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MACE ST. GEORGE’S UNIVERSITY

2011 MACE 2011

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© 2011 St. George’s University St. George’s University University Centre, Grenada, West Indies c/o The North American Correspondent: University Support Services, LLC 3500 Sunrise Highway, Building 300 Great River, NY 11739 www.sgu.edu sgucommunications@sgu.edu Cover photo credit: Crystal Lock

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MACE 2011


MACE 2011 Journey

In the Mace 2011, faculty, staff, alumni, students, and friends of the University share their literary, pictorial, and artistic interpretations of their individual journeys. This issue reflects upon the paths they have chosen to follow in their lives and depicts their professional and personal sojourns—ones St. George’s University might have contributed to in a small or large part.

St. George’s University


CONTENTS Mace 2011 | Journey

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2010 Photo Contest Winners

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Young Scientists

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A Road to St. George

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I Am Woman

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Going Up So

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The Moment

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I Will Be

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Fare Thee Well, Bay Shore Office

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A Shared Journey

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Beauty Around You

28 Academic Journey of a Pathology Couple (Hopefully not a Pathological Couple) Across Continents for Over 36 Years 33 Saving Africa’s Wildlife Through Public Health Promotion

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From Mayday to Today

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Missing You

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An Island Journey

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Not a Straight Road

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Specially for You

40 St. George’s University School of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine 42 A Reflection on SGU’s International MPH Program and its Recent Achievement of the CEPH Accreditation 44

Shifting the Focus on Overpopulation

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On Journeys

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I Need to Write

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St. Lucia Practicum and Hurricane Tomas

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Too Proud to Leave

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Sport for Health at the Lords

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Journey

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Time

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If Life Gives You Lymes, Make Lemonade

56 Star—A Song About Our Friendships and Passions Beyond Hurricane Ivan 58

Life’s Giving Beat

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Two Worlds

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2010 PHOTO CONTEST WINNERS ANNOUNCED

T. GEORGE’S UNIVERSITY’S third annual online photo contest, Focus: An SGU Perspective, received almost twice as many entrants versus last year’s event. And while the 2009 submissions were impressive in their own right, the year’s surpassed our greatest expectation, making the selection process for winners even more challenging. With nearly 400 submissions, the St. George’s University Selection Committee had the honor of selecting winners in the individual categories: Edges of the Earth, Natural Light, Night, People, Reflections, and Tradition. The winners were selected based on artistic interpretation, creativity, and technique. We are thrilled the photo contest continues to provide the SGU community-at-large with a vehicle to express their creativity and endless talents. We look forward to its continued success for many years to come.

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MACE 2011


BEST IN SHOW AND FIRST PLACE PEOPLE

The Look | Dwain Thomas

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FIRST PLACE EDGES OF THE EARTH Steps to the Edge | Crystal Lock

FIRST PLACE TRADITION Holi Hands | Don John 8

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FIRST PLACE NIGHT Camping Under the Starry Night | J Kemper Ruth

FIRST PLACE NATURAL LIGHT Diligence | Deon Lau MACE 2011

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FIRST PLACE REFLECTIONS Tunneled Reflections | Dana Seslija 1

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PHOTO CONTEST 2010 Second Place People Dance Away Megan Greer

Second Place Natural Light Jelly in the Belly Brenda Kirkby

Second Place Night Manhattan Bridge Vincent Songco

Second Place Edges of the Earth Ha Long Bay Phuong Ngo

Second Place Tradition English Two-Step Joshua Ackerman

Second Place Reflections Reflecting Upon the Ocean Varun Kapoor

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PHOTO CONTEST 2010 Third Place Night The London Eye Kagiso Nawe

Third Place Natural Light Baby Iguana Haley Knowlton

Third Place Edges of the Earth Going Nowhere Stephen Neabore

Third Place Tradition Ayutthaya Asia Grabska

Third Place People L’artiste Dessiné Fawaaz Nuzeebun

Honorable Mention Tradition Bel Air Dancer Dwain Thomas

Third Place Reflections On a mission Rachel Cartledge

Honorable Mention People Innocent Voices Adel Mazanderani

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PHOTO CONTEST 2010 1 Honorable Mention Tradition Carnival Color Natalie Sabzghabaei

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2 Honorable Mention Tradition Glitter Roy Berenholtz

3 Honorable Mention People Innocence Brenda Kirkby

4 Honorable Mention People Happiness Roy Berenholtz


YOUNG SCIENTISTS By Kimanii Daniel

which involved building a very light frame from a single popsicle stick, attaching bottle covers as wheels, and powering the propeller with a single rubber band stretched from the front of the popsicle stick to the back where the propeller was mounted. To our great excitement, our invention worked, the model car ’VE ALWAYS BEEN INTERESTED in how things work;

actually moved when the propeller was wound and released.

take them apart and sometimes put them back together.

These two young scientist enjoyed the bliss of achievement.

When I was younger, my favorite television shows were

We went on to collaborate on more similar projects. But as

Beyond 2000 and McGuyver. These shows would spark

time passed and we graduated from secondary school we went

my interest because of the interesting ways McGuyver would

our separate ways. One to the local community college and the

use various everyday objects and his tenacious knowledge of

other to further education abroad. The book of inventions was

science to make these remarkable gadgets, that would aid

put away on a shelf and began to gather dust as it sank into the

in his current demise. Beyond 2000 would feature upcoming

sinking sands of our memories. These young scientist had more

technological advancements that would have me fixated in

pressing matters, like school work and friends to attend to.

amazement. From talking robots to self driving cars left me with oooo and ahhhh, simple amazing. It was these shows and my radical imagination that inspired me to start an “inventions book”. I had a very analytical mind, and would think up intuitive little gadgets using my limited knowledge of physics, aerodynamics and sometimes just plain know how, to solve everyday problems. The book

I locked eyes with someone that looked very familiar. To my splendiferous surprise, my young scientist friend was back from the dead.

was filled with diagrams of pulley systems, motor powered robots, turbines utilizing the forces of wind or water, robotic arms, and so forth. It was pure ingenious.

Years passed and we lost communication. A week ago while attending a seminar at the university I attend, I locked eyes

I would attend the national school science fair every year,

with someone that looked very familiar. To my splendiferous

amazed at the inventions conjured up by my peers; some of

surprise, my young scientist friend was back from the dead. We

which became augmented additions to my little “inventions

were both eager to shake hands and catch up with each other.

book.” One occasion, I met another like myself, with the passion

We spoke of his family and job back in the United States as a

to learn and invent knew things. We spoke about various ideas,

computer engineer with a large firm. I spoke of my job here in

gadgets we have thought up, inventions we would one day make

sunny Grenada and my various travels to other countries in the

a possibility. Young scientist we were. Then I told him about my

name of Computer Science. But amidst all of our excitement we

book, he was every so exited and asked to see it. I was little

both paused in silence, just for a moment. Then as if boiling with

reluctant about sharing my pseudo patented inventions, but I

anticipation he asked “so ahhhh… you still have that inventions

offered to allow him to hold it, open it, awe at it, then further,

book…,” with watery eyes, I looked at him and smiled…

go home with it. For weeks and months after he gloated over the cool things

Kimanii Daniel is a student in the School of Arts and Sciences.

I had in the book. He also added a few of this ideas to it. We even collaborated on creating a propeller powered model car,

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A ROAD TO ST. GEORGE By Stan K. Sujka, MD FACS ’82

blouses with school insignias sewed on their front pockets, well pressed uniforms, book bags draped on their backs, walking to school. OMETIMES, SOME OF THE most interesting

What I liked the most

journeys we take are the ones we take for granted;

about my trips to downtown

the ones we make almost on a daily basis. In 1978, every trip I took from the True Blue

St. George’s were the bus drivers. They were a special

Campus of St. George’s School of Medicine

breed of racing men. They

to downtown St. George, Grenada, was like a roller coaster

would get up early in the

ride. It was full of sudden stops, the wind in my face, speed,

morning and race from bus

occasional screams, and screeching tires on a road that snaked

stop to bus stop, playing

and slithered along the Caribbean coast. If I got lucky, I would get a window seat on the local bus. The majority of buses were actually Toyota minivans. With my

leap frog with each other to see who could stuff the most people into a minivan.

head partially out the window, I would feel the delicious wind on my face. The occasional scent of frangipani would mingle with

by

the smell of cooking fires, a mound of garbage, and the musky

managed the sliding door,

smell of island folks packed in like sardines. As we sped along,

collected the money, and

I would see the glowing sun licking the ocean. Small houses,

tapped on the roof when

one

crew

man

who

some of wood and others made of concrete blocks, hugged the

the pickup was made. Usually the person getting on the bus

mountain sides as if trying not to fall down into the wilderness

didn’t even have time to sit down before the van took off.

of blue below. Their roofs, mostly of aged rust-streaked tin,

This technique of taking off before the passenger sat down

were fastened precisely on their top. Coconut palms emitted a

was probably used to wedge the people into their seats. The

raspy giggle as they were tickled by the breeze. Scattered Royal

majority of pickups were done with the precision of a pit crew.

Poinciana trees, with their fire engine red flowers, appeared to

Most of these minivans were given special names. The

set spots of the green jungle ablaze. At times, I swear I could

drivers put the names on the front windshield and the rear

hear the tropics growing.

window. Sometimes, they even had them customized on the

No matter where I sat on the bus, I would hear the gears

side panels.

groan in pain as the driver downshifted to miss a pothole, dodge

One morning I saw “The Assassin” van, black with highly

a scampering dog, or avoid the ditches waiting to swallow the

polished chrome wheels, whip around the corner with people

afternoon rains. The tree frogs, no matter what time of day,

hanging out the windows. His speakers were pulsing with Bob

seemed to be always serenading us with their symphony of

Marley’s “One Love” as he sped by “God Blessing.” After a toot,

whistles. Their whooping came to a crescendo as the curtain of

toot of his sheepish sounding horn, “The Assassin” did not pick

night fell on the island. Closer to town, I would spot one or two cruise ships lumbering

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The drivers were assisted

up the woman at the Grand Anse bus stop because he was full. “God Blessing” did not stop because the woman carried a large

into port or steaming out into the horizon as if chasing the

package. “Sacrifice” picked her up and was left in the dust. One

sun. I would see black children in clean, snow white shirts and

day I sat stuffed in the back of “Sacrifice,” head half way out of

MACE 2011


I AM WOMAN Donella Hosten I am woman, I no longer opt to sit in silence, Instead I choose to strive for excellence, And this should lead to female acceptance In a world that is highly dominated by male presence. I am woman, I need to let the female voice be heard And not settle for us being third, Whether it’s in the academic, domestic or biblical sense; It’s time for us women to cross over that fence. I am woman, I have the right to defend my gender And to eliminate the memory of those hurtful days that I’m sure you remember; The days of slavery when they damaged our psyche And hindered our contributions to our economy I am woman, I have the right to accelerate, demonstrate and communicate A former St. George’s open air bus now sits retired on concrete blocks on the True Blue campus.

the window inhaling the hot, moist breath of this tropical island. The air, like marmalade, was sticking to my skin. Despite the heat, my knapsack crushing my lap, and being flattened against the window, I felt content like a puppy with its head out the window. Most students or visitors to Grenada don’t pay much attention to the names of the buses. And different buses like the “Matrix” and the “Passion Crew” serviced different parts of the island. The racing minivans replaced the slow open air buses, but

I can also manipulate, instead I choose to educate Other women about their rights in order to help eradicate poverty Within our community I am woman, I have the right to be viewed equally, To be heard, listened to and treated fairly. It’s not that we want to take over the male sector, It’s just that we want to be treated better. Donella Hosten is pursuing her BA as a Psychology major in the School of Arts and Sciences.

the tradition of naming the bus lived on. So no matter what “No Mix” implied, you can mix tradition with the modern world and the result, as the name of one bus implied, is “Pure Platinum.” Dr. Stan K. Sujka graduated from St. George’s School of Medicine in 1982. He is a Partner with Orlando Urology Associates and is on staff at Orlando Health System and MD Anderson Cancer Center in Orlando.

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GOING UP SO By Pierre J. Moeser, MD ’83

the parishes are named St. Patrick, St. Andrew, St. David, St. George, St. John, and St. Mark. The parish names were taken from newly named churches following the 1763 Treaty of Paris in which the French ceded Grenada to the British. To serve a point of reference, I started in the capital city of ANY TRAVELERS IN A foreign country

St. George’s in the parish of St. George and embarked on a

only have time to get off the plane,

counterclockwise trip. As most St. George’s University students

see a few major sights, and hurry back

know parts of the parish well, I will mention it only briefly.

home. This is understandable if time is

However, I will state that in 1980, the modern campus had not

short but often people staying on for business over an extended

been built. The original True Blue Campus, which housed most

period never venture from their hotel or apartment save for a

of the freshman class, was a converted conference site that held

rare excursion to a well known tourist attraction.

a set of dormitories surrounding a lecture hall and cafeteria in an

Even those studying for years in Grenada may leave the Island without ever experiencing the richness and diversity the

on the former Grande Anse Beach Hotel (today it is the Grande

country has to offer. St. George’s University, Maurice Bishop

Anse Beach Restaurant) and lectures were held down the beach

International Airport, Grande Anse Beach, and the capital city

at “The Dome.” I lived in the Radix House overlooking Carifta

of St. George’s are all contained within the southwest corner of

Plain near the campus.

Grenada. The paths to the other parts of the island are often

As the sun rose, so did the sounds of the market. With goat,

challenging but the rewards of exploration are a feast for the

chickens, and people secure, our brightly painted multicolored

eyes and the soul. During my second year in Grenada in 1980, I decided to

bus rumbled to life. I looked up from my notes as we left Market Square.

embark on a trip around the island to see the parts less traveled.

The city of St. George’s holds the position of the central star

On the weekend after midterm examinations, I grabbed my

on the Grenadian flag. Though the busy city is the financial and

backpack and headed to Market Square on Granby Street in St.

governmental center of the island, the sights in the parish of St.

George’s to ride one of the converted lorry buses going along

George vary greatly from the traffic through Sendall Tunnel to

the eastern edge of the island. The bus held no timetable nor

white sand of world famous Grande Anse Beach to the serenity

planned stops. The destination was, “Grenville and up so.” The

of Annandale Falls. Wherever I traveled in the parish, I found

time of departure was, “When it full, mon.” Though the market

myself still within reach of the bustle of the main city. St. George

vendors’ shouts of “Spice, spice,” had not reached their peak

is the most populous parish on the island with approximately

on the Saturday morning, the passengers filling up the bus gave

29,000 inhabitants in 1980. There existed well established small

encouragement to the driver to start the journey, “Don’t tarry

towns like Springs, Woburn, and Calivigny. Yet, whenever a

so, Mr. Conductor.” Finally having loaded a goat in the rear of

passenger on the bus spoke of going “to town,” it was always in

the vehicle, a woman jumped into the last remaining seat on

reference to St. George’s.

one of the wooden benches. The chickens she carried protested loudly at first and then nestled into her lap.

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isolated location. The second campus, Grande Anse, centered

If one considers St. George to be the urban parish, then the parish of St. David represents rural Grenada. Nicknamed “The

Waiting for the bus to depart, I looked over my travel notes.

Virgin Parish,” this parish contains no major town. The bus made

Grenada is divided into six parishes that vary greatly. Each parish

no stops until we came to a sudden halt on the crest of a hill.

is represented by a star in the red border of the flag of Grenada.

A tire had gone flat. I disembarked with the other passengers

Starting from the northern tip of the island and going clockwise,

while several men assessed the situation. Remarkably, a spare

MACE 2011


tire was found and the “committee” announced a short delay and asked for patience. The woman with the chickens sucked her teeth. As I stood by the road, a guard from St. George’s University recognized me as he tried to maneuver his car around the bus. After seeing the situation, he convinced me to take a quick ride to see a beautiful view of the rocky coastline. We drove down

truly felt far from home. The local patois language sounded very

a road bordered by cacti and allamanda and stopped close to

different from the English spoken in St. George’s and I heard

Westerhall Point. Feeling a gentle salty breeze, we stood on the

more French-African words interlaced in the dialect. People

twisting rutted road and looked across the blue ocean inlet at

seems to regard me as a curiosity and a man even approached

Fort Jeudy. Peering down the cliff, we spied one of Grenada’s

me to inquire if was lost.

many spectacular secluded beaches.

