelter Veterinarians (ASV), and vice president of veterinary outreach at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), delivered the keynote speech, challenging the incoming students to be aware of the role of veterinarians in animal welfare, and the moral and ethical obligations in the field.

“So often animal welfare is not at the forefront of what we’re being taught,” Dr. Miller said. “We have many obligations as veterinarians that we sometimes have to wonder – where does animal welfare fit in? The American Veterinary Medical Association defined veterinarians as ‘the medical authority for health and welfare of animals,’ so it is incumbent upon your class to ensure we get there. You have the advantage at this spectacular University with a melting pot of cultural experiences and knowledge.

“The next few years are going to be exciting and challenging, and I encourage you to approach everything you’re going to learn with an open mind and learn as much as you can about animal welfare,” she added. “See where you can apply those principles in both your professional and personal lives, and be a vocal advocate to help position veterinarians as the leaders in animal welfare.

University Chancellor Dr. Charles Modica urged the students to take advantage of the opportunities at St. George’s University and remember the lifelong experiences they are sure to learn.

“You will meet people of different races, creed, cultures, and beliefs from all over the world,” he said. “If you take the opportunity to get to know them, work and learn with them, and be a part of this community, you will leave here not only with a degree, but some great human understanding that this world needs. If you can get along with everybody on this campus from all the countries represented, you’ve just managed to get along with everyone of this planet. It’s a greater opportunity than you might have envisioned when you chose this University.”

Alumnus and Master of Ceremonies Dr. Brittany King, DVM SGU ’10, encouraged the students to make their experience at St. George’s University their own. “You can do anything you dream, and if you dream it, your faculty and support group at St. George’s University can make it happen.”

Founded in 1999, the AVMA-accredited School of Veterinary Medicine has graduated over 800 veterinarians from 24 countries who have practiced in 47 US states and 10 countries around the world, including Canada, the UK, and South Africa.

St. George’s University Ushers in Class of 782 Medical Students

In their official welcome to the medical profession, 782 incoming students took part in the St. George’s University School of Medicine White Coat Ceremony, taking their first step toward becoming doctors. The True Blue Campus in Grenada welcomed 696 students while 86 Keith B. Taylor Global Scholars took part in the White Coat Ceremony at Northumbria, UK.

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Dr. Fred Jacobs, St. George’s University’s executive vice president and chair of its Department of Medicine, as keynote speaker at the Grenada ceremony, shared some experiences from his early years in the profession which had taught him significant lessons. “Always, the inspiration that comes from your patients will be the greatest lesson,” he said. “They will guide you in your path towards realizing your dream of becoming a doctor in the greatest sense.“

Dr. Jacobs recalled the ”magical moment” when he first knew he was a doctor, going from being scared and uncertain about facing his first patient to realizing he had the necessary training and knowledge. He also recalled learning that all patients had a right to the truth about their diagnosis and a right to share in decision making, and learning the importance of the relationship between a patient and doctor.

“The doctor-patient relationship is not based on knowledge or authority,” he said. “It is based on trust and human connection. It is the expression of humanism in medicine.”

Kara Schnarr, MD SGU ’11, master of ceremonies for the evening, told of her hopes and fears as a student, her love for Grenada, the UK and the US and her development into a global doctor because of her experiences at SGU. She encouraged the students to truly experience Grenada and its culture, to make friends and build a medical school family, and to persevere in their studies.

“The main difference between those who are successful and those who aren’t is the ability to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and get back out there,” she said. “The road ahead of you is a challenging yet exciting one.”

The students were also welcomed and congratulated by Dr. Charles R. Modica, Chancellor of St. George’s University and Dr. the Right Honorable Keith C. Mitchell, Prime Minister of Grenada.

This year, the School of Medicine introduced its Alumni Mentor Scholarship Program recipients, who are nominated by graduates of the School of Medicine based on their academic excellence and commitment to the medical profession. Also, of the parents on hand to watch the ceremony, seven had participated in this very ceremony at SGU as first-year students some years before.

