SGU Professor Creates Negotiators’ Guidelines Manual on Climate Change for Small Island Developing States Worldwide

Next month’s Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21) in Paris has been called “the last chance” to curb the rise in global temperature, and Dr. Hugh Sealy, a Professor in the Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at St. George’s University, will be on the front lines to usher in that change.

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Under the “Capacity Building for SIDS Climate Change Negotiators Initiative”, funded by the government of Australia, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) appointed Dr. Sealy as a consultant and asked that he create a guidance manual that provides climate change negotiators in small island developing states (SIDS) with the information and tools needed to adequately represent their constituencies during international negotiations and ensure the viability of their countries. At the 12-day conference in Paris, SIDS representatives as well as those from 196 countries hope to reach a legally binding agreement on greenhouse gas emissions that would cap global warming at less than 2 degrees Celsius by the year 2100.

“I go to Paris with a great deal of resolve,” Dr. Sealy said. “We cannot afford to leave Paris with an agreement that does not guarantee our countries as viable human settlements. That, to me, is my bottom line. Within the UN system, it is one country, one vote. We are powerful as small islands. We can affect what happens in Paris, and we have to get it right for the sakes of generations to come.”

His manual, which was published on the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) and UN websites, is divided into six modules and covers topics ranging from the science of climate change and geopolitical factors, to the specific objectives of the Alliance. Dr. Sealy and AOSIS representatives plan to lobby to decrease greenhouse gases worldwide so that temperatures increase by no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius by the year 2100. He states that the world is on pace to increase in temperature by at least 3 degrees by that time, and that even a 2 degree increase would lead to drought, famine, crop failure, volatile weather, and rising sea levels.

“For a number of small islands, it isn’t an economic issue; it’s an existential issue,” Dr. Sealy said. “We are negotiating for the existence of our countries.”

In addition, AOSIS hopes to secure financing to mitigate emissions and to adapt to climate change through the Green Climate Fund (GCF). Agreed upon at the 2009 COP in Copenhagen, the fund promised that developed nations would provide developing countries with $100 billion in aid annually by 2020. However, according to Dr. Sealy, the GCF has only been allotted $10 billion total for the years 2015 to 2018. In addition, he hopes to have a section on support for ”Loss and Damage” in the Paris Agreement, in the event of irreparable damage to a country’s economy, the prospects of which increase with projected warmer climates worldwide.

“I feel my whole life, my whole career to date, has led to this one moment in time,” Dr. Sealy said. “I pray that we will be successful in Paris and that I can look my daughter in the eye and say that I played a minor part.”


Historic Campus Building Renamed in Honor of University’s First Faculty Member

St. George’s University held a memorial ceremony on its True Blue Campus for the University’s first-ever faculty member, Dr. David Brown, Chair of the Department of Behavioral Sciences and the Associate Dean of Clinical Studies for the United States who had recently passed away in Stuart, Florida.

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As a tribute to the memory of Dr. Brown, who joined the School of Medicine in 1977, the University’s Alumni Hall was renamed Dr. David Brown Hall. The building was one of the first to be constructed on True Blue’s upper campus, as part of a 20-year building expansion campaign, culminating in over 65 buildings to create an international symbol of architectural and academic excellence.

Dr. Brown’s family was joined at the ceremony by Grenada’s Governor General, Dame Cecile La Grenade, St. George’s University Chancellor Charles R. Modica, representatives from the performing arts community, as well as retired and current SGU faculty and staff.

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“Dave already had a doctorate to his name and was a sought-after professor before he decided to put his plans to sail across the world on hold and instead accept a post with a newly formed medical school,” said Dr. Modica, as he shared heartfelt remarks about Dr. Brown’s tenure at SGU. “He knew very little about Grenada when he first embarked on this journey, and now over 35 years later, he was one of its most cherished members. We are grateful for his years of service at St. George’s.”

Originally from Salt Lake City, Utah, at age 16 Dr. Brown entered the University of Utah as one of the first group of Ford Foundation scholars and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in mathematics, followed by a BS in psychology a year later. While attending Princeton University on a National Science Foundation scholarship, he graduated in 1964 with a Doctor of Philosophy in mathematics and psychology.

