SGU Celebrates 25 Years Of Excellence Of The Department Of Public Health And Preventive Medicine 

PR – The Department of Public Health and  Preventive Medicine at St. George’s University (SGU) School of Medicine is  celebrating 25 years of offering a Master of Public Health to students and  contributing to building a competent public health workforce globally. 

The program, which opened its doors in the spring of 1999, has since  matriculated more than 1,000 students specializing in health policy  administration, environmental and occupational health, preventive medicine, veterinary medicine, global health, epidemiology, and other professional  fields. 

“On behalf of the St. George’s University community, we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the founding of our Department of Public Health and  Preventive Medicine,” said Dr. Marios Loukas, dean of the School of Medicine  at St. George’s University. “The department, with its focus on preparing  students for the wide range of careers in the field of public health and  preventive medicine, exemplifies SGU’s commitment to our mission of  positive global impact and a truly international education.” 

Early Beginnings 

SGU’s public health program was the brainchild of Dr. Allen Pensick, former  provost of the University. His desire to establish a public health program  stemmed from the importance of equipping medical students with a holistic  approach to medicine—allowing SGU-trained physicians to not only provide  clinical care to patients but also have the knowledge to offer patients  preventive education and tools as well. In the fall of 1999, the first students  began courses in public health at SGU. 

Over the years, the department has evolved to include not only School of  Medicine students, but also those within SGU’s School of Veterinary Medicine and School of Arts and Sciences, who are interested in pursuing careers in public health. The program proudly hosts students and faculty from countries  around the world, contributing to its diverse perspective on public health. 

“For the past 25 years, SGU’s Department of Public Health and Preventive  Medicine has been at the forefront of promoting public health through  education and practice,” according to Dr. Kerry Mitchell, assistant dean of  students and chair of the Department of Public Health and Preventive  Medicine. “In Grenada, the region, and even beyond, our students and faculty  have tirelessly worked to raise awareness and address the social and  environmental determinants impacting the health of our communities.” 

Added Dr. Mitchell: “In addition, our alumni, many of whom are practicing  physicians globally, hold pivotal roles in shaping public health policies and  decisions. This solidifies the crucial role that St. George’s University and the Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine have played in  shaping a healthier future for all.” 

Recognized Globally 

A significant achievement of the Department of Public Health and Preventive  Medicine is its success in gaining full accreditation by the Council on  Education for Public Health (CEPH) in 2010. It is one of the few non-US based  MPH programs recognized and accredited by the organization. The program  continues to be accredited through 2030.  

“With this accreditation, we are able to guarantee our students an approved  public health master’s education as other CEPH-accredited schools  internationally,” Dr. Mitchell said.  

As the program has adapted to the changing needs of public health, it  welcomed Collaborating Centers from the World Health Organization (WHO)  in Environmental and Occupational Health in 2012 and the United Nations  Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2013. These  collaborations allow both faculty and students to carry out research and  service activities in those respective fields.

The department has additional plans to keep up with the changing needs of  students as well as the public health workforce. 

“Our multidisciplinary team has collaborated closely with numerous local  communities and global institutions to tailor and strengthen our public  health training,” Dr. Mitchell said. “This adaptability is particularly evident in  our reliance on guidance from our community advisory members and the  international collaborating centers housed within our department. As a  result, we have been able to tailor our educational approach to produce the  public health practitioners our communities need.” 

For example, despite the global challenges faced in recent years, the  department has successfully navigated through various instructional  methods, emerging as a leader in public health hybrid education. 

SGU graduates with dual MD/MPH and DVM/MPH degrees are making a  difference around the world. 

Darren Cuthbert, MD/MPH ’16 

Emergency medicine physician 

New Jersey 

SGU’s MPH program opened the door of opportunity for me. One of the  things I love about medicine today is the increased emphasis placed on  evidence-based medicine—public health is the backbone to this practice.  Not only does having an MPH make you stick out as a leader amongst your  peers, but it broadens your horizon of the world and medicine—eventually  creating a better doctor and scientist.” 

Alicia Persaud, MD, MPH ’20 

Family medicine physician 

Ontario, Canada 

“I believe completing the MD/MPH dual degree program gave me an edge  with residency programs simply by having an additional degree. It was  reflective of my commitment to medicine and healthcare in general.  Completing my MPH in Grenada gave me a unique insight into the global public health sector, and also gave me crucial research experience. I was  able to apply both degrees to my research projects during residency.”