The alumni whose children are continuing their legacy at SGU had the unique opportunity to robe them in their white coats.

The Fall 2013 White Coat Ceremony in Grenada marked the 20-year anniversary, to the day, of the first-ever White Coat Ceremony, held on August 20, 1993, at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons, as arranged by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation. SGU held its first White Coat Ceremony, which emphasizes the importance of compassionate medical care, in 1996.

St. George’s University and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Establish a Caribbean Regional Collaboration Center

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The Windward Islands Research & Education Foundation (WINDREF) and the Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine (DPHPM) at St George’s University, have been selected by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to establish a Regional Collaborating Centre for the Caribbean. The partnership, between the DPHPM, WINDREF and UNFCCC, will be based at the University’s True Blue campus in Grenada and continues UNFCCC’s implementation of the Kyoto Protocol, signed in 1997.

This centre, the third of its kind in the world, is aimed at enhancing the implementation of clear technology activities in the region by engaging private- and public-sector organizations as well as governmental agencies to participate in the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) framework, part of the Kyoto Protocol’s way of achieving carbon reduction targets.

“We are delighted to collaborate with WINDREF and the DPHPM at St. George’s University,” said Karla Solis-Garcia, Team Lead for the Regional Collaboration Centre St George’s. “We have received a warm welcome and look forward to achieving long-term results that can put the Caribbean in a position to implement clean technology activities that mitigate climate change and support sustainable development of the countries of the region.”

WINDREF and the DPHPM, recently designated as the first WHO Collaborating Centre on Environmental and Occupational Health in the Caribbean, are uniquely positioned to lend support, having collaborated on several environmental research programs that addressed occupational health among nutmeg workers and health care workers, renewable energy, land degradation, food and water borne diseases, and zoonotic diseases.

“We are delighted to be able to host the Clean Development Mechanism RCC,” said Dr. Omur Cinar Elci, Chair of the DPHPM. “We see a clear linkage between our goals as practitioners and educators in public health and the ultimate goal of the UNFCCC to prevent dangerous climate change,”

“We are excited to partner with the UNFCCC to establish a Caribbean Regional Collaboration Centre at WINDREF on St. George’s University campus,” said Calum Macpherson, Director and Vice President of WINDREF. “The goal of the Centre – to support CDM projects in the Caribbean region – will mitigate carbon emissions and address climate change, one of the greatest future threats to health and well-being. As such, WINDREF, in conjunction with the Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at SGU, provide a perfect home for the Caribbean RCC, given their common mission of promoting health and sustainable development throughout the region.”

The regional office in Grenada started operations in mid-July and will aid in providing technical support to design and process activities under the CDM.

About SGU
St. George’s University is a center of international education, drawing students and faculty from over 140 countries to the island of Grenada, West Indies. St. George’s is affiliated with educational institutions worldwide, including in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and Ireland. The University has contributed over 13,000 physicians, veterinarians, scientists, and public health and business professionals who are studying across the world. The University programs are accredited and approved by many governing authorities.

The Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine offers a CEPH-accredited Master in Public Health Programme to graduate students from around the world. The Department also houses the WHO Collaboration Center for Environmental and Occupational Health and the Gamma Kappa Chapter of the Delta Omega Honor Society in Public Health.

The Windward Islands Research and Education Foundation (WINDREF) is a non-profit research institute located on the St. George’s University campus. Its mission is to advance health and environmental development through research and education programs. For more information, visit www.sgu.edu.

About UNFCCC
With 195 Parties, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has near universal membership and is the parent treaty of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. The Kyoto Protocol has been ratified by 193 of the UNFCCC Parties. Under the Protocol, 37 States, consisting of highly industrialized countries and countries undergoing the process of transition to a market economy, have legally binding emission limitation and reduction commitments. The ultimate objective of both treaties is to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that will prevent dangerous human interference with the climate system.

