RCVS Welcomes Eight New Members From St. George’s University

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L-R: Amber Lovegrove, Claire Green, Rhiannon Jones, college president Peter Jinman, Jennifer Walton, Zoë Jack, Serena Holmes. Monday 26/7/2010. Photograph © Andrew McCargow

Eight graduates from St George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine (SGUSVM) in the Caribbean island of Grenada, have passed the Statutory Membership Examination of the UK’s Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS), making up just under half of the 17 accepted this year. Forty-five candidates took the examination.

“This outstanding result confirms the school’s status as a leading international teaching institution for prospective veterinarians”, comments Austin Kirwan, St George’s Associate Dean of UK and Ireland Clinical Affairs.”Our graduates now have a proven record of high standards which is encouraging to those who follow in their footsteps”.

Thirty St George’s graduates have passed into the RCVS since the School’s inception in 1999.

In order to practice veterinary surgery in the UK, all graduates with foreign or Commonwealth qualifications must pass the RCVS examination. The exam consists of two days of written papers, followed by clinical, oral and practical exams at a UK veterinary medical school.

Presenting the graduates with a membership certificate at the Ceremony of Admissions at Belgravia House in London, RCVS President Peter Jinman said: “I was delighted to welcome so many of this year’s successful candidates to the College. They are a very special group of people – not only have they qualified all around the world, but they have taken the educational and professional step of sitting the RCVS examination, which entitles them to use the coveted letters MRCVS and to practice in the UK“.

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L-R: Amber Lovegrove, Claire Green, Rhiannon Jones, college president Peter Jinman, Jennifer Walton, Austin Kirwan, Zoë Jack, Serena Holmes. Monday 26/7/2010. Photograph © Andrew McCargow


SGUSVM Recognizes 109 New Graduates at Commencement Ceremony

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On June 12, 2010, St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine (SGUSVM) welcomed 109 new graduates from 10 countries to the profession of veterinary medicine at its commencement exercises held at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center, New York.

Dr. Allen Pensick, Provost of St. George’s University, welcomed the Class of 2010 graduates and reminded them that they were at the beginning of their journey and not the end, encouraging them to continue the life-long process of learning.“Today is about recognizing your ability to embrace the opportunities ahead of you and we join with your family and friends in applauding you,” he said. Dr. Pensick recognized the Honorable Manniram Prashad, Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, Guyana who was among the faculty, parents, friends, and well-wishers present to witness the ceremony.

In addressing the graduating class Dr. Charles Modica, Chancellor, St. George’s University stated, “I have the utmost respect for you and what you are about to do with your lives.” He acknowledged that through their actions, the School of Veterinary Medicine students have taught him of the powerful connection between humans and animals. The Chancellor congratulated them on their achievement and expressed confidence in their ability to make a difference in the world.

During his remarks, Dr. Raymond Sis, Dean, School of Veterinary Medicine congratulated the graduates on reaching their goal. He also made a special presentation to a faculty member and a graduate. Dr. Rhonda Pinckney, Associate Dean of Students, School of Veterinary Medicine, was recognized for her outstanding contribution to the profession and to St. George’s University and was presented with a medal as a symbol of appreciation. Brittany King, a member of the graduating class, received a medal in recognition for her contributions to global one health medicine.

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As a former class representative for the Student Affiliate of the American Veterinary Medical Association (SAAVMA), Brittany King was integral in the launch and continued success of the One Health One Medicine clinics held throughout Grenada. The One Health One Medicine concept focuses on the convergence of animal, human, and ecosystem health; addressing them collectively is critical to improved health care worldwide.

St. George’s University established the School of Veterinary Medicine in 1999, offering a broad range of opportunities in the veterinary medical field. The SGUSVM is listed with the AVMA and offers a superior global veterinary medical program which focuses on community service, hands-on training, and clinical research. Upon graduation from the four-year Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree program students are licensed to practice in 42 States in the USA and other countries, including Canada, Ireland, and Australia.

