St. George’s University Honors First Vice Chancellor, Geoffrey H. Bourne

news sgu honors geoffrey h bourneIn 1977, Charles R. Modica saw his dream of a medical school become tangible, complete with campus, students, and faculty. One of these faculty members was Geoffrey H. Bourne, hired to teach nutrition, who quickly rose to the post of Vice Chancellor. In doing so, Geoffrey H. Bourne not only taught nutrition to students, but taught the administration what a University is, and how to create one. Geoffrey H. Bourne took a group of students, five permanent faculty members, and a few rented and borrowed buildings, and helped form those things into the St. George’s University we know today.

This much was made clear on October 25 when the University honored Geoffrey Bourne by unveiling his bronze likeness in front of the Bourne Center. The ceremony was attended by administrators, faculty, staff, Bourne family members, Dr. Bourne’s wife, Dr. Nelly Golarz de Bourne, the Governor General of Grenada, Sir Carlyle Glean, and his wife, Lady Norma Glean, the Honorable Nazim Burke, Acting Prime Minister, and several officials from the Grenada government.

Margaret Lambert, Dean of Enrolment Planning, addressed the gathering at the ceremony. She described Dr. Bourne as intelligent, diplomatic, pragmatic, kind, gracious, forward-looking and politically savvy.

“It was somewhere in the powerful reaction between the large, audacious and beautiful idea of Chancellor Charles Modica and the Founders, and Vice Chancellor Geoffrey Bourne’s finely wrought academic sensibilities and down-to-earth administrative skills that the reality of this University began to take shape,” Dean Lambert said. “He guided us with his gracious skills and strength of will and together we began to shape this audacious idea into something the world might recognize.”

In his address during the dedication ceremony, Chancellor Charles R. Modica recalled his first meeting with Dr. Bourne and all that Dr. Bourne meant to him and to the university.
“Geoffrey Bourne is more than just the first Vice Chancellor of the University; he was the person who set the tone, the academic integrity, the message, the goodness of what St. George’s University could be,” Chancellor Modica said. “Geoffrey Bourne was a friend, a mentor, a father figure, an inspiration to me, and a godsend to this country.”

Dr. Geoffrey Bourne was an anatomist and primatologist holding academic posts at Oxford University and was Director of the Yerkes Regional Primate Research Center before he and his wife joined St. George’s University in 1977. He came to St. George’s to teach nutrition and his wife came to teach histology, and later became Dean of Women. As the University’s first Vice Chancellor, serving from 1978 to 1988, Dr. Bourne established the academic credentials that St. George’s University maintains to this day. His drive to firmly shape the newly established medical school according to rigorous standards laid the foundation for the success of its graduates and track record of excellence that is an integral part of the University.

The bronze plaque erected in Dr. Bourne’s honor celebrates the man and his indelible mark on St. George’s University. To the men and women who will grace the halls of St. George’s University through the years, the plaque serves as a reminder of Geoffrey H. Bourne’s pivotal role in the university’s foundation.

St. George’s University Welcomes Its Largest Incoming Class at the Fall 2012 SVM White Coat Ceremony

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The Bourne Lecture Hall was filled with excitement as St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine (SGUSVM) largest incoming veterinary class was officially welcomed at its Fall 2012 White Coat Ceremony on Tuesday, August 21st.

Addressing the 105 students was Keynote Speaker, Dr. Jan K. Strother, DVM, who delivered an entertaining, illustrative and engaging address to the incoming class. Taking the podium she articulated, “This is a transcending night – a celebratory night, and as I look out at all of your faces, you are going to change from the person you are, into a doctor of veterinary medicine – and St. George’s University will provide the tools to do just that.”

Dr. Strother used a delightful story of the development of an unusual relationship between her and a bird to elucidate the amazing bond that develops between animals and humans and also to show that animals grow and learn within a relationship. Strother challenged the students to keep their minds open to the forty-two areas of specialty in their chosen profession. She stated, “This is a global school and there are many global opportunities for you. We need new creative energy in our veterinary profession; we need your technology, your ideas and for you to figure out how you’re going to help keep the world healthy. Whatever you choose, I hope that you remember where you came from and that SGU installed integrity, compassion, dignity, tenacity and the desire to be the very best that you can be.”

