Dr. Timothy Ogilvie Named Dean of St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine

Former Dean of Atlantic Veterinary College, University of Prince Edward Island, appointed as SVM’s Third Dean.

cf104 06s ogilvie tim d04 mp3St. George’s University Chancellor Charles R. Modica announced the appointment of Dr. Timothy Ogilvie to the position of Dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine effective January 1, 2014. Dr. Ogilvie comes to SGU from the University of Prince Edward Island, where he was Dean of Atlantic Veterinary College (AVC) from 1998 to 2008, as well as a faculty member for more than 25 years.

We are fortunate to have an individual with Dr. Ogilvie’s credentials take the reins of the School of Veterinary Medicine, Chancellor Modica said. He brings a world of experience as a professor and in a leadership role to the University, and will draw upon that experience to steer St. George’s University veterinary medical program into the future.

Dr. Ogilvie joined AVC as a founding faculty member in 1985 following his appointment as the director of the animal industry services branch within the Prince Edward Island Department of Agriculture and Forestry. Since then, he has served as Chair of the University’s Department of Health Management (1990-1998) and Acting Dean (1998-1999), while also co-directing AVC’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital. The AVC Vet Camp was renamed the Dr. Tim Ogilvie AVC Vet Camp in 2009 and recently was acknowledged by the Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education as the best community outreach program in the country. He began his stint as a Visiting Professor at St. George’s University in 2008.

Dr. Ogilvie is also a board-certified diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, focusing on large animals. Dr. Ogilvie has served as the Canadian Veterinary Colleges Deans representative on the Canadian Foresight project (FORECan) for Animal Health Emergency Management planning. As well, he is the Canadian academic representative for the World Organization for Animal Health’s ad hoc committee on global veterinary education and is a member of the Canadian Veterinary Reserve.

Past appointments have also included president of the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association, board member and vice-president of AquaNet, director and chair of the Board for Genome Atlantic, chair of the Genome Atlantic Executive Committee, and board member of the Life Sciences Development Association, among others. Dr. Ogilvie earned his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and Master of Science degrees from the University of Guelph.

Dr. Ogilvie assumes the role of Dean, replacing Dr. Raymond F. Sis, who served as the School’s Dean since April 2003 and continues his relationship with SGU as Dean Emeritus. Dr. Sis is responsible for leading the School successfully through the meticulous accreditation process with the Grenadian Ministry of Education in February 2010, and with the the Council on Education of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) in September 2011. Prior to joining SGU, Dr. Sis taught for 35 years at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Texas A&M University (TAMU).

Neither the University nor its veterinary medical program would be where it is today without the leadership, dedication, and vision of Dean Sis, Chancellor Modica said. He led a program from its infancy to into one of the most renowned international veterinary medical schools in the world. We are extremely thankful for more than a decade of service to St. George’s University.

Alumni Mentor Scholarships Open Door for Med/Vet Students to Attain SGU Education

They used St. George’s University as a springboard to their own success, and in August 2013, four graduates helped pave the way for select MD entering students to achieve their own goals through the University’s Alumni Mentor Scholarship Program.

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The first class of students to receive Alumni Mentor Scholarships, all nominated by SGU graduates, took its first step toward becoming doctors at August’s White Coat Ceremonies. As recipients, they had demonstrated the commitment and dedication necessary to achieve academic success, as well as the passion and drive to become physicians.

“In these students, our graduates see the same qualities that have made them successful in their own medical careers,” St. George’s University Chancellor Charles R. Modica said. “We look forward to equipping these highly promising individuals with the knowledge and skills necessary to thrive as future doctors.”

Among the Fall 2013 recipients was Moeed Chohan, who worked alongside his mentor, Dr. Omair Chaudhary, MD SGU ’11, in the Department of Emergency Medicine at SUNY Upstate Medical University. Thanks to a partial-tuition scholarship, Mr. Chohan can gain a strong medical education at SGU at a lower cost.

“I was overjoyed and very thankful to receive such a scholarship out of all the qualified applicants,” said Mr. Chohan. “To use a metaphor, it’s like the passing of a torch, as if by receiving this scholarship, I have to live up to my mentor’s name.

“This scholarship also goes to show how much SGU values the opinions of its graduates,” he added. “I appreciate the generous ‘gift’ by SGU towards my education and I owe it to SGU to give back to such an exceptional medical school both through my practice of medicine in the near future and throughout my time here at SGU.”

First-term MD student Martik Tahmasian was nominated by Fred Berlin, MD SGU ’07, a vascular and interventional radiologist at Imaging Subspecialists of North Jersey.