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St. George’s University DVM Students Hold Fundraisers to Help Disabled Pet

Last year, students from St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine came across an emaciated white shepherd-mix canine abandoned under a porch in Grenada. The students cared for the pregnant dog, nursing it back to health and fondly naming her Snowbell. Unfortunately, upon giving birth to a litter of 10 puppies, Snowbell’s hind legs became inexplicably paralyzed. Although the students were able to find homes for each of the 10 puppies, Snowbell was still left unaccounted for and without a home.

The veterinary students were so determined to save the dog that they reached out to an organization 2000 miles away, Pets with Disabilities, in Prince Frederick, Maryland. The founder of the organization, Joyce Darrell, agreed to adopt Snowbell. However, the students would have to arrange for transportation. In order to generate enough funds to cover airfare for Snowbell and an escort, the veterinary students held various fundraisers. On Thanksgiving Day, the disabled dog finally made it to her new home in Prince Frederick where she was equipped with a canine wheelchair.

If you are interested in learning more about the organizations or making a donation for Snowbell and the other animals, please visit petswithdisabilities.org, or e-mail Joyce at petswithdisabilities@comcast.net

SVM Alum Dr. Angela Olt Wins Kentucky Vet Scholarship

Dr. Olt has a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from St. George’s University as well as a Master’s in animal science from the UK and a BS in agriculture from WKU. She practices at the Shuffett Animal Clinic in Greensburg and lives on a Green County farm with her husband…

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School of Veterinary Medicine Welcomes Students at 22nd White Coat Ceremony

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On Tuesday, January 19th, 2010, St. George’s University’s School of Veterinary Medicine (SGUSVM) formally welcomed 51 new SVM students from the US, Canada, Barbados, Scotland, and Botswana to the True Blue campus. The class of 2014 was welcomed by Dr. Adria Rodriguez, Master of Ceremonies and recent SVM graduate; Dr. Raymond Sis, SVM Dean; and Dr. Charles R. Modica, Chancellor. Dr. Modica, in his address, commented that the School had come a long way since its inception just over 10 years ago and had proven itself a success. Dr. Sis encouraged the students to work as a team, mentoring and helping each other.

Dr. James Cook, immediate past president of the AVMA, served as an inspiring Keynote Speaker. He encouraged the class to never stop learning as he referenced a quote by American writer and futurist, Alvin Toffler, “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.” “Imagine yourself a sponge in a sea of knowledge,” said Dr. Cook, “and soak up all you can.”

The Keynote Speaker encouraged the incoming class to seize every opportunity to learn, to ask many questions and to join the student arm of the AVMA, and later its professional branch, which he said would be their “lifeline and network.” Dr. Cook then welcomed the students to the profession and congratulated them on their success. The fifty-one students then proudly mounted the stage where they were helped into their white coats by Dr. James Cook, Dr. Raymond Sis and Dr. Francesca Ivaldi, SGUSVM Assistant Professor, Clinical Skills and SGUSVM graduate, and thereafter took their oath of professional commitment.

Dr. James Cook has owned a mixed animal practice in his home town of Lebanon, Kentucky since 1977. He has served as chair of the Kentucky Practice Act Revision Committee and represented Kentucky in the American Veterinary Medical Association’s (AVMA’s) House of Delegates from 1996 to 2001. In 2001, he was elected to represent Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and West Virginia in District V while he served on the AVMA Executive Board. In his term as Chairman, Dr. Cook launched the One Health Initiative Task Force. In addition to his membership in the AVMA, Dr. Cook is a member in the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP), the American Association of Bovine Practitioners (AABP) and the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA). Dr. Cook received the Distinguished Service Award in 2002 as Past President of the Kentucky Veterinary Medical Association and was named Kentucky Veterinarian of the Year in 1988.