Here in Sauteurs, the main point of interest for visitors

As we drove back to the bus, the few houses along the way

is Carib’s Leap. The Caribs were a fierce people that arrived

stood sheltered behind extensive vegetation. From what I

in Grenada from South America. They killed or enslaved the

could tell, everyone kept to themselves in St. David parish as I

previous population, the Arawaks. Later, the Caribs fought

saw no central industry or shopping area, a stark contrast to St.

intensely when the French conquered Grenada and legend

George’s.

has it that the last remaining Carib warriors jumped off a cliff

Back at the bus, the tire had been replaced and a lively

to their deaths in 1651 rather than face domination. Thus, the

discussion was taking place between the driver and a man

town was named Sauteurs, which is French for “jumpers.” The

standing in the road clutching a bottle of Westerhall Supreme

cliff site was dedicated in 1664 by Dominican Fathers to honor

Rum Sipper, a distillery product that varied to between 170 and

the Caribs.

180 proof depending on the batch. The man declared his city of

Though I was not interested in doing the typical tourist things,

Red Gate (there are no cities in St. David) to be the new capital

I felt drawn to the famous cliff. A local boy, Preston, showed me

of Grenada. He also requested that all the passengers pay him

the monument, told me some incredible stories, and asked if I

duty. The driver suggested he get a bag to hold the money and

needed a guide in Sauteurs. I politely declined the offer as I had

as the man stumbled off, the driver throttled forward and the

another objective in this parish, an abandoned fort.

bus continued going “up so.” Leaving St. David, we entered St. Andrew, the largest parish in Grenada, an area of 35 square miles (91 square kilometers). In 1980, all air traffic landed at Pearls Airport north of the city of Grenville. Today, derelict airplanes stand by the abandoned runway. A beautiful photo appeared in the 2010 issue of Mace on page 19. Stopping in Grenville, also known as La Baye, its former French name, I left the bus and explored the city. Shopkeepers I met spoke proudly of the fact that the flag of Grenada (adopted in 1974) had been

Feeling a gentle salty breeze, we stood on the twisting rutted road and looked across the blue ocean inlet at Fort Jeudy. Peering down the cliff, we spied one of Grenada’s many spectacular secluded beaches.

designed by Anthony C. George of nearby Soubise. When one of them brought up that Eric Gairy, the first Prime

Armed with a questionable map showing an X labeled, “Fr.

Minister of Grenada, was born near Grenville, others joined the

fort abdon.” on nearby Levera Beach, I set off to find the hidden

discussion with heated opinions. Gairy had been overthrown

location. Hours later, with the sun setting, my arms and legs

just one year before and the New Jewel Movement of Maurice

scratched from my forays into the bougainvillea covering the

Bishop had its supporters and detractors quite vocal here on

terrain near the beach, I was about to give up. My luck changed

Victoria Street. I quietly made my way back to the bus. The original bus had departed but I soon found other buses

when who should appear but some of the parishioners I had ridden with from Grenville. A man cut open one of the coconuts

and even a church van going to Sauteurs at the northern end of

lying on the beach and as I quenched my thirst, I learned that

the Island. Perfect. With just the promise of a cold Carib beer,

his son who had accompanied him knew of the fort’s location.

the driver, Mr. Vincent, let me ride along with the parishioners.

Ecstatically, I followed the boy along a barely discernible path

By the time we reached Sauteurs, the sun was lower in the

until we arrived at the site of abandoned cannon pointing out

sky than I had hoped. After buying the promised beer and

to sea. There remained little of the stone walls and I knew I

enjoying some truly pleasant conversation with Mr. Vincent, I

would not be able to find the fort again without assistance. I

set off to explore once again. Here in the parish of St. Patrick, I

left the cannon knowing that for hundreds of years, these iron

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sentinels had faced the sea to protect against invaders. Now, the invading vegetation enshrined the cannon in a leafy tomb. Accepting a ride back to Sauteurs with the boy’s father, a fisherman known as Hook, I arrived at a guesthouse suggested by our maid, Florence. I would describe the warmth of the family, the beauty of the charming house with the high ceilings, the embroidered lace on the nightstands, and the cool night breeze

Victoria. The man I asked smiled and said, “All da fish drown

flowing through the windows but I experienced little of it that

here. You have better luck with coconuts.” He smiled again and

night. I simply collapsed on the bed and stirred only when the

left me to decipher his cryptic message. As I turned and walked

rooster behind the house crowed me awake.

a short distance down St. Peter’s Street, I saw a bus in front of a coconut stand. People were piling on and I hurried to meet the bus. When I asked the driver if his was

Before I traveled back to my house on Carifta

“Yes,” he replied. After I asked if he would stop

Plain, I reflected on all I had seen and resolved

German. The other passengers acted friendly but

to keep my eyes open to all possibilities when visiting any area in the world.

a public bus, he looked at me with raised eyebrows. in Victoria, he looked at me as if were speaking were clearly surprised to see me. What surprised me when we arrived in Victoria was the amount of fishing boats lining the shore in such a small village. Situated between St. Patrick and St. John, the smallest Grenadian parish of St. Mark is only 9 square miles (23 square kilometers)

After an early breakfast of fresh guava, fried plantain and a drink made from soursop, I hurried to meet the “nutmeg bus”

and has less than 4000 people. If the town of Gouyave can be described as lively, Victoria should be described as sleepy.

my hosts had advised me to take to travel down the western

Speaking to a local farmer, I learned that the highest point in

coast. When I found the “bus” it turned out to be an open truck

Grenada stood within the boundary of St. Mark parish. Though

filled with empty cloth sacks. Along with two Grenadians, I piled

I had seen Mount St. Catherine many times from the window of

into the back of the truck and settled down on the piles of sacks.

a LIAT flight into Pearls Airport, I had wrongly assumed that it

My traveling companions fell asleep as soon as we departed

towered close to Grenville.

Sauteurs and I had been too baked by the previous day’s sun

I am not sure what it was about the village of Victoria

to discuss our exact destination with the driver before we left.

that relaxed me so deeply. Perhaps it was the serenity of the

Despite the bumps in the road, I also fell asleep. I expected to

Dominican ruins I explored or perhaps the small side trip I took

stop in Victoria in the parish of St. Mark. I woke up in Gouyave

along the St. Mark’s River with its singing brooks. In any case, I

in the parish of St. John.

felt completely at ease as I drank a rum punch near the ocean

Making the best of it, I immediately felt the pulse of

and watched the brown pelicans dive into St. Mark Bay. I knew

Gouyave (also known as Charlotte Town) to be very different

the Grenadian sun would soon set as my six parish journey would

from other towns in Grenada. Industry and business were

come to close. Before I traveled back to my house on Carifta

the talk of the town and nutmeg was king. While the nutmeg

Plain, I reflected on all I had seen and resolved to keep my eyes

industry promised work during the day, posters and road signs

open to all possibilities when visiting any area in the world.

promised entertainment at night for those living in the parish of St. John. Church meetings competed with parties and fêtes in

Dr. Pierre J. Moeser graduated from St. George’s University

and around Gouyave. Back in 1980, tourism was far from heavy

School of Medicine in 1983. He is Chief of Staff, Director of

in Grenada as no jets could land at Pearls Airport and cruise

Disease Management and Rheumatologist at BJC Medical

ships stopped infrequently. I saw no evidence of tourists in the

Group in St. Louis, MO.

parish of St. John. Having missed the parish of St. Mark, I inquired whether there was a fishing boat that traveled up the coast from Gouyave to

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MACE 2011


I WILL BE Kacie Brumley I was born into a world of lights

THE MOMENT La Toya Gabriel

I felt explosions carry me from there to now I was honest to a fault, I lost friends, I kept moving forward Waves of emotion plagued me day by day To ascertain a purpose, a spot in this world We are not alone when we are born, but we become alone as we grow

The moment I met you I felt like I’ve known you for a while That glow in your eyes and pep in your smile The moment you approached me I knew it would be a lifetime You’re like the ending to my sentence in my poem you are the rhyme The moment we first argued I knew it wouldn’t be the last Now you are here in the present, and with you I have a past The moment we first went on a date it wasn’t the best But the fact that we’re still together sets you apart from the rest The moment I met your mother I knew you were a special guy Like lightning her eyes lit up I knew she liked me I saw the truth in her eyes Now sometimes things get tough but that doesn’t mean we have to part

I lost someone and it showed me how to find what was important, how to focus, how to be strong I lost myself and struggled for years to regain control, to be free from pain I held on to the only dream I knew, the only life that made sense to me A future that would forgive what I have given up now A way to be able to see myself in the mirror each day and know that I am needed That my life improves that of another And that their suffering will not go unnoticed I trade the present for my dreams I left behind those who need me so that one day I can be better suited for the task I didn’t ask for this life, I fought for it And I will be what I make me, not what this world wants me to be

The moment you chose a girl like me I knew you were very smart  There are millions of moments that I will spend with you

Kacie Brumley is pursuing her MD in the School of Medicine. She is currently a Term 1 student.

But the most beautiful moment is looking you in the eye and saying “I Love You.” La Toya Gabriel is pursuing her BSc as an International Business major in the School of Arts and Sciences.

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FARE THEE WELL, BAY SHORE OFFICE Margaret A. (Peggy*) Lambert

that is St. George’s University for a major part of my lifetime. It has been an interesting place, with a whole host of many workers who have come and gone (some came and stayed), most of whom gave a small or large piece of themselves to grow St. George’s from a small, rough and tumble medical school to an IT IS TIME TO GIVE TRIBUTE to the venerable old office,

internationally recognized educational haven. They all worked

referred to across the nation and, indeed the world, as

here, in this dreary building with stained carpets, uneven walls,

“The Bay Shore Office,” sometimes fondly, sometimes

and have I mentioned the heating/air conditioning system with

in frustration and in anger, but most often, lately, just

its nightmarish alternating heat waves and cold fronts—all in a

simply, as “Bay Shore.”

few moments time?

Who would have thought—back in the early days of the late

It has been a ride! Unlike the University itself, Bay Shore

’70s and ’80s, that this rather humble building at 1 East Main,

has no agenda of its own; no fiefdoms to create or programs

with its creaky floors, idiosyncratic heating and air conditioning,

to launch; no issues of its own to inflame egos; no academic

rabbit warren of continually changing walls and offices, and its

tribes. Just a lot of people who have performed many tasks

vista onto downtown Bay Shore, would become a world-famous

quietly (sometimes), efficiently (often), happily (hmm?), stupidly

entity? People from St. Louis to Capetown, from Hoboken to

(yes, sometimes), but always with a will and desire to fix things

Bangkok, have often exclaimed along the lines of:

that aren’t working, and make sure that students get the things

“You’ve got to let me sit the make-up exam, Professor, Bay Shore said I could.”

they need. Lots of people over the years came to this corner office on Fourth and Main in Bay Shore, NY, each day and have

St. George’s University professors and students alike

bent over backwards to help students through their program by

invoke the quasi-majestic, “Bay Shore said…” imbuing this

helping them with the “small” things like accounts, financial aid,

humble service corporation with a mystery and a power quite

records, the flow of information and goods, placements, and

enigmatic—and totally off the mark.

sometimes unofficial, over the backyard fence, off-the-books,

I used to rail against this. In the comical days of my eager

simple friendly advice.

youth, I used to write assertive memos to the University community exhorting everyone to stop referring to the Bay Shore office as “The Bay Shore Office.” (I had reasoned and wellwritten arguments, complete with supporting legs to my central thesis for my periodic cheeky harangues of the faculty and administration. I urged all to refer to specific offices and people which would, in turn, show us respect and give us the dignity we deserved. Oh, the tendency of youth to natter on about high-minded ideals while clueless of their import!) But, lately, I have come to luxuriate in the mystery of the undifferentiated “Bay Shore Office.” It comforts us all to slip away from the limelight; to be a soft part of this amorphous group, Bay Shore, who may have made a mistake, misspoke, slipped up, goofed, overstepped. Wasn’t me. Bay Shore did it! The Bay Shore Office has been busily supporting the dream

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BIRTH The Bay Shore Office always had another name—or series of names—that appeared on the letterhead. First it was the Foreign Medical School Services Corporation—it pre-dated the launch of the Charter Class. Maybe five to 10 people worked here, helping (always helping) to ready the University to receive its first class. First there was admission support, then, quickly, registrar, purchasing and account support. Then the clinical department as the Charter Class worked through the academic program; and then, in the mid-’80s, IT was born. The heating/ air conditioning system was quirky, entirely too hot or cold and unable to be adjusted. In the summer we blasted space heaters into our frigid offices and in winter we brought in fans to blow


the cloying heat away—we hid these illicit weather changers from the bosses when they came around. We had Christmas parties and brought our children, played Santa, and gave out presents. We ate Chinese from China Sun and pizza from Gino’s. We helped the students and we helped each other. We learned the systems and processes which form the guts of a University. We learned that the University’s early

Diner and talked about concepts like university senates and

graduates were a special bunch of people. We were close to

satisfactory academic progress. The staff grew as the needs

them and they stayed close to us. Having gotten the students

of the University became more complex. The students were

through the 1979 revolution unscathed (with stomach-clenched

rocking their exams, the graduates were getting great jobs,

and wills girded), we watched in fear as the Marxist government

students could fund their education—so more students were

of Grenada drifted left while Maurice Bishop drifted to the

enrolling. The medical school rapidly gained more approvals.

right—until the government put him under house arrest,

Good and Bad news…each approval brought more policies,

the people rose up and freed him which led to the horrific

procedures, safeguards, and process audit trails—this means

massacre, and ultimately to the US intervention with its brief

more people to put the burgeoning piles of paper in their

military engagement (with the University at the epicenter). We

rightful places and to retrieve them in the aggregate when

followed our Chancellor in breathless silence as he walked in the

necessary. The air-conditioning was still faulty after an endless

shadow of world leaders and generals and with his colleagues,

parade of people posing as heating and air-conditioning

the SGU’s trustees, moved our students to new locations for the duration of the crisis and the post traumatic period. And we relaxed as peace settled into Grenada. Our cares turned to organized medicine and our battles to find our rightful place in the education

But, lately, I have come to luxuriate in the mystery of the undifferentiated “Bay Shore Office.”

of doctors. We popped champagne when we were approved by the US Department of Education for our students to get US government loans (and tossed some

specialists “fixed” the system. We had small tweaks and major

over Rose Chereb’s blond Grecian curls). We started to meet

overhauls. We still hid the fans and the heaters.

our colleagues from Grenada and found that we liked them. We

As we grew, we all moved offices around the building; the

started cross training at the University and they found that they

rabbit warren grew and grew until it had the feel of an ever-

liked us. We started to figure out real processes and systems to

changing maze. Now we were on the north side, now the south,

support our growing number of students.

now downstairs. Other tenants moved out (feeling strange in the midst of this busy happy family?) and little by little, we

INTERLUDE Look, is that Andy Belford, Director of Admissions, fresh from his appearance in Waiting for Godot, in the office to interview applicants in his jacket, tie, and shorts? We know he has shorts on; the applicants don’t because he doesn’t stand up to shake their hands. Isn’t that Jay Wilbur being threatened with a pumpkin? Did Morrie Alpert (lifetime bachelor) tell me in that very corridor that I was good at having babies but not much good at bringing them up? Is this a Kitchen Cabinet meeting we’re having at Gino’s pizza?

ADOLESCENCE Somewhere around the late ’80s the name was changed to Medical School Services. SGUSOM was approved by the State of New York for the purpose of conducting clinical programs in NY hospitals. We learned from that review; we learned how to put together a self-study and how to set up University structures that would be recognizable to all. We ate lunches at the Palace

took over their space, oozing into every corner of the building. The Christmas parties got bigger; Santa’s job a bit harder. Our children were growing older but still insisting on coming to the office on Bring Your Child to Work Day (one of my least favorite days of the year. Apparently they teach them at school that “At work, one goes out to lunch.”) During this beginning period of expansion, and for some reason, now obscured in the mists of time, we splintered off into a bunch of different companies that further complicated our office maze, but oddly enough, did not interfere with our ability to work together.

YOUNG ADULTHOOD And then the period of rapid expansion: International students, undergraduate programs, graduate programs, a huge, magnificent, expensive campus, and then a veterinary program. Now we weren’t servicing a medical school anymore, we were spilling all over the rabbit warren keeping up with all the students and all their needs and all the processes and policies that needed tending. The carpets got dirtier, the homeless on

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the street got vaguely better off in the flush ’90s, we started ordering food from the new Thai and Japanese restaurants (in Bay Shore!). The office maze got even more confusing, we got closer to our Grenada colleagues, the phone system outgrew itself a few times, and then we changed our name again­—to University Services, Limited. We were servicing a University now,

ADULTHOOD

with a growing number of programs, but the service did not feel limited. More people came, more people got infected with the SGU bug. It gets deep under the skin, invades the psyche, and makes one fierce and fearless when fighting to protect SGU! We outgrew the offices, we outgrew the phones one more time, and we outgrew the space in general. But some things stayed almost comfortingly the same: the carpets were filthy and the air conditioning system was still a nightmare. The Christmas parties were so big that sometimes they split on departmental lines. Halloween contests became quite elaborate—and now some of the children were working here at summer jobs!

