Chicago, Ill. (PRWEB) April 29, 2014
New Generation Power and Chairman, Dr. Chirinjeev Kathuria, are proud to announce a $30 million gift commitment on their behalf to help establish a state-of-the-art, Territory-wide medical school at the University of the Virgin Islands.
The generous gift comes one week after a unanimous vote by the University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) Board of Trustees allowing the school’s president, David Hall, to commence the development phase for the medical school that will partner with the Territory’s two hospitals -- Schneider Regional Medical Center on St. Thomas and Juan F. Luis Hospital on St. Croix.
“This is a historic day in the life of the University of the Virgin Islands and the Virgin Islands,” said President Hall. “Dr. Kathuria’s gift is the largest in the history of the University, and its impact will last for generations to come. Many Virgin Islanders will receive improved healthcare because of this generous gift,” he added.
Discussion and planning for the medical school began in 2010 with the Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM), which has been very instrumental in helping UVI move in this direction. Some BUSM students have been taking their fourth year electives at Schneider Regional Medical Center for the last two spring semesters.
The goal of the project is to develop a high-quality medical education program that relies heavily on the use of innovative teaching techniques, educational technology and community care training that produces knowledgeable and caring physicians committed to helping the Virgin Islands’ communities, President Hall explained.
This transformative endeavor will present an opportunity for the Territory to establish the only English-speaking medical school in the Caribbean accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), the group that accredits medical schools in the United States and Canada.
According to President Hall, LCME-accreditation will ensure that UVI develops a high-quality medical school that operates according to the highest academic standards. A medical school in the Virgin Islands would enhance the quality of healthcare, help address the nation’s and Territory’s anticipated physician workforce shortages in the future, help populate the physician workforce in the VI and Caribbean with the regions’ own residents and citizens, and contribute to economic development.
Virgin Islands Governor John P. de Jongh, Jr. has also committed to help provide funding for the medical school buildings, in order to help create a public and private partnership necessary for success.
“I fully expect that the opening of the medical school will change the health care landscape of the Virgin Islands, as well as enhance the University of the Virgin Islands’ reputation as the preeminent learning institution in the region,” Governor de Jongh said.
Recently, Dr. Kathuria and NGP, a Chicago-based renewable energy company, together with UVI, signed a landmark power purchase agreement for a solar panel project on UVI’s two campuses.
Dr. Kathuria, who holds a medical degree, stated, “We are honored to be part of this historic endeavor that will significantly improve the healthcare of the people of the US Virgin Islands. Our goal with the USVI medical school is to establish new trends in providing health care using advanced technology such as remote healthcare monitoring and diagnoses, and cutting edge research that could lead to improved health outcomes for people globally.”
Securing additional development and operational funding remains a goal for the project. The University estimates that $10 million from national and local donors is still needed to make the medical school a reality.
Tuition costs are estimated to be below market for Caribbean medical schools and UVI hopes to enroll its first class in 2016-2017.
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