School of Veterinary Medicine White Coat Ceremony Held on January 26, 2009

svm 10th anniversary logo

On January 26, 2009, the White Coat Ceremony of the School of Veterinary Medicine had special significance as it not only inducted 46 new students but marked the 10th anniversary year of the SGUSVM.  Dr. Gregory S. Hammer, a 30 year veteran of small animal and equine practice at the Brenford Animal Hospital in Dover, Delaware, a facility in which he is part owner and partner, delivered the Keynote Address.

As he addressed the incoming class, Dr. Hammer acknowledged the intense competition each student endures when they apply to veterinary school.  He then urged these students to put the competition aside and now encourage and mentor each other, as this “academic family” will serve as an inspiration for many years to come.

news svmwcc09 hammerDr. Hammer emphasized the great deal of responsibility these students will have as they become Doctors of Veterinary Medicine.  He stressed the importance of sharing their voice as professionals in their field and educating the public and government on issues of animal well being and public health.  He encouraged them to find this voice now by becoming active participants in the student AVMA, helping to shape the “bright” future of veterinary medicine.

In closing, Dr. Hammer expressed excitement for these students as they embark on this new endeavor, encouraging them to explore opportunities beyond the traditional careers in veterinary medicine, making specific reference to the fields of public health, food safety and bio-security.  “You are our future and I think we are in great hands,” he said.

A recent graduate from the SGUSVM, Dr. Kara Tassone, served as the evening’s Master of Ceremonies.  Dr. Tassone completed her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree at St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine in 2007.  After graduation, she completed an internship in small animal medicine and surgery at the Animal Referral and Emergency Center of Arizona.  During her years at SGUSVM, Dr. Tassone was elected President of the Student Association American Veterinary Medical Association (SSAVMA), serving the student body proudly and effectively.  She is married to her classmate Dr. Michael Lemmon and currently lives and practices in the Phoenix area.

Dr. Hammer has had a distinguished career which includes Immediate Past President of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).  Prior to this position, he represented District II of the AVMA Executive Board for six years beginning in 1999, serving members in Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia.  During this time, he also served as vice-chair of the board and chair of the legislative advisory and long-range planning committees.

Dr. Hammer received his Bachelor of Science degree in 1971 and in 1973 received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Kansas State University.  During his studies, he was inducted into the Phi Eta Sigma, Alpha Zeta and Phi Zeta honor societies.  Dr. Hammer received the Kansas State University School of Veterinary Medicine’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 2001.

Dr. Hammer’s career has included work in both the public and private sector.  While a captain in the US Air Force, he served as a veterinary medical officer from January 1974 to January 1976, and received the Meritorious Medal for his outstanding service. While stationed at the Dover Air Force Base, he practiced public health and food safety.  Then, in 1994, he was named honorary commander of the 436th Military Airlift Wing Medical Group.

As an active member of the Delaware Veterinary Medical Association (DVMA) since 1975, Dr. Hammer has made significant contributions to the DVMA in legislation, the securing of educational opportunities for Delaware veterinary medical students, participation in convention activities, public relations and the reorganization of the DVMA itself.  He was honored in 1997 with the Delaware Veterinarian of the Year Award.  On a local level, he has been involved in the Dover community and civic affairs as a member of the Dover Rotary Club since 1982 and member of its Board of Directors since 1991.

Dr. Hammer is also a member of the District of Columbia, Kansas, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia Medical Associations.   In 2008, he was honored by the Virginia Veterinary Medical Association as the state’s Veterinarian of the Year.

Read Dr. Gregory Hammer’s Keynote Address

School of Veterinary Medicine White Coat Ceremony 2009 Keynote Address

Keynote Speaker Dr. Gregory S. Hammer Helped Ring in the School of Veterinary Medicine’s 10th Anniversary Year.

Good afternoon.  It is my privilege to be here celebrating with you today.  I am Greg Hammer, and this past year I had the honor of being President of the American Veterinary Medical Association.  The AVMA represents more than 78,000 veterinarians working in private and corporate practice, government, industry, academic and the uniformed services.  The AVMA acts as the collective voice for its membership and for the profession to the public and government.  With every new member, our voice becomes stronger and more effective.

I’m glad to be here, this may be as close to paradise as I ever get.  I left 20-degree weather a couple of days ago to get here.  Delaware does not usually get that cold, so I’m glad to he here.  I practice in Delaware.  Our practice is about 70% small animal and 30% equine.  It is my hope that when you finish here, that whatever type of practice you enter, you have as much fun as I do.  Never lose the enthusiasm that you have right now.  Never lose that compassion for and desire to help those animals that we serve.