INTERLUDE Is that our Chancellor being roasted in NYC at an alumni dinner? Man alive! Do I see half the administration of the University eating clams and lobster’s at Matthews in Ocean Bay Park?

Bay Shore was entering her last phase now, but she didn’t know it yet. We were still growing and filling in all the nooks and crannies in the rabbit warren. We had more people to take care of our finances, more people to recruit more students, more people to take care of them in their clinical years, more people in IT to take care of a University in the 21st century, and more people in general to service student needs. We changed our name again—to University Support Services—because USS is so much better than USL—and we began to dream dreams of escaping the building. Yes, we actually began to dream of climate controlled buildings that did not creak as you walked from office to office, with non-vomitus carpets, with actual flame-retardant walls (rather than the fire accelerant walls surrounding us), and entrances bereft of charming but slightly smelly crack addicts. Every time we visited our colleagues in Grenada in the beautiful campus with the marvelous views, we

Please don’t tell me that the geeks in suits on a Sunday

returned to our rather dreary rabbit warren a bit downcast. We

afternoon in NYC are the SOM administration taking a break

still love Halloween; our children still come and some are young

from meetings at lunch watching the Gay Pride Parade??

and wide-eyed. But some of our children are grown up now—

We were lulled into thinking that things were going well. Too

and they bring their children to the Halloween party.

well. The University had more and more approvals, more and

And then, one day last year, Bay Shore decided to throw

more students, and was gaining lots of recognition. There were

us out. In one great belching hissy fit, she threw pipes and

no major problems that we could see. We were just getting

water and debris out of the ceiling and through the walls.

along in the business of creating a really good infrastructure

The temperamental air conditioning, filthy carpets, broken

to hold the expansion of the University. Just going along our

bathrooms and dirty walls were not enough for us to get the

business, as usual…

hint. Her outburst revealed once and for all her fatal flaws, which

On September 7, 2004, Hurricane Ivan bobbed south at the last minute and struck Grenada at the Category 5 level. The

was her intent, and it became apparent that we had overstayed our welcome. We would have to move.

devastation to Grenada was immediate. Bay Shore galvanized

Despite the rather tempestuous end, Bay Shore is etched

instantly behind our Chancellor and supported him in the

deeply into our souls and psyches. We will not just always

heroic and amazing feat of getting the students off the island

remember Bay Shore, in the ways that count, we will always be

and into their respective academic programs in five different US

Bay Shore.

locations by September 28. Academic space was located and

Goodbye, Bay Shore, we wish you well.

secured; living space for students and faculty was located and secured; transportation to and from living spaces for both was

*In Bay Shore, my hometown, I am Peggy

set up; a faculty office was set up; books were gotten; cadavers were brought up; Homeland Security was dealt with for all the

Margaret Lambert is Dean of Enrolment Planning, University

international students; etc. etc. I am tired remembering those

Registrar, and Director of University Communications and

three weeks of 23-hour days, adrenaline, coffee and focus. (For

Publications.

the first time, we didn’t notice the air conditioning system.) We earned our name of “University Services” during those weeks and the weeks to come…but deep in our hearts, we knew that it was “Bay Shore” that helped.

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A SHARED JOURNEY By Palak Shah

individual right before my eyes: meek, fragile, and vulnerable. She suffered from constant nightmares, formed an almost adolescent-like dread of the dark, and starting growing a distrust of all male figures whom she did not know. Even beyond these other symptoms, however was, for a period of time, her GET ASKED MORE OFTEN THAN NOT why I’m

refusal to talk about or acknowledge her freshly uncovered

choosing to attain a Master of Public Health degree.

aggravation and sorrow, feeling almost ashamed despite being

I never really knew the perfect answer. I could

the victim.

talk about promoting health, prolonging life, and

I believe that her psychological pain was immensely

preventing disease, but this did not wholly encompass my

exacerbated only by her silence. During her traumatic episodes,

particular attraction to the field. It was not until I dwelled

a tempest of quiet vexation and mixed emotion brewed beneath

upon an unfortunate situation that I was able to pinpoint the

her hollow eyes, and I can’t help but to think that if she did not

root of my fascination with public health. A couple of years

feel shamed into silence, how many other survivors might find

ago, I befriended a girl, a junior in college, who identified

comfort within her story or learn from her experience? How

herself as a rape victim. However when she talked about

many others might learn about the importance of being sexually

what had happened to her multiple times, it was with an air of

tested or seeking consent in sexual relationships? However as

detachment, as if she were recounting a scene in a movie she

she continued to ignore her will to talk about the traumatic experiences in her life, an action I fully understand and sympathize with, her story’s potential for

Her story helped me uncover what it was about

positive impact also stood to vanish. In all honesty, her story helped me uncover what it was about public health that I felt so impassioned

public health that I felt so impassioned about.

about. Public health offers a special purpose in

Public health offers a special purpose in that it

that are not discussed freely. Seeing this particular

lends a voice to current issues and endemics that are not discussed freely.

that it lends a voice to current issues and endemics victim drown in her own muteness caused me to realize how much open communication could not only help others cope with their own problems of a similar nature but, perhaps, prevent future victims. Communication and free discussion eases tension and reduces the shameful disposition stigmas can produce about consequential and often pressing

once saw rather than having actually experienced it. It turns

issues such as victim advocacy, gender equality, protective sex,

out that her mind had repressed whatever emotions were

and social justice. This in turn allows those demographic groups

attached with the incident and seemed to only extract the

that are most vulnerable to certain public health emergencies

objective details.

to become more confident and assertive in taking steps towards

On one night, however, some vault where she unconsciously

26

fending off harm and hazard.

unlocked her frustration, her hurt, and her fears became

I also believe that creating a dialogue about emerging

unfastened and she transformed into a completely different

prevalent health wellness issues can create open minds,

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eliminate backwards thinking, dispel myths, motivate people to seek resolutions, and provoke them to combat their own circumstances. Uninhibited discourse also empowers others to learn more about relevant issues plaguing the social and moral

BEAUTY AROUND YOU Catherine Ann-Marie George

welfare of their own community. However, problems persist when silence persists. Well-trained public health professionals have the potential to initiate this conversation, one that is so

Life is like the wind blowing in ones face.

necessary and pivotal towards creating a beneficial future. Thus,

Blowing the fresh air of a new birth

it is these reasons, some more personal than others, that fuel

Restoring our lives and feeling gratitude

my passion to join the ranks of attaining a public health degree.

For all that God has given to us

I am ready and honored to be part of a field that entrusts a

Beauty that man will try to destroy

grave responsibility and trust to its workers to rid the world of

But will be restored by God.

such health disparities and dilemmas. The very victim that I described earlier has since then taken

Like the flowers in a garden so is man

multiple steps to empower herself, including confronting her

We blossom, we radiate, we give life

perpetrator, having enough courage to take legal action, helping

But when things are hard, no wind, no water

other close friends in their own plight to recover, and pursuing

And sometimes hardly any shade

a master’s degree in counseling psychology with an emphasis

We tend to whither away and lose our freshness.

on helping rape and sexual assault victims. Unbeknownst to her, she also serves as one of my most constant and plentiful source of inspiration. As each day passes, it becomes more and more clear to me

Like the flowers in the garden, We can receive more nourishment To build back our strength

that because of this one woman’s journey, I would not have

We can receive spiritual graces

been able to make mine to reach the goals and destination

Only if we open our hearts and minds

that I have today at St. George’s. The journey that lead me to

Allowing God to intervene.

this day to finally gain an opportunity to pursue my masters at St. George’s University is not an isolated trek , but enmeshed

What is more precious than committing

with the trials and tribulations of this victim. Her fears were

ourselves to enjoying the beauty

my fears, her battle became my obsession, and her recovery

that God has given to us,

became my only want. Through the ride, however, I was able to

Let not the lives of selfishness,

gain a clearer understanding of why I wanted to commit my life

jealousy and hatred stand in our way.

to: public health. In addition to garnering a fresh perspective

Let go of the negativity

on what public health means to me, the next biggest lesson I

Open your hearts to the positive things around you.

have learned is simply that our journey is rarely ever our own,

Love God, Love yourself and Love nature.

but interwoven with shared experiences and continually shaped and affected by the impressions of others.

Catherine Ann-Marie George is Assistant to the Provost

Palak Shah is a current MPH student.

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ACADEMIC JOURNEY OF A PATHOLOGY COUPLE (HOPEFULLY NOT A PATHOLOGICAL COUPLE) ACROSS CONTINENTS FOR OVER 36 YEARS By Shivayogi Bhusnurmath, MBBS, MD (Path), FAMS, FRCPath

several countries. Our work always involved teaching medical students, postgraduate residents, clinical service, and clinical research. She was a cardiac pathologist, and I did liver and HE THEME OF THIS YEAR’S Mace is journey.

28

renal pathology. Our work has taken us from an 18 year first

What better journey can I document than my

innings at Chandigarh in India to Nigeria, the United Kingdom,

own with my wife who is also a pathologist.

Canada, Middle East, and finally we landed in Grenada in 1996.

Dr. Bharti and I met in 1974 while doing our

At that time we thought we would work here for a year and

residency in pathology at the postgraduate Institute of Medical

head back to India. It is nearly 15 years now since that time. We

Education and Research, Chandigarh in North West, India. We

have stayed in Grenada because of the exciting innovations we

came from cultures poles apart. I was from a family from South

could implement in the curriculum and develop diagnostic lab

India (Bangalore) and she was from a family that got displaced

services. It is an opportune moment to reflect on the various

from Pakistan during the independence struggle. Her parents

amusing experiences through this long journey.

came in as refugees leaving behind all their possessions in

The academic atmosphere in medical schools in India in

Pakistan. Her family became the receiving station for several

the ’60s and ’70s was quite different from what we see here

more related families who were forced to run away from Pakistan

in Grenada now. The professors were treated as incarnations

during the violence surrounding the partition of India in 1947.

of Gods or Satan. Either way the main motto was “avoid.” The

She was named Bharti in the spirit of independence (Bhart is the

main objective of the students was to be “invisible” as much

Indian name for India) when she was born in the years following

as possible. They did not want to be seen or noticed by the

independence. Her family led a nomadic life wherever they could

professor. It was almost a taboo to walk in the corridor outside

get jobs moving around several states including Kashmir, Punjab,

the professor’s office. You might wonder what the reason could

Delhi, Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Bharti grew up absorbing

have been—it was the “oral” or “viva-voce” exams which were

various cultures. She eventually studied medicine at the Lady

a mandatory part of every course/clerkship. Each student had

Hardinge Medical College in Dehli which is one of the oldest

to sit across a table facing the internal professor and two to

medical schools in India. That school was and still is exclusively

three external examiners from other universities. The external

for ladies. It also enrolled several scholarship students from

examiners had theoretically a major say on what grades you got

the commonwealth including the Caribbean. I studied at the

but in practice your grade was what the local professor decided

Bangalore Medical College. The culture of my family was quite

it to be. Often it had no correlations with the type of questions

different in every aspect from hers—food, language, customs,

they asked for the type of answers you gave.

social habits, religion, dress styles. The only common feature

If the professor liked you, you could ace the exams irrespective

was the well-educated status of our parents. Physically, too, we

of your answers. This privilege usually went to the female

looked the opposite ends of a spectrum in color and height. It

species since most of the professors, except those in Obstetrics

was probably the opposites that got attracted. We got married

and Gynecology, were males. The male students aced in that

in 1977 and have worked together in the same department in

subject. The universities also prided themselves in keeping high

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academic standards. That meant passing only 40% of students in any exam. There was no system of challenges or make up exams. If you failed any course you came back six months later to take the same exam. The professors prided themselves in the high mortality rate they produced in each exam. If your face looked in any way familiar to them, they would automatically assume it must have been due to some unprofessional behavior and fail

are called in for discussions unlike the North America medical

you, hence the motto of trying to be “invisible.” The grades also

schools where it is illegal to do so).

varied on “passionate” or “compassionate” basis. The “oral”

There are many more anecdotes from India but lets move to

exams were conducted in an alphabetical order. There were

Nigeria. We worked there from 1982—1985. It was the time when

two girls—“Bhagya” before me and “Bina” after me. Both had

AIDS was becoming recognized and patients were dying like

to pass because of their gender. The passing rate was 40%. I

flies. No one knew the cause. We had a Swedish colleague who

had to be at least three times smarter than the other boys just to

melted like a candle in front of our eyes in four to six weeks and

earn a passing grade. Anything less than that would earn me an

died. Bharti and I used to do fine needle aspiration biopsies on

“F” grade and a repeat exam six months later. There were boys

patients for lymph nodes, breast nodes, thyroid, liver nodules,

in our school trying to pass anatomy for 14 years unsuccessfully.

prostate, soft tissue tumors, etc. We did not use gloves for

The curriculum, which was revised every four to five years, had

getting a better feel of the lesion and occasionally suffered

moved on from old to new to revised to new revised during

needle pricks. We did not worry much till a notification came

their studentship in anatomy. The University rules stipulated

from the WHO informing about this new disease. The memo

separate examiners for each

stated that it was very

version of the curriculum in

contagious and everything

a course. So two examiners

connected with the patient

flew in from different cities

including the bed, mattress,

every six months just for this

pillows, clothing, etc., had

candidate in anatomy, failed

to be incinerated. There

him, and went back. The

was no diagnostic test at

examiners

the time. We lived in mortal

also

followed

Einstein’s theory of relativity

fear for years and by the

with

grace

some

modification

“everything is relative.” If you

of

God

escaped

unscathed.

had a relative in the right

Our work in Nigeria was

place (faculty, administration,

in the North at Ahmadu

political leader) you could pass

Bello

the exam without knowing

Zaria. The people were

anything about the subject. The lecture attendance was mandatory. If you had less than 80% attendance you were not

Dr. Bhusnurmath and his wife, Dr. Bharti.

eligible to take the exam. Each

University

hospital,

friendly,

fun-loving

relaxed.

There

mandatory

and

was

custom

a of

greeting everyone you meet in an elaborate fashion with

lecture started with a roll call, of course many students had

polite enquiries about the individual, the wife, the kids, the dog,

more interesting options in the big city than attending lectures.

the cat, etc. You finished greeting one and then you meet the

The usual practice was to take turns to give proxy attendance

next. Our first 30 to 45 minutes each morning when we entered

for friends in your group. When the names were called, the

the department was spent in this way. Each department had a

responses from the same student for several friends fluctuated

University car and a driver for your work. All work was official

from “yes sir,” “yesss sir,” “yeah,” “yes siiir,” “present,” “here,”

work. This included dropping your children to school, picking

to silently raising the right hand once and the left hand for the

them up after school, doing the groceries, going to the bank,

next. We had one class fellow who frequently intentionally got

visiting friends. All work in the hospital including operating

caught giving “proxy” calls. The professor will instruct him to

rooms closed at 12:00 noon because everyone had to go pickup

bring his father to the office to hear the complaints against his

their children. This was followed by lunch hour, prayer time, and

son. This student usually paid 5 bucks to a cabdriver or a laborer

then it was too late to go back to the hospital. At night all the

outside the school campus to come in as his father, listen to

intravenous drips were taken off at 9:00 p.m. because the nurses

the tirade, and go away. His real father never got a whiff of the

had to get rest (this included syntocinon drip which is given to

episodes. (In India the parents get reports of the students and

induce uterine contractions during labor). There was a severe

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29


water shortage all the year round. A woman would be admitted

Naira. Bharti gave 4 Naira and the lady gave her 2 bottles of

for delivery only if she brought two buckets of water. Abdominal

Vaseline. Bharti was surprised and tired to return one. The lady

hysterectomy (removal of uterus) was performed using

said she enjoyed the bargaining and hence the second bottle

multiple local anesthesia shots on the abdominal wall because

was a free gift for our baby. Nigerian traders had two types of

of shortage of general anesthetics. An interesting hospital

bargaining—ascending and descending. Ascending is the one

experience was for patients with anuria (failure to produce urine).

we are most familiar with. Descending is one where you give a

A nurse used to take a glass of water and pour it from a height to

high price. He will say yes. You keep reducing it until he says

another glass held lower down. The glasses were the switched

no.

and the process repeated. The sight of water cascading down

Another incident I will quote from Nigeria is about a

and the gurgling sound was supposed to induce urination. A

colleague of mine who lost his new VW “beetle” car. Car theft

still more interesting treatment was for priapism (persistent

was common because they used the engine for fishing boats.

painful erection of penis). Sickle cell disease was common and

We went to lodge a complaint at the local police station. The

these patients suffered from priapism when the blood vessels

cop was writing the report. My friend was trying to include in the

draining the penis got blocked by sickled cells. The treatment

records that one of the switches on the dashboard was missing because it was broken. The cop asked why he was so worried about a broken switch when he had lost

There was a severe water shortage all the year round. A woman would be admitted for delivery only if she brought two buckets of water.

the whole car. My friend explained that if it is in the record, it will help in the identification when they stop cars for checking. The cop laughed and said “who told you we will look for your car”. My friend was puzzled and shocked. He asked the cop what was the use of filing a report. The cop said you pay me 15 percent of the amount you expect from the insurance company. I will give you the theft report

was for a nurse to massage the erect and painful penis gently in

and a report dated three months later that we could not find your

a backward motion to drain the blood back. Of course one had

car. You take both to the insurance company this afternoon, pay

to be careful about not posting attractive nurses for this job as it

them another 15 percent of the amount you expect and they will

could further aggravate the condition.

immediately give you a check post dated for three months later.