In her address, the students were left with this powerful resonation by Dr. Jan. K. Strother: “This night is yours, it’s a celebration and it’s an acclamation. This night is the beginning of your life’s journey as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. Success is the courage and the confidence to begin, it’s the passion and the persistence to continue, it’s the talent and the tenacity to finish, it’s the road you choose, the meanings you make, the mountains you move, and the example you set. In the end, you don’t just celebrate what you do, but you celebrate who you are. Tonight you are future doctors of veterinary medicine.”

Chancellor, Dr. Charles Modica in his remarks assured the students of the University’s capability and commitment to success.  He stated, “You’re coming into a school that has the accreditation necessary to fulfill your dreams. You have a very dedicated faculty who is very interested in your development, your well being, and who cares about you. Dr. Modica further remarked: “Interacting with persons of different culture and creeds from around the world adds an international flavor to your education that makes your experience more meaningful.”

Corroborating these remarks, Dr. Raymond Sis, Dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine further expressed: “St. George’s University is a dynamic and exciting international University which provides a unique environment for the study of modern global veterinary medicine.”

The ultimate purpose of the evening proceedings culminated with the robing of each student in their white coats – the symbol of the profession, and the recitation of the Oath of Professional Commitment.  A lighter moment followed as the students ended the ceremony with a slide show of their team-building exercises during the two-day leadership Professional Attributes Workshop.

About Dr. Jan K. Strother 
Dr. Jan K. Strother, DVM, received her doctorate of veterinary medicine from Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1986. After graduation, she opened the North Alabama Cat and Bird Veterinary Clinic in Hartselle, Alabama, in June of 1987.

Dr. Strother opened and operated a second clinic in Huntsville, Alabama, from 1991-1996, and in 1999 had a new clinic constructed in Hartselle, and moved her practice into the new facilities in 2000. Currently she is the founder and hospital director of a four-doctor clinic where she cares for companion animals, birds, and a wide variety of exotic pets.

Since graduating, numerous leadership positions were held with the Alabama Veterinary Medical Association (ALVMA) and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Dr Jan K. Strother was the president of ALVMA from 1997-1998, and also chair of the ALVMA Public Relations Committee from 1989-1997. Currently she serves as the chair of the ALVMA Human/Animal Bond Committee, and Vice-President of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).

Dr. Strother has been a member of the AVMA since 1986 and served in the House of Delegates (HOD) as an Alternate Delegate from Alabama.  She was also elected to the Council on Public Relations in 1994 serving a six-year term, and was the Chair of this committee in 1999.

Dr. Jan K. Strother is a member of various veterinary associations throughout the United States and the recipient of numerous awards including: ALVMA Veterinarian of the Year in 2002, ALVMA Service Award in 1991 and 1993, and the ALVMA Auxiliary Service Award in 1993.
As a passionate veterinarian, Dr. Strother is a frequent speaker on veterinary health care topics and has been a guest on Good Morning America, The Today Show, FOX Pet News, and many other radio and television shows.

Apart from being a veterinarian, Dr. Strother is also married to a veterinarian, Dr. Michael Newman, and resides on a small farm with nine cats, two dogs, two horses, and a donkey named Milton.

St. George’s University Welcomes A New Class of Aspiring Physicians

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Elation, exuberance, and just plain good spirits percolated through Patrick Adams Hall on Monday, August 20, as St. George’s University welcomed over 650 students at its bi-annual School of Medicine White Coat Ceremony.

Dr. Elizabeth Louie, MD, SGU ’90 master of ceremonies, warmly welcomed the packed hall of excited students and referenced her experience entering medical school.  Dr. Louie, now the medical director at the Center for Precious Minds in Boca Raton, Florida, said that she was just as excited and nervous many years ago when she was starting out in medical school.   “At the end of the day, I sincerely wish that you love the practice of medicine as much as I do.”

University Chancellor, Dr. Charles. R. Modica, highlighted the educational experience students get at SGU and the integral role it plays in shaping the success stories of our graduates – past and present.

“You will never have the opportunity to interact with so many persons from different cultures and creeds as you will right here in Grenada,” Dr. Modica said. “The students before you have made this University something we are all proud of. As humble as our beginnings were, my pride in this University is overwhelming – because of the graduates; because of what you will do as students.”
Keynote speaker for the fall 2012 ceremony was Dr. Catherine D. DeAngelis, MD, MPH, professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Upon taking the podium, Dr. DeAngelis, a dynamic, spirited , and gifted speaker, exclaimed:  “There are more medical students than I have ever seen in one place! This is wonderful!”  Dr. DeAngelis said that a vocation is a blessed thing; she emphasized the extremely profound trust that is given to you as a doctor and the importance of love – and of listening to patients amidst the prestige that comes with being a doctor.