Dr. Adria I. Rodriguez received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from St. George’s University in January 2008. She is currently an Instructor in the Small Animal Medicine and Surgery Academic Program at St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine, and is finishing her Master of Science degree in Marine Medicine/Microbiology.

Veterinary Mentor Scholarship Awarded to Four New Students

In January 2011, four new students received the prestigious Veterinary Mentor Scholarship Award permitting them to follow their dreams to study veterinary medicine. The scholarship recipients received their white coats, along with nearly 49 new veterinary students of the entering January 2011 class, during the St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine White Coat Ceremony in Grenada, West Indies. In honor of their hard work and dedication to the profession, the recipient’s mentors were invited to witness the ceremony—a proud moment marking a students entrance into the profession and the beginning of their careers.

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Veterinary Mentor Scholarship Recipients Madison Montgomery, Lisa Onstott, Christen Ragle, and Nikki Blum pictured with mentors and Associate Dean Bob Ryan

The four scholarship recipients, Madison Montgomery, Lisa Onstott, Christen Ragle, and Nikki Blum, are enrolled in the four year veterinary medicine program. They will spend the first three years in Grenada studying basic veterinary science as well as spending time assisting at the University’s on-campus veterinary hospital and farm. They will then have the option to complete their clinical studies at some of the world’s top academic environments. (The School of Veterinary Medicine has clinical affiliations with 23 of the 28 US veterinary schools, 2 of 5 Canadian schools, 2 of 7 UK veterinary programs, as well affiliations in Ireland and Australia.)

Each scholarship recipient was nominated by their mentor, a practicing veterinarian who felt strongly that his or her protégé demonstrated academic excellence and dedication to the veterinary medical profession. The Veterinary Mentor Scholarship awards of up to 40 percent of the full-tuition of the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Program to the scholarship recipients. In addition to the partial tuition scholarships, the awardees invited their mentors to Grenada to witness the White Coat Ceremony—an all expense trip paid for by St. George’s University.

Since its inception in 1999, St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine has trained more than 550 veterinarians—the majority of whom are in private practice in countries around the world. Every year the School of Veterinary Medicine awards over a dozen Veterinary Mentor Scholarships as a means to give back to the field of veterinary medicine and support the hard-working and dedicated students who come to Grenada with the dream of becoming veterinarians.

St. George’s University Hosts the 2010 International Veterinary Students Association Symposium

St. George’s University was proud to host the 58th International Veterinary Students Association Symposium (IVSA) from January 3rd to the 12th.. The Grand Anse campus was home to over 60 international student delegates and IVSA Executive Committee delegates from 19 countries, including Austria, Croatia, Slovenia, Finland, as well as next summer’s congress host country, Denmark.

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Given the nature and environment of the 2010 Symposium’s host country, “Tropical Medicine” was voted as the theme by the Executive Board of the Organizing Committee. Many of the lectures, workshops, and wet labs during this nine-day conference were centered on this theme as SGU professors investigated diseases, and dermatological and parasitic conditions commonly encountered in this type of climate.

On Day Four of the Symposium, SGU speakers communicated the University’s commitment to the “One World, One Health, One Medicine” philosophy at a clinic held in the northern part of the island. IVSA delegates were given a unique opportunity to participate in a hands-on event which provided valuable information and experience to bring back home.

St. George’s University’s IVSA Chapter President Kristin Kry, a sixth-term veterinary medical student from Calgary, Canada, explained that the rigorous preparation for the IVSA Symposium dates back more than two years. Grenada was first presented as a suggested host by SGUSVM delegates at the IVSA Symposium 2007 in Malaysia, the same year SGUSVM became an official IVSA chapter. Since that time an official Organizing Committee (OC) was elected to solidify a dynamic itinerary that, according to Kristin, “shares equally between an intellectual focus of veterinary medicine and cultural exposure to Grenada.”

This was a tremendous opportunity for St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine (SGUSVM) to showcase its facilities, curriculum, faculty, students, and staff to an international community during an influential and high profile event.