In the community setting some of the words had a slightly

You don’t have to waste time running around. Justice dispensed!

different connotation. Bharti had gone to shop for some dressing

We got quite familiar with the 15 percent rule everywhere in our

material. She tends to preselect a few then make a final choice.

daily life.

She selected one material. She told the shopkeeper to keep it on

There was a financial downturn by 1984 in Nigeria (one of

one side and “don’t cut it”. He took his scissors and proceeded

the many) and the expatriates were not allowed to take money

to cut it. She screamed “don’t cut it”. He promptly cut it. She

out of the country. People started buying any electronic item

was upset and asked him why he had cut it. He told her that he

available to ship it out to their countries. We had to make the

followed her instructions—“done cut it”. They used the term

wooden crates for packing these items ourselves as there were

“done cut it” for “cut it immediately”. The term “don’t” sounds

no carpenters available and the few who were willing were

the same as “done”. She told him that she did not want the piece

very expensive. We all learnt the crate making art by interning

cut. He told her then say “Never cut it”. One lesson learnt.

with some other expat doctor who was leaving before us. The

They used to have a season called “harmattan” in winter

testimony to this experience was swollen finger tips where the

when the sand from the Sahara desert fills the air and is static.

hammer had landed by error instead of hitting the nails on the

The skin and lips get very dry and crack up. Vaseline is in great

head. One of the doctors made a beautiful crate in his living

demand at that time and becomes a black market item. Bharti

room around the huge refrigerator he had purchased. His

was bargaining for one bottle with a local vendor who was selling

happiness turned to sorrow when he realized that he could not

some of these out of a basket. The vendor started at 6 Naira

carry the crate out because it was much larger than the door

(Nigerian currency) and Bharti started at 2 Naira. They haggled

through which it had to exit.

and haggled for 20–30 minutes. Eventually they settled for 4

In the Middle East we worked at the Sultan Qaboos University hospital in Muscat (1992–1996). It was a beautiful campus. Oman is the only Muslim country in the Middle East where there are churches and Hindu temples. They have maintained their culture. There is no system of compulsory veils for women. Women can drive cars and travel alone (unlike some of the neighboring countries). One drawback for foreigners is

30

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that a local driving license is necessary. They do not recognize or reciprocate driving licenses from many countries. One has to take driving lessons from a local instructor. The instructors are difficult to find and communicate with. A few years before we joined, the university hospital community had found a driving instructor called Abdullah. He was supposed to be very good, but it was almost impossible to find him.

in the True Blue campus then. The Chancellery was still in the

One of the surgeons from India was looking for him. The

Grand Anse Campus where I was interviewed. Dr. Taylor said,

instructions were to call a particular number at exactly 9:00 p.m.

“Many pathologists record in their CV that they worked in this

and ask “Abdullah Maujood” (is Abdulla there). Ninety-nine

or that great department. Very few can write they built a great

percent of the time the answer would be from a female voice

department and a lab. You could have that opportunity.” We

saying “Mafi Maujood” (not there). You had to hang up. This

took up the challenge and needless to say are very proud of the

surgeon tried calling every night for two months unsuccessfully.

Science building with its great diagnostic, teaching, and research

Then he found by accident that Abdulla was admitted in his own

labs which we contributed to the planning. We have developed

ward for kidney stones (Abdullah is a very common name there).

one of the best curricula in pathology and pathophysiology. We

I joined the place two years after this surgeon. I managed to

have been invited to several international workshops and CME

finally fix an appointment with Abdulla. I was briefed by other

to train faculty not just from pathology but all other disciplines

doctors about his tricks of the trade. One of them would be

in medical schools in educational technology and curriculum

him asking you to pull aside and stop. It would usually be a no

development.

parking zone and he will scold you for not being observant. On

The academic scene in Grenada is quite different from the one

one of my outings he asked me to pull aside and stop. I told him

in India during our student days. It needed a lot of adjustment

I can’t. He kept insisting and I kept refusing. His face turned red

for us. By and large it is very productive and enjoyable. The

and he was very upset. He pulled the brakes from his side. The

tragedy is that we spend so much time attending to a small

car stopped. He opened his door, jumped out and went to the

minority of “entitled” and vocal students and have very little

edge of the road. His bladder was full and he wanted to take

time to enjoy and celebrate the academic success of the large

a leak! I had misunderstood his instruction because of stories

majority. Even though we work in this small island which is a

told by friends! Another time while I was driving he told me to

small dot on the world map, we get the best academicians from

put petrol. I promptly pulled into a nearby gas station. He asked

the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada to teach

me angrily what I was up to. I told him that I was following his

our students as Visiting Professors. They love to teach here

instruction to put petrol. He pointed the accelerator and said

because of the platforms for active learning and clinical context

when you press it, it puts petrol in the engine. So put petrol

teaching and evaluations we have developed. They regret the

means accelerate! On another occasion we were approaching

loss of these options for them in their own institutions. There

a round about (they were real huge ones in Muscat). He

are over 5,000 students whom we have taught during this small

ordered me “four roundabouts and right turn”. Very obediently, I finished one full round, started the second round when he shouted, “What is wrong with you?” I said he asked for four roundabouts. He glared and said, “Full round about.” His “full” had sounded like “four” to me. During our four years at Muscat we started a brand new residency program in pathology, got it and the pathology lab accredited by the Royal College of Pathology, London, UK. We had made all arrangements to move back to Delhi, India, to settle

We had always taught along with providing clinical services. Dr. Keith Taylor and Dr. Allen Pensick told us that until then no pathology faculty had asked for an opportunity to do clinical service.

down and start our own pathology lab. Then we got a chance to work at St. George’s in Grenada. We had never been to the Caribbean and thought it would be a good

period of 15 years at St. George’s.

idea to spend a year. But the job offered no clinical lab activity.

After moving to Grenada we met two physicians, one in

We had always taught along with providing clinical services.

Grenada and another in Trinidad, who had studied with Bharti

Dr. Keith Taylor and Dr. Allen Pensick told us that until then no

at the Lady Handinge Medical College in Delhi. After Hurricane

pathology faculty had asked for an opportunity to do clinical

Ivan damaged Grenada in September 2004, we were relocated

service. They had not planned for it. However, if we joined and

to the Barry University Campus in Miami to run the pathology

pushed for it, it could happen. There were only three buildings

course. We accidentally met a class fellow of Bharti at Miami

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31


about 35 years after their last meeting in India. Her daughter had done her premed in the United States and was at a loss because she had just missed the cut off mark to get into the US medical schools. We encouraged her to join SGU. Subsequently through networking, at least a dozen each of Bharti and my former colleagues discovered us at SGU, Grenada, and decided to send

on Saturday morning for vegetables. There was a lady selling

their sons and daughters to SGU medical school. Invariably all

tomatoes. Bharti asked her the cost. She said each was $1. Bharti

have performed exceedingly well. Now it is the turn of their friends

(with her past experiences in bargaining) asked her the price for

and friends’ friends who keep contacting us for their children’s

a dozen. The laid said $15. Bharti thought she misunderstood,

admission. We are not involved in the admissions but once they

she explained—$1 for each then it should be $12 for 12. I am buying 12 together so how much? The lady said $15. Bharti asked why? The lady said, “you obviously rich, buying 12 of them so you can easily afford to

We have met a lot of good people, had brushes with

pay $15.” The price in the market varies with your appearance. If you look like a foreigner the price

a few nasty ones, and have grown stronger because

shoots up. We know a faculty colleague who takes

of it. We have the satisfaction of touching so many

what he needs. She then goes alone to buy them at

lives very positively. There are no regrets.

his maid with him and shows her from a distance the regular “Grenadian” price. Life has taken us through this journey with a lot of ups and downs. We have met a lot of good people, had brushes with a few nasty ones, and have grown stronger because of it. We have the satisfaction of touching so many lives very positively. There are

get in on their own, we have to play the surrogate parents role.

no regrets. We spent the first 20 years of our academic careers

The role gets extended to the friends those children make in

mostly training excellent pathologists. We believed then that is

class. Thus after a gap of 35 years the second generation of our

was a great contribution to health care. We have spent the last

friends and family circle is moving to Grenada for education. It is

15 years training excellent medical students. We now believe

a small world indeed.

this is a greater contribution to global health care not just

The community in Grenada is very friendly. They teach you

because of the sheer number (over 5,000) but because they will

a new perspective on life—be content with what you have,

become better doctors and serve a larger patient community in

live and enjoy for the day, don’t worry about tomorrow (NO

a broader variety of disciplines.

PROBLEM MON!) We as Indians always worry about tomorrow,

Not a bad journey over this long period, eh!

our children, grandchildren, and hardly learn to relax. I will just quote one incident from Grenada lest this narrative exhausts your patience. In 1996 when we arrived new, there were no supermarkets. All the shops closed at 5:00 p.m. and were not open on Saturdays and Sundays. We had to go to the downtown market square

32

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Dr. Shivayogi Bhusnurmath is the Dean of Academic Affairs for St. George’s University School of Medicine. Dr. Bhusnurmath also serves as Chair and Professor of Pathology.


SAVING AFRICA’S WILDLIFE THROUGH PUBLIC HEALTH PROMOTION By Joseph Byonanebye, MPH ’09

material with man, there is a much more likelihood of diseases transmission. With its vision of promoting primary health care of people, livestock and wildlife in and around protected areas of Africa, CTPH aims to achieve this through its three interrelated programs: Human Public Health; Wildlife Health Monitoring; IKE ANY OTHER African-Ugandan young man,

and Information, Education, Communication and Technology.

never did I know that I would one day live on

In the area of community and maternal health, I have

the beautiful eastern Caribbean island and

sensitized mothers and their husbands to promote of family

pursue studies at this rather silent but well

planning. It is unfortunate that the number of women in their

known St. George’s University (SGU), Grenada. Many thanks

reproductive age who want to use modern contraceptives

to the Grenada Commonwealth Scholarship which offered this

but can not access them is still high, above 40%. Household

privilege to make my dream come true.

sanitation and hygiene remain a challenge; however I clearly

As a graduate of Public Health, I look back to appreciate the

agree with the fact that communities take up basic sanitation

immense knowledge, practical skills with which one can use to

because of the local volunteer sensitization efforts. As an

contribute to the rest of the world, and professional experience

occupational health professional, I envision that the National

that makes one comfortable to serve in developing Tropical

Park workers need a comprehensive Employee Health

Africa. I wholesomely believe that it is by the nature of the SGU’s

Program for their safety, productivity, and wildlife health. To

diverse culture, the international strength of the MPH degree,

those who love epidemiology, zoonotic diseases like scabies

and the dedicated faculty that prepared me to be what I am

and TB remain a threat, but vaccination programs have been

today in the area of public health practice.

of great value.

From SGU, I returned to serve in my mother land; Uganda a country endowed by nature and once called the Pearl of

We can save Africa’s wildlife; we can promote people’s health. Think Beyond.

Africa by Winston Churchill, a British Prime Minister. Currently I work as a Community Health Coordinator of Conservation

Joseph Byonanebye received his MPH in 2009. He can be

Through Public Health (CTPH), a Ugandan non-governmental

contacted at byojos@sgu.edu. For more information on the

organization and US registered charity. The heart beat of

Conservation Through Public Health, visit ctph.org.

CTPH is built on mountain gorilla conservation using public health approaches. Because gorillas share 98.4% genetic

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33


FROM MAYDAY TO TODAY By Roger Lincoln Radix, MD, MPH, MIB

cancer. When I had told Professor Walrond that I would like to live another five years, he became very quiet and serious and told me, “If you get five years you will probably get a lot more.” I knew that my time as a politician was coming to an end, but I had to make the most of the rest of my life. I needed to T WAS THURSDAY MAY 1 (“Mayday“), 1997, and I was

my life more meaningful. I needed to touch more people and

awaiting the verdict from my friend Dr. Garth George.

assist in maximizing their potential for development through

When he returned from making his rounds, I was fully

maintaining better health. I quickly realized that I probably

recovered from the sedative he gave me before he started the

would not be able to achieve all that I needed to if I confined

endoscopy procedure. Doctors, I believe should, from time to

myself to clinical practice.

time, be put in the role of patient. The experience can certainly

St. George’s University opened their Public Health

help to make us better doctors. “There is something in your

Department and Master of Public Health (MPH) program in

stomach,“ Dr. George said, “and it needs to come out.”

1999, and I made sure that I was part of the Charter Graduating

The pathologist worked on the biopsy over the weekend

Class in 2001. This was the beginning of my new life. I had been

and by Sunday we had the report which said “Adenocarcinoma“

District Medical Officer, Medical Officer Psychiatry, President

of the stomach. I consulted with Dr. Yearwood and Dr. Bert

of the Medical Association, Chairman of the National Drug

Brathwaite, and Bert contacted our former teacher at UWI, the

Avoidance Committee, Chief Medical Officer, Minister of Health,

eminent Caribbean Educator and Surgeon, Professor Walrond.

and since then Director of the HIV/AIDS Program. Something,

The days seemed to disappear because it was now Wednesday,

however, was still missing. I spent some time in the United

and I was in Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Barbados undergoing

States and took the opportunity to pursue studies in Cytology

a string of tests. Friday morning saw me in the operating theatre

and Cytotechnology. But I knew what I had to do. I needed to

where I recognized the anesthetist, Dr. Mosley, from former

contribute to our development by focusing on Health Policy,

days at Mona, Jamaica.

34

spend more time with my family, but I also needed to make

in a small room at the General Hospital St. George’s

Health Promotion, and Health Education. I decided to launch an

The pain was excruciating, but it told to me that the operation

organization called CHESS (Caribbean Health, Environmental

was over and that I was alive. This was a big relief. I had not told

and Safety Services). This would be the vehicle through which

my family the truth about the operation, but they suspected,

I would execute my plan.

anyway, that I was keeping something back. I guess I could now

Yet, something was still missing; I was not quite ready. Then

tell the whole truth. That truth was, at the prime age of 50 and

I realized that St. George’s University had started their MBA

being a medical doctor and the Minister of Health for Grenada,

program. This was the missing piece of the puzzle.

I was powerless to control being afflicted with cancer of the

I completed the requirements for the Master’s in International

stomach. But I needed to survive; not only to see my younger

Business in summer 2009 and launched CHESS in November

daughters grow up but also to help empower others in matters

2009. As we celebrate the first anniversary of the launching of

related to their health.

CHESS, things are beginning to come together. The CHESS

A week and two days later I was at the Grantly Adams Airport

Hotline articles in the newspaper have been attracting some

awaiting a plane to take me home. The following week, I reported

attention, and our new TV program “Doctor Shop” is beginning

to work. I had to be strong, and I knew that the Almighty had

to take shape. In addition, CHESS has been working with and

spared me for a reason. The post surgery pathology report

assisting a number of organizations including the Desk for the

indicated that the margins of the removed mass were free of

Elderly and the Catholic News Network Radio. We are also

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launching a community program aimed at youth, the Health POSSE (Health: Promotion, Outreach, Support, Services, and Education). This program aims at increasing knowledge about health, promoting healthy lifestyles, encouraging more

MISSING YOU By Catherine Ann-Marie George

responsibility, and being active participants in our own health as well as that of our family and community. We are just beginning to creep, but CHESS is alive and is starting to make some impact as well as provide some fulfillment of an important dream. But this is not the end of the story. I have been encouraged and supported in my efforts by both the Department of Public Health and the MBA program (now under AIM). I do feel extremely honored to have been offered an appointment as Adjunct Professor, Health Policy and Administration, by the current Chair of St. George’s Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Dr. Omur Cinar Elci. I am also grateful to so many others who have kindly provided inspiration and support to me during my time at SGU. They include Dr. Theresa Mc Cann, Dr. Zuri Amuleru-Marshall, Dr. Calum Macpherson, Mr. Ronald Peters, and Dr. Wesley Balda. St. George’s University has provided me with new skills and new friends. SGU has also started me on a new and exciting journey in my life and has given me the opportunity to make a more meaningful contribution to Public Health in Grenada and in our region. I look forward to further learning, sharing and to the achievement of my dream within the SGU family. I also believe that those of us who have experienced the blessings of SGU have a responsibility to work towards promoting and establishing this University as the premier institution for health and development in the Caribbean.