After receiving his doctorate, Dr. Brown taught psychology at Columbia University, neurophysiology and statistics at Queens College of the City University of New York, and conducted neuroscience research at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the New York State Psychiatric Institute. It wasn’t until moving to Grenada and teaching in the SOM program that Dr. Brown lastly added the MD to his PhD, completing the Doctor of Medicine program at SGU.

Dr. Brown is survived by brothers, Lee Brown and Carl Brown, and sister, Gayle Brown-Campbell, along with nieces and nephews. His 38-year impact, as a teacher, mentor, colleague, and patron of the arts, will continue to be felt at SGU long after his passing.

Dr. G. Richard Olds Appointed as President and Chief Executive Officer of St. George’s University

UCR Portrait

An educator, physician, and administrator during a distinguished career spanning more than 30 years, Dr. G. Richard Olds today was named President and Chief Executive Officer of St. George’s University. Dr. Olds brings a breadth of experience to this new role. His appointment will enable St. George’s to continue its nearly 40-year tradition of academic excellence and further advance the institution’s mission of providing high-quality medical education for students from the United States, Canada, and around the world.

Dr. Olds was most recently the Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs and Founding Dean of the School of Medicine at the University of California, Riverside (UCR). In 2010, Dr. Olds joined UCR to lead the creation of a new school of medicine – the first LCME-accredited medical school in California in more than four decades – which was intended to address the severe doctor shortage in Inland Southern California. His vision, creativity, and drive led to a school with the unique mission of bringing more diversity into the medical profession while helping to improve the health and quality of life of medically underserved communities.

Charles R. Modica, Chancellor, Chairman of the Board and co-founder of St. George’s University said, “We are extremely excited to welcome Dr. Olds as President and CEO. Dr. Olds has dedicated his career to the same ideals that have made St. George’s an important contributor to the delivery of health care in the US and around the world – a passion for providing high-quality education and a commitment to helping talented students from diverse backgrounds become excellent physicians. The fact that Dr. Olds has received outstanding teaching awards at every institution he has served is a testament to his dedication to educating and mentoring students. I look forward to working closely with Dr. Olds in the coming years to ensure the continued success of our students and graduates from the Schools of Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, and Arts and Sciences, as well as our Graduate Studies Program.”

“I am thrilled to be joining St. George’s University, an outstanding education-focused institution that has been committed to excellent student outcomes since its founding almost 40 years ago,” said Dr. Olds. “Today, graduates of St. George’s, many of whom serve critical roles as primary care doctors in disadvantaged or medically underserved communities, are helping to address the shortfall of physicians in the United States. As the school that has placed more doctors into US residency training than any other medical school over the past five years, I believe St. George’s is extremely well-positioned to become a leader in medical education as it continues to help communities meet their health care and physician workforce needs over the coming decades. The presence of strong programs in veterinary medicine, public health, business, and other professions will allow St. George’s to contribute significantly to global health initiatives.”

Dr. Olds is a graduate of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. He was an infectious disease fellow and one of the nation’s first geographic medicine fellows at University Hospitals of Cleveland, where he also served as medical chief resident and faculty member. He served as full professor of medicine, pediatrics, molecular, cell and development biology at Brown University, and professor and chairman of medicine at the MetroHealth Campus of Case Western Reserve University. Prior to joining UCR, Dr. Olds was professor and chair of medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Dr. Olds is a tropical disease specialist with extensive experience working in Asia and Africa. He has served on the World Health Organization expert committee on schistosomiasis and has authored more than 100 peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, and reviews, primarily focused on international health issues.

Rodney Croft Will Raise Tower Bridge as City of London Re-Enacts “Momentous” Churchill State Funeral

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On January 30, 1965, the world mourned as Sir Winston Churchill, the former Prime Minister of England who led Allied Forces to victory over Axis powers in World War II, was laid to rest. His State Funeral was then considered the largest in world history, with representatives from 112 countries on hand and more than 350 million people worldwide watching on television.