“Financially, the scholarship helps alleviate some pressure, and academically, it pushes me to step up my studies to an even higher level,” Mr. Tahmasian said. “The education I receive at SGU will be the foundation for my career, for which I hope to practice medicine not only in the US, but around the world.”

If you would like to nominate a promising medical student for an Alumni Mentor Scholarship, visit sgu.edu/alumnimentor.

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.

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 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.

Dr. Raymond Sis Recognized For Exemplary Career in Veterinary Medicine

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Dr. Raymond F. Sis, Dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine at St. George’s University, will be presented with the 2013 Alumni Recognition Award from Kansas State University at the annual convention of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) on July 22 in Chicago, Illinois. This award recognizes the effort and devotion of veterinarians in advancing the profession through exemplary careers which have served as role models for future alumni and veterinary practitioners.

The impact that Dr. Sis has had in the field of veterinary medicine can be measured by the thousands of animals and individuals he has helped throughout his life – from his leadership role as Dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine, to that of teacher and surgeon. He credits the impact Kansas State University has had on the development of his career with creating the foundation for his success.

“I am delighted, honored, and humbled to receive this award, because I am very proud of my alma mater,” Dr. Sis said. “K-State has really made a difference in my life. I am thankful to the Veterinary Medical Alumni Association for honoring me with this award and I thank the University for giving me the education I needed to become a veterinarian. I am grateful to my wife, Jan, and our children and grandchildren for their many years of support.”

Award recipients are typically selected either by the executive board of the Veterinary Medical Alumni Association (VMAA), at the pleasure of the VMAA president or by an awards committee established by the dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine which includes the VMAA president or a designated representative.

Commenting in a press release from Kansas State University, Dr. Ralph Richardson, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine stated, “Dr. Sis’ career has been exemplary – from being a highly skilled surgeon as well as productive scientist and educator to becoming an inspiring leader in veterinary education. It is not often we have the opportunity to recognize the dean of a veterinary program, particularly in a national setting such as at the AVMA convention. We are very proud to recognize his outstanding career through this award.”

Dr. Raymond Sis earned a bachelor’s degree in animal science in 1953, and later his DVM in 1957, both from Kansas State. After leaving K-State, he served as a base veterinarian in the United States Air Force for four years, and then became an environmental health officer in the Air Force Reserve for 25 years. During his tenure, Dr. Sis received the Air Defense Command Commendation, the Air Force Commendation Medal for his work in the Newcastle Disease Eradication Project in California, in 1972, and the Air Force Meritorious Service Medal.

Prior to joining SGU, Dr. Sis taught for 35 years at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Texas A&M University (TAMU). Shortly after joining the faculty at TAMU, he was promoted to full professor and head of the Department of Veterinary Anatomy. He held that position for 15 years, and at various times during that span he was also the course director for every course in his department’s curriculum. For nine years, Dr. Sis codirected both the Aqua Med program and the Aquatic Animal Medicine Continuing Education Program.

Dr. Raymond Sis was appointed dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine at St. George’s University in April 2003, and is responsible for leading the school through the meticulous accreditation process with the Grenadian Ministry of Education in February 2010, and the Council on Education of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) in September 2011. He is internationally recognized for his work in veterinary medicine, and has presented more than 55 scientific presentations to a diverse audience. He has also authored and co-authored over 75 publications.

St. George’s University congratulates Dr. Raymond Sis on this prestigious award and his dedicated service to the veterinary profession.

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.

SGU’s 2013 Class of DVMs Celebrates Another Milestone In Their Careers

In the fall of 2011, the St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine Class of 2013 celebrated in Grenada when word came that the University has been accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Two years later, they gathered together once again, this time with their family and friends present, at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall in New York City to collectively rejoice once again.

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On Friday, June 14, SGU’s School of Veterinary Medicine conferred Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degrees to 94 students, bringing its alumni total to more than 850 since its founding in 1999.

“The spirit you have is one of success and perseverance, and this is a spirit you have and are also qualities of the School of Veterinary Medicine,” Chancellor Charles R. Modica said to the 2013 class. “You have an attachment to animals that many may not understand, yet this affinity and love you have for over 10,000 species is admired and respected.”

The ceremony marked the 10-year anniversary of the University’s first SVM graduation, and to commemorate the milestone, charter class members presented Chancellor Modica with an award of appreciation, acknowledging his vision and determination for establishing the School of Veterinary Medicine and developing veterinary medical education at SGU.

In addition to the conferral of degrees, Chancellor Modica presented Dr. Richard Halliwell with a Distinguished Service Award. Dr. Halliwell has served as president of the American College of Veterinary Dermatology (1984-1986), European College of Veterinary Dermatology (1994-1996), World Association for Veterinary Dermatology (2000-2008), and Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (2003-2004).