Today I am not the same without your presence I miss your guidance, your sharing, and your gentleness I miss your warmth, your hugs, your smile, your voice I miss your laughter, your confidence, your security I miss everything about you because you are special. When God parts dear friends he knows it is for a reason A reason for us to reflect, to think, to ponder It is a time for us to show our strength To realize that when dear friends part physically Spiritually the love shared remains in the heart Keep in touch—show the world that we are still friends Let our hearts continue to yearn for each other Let us remember those precious moments Moments of togetherness, sharing, laughter Just being there for each other Sharing our moments of joy with friends Joy is in my heart today I have the ability to remember I have the ability to reflect on those precious moments Catherine Ann-Marie George is Assistant to the Provost

Yet, we have an even greater responsibility. We must spare no effort to ensure that our youth can have a chance to follow their own dreams and not be daunted in their pursuit of further education and entrepreneurship. Dr. Stan Friday was laughed at when he began his dream with Glenelg bottled water. Our Chancellor Dr. Charles Modica was ridiculed when he first proposed a medical school in Grenada. However, these leaders were never deterred. With the examples of such great pioneers and with the support of St. George’s University, we can all help to inspire and motivate our youth. We must always encourage them to “Think Beyond.” Dr. Roger Lincoln Radix is Chairman of CHESS (Caribbean Health, Environmental and Safety Services) and an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine.

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35


AN ISLAND JOURNEY By Tammy Martin

Every term at the GAP new families arrive, filling the place of families just departed on the next leg of their journey. Some of the families stay for longer, and a few have been here since the beginning. While we, as participants at the GAP, will pass in and out of each other’s lives, the one stable reminder of our shared LL JOURNEYS BEGIN with someone taking

journeys will be the GAP.

that first step. Innate in this first step is

Through the GAP and its partnerships with other

the confidence and trust one will place in

organizations such as Children’s Health Organization Relief

themselves to know that no matter what

and Educational Services (CHORES), Autism Awareness, and

happens after that first step, they will endeavor to succeed.

the US Peace Corps as well as the SGU’s Significant Others

For many coming to St. George’s University as a student,

Organization, my journey, along with others from all over,

employee or a partner of the former, their journey begins long

continues here on the island. For me especially, it has been

before they even arrive. The journey begins with preparation

volunteering with the CHORES team and the development of

and planning, and in learning and discovering what life in

the Early Childhood Intervention Program (ECIP) at the GAP.

Grenada is all about.

ECIP assists Grenadian families and their children with

As the partner of a faculty member, that is what I did. Knowing

disabilities. It is a volunteer program, free to participating

what to expect and where to find things in Grenada is half the

children, and provides respite for their parents. It is an essential

battle; finding your place in the SGU and Grenada community

and vital program supporting Grenadian families with some of

is the second. Having done my research, I was prepared and ready to begin

the longest journeys that will ever be taken. Raising a child with a disability is a life-long journey.

living a new life in Grenada. We had found a beautiful place to

It is also a journey shared with many others. Teachers,

live, we had our personal belongings within six weeks of our

caregivers, therapists, councilors, doctors, family members,

arrival, and shortly there after we went to work for SGU.

community members, and volunteers, like us at ECIP, will all

Through work we met many people from all over the world

share in the journey of these children, even if only for a short

who were students, employees, or faculty, and through them we

time. It is through our relationships and partnerships that we

met many Grenadians and long-term residents from off island

are discovering new journeys to take together. While we, as

who had made Grenada their home. What enabled me to find my place here was the opportunity to work for SGU as the Director of the Grand Anse Playgroup

participants and volunteers with ECIP, will pass in and out of each other’s lives, the one stable reminder of our shared journeys will be ECIP at the GAP.

(GAP). Some of you may know of this little place down on Grand

I am beginning my fifth year of living in Grenada, and I have

Anse Campus. You may know it because your child participated

every intention of continuing to make this island my home.

in the family drop-in or the childcare program. You may know the

The best part about coming to Grenada is not only that it has

GAP as a student, staff, or faculty parent; as a GAP employee; or

been a journey for me, but living and working here allows the

even as a volunteer.

journey to continue. I am looking forward to where this journey

It has been my work and interactions at the GAP that have

will lead next.

given me my sense of place and belonging in Grenada. I have, for the past four years, had an incredible opportunity to share

Tammy Martin is the Director of SGU Grand Anse Playgroup.

in the journeys of so many people, their families, and the lives

She can be contacted at tamartin@sgu.edu.

of their children.

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Top: GAP kids on the grass, GAP 1st Annual Sports Day 2008. Above Left: Some favorite island products—organic chocolate and spices from St. George’s Market. Above Right: Children’s Health Organization Relief and Eduction Services (CHORES) team, Fall 2010. Left: Morning Circle with Tammy, Early Childhood Intervention Program at the GAP, Fall 2010.

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37


NOT A STRAIGHT ROAD By Shari M. Yudenfreund-Sujka, MD ’82

She told me I should be a doctor. I thought otherwise. I graduated from high school winning the Music Award, and went onto college as a music major. However, in addition to my music, I took science classes for science majors. At the beginning of my sophomore year the worst thing that could befall a piano major struck, I developed tendonitis in my left hand. For the OR OVER THE PAST FIFTEEN years, every

next eight months, practicing the piano was very painful. Finally,

November I have been volunteering in the

in April, I was able to play my December Jury and Area recitals

Orange County Schools’ Teach-In Program. It

for a Fall grade. My professor told me that he was going to give

is one of those things that I sometimes think that I get more

me a B++ for my performance. When I explained that there was

out of it than the students. And when the teachers tell me how

no such thing, he said it was not good enough for an A-, but it

important my story is to the students, I go back every year. My message to the students is clear; life is never a straight road and many curve balls will be thrown your way.

was better than a B+. That did it. I walked right from his studio to the administration building and dropped two years of music courses from my transcript.

When I was in kindergarten I had a music teacher named Mrs.

I then became very involved with the environmental studies

Belmont. I thought she was great. She was able to make us do

program and even took quite a few graduate level courses as an undergrad. I was convinced that I was going to go to Moscow, Idaho, to study wildflowers. When I told my parents of my plans, they said,

She believed that women could become whatever they wanted. This was the early ’70s when this

“If you study wildflowers you are financially on your own. But if you get into medical school, we will find some way to pay for it.” I had worked for years in the dish room of the cafeteria at college and handling

was a new concept. She told me I should be a

snakes for visiting school children. I had no money

doctor. I thought otherwise.

acceptance rate was dismal for American medical

so the choice was simple. Only in those days, the schools—especially for women. I graduated college in December and luckily for me, St. George’s University School of Medicine had a class starting in January. I had no idea what I was

things that I did not know kindergartners could do. I will never forget being chosen to sing the part of Maria in the Sound of

class yet. I was the only one in my class straight out of college

Music medley and singing around town at different functions.

and without either a Master’s or PhD in something useful. I was

Since I had taken piano lessons from the age of six and in fact

constantly struggling to keep up with everyone who appeared

played many different musical instruments depending on what

so much more qualified for medical school than myself.

the band or orchestra needed, I was set on being a music teacher. Then came seventh grade and my science teacher, Miss

38

getting myself into or that the school had not graduated its first

I met my husband Stan in the class ahead of me and I thought that it would be smooth sailing.

Denu. She believed that women could become whatever they

Not so. Stan and I started our residencies in Buffalo, New

wanted. This was the early ’70s when this was a new concept.

York—he in Surgery and I in Internal Medicine. In April of my

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first year, the chief residents asked me what I was going to do in July. I said I would be staying in the Internal Medicine program. They informed me that I had been signed up for the one-year program only and not for a three-year position.

SPECIALLY FOR YOU By Catherine Ann-Marie George

I was married and needed to stay in Buffalo. What was I going to do? At lunch one day I heard that the Anesthesia Department was looking for residents for July, so I went and got a position. And as they say, the rest is history. What the teachers like about my presentation is that it lets students know that they do not have to know what they are going to be and do right now. They can change their minds as life takes them different places and exposes them to different things. I did not go to Moscow, Idaho, to study wildflowers, but I photograph wildflowers and birds everywhere I go and have been able to enjoy the best of all worlds. We may not get what we want when we want it, but if you allow yourself to enjoy what comes your way to the fullest, then every experience and opportunity is a gift. Dr. Shari M. Yudenfreund-Sujka graduated from St. George’s University School of Medicine in 1982. She is board certified in anesthesiology and pain medicine and has published multiple letters and articles in various journals.

You awake special feelings within me. You break splinters of glass within me. Splinters that bond and blend our hearts together. A togetherness that I dream will last forever. You are the essence of my life. Without you life has little meaning. What you have done for me over the past years Will flourish and bring new meaning to my life. You have felt pains of my past life. You have shared the pains of my present life. You are always willing to help, and open Your ears to hear my pleas. I love You dearly, and with my whole heart. I love You more than words can say. I love you just as God wants me to love You And I hope You can love me just the same.

Catherine Ann-Marie George is Assistant to the Provost

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ST. GEORGE’S UNIVERSITY, SCHOOL OF MEDICINE, DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH AND PREVENTIVE MEDICINE By Dr. Satesh Bidaisee

many countries around the world. The department’s faculty, in addition to its international diversity, also represents local and regional scholars from the Caribbean, which also represents a deliberate effort to ensure the regional OR ST. GEORGE’S UNIVERSITY’S Department of

relevance and sustainability of the department. In 2010, the

Public Health and Preventive Medicine (DPHPM),

department welcomed new faculty members who have

the year 2010 marked an auspicious event as on

served to strengthen the resource capacity in teaching,

July 1, 2010, based on a review of its graduate

research, and service. These new faculty members include

public health program, the Council on Education in Public

Dr. Shelly Rodrigo, an epidemiologist from Trinidad and

Health (CEPH) granted a full five-year term of accreditation

Tobago; Dr. Kamilah Thomas, a health educator from the

for the Master of Public Health (MPH) degree. This significant

United States with Caribbean parentage; Dr. Roger Radix, a

achievement marked the culmination of the efforts on the

renowned local and regional medical practitioner and health

part of all stakeholders of the MPH program. The department,

administrator contribution to health policy and administration;

chaired by Dr. Omur Cinar Elci, is poised to become a regional

and Ms. Dianne Roberts, a Grenadian scholar in expertise in

and international center of excellence in public health

environmental management.

education, research, and service.

The faculty is encouraged to participate in research

The program’s mission is “to cultivate, produce, and

collaboration with other public health institutions and have

disseminate public health knowledge, to train practitioners, and

existing links with the Windward Islands Research and

collaborate with partners and communities to promote public

Education Foundation (WINDREF), Centers for Disease Control

health regionally and internationally through an integration

and Prevention—National Institutes of Occupational Safety

of education, service, research, and scholarly activities. This

and Health (CDC-NIOSH), National Institutes of Health (NIH),

mission is accomplished through community empowerment,

the Caribbean Health Research Council (CHRC), Caribbean

collaboration

continued

Epidemiology Center (CAREC), University of the West Indies

professional education opportunities, translating research

(UWI), and many others. Service links exist with Grenada’s

and knowledge through research-to-practice applications,

Ministry of Health and Agriculture and those of other Caribbean

and

team

concept,

offering

producing graduates of high quality, and aligning the program

Islands as well as regional and international agencies such as

with the community needs.”

the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), World Health

The department is also the academic home for many

40

Organization (WHO), Caribbean Community and Common

public health practitioners who serve as core, adjunct, or

Market (CARICOM), the United Nation Development Program—

visiting faculty members. The faculty includes 23 full-time

Global Environmental Facility (UNDP-GEF), and others which

members who comprise a team with many years of public

contribute to the academic experiences that our students

health experience as well as teaching, research, service, and

receive within the program.

workforce development activities. The faculty body, like the

In addition to delivering the core disciplines of public health,

students, represents a great cultural and ethnic diversity from

the department is committed to the One Health, One Medicine

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Sitting from left to right: Ms. Christine Richards, Ms. Dianne Roberts, Dr. Diana Stone, Ms. Anne Bartholomew (Chief Administrator), Dr. Muge Akpinar-Elci, Dr. Kamilah Thomas, Dr. Rohini Roopnarine. Standing front row from left to right: Dr. Roger Radix, Dr. Satesh Bidaisee, Ms. Shinika Peters, Dr. Shelly Rodrigo, Ms. Shantel Peters-St. John, Ms. Elizabeth Calliste, Ms. Millissa Joseph, Ms. Anika Keens Douglas. Standing back row from left to right: Dr. Emmanuel Keku, Mr. Bian Neff, Dr. Praveen Durgampudi, Mr. Gerard St. Cyr, Dr. Omur Cinar Elci (Department Chair), Mr. Kennedy Roberts, Dr. Calum Macpherson (Dean of Graduate Studies), Dr. Martin Ford, and Mr. Rohan Jeremiah.

concept, which serves as a foundation value and focus of

hazards in the work environment. This collaborative study is

collective production among its members. With expertise

coordinated by WINDREF, supported by SGU Small Grants

in medicine, veterinary medicine, public health practice,

Initiative, UNDP-GEF, and CDC-NIOSH. Additionally, our

anthropology and health education, collaborative outcomes in

workforce development evaluation has enabled our program

teaching, research, and service activities emphasize zoonotic

to respond to several needs within Grenada and across

diseases,

origin,

the Caribbean region. For example, several applied field

parasitology, stray animal control, insect and vector control,

environmental

contaminants

of

animal

epidemiology courses were developed and delivered to the

food safety, wildlife conservation, and occupational health

Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Agriculture’s Food and

and safety of farmers. To support these activities, the program

Nutrition Council in the academic year 2009–2010. In Spring

enjoys membership with the Food and Agricultural Organization

2010, the DPHPM developed a Public Health Surveillance

(FAO), Animal Welfare Network, and the International Society

course with the CAREC to address the need of students as

for Infectious Diseases

well as public health practitioners in the region.

As the department continues to serve the local and

The DPHPM will end the year of 2010 with a retreat of the

regional communities, workforce development and response

department together with its regional and international

to community stakeholders have served as the focus of

partners. The strategic plan and a review of current activities

its activities. The department continued its collaborative

will be examined. The DPHPM will chart the way forward as the

activities with the Grenada Cooperative Nutmeg Association

program aspires to maintain the highest quality of graduate

(GCNA) by conducting an Occupational Health and Safety

public health experience for its students and to benefit the

training session for all workers at the Gouyave Processing

local, regional, and international communities in meeting the

Plant. In 2010, the project was expanded to include several

global public health challenges today and for the future.

components

including

health

assessment

of

workers,

increasing nutmeg production as well as reducing land

Dr. Satesh Bidaisee is Assistant Professor and Deputy Chair of

degradation in the nutmeg fields and reducing health

the Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine.