I want to first of all, congratulate you and your parents.  You are among the select few that have joined the greatest profession on earth.  I look forward to the day that you will be my colleagues.  That day will be here sooner than you think.

I think these types of speeches are supposed to be filled and with advice…so the next paragraph or two are my words of wisdom:

All of you are type “A” personalities and extremely competitive.  That is how you got here.  Each and every one of you had to compete against many others for the seat you now occupy in your class.  Well, you made it into veterinary school and it’s time to stop competing against each other.  It’s now time to start challenging yourself to become the best doctor you can be.  Take advantage and soak up every bit of information that you can.  When the information becomes tedious and overwhelming…remember you can do it.  Your clients, your patients will need you.  Remember your ultimate goal…DOCTOR!!!  Be the best, don’t settle for less.

In addition to challenging yourself, help your classmates.  This is your family for the next four years.  You will spend more time with them than anyone else.  Mentor each other.  I had the good fortune of being selected for the class of ‘73’ at Kansas State University.  We helped each other.  We learned from each other.  We pushed each other.  Get to know your classmates, help them through the next four years and they will help you.  Tell them how much you appreciate their help.  You will grow closer to some of your classmates.  They will be life long friends.  Be sure you let them know before you graduate, because unfortunately some you will never see again.   Again this is your academic family-help each other and you will all benefit.

I want to turn the page a little now, and ask you to do something for your chosen profession in the future.  You will be Doctors of Veterinary Medicine in less than four years.  With that title and respect, comes a great deal of responsibility.  No matter what type of practice you enter, or where you go, you will be a respected member of your community.  You must advocate on behalf of your profession and the animals we serve.  The public and government rely on us to educate them on animal well being and public health.  If you don’t do it, others will and you may not like the results.  You can start now by joining and participating in your student AVMA.  You should have 100% membership.  The student AVMA is your voice to the profession.  We have many positions on AVMA councils and committees that are only open to students.  They don’t require that much time and are a good way to get involved in national veterinary medicine.  There are externships that are only open to first and second year students at AVMA headquarters and the Washington DC office.  Remember if you don’t get involved in shaping the future of veterinary medicine, someone will shape it for you.

The future of veterinary medicine is bright.  There has never been a better time to be a veterinarian.  The demand in all fields of veterinary medicine is high and the supply has never been lower.  We are at a crisis in our work force.  You will be asked to do more, but you will have the freedom to get involved in any facet of veterinary medicine.  Be sure and look beyond the traditional careers of veterinarians.  Your future is unlimited in public health, food safety and bio-security.  You are our future and I think we are in great hands.  Welcome to the greatest profession…Veterinary Medicine.

Scholarships Celebrate 10th Anniversary of School of Veterinary Medicine

As St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine approaches its tenth year, the School has introduced the “Decade of Excellence” Scholarship Program. This program is designed to assist incoming students in the January 2009 class by awarding a number of partial scholarships.

Students at universities worldwide are encountering considerable difficulty obtaining loans for educational programs, an unfortunate ripple effect from the current uncertainty of the global economy.  It has long been the University’s mission to provide superior educational opportunities to any and all qualifying students.   St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine is eager to assist those students who are facing difficulty acquiring the funds to further their education and reach their goals of practicing veterinary medicine.

The University believes that an investment in the future of each individual student is, in turn, an investment in the well-being and development of communities throughout the world.  Since its establishment in 1999, the School of Veterinary Medicine has been dedicated to providing a broad range of educational and professional training opportunities preparing and inspiring students to become leaders in the field of veterinary medicine and curtailing the current shortage of veterinarians worldwide.

In the ten years since its inception, St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine has expanded to include state-of-the-art laboratories, a Small Animal Hospital, unparalleled faculty and visiting professors from veterinary medical schools throughout the United States, United Kingdom and Canada, and superior enhancement programs.  The SGUSVM has emerged as a leader in the field of veterinary medical education.

All incoming students interested in applying for the “Decade of Excellence” Scholarship should contact the Office of Enrolment Planning for more information.

Published on 11/24/08

SVM Restructure Reflects SGU’s Evolution, Expansion and Success

The new structure of St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine reflects a more efficient support of the University’s teaching, research and service missions, as it incorporates the American Veterinary Medical Association Council on Education (AVMA-COE) Standards into the unique academic program of the School.