Among them was Mr. Rodney Croft, then a medical student reading Basic Sciences at Cambridge University. Now fifty years later as St. George’s University’s Dean of Clinical Studies for the United Kingdom and author of the newly released book Churchill’s Final Farewell: The State and Private Funeral of Sir Winston Churchill, Rodney Croft will play a significant role in part of the ceremony’s re-enactment on January 30. In view of his book and the fact he is a Liveryman and a Freeman of The City of London, Mr. Croft was selected by the Corporation of London to clear traffic on Tower Bridge and then pull the lever in the bridge’s control room to lift the two 1,100-ton bascules that will allow MV Havengore, the very vessel that carried Churchill’s body up the Thames River in 1965, to once again pass upstream with the great salute Tower Bridge and The Port of London can bestow.

“I feel an enormous sense of honor, pride and excitement,” Mr. Croft said. “I will never forget it for the rest of my life.”

Churchill suffered a major stroke on January 15, 1965, and died nine days later at his home in London, 70 years to the day after his father’s death which Churchill had earlier prophesied. Churchill’s final journey on water came on the Thames January 30, as MV Havengore carried him from Tower Pier to Festival Pier and then by motor hearse to Waterloo Station and then by train to his resting place in the family plot at St. Martin’s Church in Bladon, Oxfordshire, in view of Blenheim Palace where he was born 90 years before.

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“Without him, the world would be a completely different place,” Mr. Croft said. “At his funeral, half a million people lined the route from Westminster Hall to St. Paul’s Cathedral, and there were hundreds of thousands along the Thames, standing in total silence in respect for this incredible man who had saved western democracy from Nazi tyranny. There were wonderful tributes transmitted on television from Sir Robert Menzies as he was carried from St. Paul’s to Tower Pier and then by Dwight Eisenhower as his coffin was born upstream on The Thames.”
Since he was a boy, Mr. Croft has felt “an incredible bond” with Churchill, who, like he, was born six weeks premature. That connection only grew as he learned more and more about the former Prime Minister and his role as Britain’s wartime leader in the first half of the 20th century. Mr. Croft had penned many medical and surgical articles throughout his nearly 50 years in medicine, but on this occasion turned his hand at history with Churchill’s Final Farewell.

In addition to countless hours of research at places such as Arundel Castle Archives, Churchill College Archives Cambridge, the National Archives, and the College of Arms in London, Mr. Croft conducted many interviews for the book, which was published in October 2014. Among them was Churchill’s living heir, great grandson Randolph, and his mother, Minnie Churchill; the 11th Duke of Marlborough, who per Mr. Croft regarded the funeral as “the most momentous occasion he had ever witnessed in his life or ever shall”; the Countess of Avon, Churchill’s niece and wife of Sir Anthony Eden, who succeeded Churchill as Prime Minister in 1955; Peter Morehen, then the Police Sergeant at Scotland Yard who typed the Police plans for the State Funeral; and Angela Nichols, one of Churchill’s nurses.

The current Dean has been associated with SGU for more than three decades; first as a Consultant Surgeon in 1980 at North Middlesex University Hospital. He went on to serve as the hospital’s St. George’s University School of Medicine Clerkship Director for Surgery and then as Director of Medical Education. He was then appointed Professor and UK Chair of Surgery at St. George’s and then Dean of Clinical Studies UK in 2003.

With Churchill’s Final Farewell, he adds the title of historical author to the list. When he was notified of the role he will play at the re-enactment of Churchill’s Thames river journey last month, he remarked,

“A shiver went down my spine. I was just bowled over and completely overwhelmed. I expect that it will be quite a moving experience.”

Four Awarded SGU’s Commonwealth Jubilee Scholarship

Abidemi Idowu of Nigeria, Ramit Relan of India, Marina Nimrod of Trinidad and Tobago, and Juliet Enow of Cameroon are the newest recipients of St. George’s University’s Commonwealth Jubilee Scholarship, a scholarship which will cover the students’ full tuition for the duration of their programs at SGU.