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41


A REFLECTION ON SGU’S INTERNATIONAL MPH PROGRAM AND ITS RECENT ACHIEVEMENT OF THE CEPH ACCREDITATION By Faidah Badru

pre-medical student at St. George’s University, I ruminated over these thoughts over and over again and then finally decided to enroll in the dual degree program of medicine and public S A CHILD, I REMEMBER traveling to

health at the St. George’s University in Grenada. My decision

school everyday in heavy traffic with thick

to enroll in this particular institution was borne not only out of

clouds from car exhaust fumes. It was a

convenience but also because I realized the rarity of finding an

widely held belief, even amongst us kids,

institution with a striking diversity in students’ backgrounds, a

that these billowing fumes were responsible for illnesses. So

feature which I think is crucial to understanding the repertoire

even though we did not know about the research that was the

of the world’s cultures.

bases of diseases, we still attributed the frequency of missed

42

During my first term of the Master of Public Health (MPH)

school to air pollution. Adults also had to stay away from work

course, which was in summer of 2008, I was introduced to a

sometimes because they would have to provide care for the sick

group of about 15 to 20 students (this was the average class

child at home. I grew up in one of the most populated cities in

size) and faculty who were soon to become my family. We very

the world, Lagos, and I often wondered, though not for more

quickly became part of a very diverse but united community

than a few seconds, the other effects of the city on the way of

where no one felt left out. The globalization of the world has

life of the people. The city is a mega city and as such had the

made it necessary to deal with people from varying cultures

other problems of mega cities worldwide—poor sanitation,

and the diversity that my classroom affords serves as a powerful

overcrowding, poor infrastructural capabilities, poverty and

learning tool. The faculty was also excellent in their job

unemployment, and a host of others. The problem of pollution

performance and so we had a great combination but one thing

was one, but definitely not the only public health problem in this

evaded the program. We were not an accredited department.

part of the world. I was certain, even at that age of mine, that

I remembered wondering, what if I amass knowledge now but

something had to be done in the quest to reduce the issues

no one was willing to listen to my words, or worse still, no one

facing us. However, in Lagos, then and now, there are no well

was allowed to learn from me, or my expertise is not able to

implemented policies in place to address these issues. This was

be utilized? How then will gaining this knowledge help to get

quite disturbing and thus is the beginning of my quest into the

me closer to making my world a better world? So even in an

journey of a public health degree!

institution perfect for learning about the diversity the world

The journey of a thousand miles, they say, begins with one

holds, in a class that shows the possibility of a united world due

step. Once I became aware of the acute need, I resolved to

to our togetherness, we were not professionally recognized.

try to turn things right by seeking an education. But how do

This made my learning quite insufficient!

we educate ourselves about the complexities of the world;

However, I continued to strive to make the best of my

about the diversity of its inhabitants, about the different

education. After all isn’t what matters that I get the competencies

challenges posed by the different parts of it, about scales of

that I sought? Yes! But this was no consolation for me as I learnt

economics,and about empowering the impoverished; in short,

that to be a recognized public health practitioner both locally

about healing the world? It promised to be a daunting task. As a

and internationally, the Council on Education for Public Health

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(CEPH) accreditation was needed. Moreover, without such an accreditation, how do I compare the knowledge I will gain to those gained by people trained in other institutions? (Not that I had doubts in my abilities). At this point, I could only hope to earn the international recognition and professional respect I deserved as a secondary agenda while seeking competencies that will help me impart positive changes in my home country as

around to observe the newest additions to our family. Their

my primary agenda. Thus, I kept my fingers crossed waiting for

faces had become so familiar even as I had only met most of

the day providence would bestow its smile on the MPH program

them about two weeks ago. So my glance fell from a Nigerian

and get the desired accreditation. I recall attending some

girl to her Indian roommate who was sitting beside an American

meetings set up by the school for the accreditation committee

guy who was seated behind a Grenadian student and in front

who came to inspect and evaluate the program offered at my

of a Canadian student; but they weren’t even representative of

school. In retrospect, all these times were easy, because the

all the countries the class held yet. As the class went on and

most difficult part of the process was waiting for a response.

the instructor asked a question, the varying levels and depth of

Since every student is allowed up to five years to complete

the responses given, all shaped in part by each person’s culture,

their coursework, I was able to space out my courses so I could

was astonishing to say the least. To me, this was the optimal

accommodate my medical school coursework with guidance from

way to learn about worldviews and cultures. Alas, I was satisfied

my advisor. I continued interacting with the department while

that I will obtain an accredited degree from a university with a

doing course work in the medical school. While I was enrolled

diverse student body as is most appropriate for the learning of

for the summer term, I had a brief meeting with the chair and

a program created solely to improve such a complex world.

was intimated of the restructuring of the program in accordance with accreditation requirements with lots of changes in the departmental activities. Of course, this change was welcomed with mixed reactions both from the students and also the staff. However, the reactions were to be short-lived as we all became joyous when we got an e-mail from the public health department on July 1, 2010, notifying us of our new status as a program; the status of a CEPH-accredited public heath program. There were many reasons that this accreditation was so important for the department. In fact, different people had different benefits, but we all had at least one thing to gain from it. For

My decision to enroll in this particular institution was borne not only out of convenience but also because I realized the rarity of finding an institution with a striking diversity in students’ backgrounds, a feature which I think is crucial to understanding the repertoire of the world’s cultures.

me the reasons were academic, professional, economic, and increased recognition necessary for partnerships. The academic reasons include the validation of the curriculum and greater academic outcomes.

As I sat in the class learning and diversifying my view

Professional reasons are to improve employment and residency

of the world, I thought of were I had begun, the journey to

opportunities, to qualify to obtain board certification, and

achievement of a better world. I now knew through my varied

to enhance the national and international reputation of the

education that much can be done to help back in Lagos. At

program and the institution. The economic reasons include

least I not only thought of the carbon fumes now. I have

promotion of professional mobility and enhancement of

begun to realize greater complexities of the problems, how

employment opportunities as it assures prospective employers

policies can be made and how community can be developed

that the curriculum covers essential skills and knowledge. Most

by empowerment of the people. However the greatest lesson

of all, it assures that the program has been evaluated and has

of all was that just like my class, the whole world was in this

met a pre-set standard and thus demonstrates the program’s

struggle to improve itself together. In a few years time, I am

quality and viability.

certain that I will be ready to face the world I left behind a

Today, I entered a classroom with almost 40 students. This was the largest class ever since the beginning of the

couple of years ago with the competencies to mobilize others in the bid to better our world.

program. I see all the eager faces, with the desire to learn and the enthusiasm to change the world. And as I learn about

Faidah Badru is a St. George’s University School of Medicine

population dynamics and varying human world-views, I look

Term 4 student.

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43


SHIFTING THE FOCUS ON OVERPOPULATION Norain A. Siddiqui

lay. Similar to their animal counterparts, parents who believe their progeny are adversely affected by the environment they are born in (physical, social, or economic) may produce more children to increase the number of survivors. India, specifically, has the added prevailing mentality that EALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS are too

having a son is significantly more socioeconomically desirable

often called upon to treat the disease—and

than raising a daughter. This is manifesting itself throughout

only the disease. In an international climate

the subcontinent by the deliberate killing of female children,

increasingly affected by globalization and

either before or after they are born. According to the CIA’s

the myriad of health effects that result from it, it is becoming

World Factbook, the average worldwide sex ratio at birth

ever more essential to understand and remedy the causes.

1:1 statistic. In India however, only 88 girls are born for every

severe stress on finite resources, endangering the welfare and

100 boys, a drastically skewed ratio that is cause for concern.

livelihood of millions, and consequently making it a significant

UNICEF concludes the problem is only worsening “as the

public health concern. To date, most interventions to address

scientific methods of detecting the sex of a baby and performing

the issue only consider the results of overpopulation, calling

abortions are improving.”

for the redistribution of resources; studying birth, death, and

The anti-female bias inherent in the region is primarily due

infant mortality rates; and implementing antinatalist policies.

to multiple socioeconomic strains placed on a family when they

Instead of stigmatizing overpopulated regions as an affliction,

have a daughter. The extremely stressful cultural dowry—usually

would it not make more sense to gain insight into why there is

money, goods, or property that a woman brings to her husband

an underlying need to produce extensive progeny?

in marriage—can be an unbearable financial burden on a girl’s

Efforts to eradicate polio in India have failed in part due to

family. Though lovely in theory, it is often exploited in practice.

the local belief that the vaccine was actually an attempt at mass

Depending on the family’s wealth, dowries can range from

sterilization, proving that those in overpopulated countries

simple livestock to extravagant houses and cars, a system that

are not blind to the conditions they live in. Understanding the

bestows status upon the husband’s family yet simultaneously

cultural pressure to produce large families can inspire new

leaves the bride’s side in extreme debt. When betrothed,

policies that approach overpopulation from novel and probably

daughters traditionally also move in with their husbands,

more successful angles. While economists and policymakers

leaving their parents behind with no financial or social support

struggle to deal with uncontrolled growth and physicians are

in their old age. Sons, on the other hand, certify that property

beckoned to triage epidemics of health problems that result

is kept within a family and that parents have continued aid in

from overcrowding, they all might find it more worthwhile to

elder years. In some Indian cultures, male children also ensure

consider the causes of the issue rather than attempt to manage

that parents have an appropriate representative to light their

its chaotic effects.

funeral pyre. The partiality for males, therefore, has become

Families in developing countries have thinly-spread resources

an economic survival mechanism based on social customs.

and a severe lack of pre- and antenatal care, but they regularly

With modern technology ensuring male progeny, India is now

produce a greater number of children due to Darwin’s golden

experiencing the dire social and environmental consequences

rule: survival of the fittest. In the animal kingdom, offspring

of what can be categorized as simultaneous gender-specific

produced in hostile environments tend to be more in number;

genocide and overpopulation.

the most salient example being the thousands of eggs fish

44

is approximately 95 females for every 100 males, an almost

The world’s exponentially expanding population is a

MACE 2011

Though this issue is not commonly thought to be a cause


of population growth, it fuels the epidemic. Current legislation

education can women lobby to cap the dowry system, stringently

to curb female infanticide in India, such as banning the use of

control ultrasounds, and impose strict fines on doctors who

ultrasounds to determine fetal sex, is unenforced and therefore

perform sex-selective abortions. Social acceptance of female

inconsequential. The overwhelming pressure to have male

infanticide will be negated and fiscal reliance on males will be

children and the consequences that result from such a mentality

substantially decreased.

are rooted in Indian culture. The nation’s lack of notable social

The same mentality can be applied when addressing the

change and continued population growth has proven that

issue domestically. Addressing overpopulation should focus

narrow legislation targeting a small facet of the issue is un-

not only on the number of children produced, but also the

researched and ineffective.

reason for producing offspring in the first place. Whether

It is easy to pinpoint India and other developing countries

religion, culture, or lack of family planning resources contribute

as having a population problem since the negative results of

to the problem, reassessing the methods by which population

uncontrolled growth are amplified in dire living conditions. But

growth is approached in developed countries has the power to

if the experts decide to look at the root rather than the effects

significantly promote social change and community health.

of unwise family planning, the United States is also a strong

Medicine needs to branch out of its comfort zone, away from

contender. American media’s glorification of sprawling families—

the clinic and laboratory, and bring its expertise into grassroots

and audiences’ subsequent adulation—has turned Jon and Kate

fieldwork. The fact that the international community must tackle

Plus 8, Table for 12, and the Octomom into D-list celebrities.

an issue that has roots in both developed and developing

MTV’s 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom repeatedly declare barely

countries only resonates more loudly for a new approach.

pubescent girls as role models for dealing with pregnancy and

Having to address legitimate human rights concerns abroad

raising a child. Their televised struggle also serves as unwarranted

while competing with a babies-having-babies media craze in

publicity for unprotected sex to a demographic already dealing

your own backyard is hypocritical and illogical. Approaching

with raging hormones and peer pressure.

population growth from a broader, systemic viewpoint will

Public health often seems like an overly idealistic approach

undoubtedly provide valuable insight into the true nucleus

to solving health care discrepancies and injustices. Science and

of this ethical and environmental catastrophe, and possibly a

society value tangible evidence over social and psychological

solution that simultaneously incorporates women’s education.

change. Developing a vaccine or curing an ailment are simply

Economists, policymakers, environmentalists, and health

viewed as more miraculous than promoting the behavior

care professionals struggle to deal with uncontrolled growth,

change or prevention program that could negate the need

but thus far, most efforts have been directed towards only one

for the vaccine or stop the onset of an ailment in the first

end of the issue. The debate is reaching its apex at a time of

place. Because of this, evidence-based public health is rightly

global awareness and environmental saliency, and its increasing

emphasized so that the field can prove its validity and efficacy

prioritization calls for a new approach: one that considers the

in tackling disease. The issue of overpopulation serves as a

multi-factorial causes of the issue rather than attempting to

prime example in which public health can effectively merge

curb the number of lives that result from it.

with a myriad of other schools of thought to combat the epidemic on an international stage.

Norain A. Siddiqui is pursuing an MPH degree.

The education and empowerment of women is one of the most salient antidotes to the global population crisis. Educating

References

females has such a profoundly beneficial impact on society that it

CIA. (2010). The World Factbook – India. https://www.cia.gov/

is currently one of the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals. The World Bank declares, “girls’ education yields some

library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/in.html Kristof, N. (2009). “A Powerful Truth”. The New York Times.

of the highest returns of all development investments, yielding

Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/

both private and social benefits that accrue to individuals,

2009/08/20/magazine/kristof-audioss/index.html

families, and society at large.” In August 2009, New York Times journalist Nicholas Kristof

The World Bank. (2009). Girls’ Education. http://web.worldbank. org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/TOPICS/EXTEDUCATION/0,,cont

produced a short feature entitled “A Powerful Truth,” depicting

entMDK:20298916~menuPK:617572~pagePK:148956~piPK:2

the powerful socioeconomic effects of placing self-sustenance

16618~theSitePK:282386,00.html#why

tools in the hands of women. Success stories of microfinance for as little as two US dollars enabled women to become heads of households, the main source of the family’s finances, and pillars

United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. (2009). http://www.un.org/esa/population/ United Nations Population Fund. (2007). Characteristics of Sex-

of strength in the community. As such, the effects of advocating

Ratio Imbalance in India, and Future Scenarios. 4th Asia Pacific

women’s rights and access to education to substantially increase

Conference on Reproductive and Sexual Health and Rights.

the number of learned girls will undoubtedly be seen within the population debate as well. In India, for example, only with

MACE 2011

45


ON JOURNEYS By Steven B. Orkin

Certainly, working for St. George’s University the past six years has been among the highlights of my journey. As something of an idealist, I don’t feel it’s unreasonable to expect that if I’m going to spend a large percentage of my waking hours doing something, it should be something I enjoy and care about, something that I feel makes a difference. I’m pleased to report that is very much AM FASCINATED BY JOURNEYS. At the heart of every

the case for me. Quite simply, I use my flair for language to

story, every myth, every biography, every textbook—in a

help doctors get jobs. It’s a great gig, and though I can’t deny

sense, in every piece of recorded data we have—lies this

there aren’t times when aspects of it get a little tedious or even

intrinsic concept. For what is a journey? Quite simply, it is moving

exasperating, any such concerns are ultimately outweighed by

from one place to another. We need not make any distinction

the satisfaction of knowing that by taking this particular path in

between the literal and figurative, for a metaphorical or inner

my journey, I can look in the mirror with a sense of pride. I can

journey can prove equally, if not more transformative than a

have confidence that I have in some small way contributed to

physical one. In any case, it’s all a matter of how we look at it.

others being able to reach their goals and set off on their own

Being possessed of both a philosophical and analytical

chosen paths. It is both humbling and empowering. I am grateful

nature, I often find myself evaluating my life—where I’ve been,

for the opportunity to have served in this capacity, and I look

where I am, where I’m going. I search for meaning in the various

forward to continuing for some years to come.

destinations and sign-posts along the road. I try to determine

So, has my journey brought me fame and fortune? Am I

the degree of significance each item has, put them in context.

mobbed by adoring fans in airports? Do I drive a gold-plated

Though this proclivity has contributed to my overall level of self-

BMW? Am I a TIME Person of the Year candidate? The answer

awareness and insight, it only goes so far. Life, my friends, is

to all these questions is a resounding “No.” But that’s okay.

not a research project. It’s a hands-on, immersive experience,

At the end of each workday, I can leave my office with the

immediate and unpredictable, beautiful and terrifying. To fully

knowledge that I’ve worked toward something of substance

appreciate it, I have to periodically cut the power to my neat

and not dread coming back the following day. I go home to a

and orderly analysis circuits and embrace the moments, put

woman I’ve been married to for 14 years and still enjoy being

myself in the Now, and smell the roses.

with, and a remarkable nine-year-old girl who is growing into a

The journey is more important than the destination. For it is in

remarkable young lady at least in some part due to my efforts

the journey that learning, maturity, and evolution occurs. And it

as a parent. I endeavor to conduct myself with sincerity and

doesn’t have to be a particularly elaborate journey. It’s all in what

integrity and overall, I think I do a pretty decent job of it.

you take from it, and ultimately, what you give back that matters.

Though there is ever more work to be done, tasks to complete,

There’s a compelling argument to be made that things like raising

things to improve on, and challenges to overcome, all things

a decent human being, committing random acts of kindness, and

considered, life is pretty good.

conducting yourself with integrity are ultimately more valuable

In light of this, I leave you with the following:

than climbs up Mount Everest or treks across the Sahara. My own

Orkin’s Law of Traveling Salvation: Even the plainest

life has no such screenplay-worthy activities. The road has been

of paths can lead to greatness.

long, and though I plan on putting in a lot more miles before

Enjoy the ride…

I’m done, there have been plenty of dips, curves, inclines, and missed turns along the way thus far. Nevertheless, I’d like to think it has been a journey of substance and value.