Since 1999, the School of Veterinary Medicine (SVM) has provided its culturally diverse student body with an internationally based veterinary medical education designed to prepare students for the world of global health care.  SVM students complete three years in Grenada and their fourth clinical year of study at one of twenty-nine AVMA-accredited colleges of veterinary medicine.  Twenty-three of these accredited colleges are located in the United States, and the other six affiliated colleges that are accredited are located in the United Kingdom, Canada, The Republic of Ireland and Australia.  By restructuring SGUSVM, we will further enhance the effectiveness of this dynamic and comprehensive program.

According to Dr. Raymond Sis, Dean, School of Veterinary Medicine, “Moving the administration away from the standard academic department process toward a subsequent provision of Academic Programs is critical to aligning the SVM structure to AVMA-COE Standards; the primary objective of this reconstructive process.”  The AVMA Council on Education is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) as the accrediting body for schools and programs that offer the professional Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree, or its equivalent in the United States and Canada.

The most noticeable change is replacing the three former departments within SVM:  Preclinical Studies, Paraclinical Studies and Clinical Studies. Four Academic Programs have been implemented, each of which are overseen by a Program Director.  Effective July 2008, Dr. Tom Aire is Program Director of Anatomy and Physiology Academic Program (Terms 1-2); Dr. Ravindra Sharma is Program Director, Pathobiology Academic Program (Terms 3-4); Dr. Rudolfo Bruhl Day is Program Director, Small Animal Medicine and Surgery Academic Program ( Terms 5-6); and Dr. Ram Purohit is Program Director, Large Animal Medicine and Surgery Academic Program (Terms 5-6).

In addition, SVM has appointed four Associate Deans who, in conjunction with the Program Directors, are responsible for upholding one or more of the AVMA-COE Standards.  They are: Dr. Desmond Baggot, Senior Associate Dean, Faculty and Academic Programs; Dr. Timothy Ayliffe, Associate Dean, Information Resources; Dr. Rolf Larsen, Associate Dean, Clinical Resources; and Dr. Sunil Gupta, Assistant Dean,
Learning and Teaching.  Dr. Gregory Wybern has also been appointed Director of Clinical Services.

As the University as a whole continues to expand, so too does the School of Veterinary Medicine (SVM), one of the three entities which collectively form St. George’s University’s great triumvirate, along with the School of Medicine (SOM) and School of Arts and Sciences (SAS).  Each of the schools is afforded the same recognition, status and autonomy.

As with the SOM, SAS and the Graduate Studies Program (GSP), the SVM is under the strategic coordination of the Provost, who oversees the extensive sharing and cross referencing of activities, resources and initiatives between the four programs.  The SVM Dean serves as its chief academic officer and sits on the University Council of Deans (UCD) with the other deans, Vice Provosts and senior administrative officers.

Organization within the School of Veterinary Medicine

There are seven units within the SVM that define functional identity.  The units and the AVMA-COE Standards for which they are responsible are as follows:

  • Faculty and Academic Programs (Faculty, Organization, Finance, Admissions).
  • Learning and Teaching (Curriculum)
  • Clinical Resources (Clinical Resources, Outcomes Assessment)
  • Research (Research)
  • Students (Students)
  • Information Resources (Library and Information Resources)
  • Clinical Services (Facilities and Equipment)

The Faculty and Academic Program Unit is responsible for all administrative support services as Faculty.  The Unit is assisted by the Faculty Senate which has an elected Faculty Affairs Committee and Academic Affairs Committee.  The Department of Educational Services (DES), Dean of Students Offices (DOS), University Health and Counseling Services, Housekeeping, Human Resources (HR) and Department of Public Safety and Security (DPSS) are managed through University-wide structures.

The Learning and Teaching Unit provides all support for the delivery of the Curriculum which is unique to the SVM, providing management of the instructional resources and outcomes assessment through the Term Program Directors of Terms 1-6.  Assistance is provided through the Learning and Teaching committee which is comprised of the
Term 1-6 Program Directors.  Horizontal integration of curriculum is achieved through the Course Directors of each term.  Vertical integration of curriculum is achieved through the Program Directors.

The Clinical Resources Unit is responsible for outcomes assessment of Terms 1-9 of our Curriculum.  The unit is also responsible for the year four academic program.  The activities are coordinated through the Outcomes Assessment Group, which reports to the Associate Dean of Clinical Resources.