“You are a steward of a powerful profession, and part of that profession is to treat your colleagues with respect and always protect your patients,” Dr. DeAngelis said. “Your colleagues are not limited to your classmates, but the nurses, assistants, maintenance personnel, and the people who nurture your daily lives.”

Dr. DeAngelis leavened the evening with a series of well-timed, thought provoking, and funny jokes.  Her joy in her life and her profession was evident in her every word and gesture; an inspiration to all in the audience.  She challenged the entering class to envision their career as a caring professional.   Passionate care, the dissemination of hope, and respect for the patient are at the core of the profession.   She exhorted the students, “Think of the privileges we have.  In some cases, your face will be the last face a patient sees before leaving this earth.“

“You can’t always cure, but you can always care, and that’s what’s important – you do your best and care always,” she remarked. “It’s not enough to be smart; you can be the smartest, most intellectually gifted physician in the world, but if you don’t care about your patients, it means nothing.

You have a social responsibility and that is to give your patients hope – not a false hope but the hope that you’ll try your best to protect them from pain, and to make sure they’re not alone. Sometimes that’s the best we can do.”

Dr. DeAngelis left the audience in no doubt about how she feels about the unique role the physician has in society, “Do not ever let anyone call you a provider; you are a physician!”
Each student was robed and took the Oath of Professional Commitment.  This donning of the White Coat along with the recitation of the Oath inducted the students into the profession of medicine – with a commitment to upholding the ideals and duties of the medical profession.

About Dr. DeAngelis
Dr. Catherine D. DeAngelis is a former council member and current member of the National Academy of Science (NAS), Institute of Medicine (IOM); a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science; a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Physicians and serves on the Advisory Board of the U.S. Government Accountability Office and the Board of Physicians for Human Rights.

Additionally, Dr. DeAngelis has served as an officer of numerous national academic societies including past chairman of the American Board of Pediatrics and Chair of the Pediatric Accreditation Council for Residency Review Committee of the American Council on Graduate Medical Education.

Currently, Dr. DeAngelis is a professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.  She is also an editor-in-chief emerita of JAMA and the Journal of the American Medical Association (2000-2011); editor, Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA); and editor-in-chief of scientific publications and multimedia applications for The JAMA Network.

The Keynote speaker received her M.D. from the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Medicine, her M.P.H. from the Harvard Graduate School of Public Health, and her pediatric specialty training at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. She has been awarded seven honorary doctorate degrees, and has received numerous awards for humanitarianism and medical excellence. Dr. DeAngelis has also authored and edited several books on Pediatrics and Medical Education, and has published more than 250 peer-reviewed articles, chapters, and editorials.

SGU’s Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine Designated as First WHO Collaborating Center on Environmental and Occupational Health in Region

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Through education, service, and research, the St. George’s University Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine (DPHPM), chaired by Dr. Omur Cinar Elci, has aimed to promote public health both regionally and internationally. Its efficacy and impact were acknowledged on August 10, 2012, when it was designated as a World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center on Environmental and Occupational Health, the first of its kind in the Caribbean.

This prestigious designation is for a period of four years, and will be headed by Dr. Muge Akpinar-Elci, associate professor and track director for environmental and occupational health in the DPHPM. The Department was informed of the distinction by Dr. Merta Roses Periago, director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).

“This historical achievement is the outcome of exceptional hard work and collective vision of the DPHPM team,” Dr. Omur Cinar Elci said. “My team and I would like to present this success as our contribution to the people of Grenada and the Caribbean. With this designation, SGU and Grenada has become a regional hub on environmental and occupational health, which emerged at the beginning of the 21st century as one of the most critical public health issues around the world.”

Dr. Elci initiated the idea to establish a collaborating center in 2009. The formal application, filed in 2010, was supported by the Grenada Ministry of Health and PAHO’s Caribbean Program Coordinator’s office in Barbados.