Steven Orkin is the MSPE Supervisor for St. George’s University. You can learn more about him at his website, stevenorkin.com, and blog, orkinlaw.blogspot.com.

46

MACE 2011


I NEED TO WRITE By Donella Hosten

I need to write About the bloody wars that we fight, About the innocent people who lose their lives And the soldiers who never return home to their children and wives. I need to write, to get out all my thoughts To figure what is and what’s not

I need to write because I have the right to write,

In this world that we live in today

About that right that you tried to take from me

Where everything seems to be in disarray, but we accept

When you didn’t want me to be what I wanted to be

it as okay.

When I was striving to be somebody And you told me that I was a nobody.

I need to write about that man who died for us Who suffered and bled to death on Calvary’s cross. About the deeds we do and know are evil Yet we do them continuously and blame the devil.

I need to write ‘cause I never thought I’d live to see the day when The United States would have a semi-black president And women would be allowed to be rulers of nations

I need to write about the history of me

And make such significant decisions.

About great men like Mahatma Ghandi, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X who fought for equality

I need to write to show you that I can make it

So that generations after them could live in prosperity.

That I no longer have to ‘stick your shit’ That I can rise above your criticism

I need to write about all these things

Because I am overflowing with confidence and optimism

About being discriminated because of the colour of my skin About the black people who wished they were not

I need to write about what is real

I’m telling you, this has got to stop.

About what I taste touch and feel.

I need to write about my forefathers

About my need to write

I need to write because it is my right to write Who were auctioned off and sold by slave traders. They were beaten and whipped across their backs

Donella Hosten is pursuing her BA as a Psychology major in

And the only crime they committed was being black.

the School of Arts and Sciences.

I need to write about our black history About the dreadful days when we were victims of slavery When our forefathers were stripped of their rights, And found themselves in some deadly plights.

MACE 2011

47


ST. LUCIA PRACTICUM AND HURRICANE TOMAS By Chrislyn N. Lashington

contact my loved ones in Grenada. The hurricane itself caused much devastation, but the after effects might prove to be just as or more harmful. I started my practicum experience on that Monday, and by Tuesday I was in assessment and planning meetings with the Ministries ARRIVED IN THE VERY GREEN AND mountainous

of Environment and Health. Water was definitely the major

St. Lucia on Thursday morning eager to learn and

problem; all health, sanitation, food safety, and somewhat

experience the island. My purpose here was to fulfill the

vector control issues lead back to the lack of water. Isn’t it hard

practicum component of my Master of Public Health

to believe that an island as lush as St. Lucia would be in a water

degree with the Caribbean Environmental Health Institute

crisis during the rainy season? Water intakes, located very high

(CEHI). Exploring the island’s undulating landscape, anchored

up in the mountains, proved to be inaccessible to water trucks.

with waterfalls and sulphur springs, as well as sampling the

With the emerging pipes damaged, it would take days or even

nightlife was on the hidden agenda—just so that I could

weeks to restore water in the pipes. In the desperate cry for

abide by the all work and no play rule. Even with a tropical

water, persons were seen pumping water out of the Castries

storm warning Friday evening, my newly found party gang

River, which was filled with silt and garbage. It was worrisome

and I ventured to Anse-La-Raye’s “Seafood Friday” then onto

seeing the alternate water sources being tapped into, as well as

a nightclub in Rodney Bay to capture every boom in the bass

the means, if any, of purification.

line. Perhaps we were indeed so high on the music that it didn’t occur to us that there weren’t so many people out.

The status of dengue fever in St. Lucia was already approaching an epidemic, and there are now expectations for

Saturday, two days after my arrival, Tropical Storm Tomas

the increase in cases given the current situation. Mud, which piled

became a Category 1 hurricane and was the umbrella of St.

up everywhere in Castries’ town after the hurricane, was sun-

Lucia until Sunday. At my apartment in Castries the winds

dried and became dust particles circulating in the atmosphere.

were intermittent, but rainfall was constant for hours into the

The quality of the dusts was unknown. The topography has

next day. Mudslides, uprooted trees, fallen electrical poles,

been changed in many areas: landslides smoothed the hills of

and overflowing rivers greeted the St. Lucian’s Jounen Kwèyol

the forest, rivers claimed new territory, and mud created more

(Happy Creole) on the day in which was supposed to culminate

planting spots.

celebrations. The rush for the supermarkets and gas stations

My practicum that was geared towards rainwater harvesting

were on as the rough weather subsided. Persons raided the

and water safety projects automatically converted to rapid

candles stand and heavily stocked up crackers, canned sardines

disaster response inclusive of ensuring water security, food

and tuna, and other “hurricane foods.” I waited about an hour in

safety, vector control, proper waste disposal, and disease

line to cash my goods—a wait that felt like a relaxing day at the

surveillance in the first week.

beach, knowing the dire need.

Meanwhile, the candle is almost burnt down…

Coping without electricity and water was no problem for me; I’ve had much practice from our own experience of Hurricane

Chrislyn N. Lashington is an MPH student following the

Ivan of 2004 in Grenada. I eventually gave away my unfrozen

Occupational and Environmental Health track.

packet of sausage to a very grateful woman down the road, but it was hard to throw away my beloved cheese. Pipe-borne water was not available and I now have a new appreciation for baby wipes. Thankfully my apartment’s telephone line allowed me to

48

MACE 2011


TOO PROUD TO LEAVE By Adam Bied

A bronze statue of a fisherman honors those lost at sea while fishing in the waters off Long Island, New York. often adorned with long beards and mustaches. Their hands are callused from arduous toil. Billy Joel spoke for the Bonnackers T THE HEART OF THE island chain called the Grenadines lies the island of Grenada— to the north along this archipelago is Barbados, to the south Venezuela, and along either side the Caribbean Sea. While standing atop the peaks of the Grand Etang preserve one can view the great vistas of the most mountainous island along the chain—Grenada. On the North side is a massive volcanic crater cradling a lake, to the East lays a narrow path lined by thick undergrowth, to the South the capital city of St. George, and on the West the fishing village Gouyave. Gouyave has a well known reputation for both its tradition of fishing and isolation from the tourist industry, which has influenced much of the island. Every Friday the local people of this township sell their catch, with festivities reflecting the cheerful culture of this island nation. My time here as a medical student, beside the sea, along side a place recognized for fishing for generations, reminded me of an experience I had while I was still a child while living in East Hampton, New York. East Hampton lies at the Eastern tip of Long Island and is one of New York’s most unique villages. It is home to the rich and famous as well as the poor struggling Bonackers. The Bonackers, nicknamed for Bonnack Harbor, are the original settlers of the area. They earn their living by fishing the sea. The lives of the wealthy are frequently chronicled in the local newspapers and magazines. The Bonnackers, however, are hardly noticed and their spoken words often fall on deaf ears. They are fishermen who provide fresh seafood, especially the prized striped bass, for restaurants throughout the Hamptons. I have spent every summer in East Hampton since I was a child. I feel that our summer house here is more than a house; it’s my home. The air is clean here and smells of the sea. The views are breathtaking. The fishing is the best in the world. In the late afternoon I would go down to the dock and watch the baymen unload their catch. Their haggard sunburned faces are

when he sang “…to proud to leave, I worked my fingers to the bone…” in his heart wrenching song “The Downeaster ‘Alexa.’” In 1993, legislation was proposed in New York state banning the sale of striped bass. Lobbyists, financed by sports fishermen and restaurant owners, instigated this legislation. They felt this would promote more sport fishing and increase tourism. However, such regulation would destroy a way of life for the baymen, who have defined what this area has been for three centuries. The Bonnackers had neither a lobby nor the influence with the state legislature to stop regulation and reduction of their annual fishing quotas. All they could do was watch helplessly as their means of livelihood slowly disappeared. It was during this summer that I witnessed my father, a physician and baymen advocate, join songwriter Billy Joel and 19 baymen to protest this regulation. They gathered along the beach in Amagansett and used an illegal net to catch striped bass, a violation of the state quota law. They were all arrested and pleaded “NOT GUILTY!” Thomas Jefferson once called such peaceful rebellions “a medicine necessary for the sound health of government.” There was an outpouring of support: a team of 20 renowned lawyers represented the protestors on a pro bono basis and the incident received national press. As I sat in court clenching my father’s hand, I heard the defense attorneys present strong arguments about civil rights, colonial patents, and environmental law. The judge had no other choice than to dismiss the charges and the protestors were set free. As I walked from the crowded court room, I had learned that a physician can help the sickness of a person as well as that of a republic. A monument has since been erected next to the old Montauk Lighthouse commemorating those baymen “lost at sea while fishing these waters.” I often visit this memorial and it always reminds me of that day on the beach when these men fought for the sea. Adam Bied is a St. George’s University School of Medicine Term 4 student.

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SPORT FOR HEALTH AT THE LORDS By Patrick Orr

young sprinter Kirani James, currently studying and training at Alabama University. Kirani has posted faster times for the 400 metres than Usain Bolt at the same age and is his country’s great hope for the London Olympics. It is with Kirani and his fellow Grenadian athletes that RENADA RETURNED TO the historic House

WINDREF will hope to work to inspire young people in

of Lords in London last November on a mission

Grenada to concentrate more on sport and fitness. There are

that combined the twin objectives of a healthy

growing concerns about childhood obesity and chronic non-

lifestyle for young people and sport—and the

communicable diseases such as diabetes in Grenada – not least

inspiration of the London Olympic Games in 2012.

the challenges of the Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) of

The occasion was a fundraising dinner to launch “sport for

the Caribbean, the subject of the last WINDREF dinner at the

health in the Caribbean,” organized by WINDREF (Windward

House of Lords in June 2008. At the dinner in November, an

Islands Research and Education Foundation), as well as supporting the Grenada Olympic team preparing to take part in the London Olympics. The dinner was sponsored by

expert on the NTDs, Professor Alan Fenwick, said that the NTDs “should be diseases of the past. Yet they linger on.” So, for a start, Grenada’s Olympic hopefuls will, early next year, be asked to become sporting ambassadors for the ‘sport for health’

Watch out for Grenada’s success in the London Olympics.

campaign—attending sports days and

We are at the start. Let’s hope for a great finish.

The idea will be to get the whole nation

sporting

occasions

across

Grenada.

focused on the campaign—and, indeed, on the Olympics. As keynote speaker Sebastian—now

WINDREF’s President, Lord Soulsby of Swaffham Prior, and

50

Lord—Coe said at the dinner “London 2012 promised to use

Baroness Howells of St. Davids, the only Grenadian in the

the power of the Games to inspire change and part of that

House of Lords. It was fully endorsed by the Grenada National

change was to re-engage young people around the world with

Olympic Committee – whose President, Royston LaHee, flew to

the Olympic Movement. Your campaign to inspire a healthier

London for the event. Also present was Grenada’s sensational

generation of youth and work with sporting ambassadors across

MACE 2011


Left to Right: Trevor Noel, ex officio WINDREF (UK) board member and Dr. Macpherson’s deputy; Dr. Karen Lawson, WINDREF (USA) board member and founder of REACH Grenada; Royston LaHee, President of the Grenada National Olympic Committee; Lord Sebastian Coe KBE, Chairman of the London Organising Committee of the 2012 Olympic Games; Kirani James, Grenadian Olympic athlete; Dr. Calum

JOURNEY By Kerrisha Nelson

Macpherson, Director and Vice President of WINDREF; Lord Lawson Soulsby of Swaffham Prior, President of WINDREF; Dr.

The outcome of my life depends on the results of my journey to

Richard Summerfield, WINDREF (UK) board member; Dean

the known and the unknown, the poem below will expound on this

Margaret Lambert, Secretary/Treasurer of WINDREF (USA)

statement:

board; Charles R. Modica, Chancellor of St. George’s University; Baroness Rosalind Howells of St. Davids OBE, member of the WINDREF board; Patrick Orr, WINDREF (UK) board member.

J

ovial dreams towards my path to success then looking at it take a different direction.

O

bstacles along the way that I must overcome to reach my

U R

destination of victory.

nderstanding that my life is not a plan of activities but the

your schools, shows what imaginative thinking is going on all over the world. I congratulate you for that.” Lord Coe is Chairman of the London 2012 Organising Committee and a double Olympic gold medallist. WINDREF Director, Cal Macpherson, described the dinner as “a considerable success” with funds boosted by a generous donation from Kirsten Rausing. There was tremendous support, too, from St. George’s University—with Chancellor Charles Modica and his wife Lisa attending their second House of Lords dinner—and from the universities of Northumbria and Sunderland. Karen Lawson—whose REACH Grenada charity does such valuable work—was there again with her son Mackenzie John, and the Jason Roberts Foundation—which works with young sports people in Grenada—was well represented.

choices I make in my path.

ighteous judgments taking me to the path of the unknown.

N

ever letting the terrors of failure keep me down instead using the power of persistence to reach my goals.

E

verlasting relationship with my Almighty Father in heaven will maintain my walk in His designed path for me.

Y

earning to accomplish every goal in my life despite of life’s challenges.

Other senior Grenadians included the Minister of Tourism, Glynis Roberts; her Permanent Secretary, Marilyn Austin-Cadore; Grenada’s High Commissioner in London, Ruth Elizabeth Rouse; and Denis Noël, whose Nut-Med is used around the world for the

Kerrisha Nelson graduated in 2008 with a BSc in Information

relief of pain from arthritis and joint inflammation.

Technology.

As Baroness Howells said in her concluding remarks, “Watch out for Grenada’s success in the London Olympics. We are at the start. Let’s hope for a great finish.” Patrick Orr heads Raitt Orr & Associates, the public affairs organization in London, which has been working with St. George’s University since 1999. He is also Executive Director of St. George’s University’s UK Trust and sits on the UK Board of WINDREF.

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TIME By Arthur Fine, MD ’81

glass entryway, calling out their intended location for our later rendezvous. Undaunted, I proceeded past the guard without so much as a nod and took the elevator to the twelfth floor. There I found my friend, in his usual sartorial splendor of faded jeans and purple canvas Converse hi-tops bound with yellow laces, Y DEAREST PAMELA, It was whilst I lay in bed last night—the television droning in the

“C’mon. Let’s go.”

background and Joey already gazing

“Okay, give me a minute. I’ve gotta give ‘em these results.

out the French doors hoping to catch sight of a nocturnal rabbit

While surrounded by an impressive array of glowing numbers

to fire his canine dreams—that my own thoughts, as they are

on banks of electronic apparatus our studies sadly predated

wont to do every night, went, not so idly, to you. I know that you

all but the largest of computers and so I watched my friend

have been casting about for ideas for a story and were it not

tabulate his data by hand whilst I idly twirled a dial just to see

for my recent trip to Montreal and my meeting with my college

the pattern of the wavering blue line on an oscilloscope. I left

friend, Ed, my memory of an event, more of an encounter, from

the device, hopefully at its original setting, to follow Ed into an

those days may have remained lost in a haze of outrageous

adjoining room, stooping to retrieve a crumpled paper that he

consumption. Instead I find that I have, perhaps by no mean

had lost from the sheaf he clutched under his arm.

chance, seen what is either the conclusion of promising life or a glimpse of a possibility I had too quickly dismissed.

Professor Newton could have been discovered by Central Casting, were he not rejected for hitting the stereotype too

As I said, it had been a Friday and the usual suspects—that

close to the mark. Thin and reedy and of indeterminate age,

being myself, Doug, and Pierre—having quickly abandoned

his bespectacled face featured a small goatee and his frame

our texts at the dorm, were making our way to the Union, there

bore a knit vest under the requisite tweed jacket. But where I

to recruit adventurous French girls to join us for a stroll to the

had expected a slide rule, instead his hands caressed a replica

old city, then to select several of the tastiest live lobsters from

of the gleaming red number seven car of NASCAR. His head

the market using the skills we had gleaned in comparative

lay almost atop his desk as he seemingly searched for some

invertebrate anatomy in a fashion our professor, I am sure,

mystery he glimpsed up the race car’s tailpipe. I was prepared

intended for more industrious use. Sadly, and judging by the not-

to bolt for a more promising locale, had Ed truly required just his

too-subtle grimaces that distorted the faces of the occasional

‘minute’ but was forced to cool my heels while Ed meticulously—

mademoiselle, accurately, my taste in wine would have to wait

and uncharacteristically, I thought, given the state of his dorm

several decades for your instruction.

room—filed each individual sheet of number strewn paper.