Throughout their stay, delegates were exposed to the splendor of Grenada as they explored the island and participated in many engaging activities that gave a true sense of its offerings.

The success of this event was truly a result of collaboration between St. George’s University students, faculty, and staff. A special thanks is extended to St. George’s University faculty members Catherine Wybern, Director of Development; Dr. Raymond Sis, Dean, School of Veterinary Medicine; Dr. Calum Macpherson, Vice Provost for International Program Development and Faculty Advisor for IVSA Grenada Chapter; and the numerous professors and staff who donated their time and expertise throughout the Symposium.

The IVSA is a global organization driven to raise the overall standard of veterinary medical education by increasing the international and intercultural exchange of ideas and knowledge, and to promote opportunities for veterinary medical students to undertake education in nontraditional arenas, which include exchange programs, international congresses, and symposiums.

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Eight St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine Grads Pass into RCV

news rcvs09Eight graduates from St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine (SGUSVM) have passed the Statutory Membership Examination of the UK’s  Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) , representing more than one-half of the total number that passed.  Of the 50 candidates that took the exam, a total of 14 worldwide passed successfully.

In order to practice veterinary surgery in the UK, all graduates with foreign or Commonwealth qualifications must pass the RCVS examination which consists of two days’ written papers, followed by clinical, oral and practical exams at a UK veterinary medical school.   SGUSVM graduates have traditionally demonstrated impressive pass rates on this rigorous exam.

“Nearly 400 students from St. George’s University have graduated from the School of Veterinary Medicine since its inception in 1999,” says Austin Kirwan, St. George’s Associate Dean of UK and Ireland Clinical Affairs.   Since that time, a total of 22 SGUSVM graduates have passed the RCVS membership exam, including students from Sweden, the United States and most recently Ireland.  Rachel Heenan, one of this year’s eight SGUSVM candidates, is the University’s first veterinary medical graduate from Ireland.

Rachel describes her time at St. George’s as “a hugely rewarding and hands on experience” and praised the professors for their “enormous support and kindness.”

Presenting the graduates with a membership certificate at the Ceremony of Admissions at the RCVS in London, Professor Alexander Trees of the University of Liverpool congratulated and welcomed the students to the veterinary practice.  Commenting that the students were now part of a “privileged elite,” who were well equipped to protect animal welfare, he advised the students to nurture and maintain this well earned privilege.  Professor Trees urged the students to enter the veterinary practice with confidence and expressed his hope that a few students would go on and make a “contribution to mitigating the world’s global healthcare problems.”

Fortune 500 Recognizes SGU School of Medicine Alumna as Outstanding Physician Citizen

Doctor Lisa Radix of Hopkinsville & Christian County Dialysis Recognized as Outstanding Physician Citizen

DaVita’s Outstanding Physician Citizen Program Highlights Physicians for Outstanding Patient Service

Hopkinsville, KY (March 2009) – DaVita Inc. (NYSE: DVA), one of the nation’s leading providers of kidney care services, today announced that Dr. Lisa Radix Medical Director, of the Hopkinsville & Christian CO. DaVita® dialysis centers, has been recognized as the divisional Outstanding Physician Citizen, receiving the  Doctor PEPper award, for the River Valley Division. The honor will be presented to Dr. Radix during a dinner celebration.

DaVita’s Doctor PEPper program seeks to recognize those physicians who exemplify DaVita’s mission and core values. The Patients Enriched by Partnershipsm (PEPsm) department is a department within DaVita that strives to involve patients and their families to educate and better their quality care. The doctors are nominated by Facility Administrators who feel the nominee is an integral part of the PEP program and their DaVita team. The doctors must have strong clinical results, actively participate in the Wall of Fame (a way to help DaVita patients and teammates to get to know one another by decorating a wall with photographs and fun facts), involve themselves in political action as well as being a strong member throughout the kidney care community. The doctors who are nominated enjoy the celebrations, games and events in the dialysis unit.