“SGU is very proud of the designation of the DPHPM as a WHO collaborating center which aligns so well with the University’s mission to become an international center of excellence,” said Dr. Cal Macpherson, vice provost for international program development at SGU. “We recognize the hard work done by the DPHPM team and its collaborators in achieving this recognition and wish Dr. Muge Akpinar-Elci and her team all the best in meeting the centers’ objectives and commitments.”

WHO collaborating centers are designated by the WHO Director-General to implement activities in support of WHO’s programs. The centers are beneficial to both WHO and the regional countries; WHO gains access to top centers worldwide and receives the institution’s support to the global health initiatives. In return, the centers receive visibility and recognition by national and international authorities. WHO affiliation helps collaborating centers to develop partnerships with other institutions, which can help generate resources from funding partners.

The SGU WHO collaborating center is committed to contribute to WHO’s strategic program in a number of ways, including: to assess and manage occupational safety and health hazards; to collaborate with WHO in developing evidence-based research from occupational health perspective on emerging issues, including environmental health problems and climate change; to provide expertise and potential for developing and disseminating curricula, training materials and training for occupational health capacity building in the Caribbean region; and to contribute towards the implementation of the Global Plan of Action on Workers’ Health and collaborate with other collaborating centers to achieve defined outcomes.

The DPHPM through its faculty, students and community partners have included a significant environmental and occupational health component to its teaching, research, service and scholarly activities. Over the last few years the DPHPM led several environmental related research programs including occupational health among nutmeg workers and health care workers, renewable energy, land degradation, food and water borne diseases and zoonotic diseases.

The DPHPM will continue to advance its work to address the environmental and occupational health needs of the Caribbean region. The DPHPM would like to thank its collaborators, who have supported its work including the Windward Islands Research and Education Foundation (WINDREF) through which all of its research and service as well as funding activities are administered. The DPHPM looks forward to continuing the work with all of its partners as well as invite all interested stakeholders to join its WHO collaborating center for the benefit of the Caribbean region.

Through education, service, and research, the St. George’s University Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine (DPHPM), chaired by Dr. Omur Cinar Elci, has aimed to promote public health both regionally and internationally. Its efficacy and impact were acknowledged on August 10, 2012, when it was designated as a World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center on Environmental and Occupational Health, the first of its kind in the Caribbean.

This prestigious designation is for a period of four years, and will be headed by Dr. Muge Akpinar-Elci, associate professor and track director for environmental and occupational health in the DPHPM. The Department was informed of the distinction by Dr. Merta Roses Periago, director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).

“This historical achievement is the outcome of exceptional hard work and collective vision of the DPHPM team,” Dr. Omur Cinar Elci said. “My team and I would like to present this success as our contribution to the people of Grenada and the Caribbean. With this designation, SGU and Grenada has become a regional hub on environmental and occupational health, which emerged at the beginning of the 21st century as one of the most critical public health issues around the world.”

Dr. Elci initiated the idea to establish a collaborating center in 2009. The formal application, filed in 2010, was supported by the Grenada Ministry of Health and PAHO’s Caribbean Program Coordinator’s office in Barbados.

“SGU is very proud of the designation of the DPHPM as a WHO collaborating center which aligns so well with the University’s mission to become an international center of excellence,” said Dr. Cal Macpherson, vice provost for international program development at SGU. “We recognize the hard work done by the DPHPM team and its collaborators in achieving this recognition and wish Dr. Muge Akpinar-Elci and her team all the best in meeting the centers’ objectives and commitments.”

WHO collaborating centers are designated by the WHO Director-General to implement activities in support of WHO’s programs. The centers are beneficial to both WHO and the regional countries; WHO gains access to top centers worldwide and receives the institution’s support to the global health initiatives. In return, the centers receive visibility and recognition by national and international authorities. WHO affiliation helps collaborating centers to develop partnerships with other institutions, which can help generate resources from funding partners.

The SGU WHO collaborating center is committed to contribute to WHO’s strategic program in a number of ways, including: to assess and manage occupational safety and health hazards; to collaborate with WHO in developing evidence-based research from occupational health perspective on emerging issues, including environmental health problems and climate change; to provide expertise and potential for developing and disseminating curricula, training materials and training for occupational health capacity building in the Caribbean region; and to contribute towards the implementation of the Global Plan of Action on Workers’ Health and collaborate with other collaborating centers to achieve defined outcomes.

The DPHPM through its faculty, students and community partners have included a significant environmental and occupational health component to its teaching, research, service and scholarly activities. Over the last few years the DPHPM led several environmental related research programs including occupational health among nutmeg workers and health care workers, renewable energy, land degradation, food and water borne diseases and zoonotic diseases.