About the CDM
Developed countries can work towards their targets under the Kyoto Protocol by earning certified emission reductions through Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects.

St. George’s University and Monmouth University Join to Offer Pre-Medical and Veterinary Students Combined BS/MD or BS/DVM Degrees

A new agreement between Monmouth University and St. George’s University will provide more doctors and veterinarians in the state of New Jersey, according to school officials.

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“St. George’s University joined forces with Monmouth University so that we can both positively address the physician and veterinarian shortage and help the state of New Jersey educate and train well-qualified professionals truly prepared to practice 21st century health care,” said Charles R. Modica, Chancellor of St. George’s. “These new students will join the over 1,500 New Jersey students and graduates who matriculated at St. George’s since we were founded 35 years ago.”

“Monmouth University is very pleased to partner with St. George’s to provide pathways for our students to move seamlessly from BS degree programs into MD or DVM programs,” noted Michael A. Palladino, Dean of the School of Science at Monmouth University.

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With today’s joint announcement, St. George’s University in Grenada, West Indies, and Monmouth in West Long Branch, New Jersey, introduce combined BS/MD and BS/DVM degrees. Students admitted to this combined degree program complete their undergraduate degree in biology or health sciences at Monmouth University in four years, and upon meeting established admission criteria, progress into St. George’s University School of Medicine or School of Veterinary Medicine. Qualified medical students will be eligible to complete the first two years of study in Grenada and the final two of this combined program in clinical rotations at affiliated hospitals in the United States or the United Kingdom. Qualified veterinary students will be eligible to complete the first three years of veterinary study in Grenada and their final clinical year at affiliated veterinary schools in the United States, Canada, Australia, or Ireland.

In addition to the Monmouth partnership, St. George’s maintains partnerships in the United States with the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT)/Albert Dorman Honors College, St. Michael’s Medical Center, Caldwell College, Franklin Pierce University, University of the Sciences, and Widener University. The University has similar partnerships with schools in the United Kingdom, Bermuda, Grenada, Guyana, and Uganda.

About St. George’s University
St. George’s University is a center of international education, drawing students and faculty from 140 countries to the island of Grenada, in the West Indies, to its programs in medicine, veterinary medicine, public health, science, and business. St. George’s is affiliated with educational institutions worldwide, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and Ireland. The University’s over 13,000 graduates include physicians, veterinarians, scientists, and public health and business professionals across the world. The University programs are accredited and approved by many governing authorities and repeatedly recognized as the best in the region.

About Monmouth University
Monmouth University is a leading private institution that offers a comprehensive array of undergraduate and graduate degree programs. The University provides students with a highly personalized education that builds the knowledge and confidence of tomorrow’s leaders. Located in West Long Branch, New Jersey, Monmouth University’s magnificent and historic campus is approximately one hour from both New York City and Philadelphia and is within walking distance of the beaches of the Atlantic Ocean.

St. George’s University School of Medicine Graduates Nearly 1,000 New MDs

On Saturday, June 15, St. George’s University conferred Doctor of Medicine degrees to nearly 1,000 MD students at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall in New York City. The 2013 class is the largest in University history with graduates from around the world representing 34 countries.

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“This ceremony is a symbol of confidence that you are now equipped for the world into which you are entering,” St. George’s University Provost Allen Pensick said in his address. “You must consider the term commencement, which speaks of the beginning of a journey, rather than the end. We have equipped you with the basic skills for you to continue learning, and continue learning we all must, to keep pace with the changing world around us.”

With the graduation of the 2013 class, St. George’s retains the distinction of placing more doctors in US PGY-1 residencies than any other medical school in the world for the third year in a row. Since its inception in 1976, St. George’s University has produced more than 11,000 doctors from 133 countries who have practiced in all 50 states in the US and in over 50 countries around the world.