The Research Unit provides all support for the administration of faculty and student research within the School.  The research unit is also responsible for outreach and graduate studies.  The research focus areas are:  Public Health (Epidemiology, Zoonotic and Infectious Diseases, Food Safety, Water Quality and Ecosystem Health); Marine Medicine (Aquarium Fish, Food Fish, Marine Turtles and Coral Toxicology); and Teaching Methodologies.

The Student Unit provides support for all academic and nonacademic student support services through the DOS and DES.  The unit is responsible for the work of the Academic Progress Committee.  The Student Government representative and other SVM student organization representatives meet with the SVM Assistant Dean of Students.

The Information Resources Unit coordinates the needs of the SVM Library and Information Resources through the University.  Information Technology (IT) and the University Library Services are managed through University-wide structures.

The Clinical Services Unit is responsible for providing the resources for the academic programs.  The Unit is responsible for providing the resources for Small and Large Animal Clinical Skills.  The Unit is also responsible for the Physical Facilities and Equipment Standard which includes the Health and Safety Program of the School.

The management decision-making body of the SVM, which meets bimonthly, is the SVM Management Team (SVMMT) and it consists of the following:  Dean, Senior Associate Dean, Faculty and Academic Programs; Associate Deans, Learning and Teaching, Clinical Resources, Research, Information Resources and Students; Director, Clinical Services and Academic Program Directors.  The Associate and Assistant Deans and Program Directors lead strategic development in the functional areas above, supported by senior faculty and staff in the units.  All significant budgets are administered through the Academic Programs.

Faculty Governance

While management decisions are made by SVMMT, the SVM’s academic governance is assisted by its committees which are open to all academic members of the faculty.  The SVM has several academic committees that report on a regular basis and those relationships are defined by the SVM Bylaws.  There is student (and/or graduate student) representation on most of the committees.

There are analogous higher-level University committees that reflect the role of the School committees.  The decision-making body of the University is the University Council of Deans (UCD).  The University Senate is a forum for faculty and students and serves as a vital advisory role for the University governance.

The organization and composition of the School of Veterinary Medicine reflects the higher-level structures of the University and allows all required legal, academic and fiscal governance metrics to be addressed adequately.  The budget approval comes from the Chief Financial Officer and the Board of Trustees.  The final decision on how to spend the money comes from the UCD.  The final decision on how to spend the money comes from the UCD.

St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine is fully authorized by the government of Grenada to confer the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree upon those candidates who successfully complete its rigid academic requirements.  The SVM is listed by the American Veterinary Medical Association, and our graduates qualify for entrance into the Educational Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates (ECFVG) or the Program for the Assessment of Veterinary Education Equivalence (PAVE) certification programs.

St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine/Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine Partnership

Effective immediately, St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine will offer its student body the opportunity to perform its fourth year clinical rotations at world-renowned Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine.This partnership will broaden SGUSVM students’ experiences by providing practical, hands-on experience that allows them to translate theory into practice and develop the level of confidence that can only come from participating in such a respected program.


Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine was established in 1894, and is recognized internationally as a leader in public health, biomedical research, animal medicine and veterinary medical education. It is consistently ranked at the top of the U.S. News and World Report’s list of “America’s Best Graduate Schools.”  As part of the State University of New York at Cornell University, the College is located on the Cornell campus in Ithaca, N.Y., and is one of only three veterinary medical colleges in the Northeast.

“The partnership with St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine presents a wonderful opportunity for Cornell University to participate in the education of these bright and committed students,” said Michael I. Kotlikoff, the Austin O. Hooey Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine. “The next generation of veterinarians will need to be dedicated, passionate, and talented, and we look forward to helping St. George’s students to assume a leadership role in society and our profession.”

St. George’s University’s partnership with Cornell expands the University’s total number of veterinary medical college affiliates to 29, with 23 of the 28 U.S. schools now offering clinical training for St. George’s students.  This affiliation further enhances the University’s mission to provide an internationally based veterinary medical education with worldwide practice application through superior instructional programs, public service and clinical research exposure.

Second “One Health, One Medicine” Clinic a Success

news-2one-health-one-med-groupOn Saturday, March 1st, 15 SVM and 30 SOM student volunteers joined forces for the second “One Health, One Medicine” Clinic, a collaborative effort delivering valuable health care and information to members of the community. The response was tremendous, with many individuals receiving assistance at the River Salle Government School in the parish of St. Patrick.