The DPHPM will continue to advance its work to address the environmental and occupational health needs of the Caribbean region. The DPHPM would like to thank its collaborators, who have supported its work including the Windward Islands Research and Education Foundation (WINDREF) through which all of its research and service as well as funding activities are administered. The DPHPM looks forward to continuing the work with all of its partners as well as invite all interested stakeholders to join its WHO collaborating center for the benefit of the Caribbean region.

St. George’s University Med/Vet Summer Leadership Academy Celebrates 10 Years of Success

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Each summer the St. George’s University Med/Vet Summer Leadership Academy welcomes new classes of high school and college students from all over the globe to Grenada.  The mission? To provide aspiring veterinarians and physicians with an insider’s view of medical or veterinary school, a taste of Caribbean life, and enough insight on their future career path to help them make a well-informed decision on the rigors of their potential career.

The 2012 sessions, which took place in June, marked the 10th anniversary of the academy and once again provided a glimpse into the experience that is medical or veterinary school.

“By coming here, students can decide for themselves whether this is a path they want to choose,” said Heather Brathwaite, director of the summer academy. “If someone’s thinking about a career in medicine or veterinary medicine, the summer academy is a great opportunity to get a real insider’s view on what medical and veterinary school prior to jumping in with a full commitment.”

Led by Dr. Craig Goodmurphy, the academy was launched in 2003, teaching college and high school students through a series of lectures, small-group problem solving sessions, hands-on training and practical labwork. This year’s lectures ranged from cardiology and neurology to musculoskeletal and gastroenterology and each is followed by sessions in the anatomy lab during which students work with human and animal cadavers. With the help of standardized patients, medical students’ clinical training included learning how to take a patient’s history and blood pressure, how to suture and more. Vet students trained at the Elisabeth McClellan Small Animal Hospital.

High school students attend the academy for 10 days.  College students attend for 12 days and their experience includes a medical leadership component featuring lectures on public health, business, and a “One Health One Medicine” session that explained how each ties into medicine and veterinary medicine. The academics are balanced out by water sports such as sailing, waterskiing and snorkeling, as well as activities such as hikes through Grenada’s rainforests, staff/student game night and a dinner cruise.

No matter the schedule, the 15-hour days are by design.

“Even though the program isn’t all work, we build fatigue into the programs because going to med school or vet school is rigorous and tiring, and they need to determine whether they can manage it and whether they like it,” Brathwaite said. “In most cases, it cements in students’ minds their commitment to medical or veterinary school.  In rare cases students have decided that medical or veterinary school is not for them, we’ve still achieved our goal.”

Several of the academy’s alumni have gone on to earn their MDs or DVMs from St. George’s University, including John Tabacco, MPH, MD, a third-year internal medicine resident at Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore. Others like Stan Veytsman, a fifth-term veterinary medical student, and Ayanna Rocke, a second-term medical student, not only attended the summer academy and continued their education at St. George’s University, but worked with students at the 2012 academy.

“Attending the summer academy isn’t just an investment that can help students make a more informed decision on where to pursue his or her medical career, but it’s also a great way for an undergrad student to spend two weeks in the summer,” said Tabacco. “I attended the first-ever summer academy and had an excellent experience, establishing some friendships I have to this day, and professionally, I owe a lot to the SGU summer academy and the fine individuals who work there.”

SGU to Host 29th Annual American Association of Clinical Anatomists Conference

Over 200 clinical anatomists from over 13 countries will converge at St. George’s University from July 8 to 13 for the 29th annual conference of the American Association of Clinical Anatomists (AACA). Grenada will be the fourth country outside of the United States to host this conference, following Canada, England, and Austria. Participants will include anatomists, medical educators, and surgeons along with several students.

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“It is our pleasure to host the 29th annual meeting of the AACA on campus and to provide a meeting of high scientific quality with oral presentations, posters, video presentations, and a postgraduate course dedicated to ultrasound and medical education,” said Dr. Marios Loukas, Professor and Chair of SGU’s Department of Anatomical Sciences. “The combination of a Caribbean environment and the excellent academic center of St. George’s University will provide participants with unique opportunities for collaboration, exchange of ideas in anatomy, education and innovation, and an update of the latest developments in all the topics of clinical and surgical anatomy.”