SVM Student Appointed Global Public Health Officer-Elect to SAVMA National Board

Fourth-term St. George’s University veterinary student Ashley Bredenberg has been appointed Global Public Health Officer-Elect for the national Student AVMA (SAVMA) executive board. She is a senior delegate of St. George’s University student chapter of the American Veterinary Medical Association (SCAVMA) and the first veterinary student from the School of Veterinary Medicine to be named to the national SAVMA executive board.

Bredenberg was appointed at the 42nd Annual SAVMA Symposium, and assumes responsibility to facilitate and oversee the SAVMA One Health Challenge, for which veterinary schools conduct a themed public health event. This year’s theme is food safety. As a member of the executive board, Bredenberg will provide input into the administration and distribution of funds to all 32 chapters and one associate chapter for the One Health Challenge.

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Ashley expressed that her interest in public health and the desire to make a change in the global community inspired her decision to be a part of the national board.

“It is my hope to broaden awareness of the impact students can make in local communities,” she said. “Global public health starts in the local community. We must make an impact locally before we can make a global impact.”

According to Bredenberg this appointment is also significant for St. George’s University students because, “It gives us a voice, it shows that we care, that we want to be involved, and that we’re here to make a difference whether through veterinary medicine, human medicine, public health, or business.”

Upon completing her Master of Public Health in December 2013, and her DVM in 2015, Bredenberg hopes to integrate both fields by working with the government on public health policies and exploring emergency and critical care in veterinary medicine.

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The Student AVMA (SAVMA) comprises of an executive board along with a House of Delegates (HOD). The HOD includes two representatives from each member chapter. This national organization allows for student chapters to function effectively as a single unit with the sole purpose of coordinating student chapter functions, promoting the exchange of ideas and information among students, and representing various issues concerning members both as students and future veterinarians.

St. George’s University’s State-of-the-Art Facility a Haven for Fresh- and Salt-Water Aquariums

Surrounded by water, Grenada has a deep appreciation for the sea, its inhabitants and the joy it can bring to the community. St. George’s University is doing its part to preserve the livelihood offshore and throughout the region with its state-of-the-art aquatic laboratory and marine center, which supports fresh- and salt-water aquariums and also houses equipment for lab work in microbiology.

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“The aquatic lab opens up all kinds of opportunities for research not just in infectious diseases but in aquaculture,” said Dr. Ross Peterson, an instructor of veterinary microbiology and aquatic animal medicine at SGU. “There is more and more of a push away from catching wild stocks and towards raising fish in a farm setting. Fish are pretty much the only food humans still get mainly by hunting and we are depleting that resource. My hope is that we can work on some of these species that are consumed, especially in the Caribbean.”

Custom-made by Waterline Systems of Prince Edward Island, Canada, the lab is home to tilapia and spiny lobster, the latter a feat made possible by salt water continually being pumped in from the ocean. “Our spiny lobsters are growing very well to the point where they are shedding on a regular basis,” said Dr. Hugh Ferguson, director of SVM’s marine program. “This is very unusual in a laboratory setting. Being able to keep these species inside the lab and not only have them survive but thrive is just wonderful.”

Although it is under the School of Veterinary Medicine, the lab is available for use by the entire University community and it currently facilitates several research projects. Dr. Richard Kabuusu is researching a mysterious die-off of tilapia at a farm in Ecuador with the tilapia at the lab here as his control subjects, Dr. Thomas Eurel is working on an innovative strategy to transplant corals, and Dr. Peterson recently conducted a study on land crabs from around Grenada. Several students are also conducting and assisting in research, and there is an elective where students are taught anesthesia and surgery for fish.

The aquatic lab was also the centerpiece for the first St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine (SGUSVM) Continuing Education (CE) conference, with the theme ‘An Overview of Aquatic Animal Medicine for the Veterinary Practitioner,’ held from February 16-20, 2013. It was the first in a series SGUSVM will host in its bid to attain full CE provider status by mid-2014.

Conference participants involved in fish farming, small animal community practice, and those with an interest in exotic fish all found immense value in the conference. They earned CE credits and certificates of participation. Sessions on veterinary dentistry and surgery are scheduled for later this year.

“It is very important to keep practitioners aware of new programs, medicines and techniques,” added Catherine Wybern, coordinator for the conference. “It was very rewarding to see brilliant minds come together and share.”

Big plans are in store for the lab. Dr. Peterson hopes to soon see zebrafish, which are increasingly used in medical research, bred at the lab, as the tilapia were. He also hopes to see more work done in aquaculture, which can have an impact on food security and the Grenadian economy.