Above: the University of the Virgin Islands
By the Caribbean Journal staff
The University of the Virgin Islands has received a $30 million gift commitment that will go toward establishing a medical school on the island.
The gift on behalf of New General Power (and chairman Dr Chirinjeev Kathuria) was announced by David Hall, the president of the University of the Virgin Islands.
The medical school will be developed in partnership with the two hospitals in the US Virgin Islands — the Schneider Regional Medical Centre on St Thomas and St Croix’s Juan F Luis hospital.
“This is a historic day in the life of the University of the Virgin Islands and the Virgin Islands,” Hall said. “Dr Kathuria’s gift is the largest in the history of the University, and its impact will last for generations to come. Many Virgin Islanders will receive improved healthcare because of this generous gift.”
The medical school was first envisioned in 2010, with help from the Boston University School of Medicine, which has continued its support for the process.
“We congratulate our UVI colleagues on this generous gift,” said Dr Karen Antman, dean of the Boston University School of Medicine. “The development of a medical school will attract medical faculty to the islands and foster collaboration among VI hospitals. Graduates will consider establishing practices in the VI, raising the number of physicians and improving access to health care.”
The aim is to create what would be the first English-speaking medical school in the Caribbean accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education.
“By approving the development of the medical school just last week and endorsing the gift agreement with Dr. Kathuria of New Generation Power, the UVI Board of Trustees has taken a major step forward in the development of the Virgin Islands,” US Virgin Islands Governor John de Jongh said. “I fully expect that the opening of the medical school will change the health care landscape of the Virgin Islands, as well as enhance the University of the Virgin Islands’ reputation as the preeminent learning institution in the region.”