Twelve St. George’s University medical students alongside 10 faculty members from the Department of Anatomical Sciences will make eight oral and eight poster presentations at the conference. On the final day of the conference, the Department of Anatomical Sciences will present its postgraduate course.

“SGU is among the pioneers of introducing ultrasound into the anatomy curriculum and have been doing it for the last two years, which is why we are able to teach other schools how to do this technique and how to introduce it in their curriculum,” Dr. Loukas said. “This is a very big innovation right now.”

The AACA is an organization focused on advancing the ‘science and art of clinical anatomy.’ It encourages research and publication in the field and maintaining high standards in the teaching of anatomy. The organization caters to individuals of various backgrounds involved in research, clinical practice, clinical research, teaching in accredited colleges and universities, administrative or other experience in the field of anatomy. St. George’s University has been part of the AACA for approximately 15 years.

St. George’s University’s First-Time Takers Outscore US and Canadian Students on 2011 USMLE 1

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Medical students from St. George’s University have once more excelled on the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Step 1.

St. George’s University students who took the USMLE 1 for the first time in 2011 achieved a 95% pass rate. These students have come to SGU from 34 countries and over 20 models of education. The first-time taker pass rate posted on the USMLE website for students at US and Canadian schools for this same period is 94%. It is interesting to note that SGU’s US and Canadian students who took this examination for the first time in 2011 achieved a 96% pass rate.

“The USMLE Step 1 success reflects not only the quality of education that the University and its faculty provide, but also the caliber of individuals who make up our student body,” said Chancellor Charles Modica of St. George’s University. “They have demonstrated tremendous drive to becoming highly successful doctors and St. George’s is committed to providing all the resources they need to reach that goal.”

SGU’s 2011 USMLE Step 1 performance was an improvement on the already impressive results from 2010, a year in which SGU’s US and Canadian first-time test takers on the USMLE Step 1 also outperformed US and Canadian schools with a 94%, and SGU’s all first-time takers from 49 countries matched the first time taker pass rate for students at US and Canadian schools of 92%.

“The students’ achievement on the USMLE Step 1 results from exemplary dedication to their medical studies, the excellence of our Academic Enhancement Model of curriculum delivery, and the dedication of the faculty,” said Margaret Lambert, Dean of Enrolment Planning.

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.

WINDREF Research Selective Opens World of Possibilities for St. George’s DVM Graduate

2012 news monkeyFor as long as she can remember, Emily Talkington, SGUDVM ’05, MSc, had one goal in mind – to become a veterinarian. However, it was not until her third term at St. George’s University, when she participated in a research selective in Uganda through the Windward Islands Research & Education Foundation (WINDREF), an independent research institute located on St. George’s True Blue Campus in Grenada, that she recognized her passion for working with exotic animals. Since graduating, Dr. Talkington has worked with exotic species in West Africa, rescuing African Grey Parrots in Limbe and treating orphaned chimpanzees in the Cameroonian bush, helping to usher them back to their natural habitat.

“Participating in the research selective was an amazing experience that I was able to use as a springboard toward achieving my goals,” Dr. Talkington said. “I feel as though I have a world of opportunities open to me with my DVM degree. I’m grateful to St. George’s for giving me the chance to do what I always wanted to do and to be able to fulfill my dream and live out my passion.”

The WINDREF research selective allowed Dr. Talkington and other medical and veterinary students to study wildlife conservation and perform field research at Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda. For eight weeks she worked with animals such as lions, hyenas, and leopards.

In January 2011 she returned to Africa as a DVM to work as a volunteer for Limbe Wildlife Centre in Cameroon. She treated more than 400 mammals—including gorillas, chimpanzees, drills, and mandrills, as well as over 1,000 birds, all of which had been either orphaned from the bushmeat industry or confiscated from the illegal exotic animal trade.

Dr. Talkington then volunteered at the Sanaga-Yong Chimpanzee Rescue Centre, where she was involved in running the sanctuary while rehabilitating 74 orphaned chimpanzees. She handled everything from administering preventative medicine to disease diagnosis and treatment and credits her success to the confidence gained from her education at St. George’s.

“I loved every day at SGU and enjoyed all aspects of the program,” Dr. Talkington said. “I loved the small class size, how accessible the professors were, and that we were able to get a lot of hands-on experience.”