The “One Health, One Medicine” Clinic was first spearheaded in November 2007, by SVM student Brittany King, and the credo was again brought to life in this important event. The concept focuses on the convergence of animal, human and ecosystem health; addressing them collectively is critical to improving health care worldwide.


The Student Affiliate of the American Veterinary Medical Association (SAAVMA) assembled 50 doggie goodie bags which included educational literature on rabies, important contact information, a Zoonotic track sheet and bright green “#1 Paw Print” bandanas.

Although March 1st was only days before midterms, students were eager to participate in the Clinic.  SVM and SOM volunteers set up their respective facilities on the grounds of the River Salle Government School, with the SOM portion of the clinic using the school itself to perform various diagnostic procedures. According to Lorenzo Zanotti, President of AMSA, over 125 patients, from infants to the elderly, were examined.

news-2one-health-one-med-2With the assistance of the Pediatric Club and Women in Medicine (WIM), subgroups of AMSA, a complete patient history was taken to help determine the primary medical concern and complaint.  All patients were evaluated for glucose level, auditory and visual capacity, respiratory rate and blood pressure.  Volunteers from WIM performed breast exams for the women.  Lorenzo explained that patients were also provided with educational materials as well as important contact information for healthcare professionals in the area.

Brittany King, a 4th term SVM student, SAAVMA class representative and SGUSVM Safety Committee representative, credits St. George’s University for its help in organizing the event and providing support services, faculty supervision and clinical support.  Brittany hopes the “One Health, One Medicine” Clinic becomes a self-sustaining endeavor and continues each term for many years to come.

School of Veterinary Medicine White Coat Ceremony Held on January 22, 2008

larry corryOn January 22, 2008, the 18th White Coat Ceremony of the School of Veterinary Medicine was held at Bell Lecture Hall. Dr. Michele Consiglio, an SGUSVM alumnus, welcomed all attendees to the symbolic celebration. Dr. Larry R. Corry delivered the keynote address to the incoming class of 66 men and women from 13 countries around the world.

Dr. Corry served 15 years in the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) House of Delegates as either a delegate or alternate delegate from Georgia.  Throughout his career as a small animal practitioner, Dr. Corry has owned five hospitals.  He currently owns two hospitals and is a shareholder in two emergency clinics.

Dr. Corry received his veterinary medical degree from the University of Georgia in 1966.  Following graduation he spent two years in the US Air Force Veterinary Corps.  He has been very active in state and local veterinary medical organizations, including the Georgia Veterinary Medical Association (GVMA) with service as District Director, Treasurer, President and Chairman of the Long Range Planning Committee.  His honors include University of Georgia Veterinary Alumnus of the Year, University of Georgia Distinguished Service Award and the Georgia Veterinary Medical Association’s Veterinarian of the Year in 1992.

As he addressed the students, Dr. Corry advised them to “taste what the different careers (in veterinary medicine) are…explore, try to find out what you really like.”  He also stressed the importance of getting involved in their local community through various groups and civic organizations to enhance their client relationships.

The students’ enthusiasm was abundant as several expressed their excitement to begin what is for many a lifelong dream.  Jamaican vet student Annizette Slowley said, “I have always lovedanimals… there is a real need in the marine field. I want to work with marine animals. Although I lived in New Jersey, USA for 10 years, I am from Jamaica and coming to Grenada feels like coming home… I feel like I’m accomplishing something. .. I have the white coat; now I will earn it.”

Another incoming SVM student also from Jamaica expressed an interest in Public Health with a focus in the area of meat inspection, ensuring that safety standards are maintained for consumption. His comment seemed to convey the spirit of the event, “I feel great; and I feel that I’m on the right track in choosing Grenada and St. George’s University as the means of accomplishing my dreams and my desire to serve mankind.”

St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine Reports First Successful Isolation of “Pigeon Pox Virus” in Grenada

After many laborious months of research, the SGUSVM Department of Paraclinical Studies confirmed that a poxvirus of the genus Avipoxvirus of the Poxviridae family has been isolated from a naturally infected pigeon.  Avian pox viruses infect both domestic and wild birds.  They do not produce productive infection in humans and other mammalian species.  This study is significant, reporting the first successful isolation of a poxvirus from a pigeon in Grenada.