“Receiving the Doctor PEPper award is such an honor because it comes directly from the teammates I work with every day. I am very humbled by it.” said Dr. Radix, DaVita Medical Director. “The Doctor PEPper award also represents some of the aspects of patient-care that makes the practice of Nephrology so fulfilling.”

The Doctor PEPper program was founded in 2006, and promotes DaVita’s mission To Be the Provider, Partner and Employer of Choice, and core values, Service Excellence, Integrity, Team, Continuous Improvement, Accountability, Fulfillment, and Fun. At DaVita, that means high quality clinical care is generally coupled with a personalized approach.

DaVita, Patients Enriched by Partnership and PEP are trademarks or registered trademarks of DaVita Inc. All other trademarks are the properties of their respective owners.

About DaVita Inc.
DaVita Inc., a FORTUNE 500® company, is a leading provider of kidney care in the United States, providing dialysis services and education for patients with chronic kidney failure and end stage renal disease. DaVita manages more than 1,400 outpatient facilities and acute units in more than 700 hospitals located in 43 states and the District of Columbia, serving approximately 110,000 patients. As part of DaVita’s commitment to building a healthy, caring community, DaVita develops, participates in and donates to numerous programs dedicated to transforming communities and creating positive, sustainable change for children, families and our environment. For more information about DaVita, its kidney education materials, and its community programs, please visit www.davita.com.

St. George’s University Vet Grad Obtains Competitive Surgical Residency

Nicole Salas has a promising future as a veterinary surgeon.  A 2005 St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine graduate, Nicole has earned a competitive surgical residency at the Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Center in Langhorne, PA.

“I am very happy thus far and feel I have learned a tremendous amount in my two years post graduation, between my rotating internship at Fifth Avenue Veterinary Specialists in New York City and my surgical internship at Affiliated Veterinary Specialists in Florida,” Nicole says.

A native of Oxford, NJ, Nicole received an Animal Science degree at Cornell University.  She always knew she’d like to become a veterinarian, and looked to St. George’s University to help her prepare for her career.

“I’ve wanted to be a veterinarian since I was four years old.  I’ve always loved animals and science,” says Nicole. “I am thankful St. George’s gave me this opportunity.”

After basic veterinary medical sciences at SGUSVM, Nicole was placed at North Carolina State University for the clinical part of her education.  In many ways, she felt better prepared than students from other schools, likely due to the hands-on training SGU students receive a year earlier than most students in other veterinary programs.

“St. George’s prepared us to be well-rounded veterinarians, despite our concentration in small or large animal medicine,“ Nicole says.

Nicole was also impressed with the professors at SGU: “They are always available, always willing to help you in any way they can,” she says. “Coming from a large university with teaching assistants, I was amazed to see that my professors had an open door policy, and would be willing to help and encourage me any way they could.”

Nicole’s potential was evident early on to SGU.  Jeffrey Bates, Veterinary Enrolment Manager at SGU, notes that “even though spots are very limited, having known Nicole for the past several years, it’s no surprise that she obtained a surgical residency.

“Her passion for and knowledge of veterinary medicine have always been strong, and with all of the hands-on experience our students receive, I knew St. George’s University would teach her the skills necessary to follow her lifelong dream,” he says.

In addition to the exceptional faculty, Nicole considered the Caribbean atmosphere a benefit.

“It was a relaxing atmosphere, despite the stress of class,” she says. “It really made me want to study, though most would think the opposite.  You’re in a place where there aren’t the everyday distractions of the mall, the movies, and the hustle and bustle.”

Nicole couldn’t be happier with her education. “I am going to be a veterinary surgeon and I love what I am doing,” says Nicole.  “St. George’s gave me the opportunity to pursue my dream.  The faculty prepared me to be an excellent veterinarian and the serene environment offered a wonderful place to study.”

“Who wouldn’t want to study in the Caribbean for three years?”