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These four students, who began studies at SGU in Fall 2014, were selected from a pool of hundreds of applications primarily based on their academic excellence and strong commitment to their chosen disciplines. Ms. Idowu and Mr. Relan will be doing the four-year Medical Doctor (MD) program, while Ms. Nimrod will pursue a Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Ms. Enow a Master in Public Health (MPH).

The scholarship seeks to nurture and encourage students of superior academic caliber to strike out and impact the development of industry and healthcare in their home country. It recognizes students, typically from developing nations or small states, who are highly motivated and academically curious with a strong commitment to return to their countries as professionals in their areas of study.

“ Receiving the Commonwealth Jubilee Scholarship means being able to realize yet another dream along my career path,” said Ms. Nimrod, an aspiring management consultant and entrepreneur. “I would like to use the skills and competencies I acquire at SGU to support efforts in my home country to develop entrepreneurs, especially in disadvantaged communities.

news commonwealth jubilee scholarship main“Receiving the Commonwealth Jubilee Scholarship is first an achievement, and also an honor,” said Ms. Idowu. “It validates my choice to become a doctor and is a source of motivation; to whom much is given, much more is expected and this scholarship has given me another reason to work hard.”

After graduating from SGU, she hopes to specialize in surgery or emergency medicine. “A lot of places in my home country have limited access to proper health care, especially emergency medical care,” she said. “I plan to start up something that will also benefit the rural areas, not just the developed towns, in my home country.”

SGU launched the Commonwealth Jubilee Scholarship program in 2013 to help academically gifted students with limited resources reach their potential. The four new scholarship awardees bring the number of Commonwealth Jubilee Scholarships already awarded to 19. St. George’s University will grant a total of 60 Commonwealth Jubilee Scholarships in commemoration of the Queen of England’s Diamond Jubilee, which was celebrated in 2012. The occasion marked her 60th year as Head of the Commonwealth of Nations.

St. George’s University USMLE Step 1 First-Time Test Takers Achieve 98% Pass Rate in 2013

St. George’s University students’ USMLE Step 1 pass rate continues to rise. In 2013, SGU students taking the examination for the first time in 2013 achieved a 98 percent pass rate, a mark achieved by students from 37 countries. First-time test takers posted an impressive mean score of 227, with a mean score of 233 registered by SGU’s Canadian students.

“This achievement illustrates the overall ability and dedication of the SGU student body,” Chancellor Charles R. Modica said. “We applaud these students’ performance on their step exams as well as during their clinical training, and look forward to watching them prosper as practicing physicians.”

US and Canadian schools’ pass rate for 2013 is still unavailable. St. George’s University’s 2013 pass rate marked the fifth consecutive year that the University’s overall first-time pass rate on the exam surpassed 90 percent. This year’s mark was an improvement on the outstanding results from 2012, a year in which its first-time test takers achieved a pass rate of 97 percent overall.

Designed to measure basic science knowledge, the USMLE Step 1 is comprised of more than 300 multiple-choice questions on topics ranging from the biology of cells and human development to the central nervous, musculoskeletal and endocrine systems, among others. A passing score on all three parts of the USMLE is required to practice medicine in the US.

Celebrating 30 Years of Democracy

For the past 30 years, Grenadians have observed October 25 as their national day of thanksgiving. It marks the anniversary of the United States military operation to help Grenada restore freedom and democracy and bring an end to a period of civil unrest.

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Each year, St. George’s University holds a special ceremony to honor the 19 United States servicemen who lost their lives on their mission to rescue US students attending the University at the time, and usher in the peace and stability which now reigns in the nation. The sacrifice of these men, immortalized by a monument bearing their names at the University’s True Blue campus, was not in vain. The warm tri-island paradise, home to some of the most friendly and peace-loving people, has advanced through the years, cherishing and nurturing democracy to this day.

“This is the first time regular citizens have ever walked up to me and thanked me for what my country has done for them,” said General John Kelly, Commander of the US Southern Command. “Thanks for your thanks, people of Grenada, but you do not need to offer it. It is what we do in the US military and we are proud to do it. We do it around the world and we’ve done it throughout our history.”