On February 6, 2007 a female domestic pigeon was submitted to the Diagnostic Laboratory at SGU by a client who requested that it be necropsied and diagnosed.  The pigeon was found alive in the backyard of the client, apparently ill and unable to fly.  It was euthanized and a complete necropsy was performed.

SGUSVM student from Dr. Tripathy's research class candling the egg after the inoculation of virus suspected material

SGUSVM student from Dr. Tripathy’s research class candling the egg after the inoculation of virus suspected material

Gross lesions consisting of mild to severe raised crusts were seen on the comb, eyelids and bill.  Virus isolation was done by a standard technique involving the inoculation into the chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) of chicken embryos with the putative virus in the cutaneous lesions, because the CAM of developing chicken embryos is one of the sensitive hosts for avian poxvirus isolation. Although the use of embryos from a specific pathogen free (SPF) flock is recommended, in the absence of SPF eggs in Grenada, eggs from a local hatchery (ALS Hatchery in St. George’s, Grenada) were used. This hatchery obtained the fertile eggs from CWT Farms, Gainesville, Georgia, US.  Although information on the specific pathogen free status of these eggs is not available, it is interesting to note that all the embryos were susceptible to the virus that resulted in the development of lesions.

This study provides the first evidence of the avian poxviruses in the bird population in Grenada. In September 2003, a poxvirus infection in a canary, based on gross and microscopic lesions, was observed in Grenada, but virus isolation was not attempted.

Upon completion of the report, public service announcements were arranged to inform the Grenadian community of the presence of the “Pigeon Pox” infection in pet birds.  Pet bird owners were also advised to use the “Pigeon Pox Vaccine.

Further studies on the genetic and antigenic characterization of the virus are in progress.  This study was a collaborative effort between Dr. Ravindra N. Sharma (Associate Director of Research, SGU), his research team (Dr. Muhammad Iqbal Bhaiyat, Dr. Alfred Chikweto, and Ms. Vanessa Matthew, Department of Paraclinical Studies, SVM, SGU) and Dr. Deoki N. Tripathy, Visiting Professor in Veterinary Virology.

dr-tripathys-research-studentsDr. Tripathy is Professor Emeritus at the University of Illinois, Urbana, US.  He is a pioneer researcher on pox viruses and since 1984 has been a member of the pox virus study group of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Pox Viruses.

Both Dr. Tripathy and Dr. Sharma recognized the value of this research study as a powerful tool for teaching as well.  SGU students in term 4 of the DVM curriculum witnessed first hand the virus isolation techniques using chicken embryos and the lesions produced by avian pox virus in embryos.

The Avian Poxvirus Isolation Study will be submitted for publication in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.

Published 12/21/2007

“One World, One Health, One Medicine” Clinic a Success

group picture of one health one medicine 2007On Saturday, November 10th over 60 medical and veterinary medical students joined forces to assist the community of Dierre Morne, St. David in Grenada. “One World, One Health, One Medicine” Project was the University’s first health clinic providing both human and animal health care to those who attended.  The event was the brainchild of third term vet student Brittany King, who was inspired by a woman who attended a previous vet clinic. While appreciative of the care her pet received she expressed concern that the health care and education of the pet owners themselves was being overlooked.

Brittany took these remarks to heart.  As a class representative for the Student Affiliate of the American Veterinary Medical Association (SAAVMA), Brittany is well aware of the convergence of animal, human and ecosystem health and the importance of the “One World, One Health, One Medicine” concept.  Armed with the belief that improving health care worldwide is a collaborative effort, she approached American Medical Student Association (AMSA) President Asad Bandealey about a health clinic that would address the needs of both humans and animals.   Enthusiastic about this initiative, both began to solicit volunteers from their respective schools, raise money, seek donations and select a location.

With the help of SGU faculty, student volunteers and clinicians from the Veterinary Teaching Hospital (VTH), an impressive health clinic for humans and animals was successfully created.  One week prior to the event, local radio, television and print advertisements promoted the event. SGU’s Communications Office facilitated this by producing the flyer, scripting and placing the radio and television advertisements and inviting the media, as is the case with every health fair.  “This,” said Brittany “was critical to the success of the health clinic.”  One local television station actually attended the event.

Proudly wearing bright green t-shirts designed by King, all volunteers began their day with enthusiasm and a desire to make a difference. Two tremendous tents were erected, accommodating medical and veterinary medical student volunteers and their patients.  Medical students also used the Parish church to ensure privacy for patients during medical exams and screenings.