First, however, we required the completion of our group by the addition of the now infamous Ed Stopa, who toiled as a dutiful research assistant, if not servant, in the Molson Engineering Tower, a steel and glass edifice in what was otherwise a near medieval looking campus, under the watchful eye of Professor

52

his stringy hair falling from his head a match for the sparse moustache that clung precariously to his upper lip.

“Are you a race fan, professor?” I asked passing the time. “Hmm? What? No. I see, the car. No my boy, I am a fan, as you said, of time.” “Oh, I’m sorry, sir.” Did he say, ‘time’? No. “I’ll wait downstairs.”

Newton, a quirky irony not lost on his physics students but to

“Oh no, not MY time. Just of time itself.”

which he seemed oblivious.

“But the car?”

Impatient for what was most likely a chance to be rebuffed

“Yes, the car.” He looked up from the mysteries of the exhaust

in their amorous quest, Pierre and Doug abandoned me at the

system to fix me with a piercing gaze. ”Have you heard of

MACE 2011


‘drafting’?” “Yes, of course. You’re referring to one race car tucking in behind the other so as to reduce drag.” I responded as a student is conditioned to. “Exactly.” He smiled. “Now can you picture time in such fashion?” “Sir?”

I failed to respond, casting a surreptitious glance at my

“I’ll explain. Time is a stream, moving in linear fashion from then to now and on to then in which we are borne along.” “Yes.”

watch. Doug and Pierre would be well into their third beer and at least their second prospective rejection. “The tachyon is not electronic nor seemingly volunteering to

“And what bears us along?”

be measured yet, as I say, we, we humans seem to be able to

“Well, of course in a stream it’s water, but what particles

perceive it though we dismiss our own senses as misleading.

make up the stream of time that carries us I’m afraid I cannot

Relative. Professor Einstein would be disappointed. It seems

say, professor.”

that the Creator has endowed us with the ability to perceive time

“Just so. Nor can anyone else. Yet. I have postulated the

and, though we remain unaware, to manipulate it through brain

existence of a particle known as the tachyon, owing to its speed.

chemistry. Though who is to say whether we even understand

Tempus fuget, after all. Time flies.”

our own brain’s quantum machinations. No, my boy, we can hurl

“And you have found such a particle?” I glanced about, lost

ourselves into the time’s wake, just as our number seven here,

in his reverie, perhaps hoping to see a doorway beyond which

and be borne along, arriving breathlessly at our destination,

this fellow from a Jules Verne novel had constructed his time

eyes wide, skin glistening with the intensity, the excitement of it

machine.

all, exclaiming at the exhilaration of it all.”

“No, there is no machine. Let me explain further.” He went on,

“Or looking back as we say, ’That sucked’.”

seemingly appreciative of an attentive audience. “You see, time,

“Or that.” He admitted, but then quickly picked up where he’d

as professor Einstein demonstrated, is relative, eh? We all knew

left off. “Unlike the detritus along the highway, which is cast into

this instinctively, however. Well before his famous equations.

the path of oncoming traffic, we have will. We can pull the lever

‘Time flies while your having fun?’ ‘A watched pot never boils?’

right here.” He tapped on the side of his skull again. “For while

And surely you have heard them refer to that hockey fellow,

time flies while you’re having fun, time drags in class, eh?”

Mario, or some such, as someone for whom ‘the game slows down?’” “Surely you don’t mean…” I would need to get Ed alone someplace to have him rethink whose coattails he had affixed himself to in his hopes for graduate school. “Yes, indeed I do. Time is inevitable. Inexorable. But have you ever seen a leaf, a piece of litter, caught up by the passing of a automobile and, just for a moment, without any motive power of its own, traveling at a fantastically high rate of speed?” “Yes, of course. But it then falls back.”

It seems that the Creator has endowed us with the ability to perceive time and, though we remain unawares, to manipulate it through brain chemistry. Though who is to say whether we even understand our own brain’s quantum machinations.

“Exactly!” His hands slapped the desk. “If it stayed there…” “Drafting?”

“Often.”

“Yes, drafting, it would continue on to the car’s destination.

“Just so. And if we can only consciously change our own brain

As do we, caught by the inexorable pull of our little friend the

chemistry, slow it down, depress ourselves enough, time will

tachyon.”

pass us by. We can step out of the stream of traffic and watch the

“This is fascinating, but frankly, to what end?”

future recede until the past catches us like a page of newsprint

“Why, time travel, of course.”

on the road and we are borne along again, finding ourselves in

There it was, the elephant in the middle of the room that we had been tiptoeing about. “Yes sir, to be sure. Maybe one day, but as you say, there is no tachyon. Alright, yet. And no machine.” “Ah, but there is.” He smiled. “Right here.” He pointed to his head.

the past.” “And you propose that this can be done?” “Not in body perhaps, but in mind. Into my own past, remaining conscious of the future, retaining the experiences and information from the years I won’t have seen yet.” “But again, to what end? To change the future?”

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“Nothing so terribly dramatic. No, my thoughts are much more prosaic. Perhaps just to buy Apple stock when it is a one dollar IPO. Perhaps.” His attention was drawn back to the gleaming surface of the toy car at the same time as Ed finally finished his interminable filing. You know me too well to be impressed by anything I might

were dull. I had no desire to reacquaint myself and was about

tell you of how our night at the student Union proceeded.

to turn to leave until a movement caught my attention. I knelt,

Suffice it to say that I do have fond memories of my time in

looking at the eyes of Professor Newton. They moved quickly,

school, though until recently, Professor Newton was lost in the

jerking from his right to his left where they bounced against the corner of his lids and back again. I could almost see the cars racing past, his eyes following each one as it screamed past on its way. To where. Or when.

He was correct as well, dearest Pamela, that we are meant to arrive breathless and smoking at the finish line, skin glistening with perspiration, eyes wide in exhilaration.

“Nystagmus.” “What?” “It’s

nystagmus.

That

eye

motion.

It’s

disconcerting but it’s a side effect of his depression. Exacerbated by the medications we have to give him.” Of course. He’d done it, you see. He’d succeeded. He had disappeared into the recesses of his mind and found the lever that the Creator had wisely concealed from us and pulled it. He had

dim recesses of my mind.

become so depressed that time had indeed passed him by and

I was not to see, nor speak to, Ed for what is approaching 20

now he was trapped in his past. Was he, as he hoped, aware of

years until my invitation to speak at the Royal Victoria Hospital.

who he was back there, somewhere? Or was he trying to rejoin

I knew Ed to be on the faculty, a department head, if you can

the present, trapped by the fear stepping back into the path

believe it, in the section of Neuropathology. I excused myself

of the screaming tachyons that rushed past him, like an elderly

from the small reception that had been organized around my

woman afraid to cross the busy intersection.

engagement and found my way to Ed’s office, my footfalls echoing down the granite and marble hallways. He hadn’t changed and we quickly became immersed in each other’s memories of the other’s exploits, or more likely, misadventures. ”And what of professor Newton?” I laughed. “What a character.” Ed’s face turned somber. “Yeah.” He agreed. “He’s been in the hospital for years.” “What?” My amusement choked off. “What happened?” “He’s here, by the way. Would you like to see?” “Uh, sure, Ed.” I didn’t want to refuse my old friend however

He was correct as well, dearest Pamela, that we are meant to arrive breathless and smoking at the finish line, skin glistening with perspiration, eyes wide in exhilaration. Not like this. We left Professor Newton wherever he was, but I am haunted by something I overheard from the burly orderlies as we took our leave. “The worst thing, y’know, is he’s got nobody.” “I heard he’s loaded.” “A lotta good that’s gonna do ‘im.” “Yeah, whose he gonna leave all that stock market money to?” I hope this finds you well.

the stuffy hors d’oeuvres were becoming more appealing. I followed him down several corridors, crossing over a covered walkway to a building whose imposing gray stones and

Your, Always, Art

parapets piled upon one another overhead. Ed pulled a key ring from his pocket and opened the steel clad door. Silently

Dr. Arthur Fine graduated from St. George’s School of

we signed in at the wire covered cage in the center of a large

Medicine in 1981. He is in private practice at Jefferson Regional

room and followed the direction the caretaker’s finger that

Medical Center in the South Hills of Pittsburgh, where he

pointed further down another echoing hallway, the sound of our

serves as Chief of Surgery. As a result of his research efforts in

reverberating footsteps now joined by shrill cries and moans

laparoscopic surgery, Dr. Fine has published a landmark study

from behind the locked doors that lined the walls.

of laparoscopic surgery for colon cancer in the New England

“This is it.” The goatee was still there, albeit turned to gray, but the eyes

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MACE 2011

Journal of Medicine, and has developed a totally biologic hernia repair. He also served four years in the US Air Force.


IF LIFE GIVES YOU LYMES, MAKE LEMONADE By Sasha Sabir

optimistic that I would soon pursue them. My optimism only flailed when I developed a first-degree block in my heart. I felt desperate for an answer. Seven weeks into my symptoms a Lyme serology I had requested from my doctor came back saying I had tested positive. I felt jubilant. WOULD OFTEN LOSE MYSELF in the passion of my

Finally. I had an answer! A lumbar puncture revealed that the

music when I practiced for my music therapy sessions at

bacteria had entered my CSF and the doctors concluded I

the hospital. Every once in a while, however, something

had late stage 2 Lyme Disease. I was hospitalized as a team of

would catch my attention. This particular time it was an

doctors were assembled to work on my case. They began an

old man sitting timidly at the entrance of the room weeping.

aggressive several week intravenous treatment followed with

I knew that because of the ward we were in he must be a

more antibiotics, which took an additional eight weeks.

terminally ill patient, labelled with an expiry date. As he was

I am very grateful that I have fully recovered, but even more

wheeled in, his weeping grew louder and louder until they

so for the experience of being a patient, for whom a brief

were uncontrollable sobs. When I turned to ask him if there was

amount of time had almost no hope and no diagnosis. I learned

anything I could do, he asked me to continue to play—and so

what it was like being on the receiving end. Once again the

I did, and he continued to cry. Afterwards, he thanked me and

power of compassion and the effect it can have on a patient was

told me that he had not heard music that beautiful for a very

highlighted to me, but in a very different way. All of a sudden I

long time. The memory of this has stuck with me for years. It was

had a deeper understanding of what that old man felt so many

at this point that I realized that healing was not only dependant

years ago, his desperation for some sort of hope to latch on

on the body, but also the mind and soul.

to, and how in a strange way the music gave him hope—I no

It was not until June 2009 that I met my own personal trial.

longer saw it from the perspective of an outsider. I understood

I was preparing to leave for the fall SOM class at St. George’s,

the ability of the doctor to inspire patients to stay positive but

when my health began to deteriorate. At first I had severe

more importantly how the ability to provide excellent care is a

migraines and neck pains but when I went to the hospital the

result of many things—this is what my years at St. George’s, and

doctors concluded it was not meningitis and sent me home

the rest of my life, will be dedicated to.

with migraine medication. I then developed a fever and was too tired and weak to maintain my normal functionality. When I went

Sasha Sabir is a St. George’s University School of Medicine

to the walk-in clinic for a second opinion, I was told that I had

Term 2 student.

likely caught a more severe case of H1N1, but no treatment was available since the first 48 hours had passed. The many days and nights I spent in the emergency room, clinics, and specialists’ offices, I was continuously misdiagnosed and dismissed. Four weeks later my situation deteriorated further, and I suffered a partial palsy in my face. For the first time in my life, anxiety welled inside me when entering normal social situations. The effortlessness I had taken granted for so many years was stripped away from me. I felt I had lost my last personal defence—my ability to hide my illness. Despite this I kept close at heart the bright aspirations ahead of me, and remained

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STAR—A SONG ABOUT OUR FRIENDSHIPS AND PASSIONS BEYOND HURRICANE IVAN By Christina Goette-Glyer, MD ’08

Enter into my life No promises But I’ll try to do it all right You know it’s a tough game, but then your smile gave me a hand my friend

There was an island by the sea Where the wind blew away their dreams Tears and pain flowed like the rain

Dance Freely Now,

But they came and built again

I’ll clean the sweat off your brow.

You always build me up again Rise up again

Start with this

my friend

suprised? there’s another small thing I’ll miss you’ve got stars in your eyes but the foot in your mouth

You were the one who would stay by my side Ask me each day about my dreams ‘Cause it’s our one life

is so true and wise

Bella, shine on in your passionate life

there’s no disguise

Your sun is

It’s time to rise into the light

rising on

‘cause Chorus (Chorus) You are my rock

These moments have passed into the looking glass

You are my star

of photographs

I want to see us go very far

Look at you being such a brat You always made me laugh, laugh, laugh So why do I now have tears in my eyes?

To be who we are

The moments fly

x2

The moments fly But we still shine on… Chorus Chorus

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MACE 2011


Left to right: Christina Goette-Glyer, Panagiota Korenis-Rios, Anuradha Naidu, Alexis D’Elia, Francine Scaffidi-Katz, and Erika Parker at St. George’s University School of Medicine graduation on May 3, 2008, at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center.

I am finishing Medicine residency at Alameda County Medical Center in Oakland, CA. I wrote this song after our return to Grenada after the have thought of submitting this song so many times,

hurricane. I felt so lucky to have such strong women as friends,

and regret that we didn’t circulate it more during our

and to see us all grow and encourage each other through the

time in Grenada. However, our friends have heard

challenges as we pursued our passions. I think the words in the

us play this ad nauseum, and some even requested copies. I almost feel like it could be a school anthem. Four of my girlfriends and I were class of May 2008 to start

song reflect that. I think the lyrics are perfect for the idea of “journey” because they transition from present to future past. Thanks for listening!

residency July 1, 2008. We began at St. George’s in August 2003 and January 2004. We were all in “2nd term/2nd term

Dr. Christina Goette-Glyer graduated from St. George’s

part B” during Hurricane Ivan and relocated to Long Island.

University School of Medicine in 2008. She is the former SGU

I was president of the student government at the time. We

Student Government President during Hurricane Ivan. To listen

met around that time, became close friends in New York, and

to “Star,” visit sgu.edu/mace/star.html. The song is written by

then chose to be roommates upon our return to Grenada in

Dr. Goette-Glyer and performed by Dr. Goette-Glyer and

N4 as fourth termers! We all did our clinical MSIII/IV years

Dr. Alexis D’Elia.

in New York. Now we are half way through our third year of residency. Two of us have just gotten married (both in October 2010), and we were bridesmaids in each others’ weddings! Panagiota Korenis-Rios is finishing pscyh in NYC, Alexis D’Elia got accepted into cardiology fellowship at Winthrop, and Anuradhu Naidu is finishing Pediatrics at Downstate New York.

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TWO WORLDS Anonymous Submission from my house on the hill I see

LIFE’S GIVING BEAT Joseph Sujka This heart, my heart Inside my body’s core, from its prebirth start to its final beat. The tempo rising With a soft lover’s touch. But also slowing, playing funeral drums.   Man’s best friend is not a dog But rather this basic pump, It asks nothing more from us But to enjoy every life giving beat.   Ever in our chests, It hardly conveys it’s own importance. Humble in its final beat it lays still, lost from it’s repeat conveying the culmination one life complete. Stan K. Sujka, MD FACS Class of 1982. St. George’s School of Medicine, Urologist, Orlando, Urology Associates, Orlando, Florida

the full moon light reflecting off of the tin roofs below me a mirror to the ocean the glint of moving water while the warm air gently wraps an arm around my shoulders how could I be surprised to dream of this place when I’m gone my dream: I’m swimming, gliding in arcs through the sea completely serene without effort and yet, the mud beneath my shoes is proof of the storm that passed and the silver cloud above me is proof of the storm arriving. a pain for broken hearts rips through me. viscerally. hatred and helplessness fill this space with humid weight. they chopped and mashed and beat another. your tears are falling on my hands, your silence screaming. they are only my imperfect thoughts an observer of this battle isn’t every fault magnified by its unfamiliarity? its foreign and brutal visibility contrasts this subtle knowledge of my ignorance but I am certain that humans suffer across every dividing line so it is with conflict that we fill the texture of this world and when we cry our sorrows out loud they are folded into the waves in the sea and the shape of the breeze and all a stranger knows of it is poetry

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MACE 2011


MACE 2012 Serendipity

Mace 2012 will celebrate the serendipity in our lives. We’ve all made fortunate discoveries by accident. We revel in finding something valuable or delightful when we’re not looking for it. The St. George’s University community is full of these unexpected and fortunate discoveries. Share your coincidental encounters in next year’s issue. Details will be posted this spring.


St. George’s University, University Centre, Grenada, West Indies c/o The North American Correspondent: University Support Services, LLC 3500 Sunrise Highway, Building 300 Great River, NY 11739 © 2011 St. George’s University

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MACE 2011

St. George's University Mace 2011  

Annual literary publication

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