The University honored Mary Sansone, founder and organizer of the Congress of Italian American Organizations (CIAO), with a Medal of Merit at the ceremony for her years of non-profit work and community service. Along with CIAO, Ms. Sansone founded Community Understanding for Racial and Ethnic Equality, or CURE, an organization geared toward promoting racial harmony and human rights. St. George’s also acknowledged Sister Jeanne O’Laughlin, a member of the St. George’s University Board of Trustees and the president of Barry University (FL) for nearly a quarter century, with an Honorary Doctor of Human Letters.

St. George’s University MPH Students and Alumni Achieve Impressive Pass Rate on Spring NBPHE Exam at SGU

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St. George’s University students and alumni of the Master of Public Health program achieved a 90 percent pass rate on the spring National Board of Public Health Examiners (NBPHE) exam, allowing them to become a Certified in Public Health (CPH) professional. Including four previous alumni who had sat and passed the NBPHE exam, SGU students and alumni have demonstrated an impressive 92 percent success rate. After passing the exam, CPH professionals must earn 50 CPH recertification credits every two years to maintain their status.

“The CPH credential enhances the professional standing and recognition of individuals who gain the certification,” said Dr. Omur Cinar Elci, professor and chair of the Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine (DPHPM). “In addition, the CPH credential commits its holders to a career of continuous professional development and recertification providing competency assurance in their public health practice.”

St. George’s University had been appointed as an official test location in February 2013 and the spring exam marked the first time that the exam was given on the campus.

SGU has increasingly been at the forefront of addressing public health issues both locally and regionally. The University’s MPH program attained accreditation from the Council for Education in Public Health (CEPH) in 2010, the fourth program outside North America to receive the distinction. In 2012, the Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine was also named a World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center for Environmental and Occupational Health, making it the first collaborating center of its kind in the region.

“As chair, it has been a privilege leading the DPHPM team of dedicated professionals through this significant period of development for the benefit of the communities that we serve,” Dr. Elci said. “The exceptional success of our students and alumni in the recent NBPHE exams is indeed the latest testimony to the DPHPM towards achieving its vision of serving as a regional and international center for excellence in education, research, service, and scholarly activities.”

St. George’s University’s Small Animal Clinic Adding to the Love

In addition to offering vaccination services, deworming, and checking animal ears for parasites, the St. George’s University’s Small Animal Clinic is also dispensing a surprise benefit—a deeper emotional bonding between pets and their Grenadian owners.

“We are helping pets live longer,” said Dr. Wayne Sylvester, veterinary clinician at SAC and assistant professor in the School of Veterinary Medicine. “The illnesses that pets would have been euthanized for in the past are now being properly diagnosed and treated and healthy pets are returned to happy owners. The confidence pet owners have in our veterinary care improves their ability to bond with them and leads to an improvement in how the pets are cared for. It’s a win all the way around.”

The SGU Small Animal Clinic offers routine and emergency medical care for dogs, cats and exotic pets and emphasizes preventive care. Services provided include x-rays, ultrasounds, endoscopy, blood work, and dentistry. The Clinic has a clientele of more than 1,200 and handles close to 200 patients on average each week.

Although the Grenada Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (GSPCA) and a few local public or private vet practitioners also offer veterinary services, Dr. Sylvester noted that the most severe cases, especially emergencies, are brought to the SGU clinic. In addition to medical interventions for pets, the clinic focuses on client education. “A lot of work has been done by the clinic, and the School of Veterinary Medicine as a whole, in educating pet owners on what it means to own and care for a pet,” said Dr. Sylvester.

The clinic serves all of Grenada, including the sister isles of Carriacou and Petite Martinique, and even has a special program to have pets transported from these islands via the inter-island sea shuttle. To ensure that its services are within financial reach of everyone, the SGU Small Animal Clinic offers affordable payment plans in addition to participating in the numerous outreaches organized by the School of Veterinary Medicine to bring free and convenient veterinary care throughout Grenada.