The University was honored to host 32 family members of the fallen soldiers. The family members and those SGU faculty who personally experienced the events of 1983 read the soldiers’ names aloud, and a moment of silence was observed for each soldier.

The moving occasion was cheered by notes of gratitude, healing and hope for the future shared by Dr. The Right Honorable Keith Mitchell, Prime Minister of Grenada.

“This ceremony is an important and remarkable event because it goes to the heart of the healing process of our nation,” he said. “The message of unification is one with which I have implored this nation since assuming the Office of the Prime Minister in 1995 and again in 2013.

“It is my view that no matter our political, moral, or social beliefs, and how far these may differ from each other, we have a responsibility under God to work towards the advancement of our society and international community and to secure a better future for our generations,” Dr. Mitchell continued. “After all, we are bound by shared history. Today, 30 years later, we can all breathe a collective sigh of relief for the adversities that we have overcome and for the stability and peace that this land now enjoys. Let us be guided by the lessons we have learned as we work together to build the beautiful land that God has given us.”

In his address, Dr. Charles R. Modica, Chancellor of St. George’s University, recalled visiting President Ronald Reagan at the White House one year after Operation Urgent Fury and the President’s subsequent visit to the monument to lay a wreath in 1986.

“President Reagan recognized the sacrifice made by 19 men on that day,” Chancellor Modica said. “For the family members here today, your loved ones did not die in vain. They liberated a country and they demonstrated to the world that the United States of America could come in with the mightiest force to restore order, liberty, peace, and democracy to a nation that needs its help.”

St. George’s University Mourns the Loss of Dame Hilda Bynoe

Dame Hilda Bynoe was the first woman governor of a Commonwealth of Nations country. She was the governor of Grenada from 1968 to 1974, and she was, thus far, the only woman to have been governor of one of the British Dependencies. She was also a member of the University’s Academic Board almost from its inception in 1983. Sadly, Dame Hilda Bynoe of Grenada passed away on April 6, 2013, after a long and productive life enhancing the health and education of Grenada and the region.

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Left to Right Back Row: Frederick King, Craig Burrell, Sir Malcolm McNaughton, Ed Fischer, John J. Cush, Robert Blanc
Front Row: Sir Kenneth Stuart, Paul Cutler, Chancellor Charles Modica, Keith B. Taylor, Dame Hilda Bynoe

Dame Hilda had long been a valued member of the Academic Board of St. George’s University, which she joined in the 1980s when the University was smaller in mission and scope. For more than 20 years, she strongly supported the University’s mission in Grenada, supporting also the expansion of the University by developing a research and graduate program, and a School of Arts and Sciences. Dame Hilda was an important part of SGU’s history and she was a positive influence on the Academic Board. In May of 2006 she delivered the commencement address at the commencement ceremony in Grenada for the School of Arts and Sciences and the Graduate Studies programs at SGU.

Living a life dedicated to service in the teaching and medical professions, Dame Hilda made a significant impact in the lives of those she came in contact with and in her community. Well known throughout the Caribbean, she was the first female governor in the British Commonwealth and the first native governor of Grenada, Carriacou & Petite Martinique; her term of office lasted from 1968 to 1974.

Dame Hilda was predeceased by her husband, Peter Cecil Alexander Bynoe, and is survived by two sons and her grandchildren.

St. George’s University Has Become Hub for Ultrasound Education and Application

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For all the knowledge that print publications can offer, they cannot show the causes and effects that a medical student can see and hear in an ultrasound – a heart pumping blood, muscles flexing, tendons extending, the patient reacting.

St. George’s University’s integration of ultrasound technology into the medical curriculum has provided a unique clinical experience to complement students’ knowledge gained in lectures and small group discussions. As a result, Dr. Marios Loukas, chair and professor of anatomy at SGU, believes the University will produce well-rounded doctors and, by continuing to develop the program, SGU can become a regional teaching center for ultrasounds use in medical education within the Caribbean.