Currently, Dr. Talkington performs emergency work as a small animal veterinarian at the East Lake Veterinary Clinic in Watsonville, CA, just outside of Santa Cruz. She is working toward returning to Africa to continue working with great apes.

“I look forward to going back and educating Africans about the importance of trying to save their great apes, and empowering them,” Dr. Talkington said. “My soul belongs there. It’s my home.”

SGU’s DPHPM Continues its Global Recognition with AAPHP Membership

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Still fresh from receiving approval for a chapter from the Delta Omega Honors Society in Public Health, the Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine (DPHPM) received membership from the Association of Accredited Public Health Programs (AAPHP). This association which was built from the Council of Accredited MPH Programs (CAMP) is an exclusive group of accredited programs from the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH). The DPHPM received a full five-year accreditation from the CEPH in July 2010 and was therefore eligible for membership, which was approved in February 2012.

“The department’s membership to the AAPHP is another success in meeting its stated vision and mission, which is being a regional international center of excellence for public health education, research, and service,” said Dr. Satesh Bidaisee, Assistant Professor and Deputy Chair of the Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine.

The AAPHP was established in 1999 with the mission to enhance the public’s health by fostering and promoting CEPH accreditation for MPH programs for the development of the public health workforce. AAPHP originally provided representation for health education and the behavioral and social science programs, but expanded its mission so that today AAPHP represents all interested accredited MPH programs with a strong focus on the preparation of public health practitioners. AAPHP’s overall mission is to support, represent, and advance current and emerging accredited public health programs in preparing a competent public health workforce and advancing the science and practice of population-based health. In promoting the standards associated with public health accreditation, AAPHP also has a major commitment of encouraging and supporting higher education institutions to seek and maintain CEPH accreditation.

The DPHPM’s Membership with the AAPHP will serve to continue its position to engage in the issues and initiatives regarding graduate public health education that will influence our ability to support community practice and training needs of our graduates. Some of the benefits of AAPHP membership include:

  • Update sessions at conferences regarding current issues related to CEPH accreditation
  • Representation and advocacy for programs on accreditation and certification boards
  • Regular meetings to address priorities and concerns of CEPH accredited programs
  • Opportunities for networking through support for sessions at national and international scholarly conferences
  • Sharing of strategies to maximize the potential for a successful self-study
  • Advocacy for greater involvement with national public health entities for program support and networking (e.g., representation at the CDC Leaders to Leaders Conference; serving as a member of the Council on Linkages between Academia and Public Health Practice)
  • Opportunities to engage in research that identifies the program and student characteristics of CEPH-accredited MPH programs.

Preparing competent public health practitioners is critical to the development and sustainability of a public health infrastructure ready to address existing and emerging threats to the public’s health. AAPHP membership affords the opportunity to amplify your program’s assets and impact through working with faculty colleagues around the country to tackle the needs for accountability and quality assurance, accreditation and re-accreditation support, resource acquisition, curriculum improvement and development, and undergraduate public health degree needs.

St. George’s University Joins Forces with Franklin Pierce University for Combined-Degree Program

St. George’s University is pleased to announce that it has entered into an affiliation agreement with Franklin Pierce University.  This agreement was designed to offer qualified students the opportunity to pursue a career in medicine or veterinary medicine at St. George’s University after completing four years of undergraduate pre-medicine or pre-veterinary medicine studies at Franklin Pierce University.

In the works for a number of years, this new affiliation is the result of the joint desire of both St. George’s University and Franklin Pierce University to see that capable and driven students are granted convenient access to quality medical education.  After numerous visits by SGU administrators to the Franklin Pierce University campus over the last few years to work out details and program structure, the official agreement was passed in September 2011. According to Dr. Paul Kotila, Dean of the College at Rindge, “Franklin Pierce University welcomes an affiliation with St. George’s University that expands student opportunities in the health professions and complements the implementation of a new Health Sciences major and the construction of a new facility to serve this program.”

Under the terms of the agreement, students can begin planning for their future in medicine right after high school.  Applicants admitted to this combined degree program are granted a pathway from their undergraduate degree in biology or health sciences to a Doctor of Medicine or Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program.  St. George’s University’s Dean of Enrolment Planning Margaret Lambert has high hopes for this new partnership, “This exciting new venture is yet another example of how St. George’s University is dedicated to expanding the opportunities of all prospective medical physicians and veterinarians.”