Throughout the day, 40 medical student volunteers treated 140 patients, including 20 senior citizens at a local nursing home and five home-bound patients.  Tests were administered for blood pressure, blood glucose, eyes and hearing.  Breast cancer screening and self-examination techniques, along with patient education and children’s health were also part of the day’s activities.  AMSA was joined by IEA, the SGU academic honor society, SGU’s Pediatrics Club and Women in Medicine (WIM), a group under the AMSA umbrella.  According to Stephanie Muriglan, the President of WIM, her group’s mission is not just medicinal: “At these health fairs, WIM has set a goal to bring awareness to women about the importance of these clinical measures. Knowledge and control over their reproductive health is an important form of empowerment.”

Twenty veterinary medical students and seven clinicians from the VTH treated more than 60 dogs and cats through a variety of treatments including oral dewormers, mange treatments and vaccinations.  Brittany explained that they used a new three-year continuum DAP-R vaccine from Intervet, which will keep the animals protected from distemper, rabies, adenovirus and parvovirus longer than the previous one-year vaccine.   The animals’ owners also received Banfield leashes, collars and bandanas, in addition to a wealth of information about the health of their animals.  The veterinary medical students were surprised but not daunted by the attendance of six goats joined together by a rope.  With no large animal vaccines available, volunteers did their best to examine the animals and educate the owner about their care.

The impact of the “One World, One Health, One Medicine” Health Fair has reached beyond Grenada. Intervet, the supplier and sponsor of the veterinary vaccine DAP-R, matched the 200 vaccines used at St. David with a donation of 200 vaccines for animals in Africa.   This is proof that a unified effort within the broader health science profession is the most powerful and effective tool in improving health care worldwide.

For more photos of the “One World, One Health, One Medicine” Health Fair….

Published on 12/10/07

Special Public Lecture Series at the KBT Global Scholars Program in UK

ian elvin dr michael chewThe KBT Global Scholars program is designed for students who wish to spend all or part of their professional lives in developing nations or in underdeveloped areas of developed nations. SGU has introduced this special public lecture series to reinforce the international aspects of the KBTGSP.  One or two lectures a term will be presented by professionals well versed in a variety of health related global issues.

On September 20th at the Newcastle Upon Tyne campus of NU, Sport Northumbria kicked off the series with a lecture on sport and health.  Ian Elvin, Director of Northumbria University Sport addressed his audience with a presentation titled “Developing Community Health through Sporting Partnerships: The Global Vision.”   Professor Elvin believes strongly in the power of sport as an instrument of both personal development and social change.  Teaching the rudiments of health can be a real resource for developing communities.   Through his efforts, Sport Northumbria is involved in a number of local and international community sport projects,  providing a unifying platform in areas which include the Caribbean and Zambia.

Now ten years old, Sport Northumbria offers a myriad of competitive and social sport opportunities to the international community of Northumbria University (NU).  Ian Elvin has worked at NU since 1979; he was Program Head for Sport Management before becoming Director of University Sport in 1995.  In this capacity he is responsible for the planning, delivery and management of all sport facilities, programs, clubs and services at NU.

Ian was a Board member of the European Association of Sport Management from 1992 – 2003 and has been Chairman of Sport Newcastle since its inception.  He is also Chairman of the English Student Rugby Union’s Development Committee.

The second lecture was given on October 22nd by  Dr. Michael Chew, a Science Program Officer at the Wellcome Trust – one of the largest biomedical research charities in the world.  He presented a lecture on “Diseases of Poverty: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly.”  Dr. Chew’s life achievements and focus have been devoted to studying those diseases which target people who are living in poverty.  Many of these diseases can be prevented with a community’s dedication to public health issues.

Dr. Chew’s responsibilities include receiving and processing research grant applications in the areas of immunology and infectious disease, advising scientists about their research and careers in this area, and ensuring that funds awarded by the Trust are used appropriately.

Dr. Chew travels extensively, usually to remote and impoverished places, as most of these research projects are conducted in the developing world where ‘diseases of poverty’ such as malaria, TB and HIV are pervasive.  Prior to joining the Trust in 1997, Dr Chew worked as a research scientist at the Institute of Child Health, London, and Imperial College, London after completing his PhD in Parasitology at Imperial College in 1981.

SGU and NU look forward to the continued success of the KBTGSP lecture series which will provide students with information on public health issues much needed in today’s globalized society.

Published 11/13/2007