Dominica PM attends groundbreaking at medical school


PORTSMOUTH, Dominica — The prime minister of Dominica, Roosevelt Skerrit, attended the groundbreaking ceremony for the new student centre on the campus of Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) on Friday in Picard, Portsmouth. The 47,500-square-foot student centre, which will house a library, study space and other rooms for teaching and learning, will be the most prominent building on campus.

It is the School’s policy to engage local contractors for campus construction projects whenever possible.

“Ross University School of Medicine has shared a close relationship with the government of Dominica for 35 years,” said the prime minister. “I thank Ross and DeVry for this bold initiative.”

Dr Joseph Flaherty, dean and chancellor of RUSM said, “We are moving forward with the implementation of our campus master plan, thanks to the renewed partnership agreement with the Commonwealth of Dominica. This campus expansion is a multi-million-dollar investment in Dominica, providing a boon to economic development and a great learning environment for our students.”

RUSM will also construct a new preparatory school and daycare facility in the coming year.

Since its founding in 1978, RUSM has been a committed partner with the Dominican government and local business leaders. The school also supports a wide array of community service initiatives that enable students and faculty to contribute to the health and well-being of the Dominican people.

For example, this year marks the 10th anniversary of RUSM’s community outreach program, which rotates more than 1,500 medical students annually through 19 government clinics on the island. Students also staff health fairs at which individuals are screened for diabetes, prostate cancer, hypertension, and more; there were seven health fairs held in 2012.

RUSM employs more than 450 full-time colleagues on the campus, of which nearly 70 percent are local nationals. Some 18 have been employed at RUSM for more than 20 years, as student advisors, library assistants, supervisors in various departments, and in other positions. Of these, six individuals have been working at RUSM for more than 30 years.

RUSM supports and encourages its employees to further their own educational goals by providing employees and their dependent spouses and children tuition benefits to complete courses at Becker Professional Education, Chamberlain College of Nursing, and DeVry University, all part of DeVry Inc., as is RUSM. Since 2005, 202 Dominicans have participated, with benefits totaling EC $19.4 million.

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