UVI gets $30M for medical school


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The University of the Virgin Islands has received a $30 million gift to establish a territory-wide medical school.

New Generation Power and its chairman, Chirinjeev Kathuria, will make a $30 million gift commitment to UVI that will serve as a major part of the foundation funding for the medical school, the university announced Friday.

Kathuria's gift is the largest in the history of the university, according to UVI President David Hall.

Last week, the UVI Board of Trustees unanimously approved allowing Hall to begin the development phase for the medical school, which UVI will develop in partnership with the Schneider Regional Medical Center on St. Thomas and Luis Hospital on St. Croix.

Discussion and planning for the medical school began in 2010 with the Boston University School of Medicine, and some BUSM students have been taking their fourth-year electives at Schneider Regional Medical Center for the last two spring semesters, according to a statement UVI issued Friday.

The goal of the project is to develop a high-quality medical education program that relies heavily on innovative teaching techniques, educational technology and community care training, according to the statement.

The university's intent is for the medical school to establish the only English-speaking medical school in the Caribbean accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, which accredits medical schools in the United States and Canada.

Kathuria founded New Generation Power, a global developer, investor, owner and operator of infrastructure assets in utility scale power generation, distributed generation and mining exploration and extraction. New Generation Power, a Chicago-based renewable energy company, and UVI recently signed a power purchase agreement for a solar panel project on UVI's two campuses.

"Our goal with the USVI medical school is to establish new trends in providing health care using advanced technology, such as remote health care monitoring and diagnoses and cutting edge research that could lead to improved health outcomes for people globally," Kathuria said in the prepared statement.

Securing additional development and operational funding remains a goal for the medical school project, and the university estimates that $10 million from local and national donors still is needed, according to the UVI statement.

UVI said it hopes to enroll its first class in 2016-2017.

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