“Ultrasounds allow our students to paint a complete picture of how the body functions, instead of simply memorizing information to prepare for an exam,” Dr. Loukas said. “This technology enhances our students’ application of basic sciences to medical practice. Anatomy is very static; for example, a student sees a non-functioning heart in the laboratory, but with an ultrasound the heart is seen beating, and the student can better appreciate its function.”

The University purchased 17 ultrasound units – 13 Logiq E machines and 4 portable Vscan devices – in the fall of 2011. All first-term students are divided up into groups of five and are exposed to ultrasound use on standardized patients for fourteen 40-minute didactic sessions over a four-month period. The ultrasound sessions complement the relevant material taught in lectures.

“While our goal is to ensure that our students do very well on their Step 1 exam, we also want to enhance their medical knowledge to become better doctors.” said Dr. Loukas, also noting that the department has purchased four additional ultrasound units for use in the Spring 2013 term. In addition, these units have allowed faculty and students to participate in research projects, including a recently introduced selective in which students can appreciate the use of ultrasound in the fields of emergency medicine and radiology.

The University further displayed its ultrasound capabilities at the American Association of Clinical Anatomists (AACA) conference held on the True Blue campus in July 2012 and organized a postgraduate medical education course attended by 67 faculty from medical schools in North America.

Of the program’s development, Dr. Loukas remarked, “We want to be a pioneer in medical education, which is consistent with the SGU philosophy to ‘Think Beyond.’”

St. George’s University Honors Dr. Keith B. Taylor with Bronze Plaque Dedication Ceremony

news kb taylor bronzeAppointed the Vice Chancellor at St. George’s University in 1989, Keith B. Taylor, DM, FRCP, had a vision of St. George’s University becoming one of the world’s most renowned centers of international medical education and research. During his nine years at the University, he turned that vision to a reality, forever changing the University’s path and opening its students’ eyes to a world without boundaries.

Forever a part of its fabric, the University commemorated Dr. Taylor’s role in its growth and success by unveiling a bronze plaque highlighting his accomplishments at a dedication ceremony on October 25 on the True Blue campus. Held outside Keith B. Taylor Hall, named for him in 2007, the ceremony was attended by family and friends of the late Dr. Taylor, as well as University administrators, faculty, and students.

“We at St. George’s are ever grateful to Keith for the limitless future he has given us,” said Margaret Lambert, Dean of Enrollment Planning, during her speech leading up to the dedication. “We are now full of ‘hopes that as yet have no name.’ We are moving forward with many of his visionary ideas. He changed the University and its critical band of people irrevocably so that we could continue to grow – as teachers, as educators, and as a international University. We are glad that this bronze plaque is here, so that future students, faculty, staff and visitors may know, briefly, of this man that profoundly changed our University.”

Dr. Taylor’s vision of a shrinking world, of medical education with a public health framework, led to the creation of the Windward Island Research and Education Foundation (WINDREF) in 1994, which in turn brought the St. George’s University name out into the world of scientists and researchers. Dr. Taylor, who came to SGU from Stanford University where he had served in academic medicine for 30 years, guided the University into a graduate program and was instrumental in instituting the School of Arts and Sciences in 1996, which broadened the academic opportunities for students in Grenada and the region.

“Dr. Taylor prevailed upon us to continue excelling as a medical school and was instrumental in establishing the School of Arts and Sciences which has since provided the opportunity for hundreds of Grenadians to have access to quality tertiary education,” Chancellor Charles R. Modica said. “He had a profound impact on St. George’s University and on the nation of Grenada.”

The bronze plaque is only the most recent way in which St. George’s University has saluted Dr. Taylor’s impact on its development. In recognition of his vision and dedication to the international growth of St. George’s University, it honored his memory with the establishment of the Keith B. Taylor Global Scholars Program, which allows students to widen their breadth of studies by spending their first year of medical school at Northumbria University in Newcastle, England. In addition, the prestigious WINDREF Lecture, which has brought some of the world’s most renowned researchers to speak at SGU, was renamed the Keith B. Taylor Memorial Lecture beginning in 2008.