Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) has announced that it has renewed its partnership agreement with the Government of Dominica, paving the way for it to launch a series of expansion projects on its campus in Portsmouth.
In a release, the school said it is now moving ahead on implementing what it described as a “campus master plan” which will include a new 47,500-square-foot student center which will house a library, study space and other rooms for teaching and learning.
Other projects on the books include the construction of a new preparatory school and a day care facility which will accommodate the growing demand from faculty and students with families.
“We are very excited to have the Commonwealth’s (of Dominica) support as we continue to enhance the School of Medicine’s campus and learning environment. The strong collaborative partnership we have with the people and government of Dominica is the essential ingredient that makes a project of this size and scope possible,” William Hughson, president of DeVry Healthcare Group, said. RUSM is a part of DeVry, a global provider of educational services.
RUSM said since its founding in 1978 it has been a committed partner with the Government of Dominica and local business leaders. “Each year the school makes charitable contributions to support national and local programs in education, health, culture, and sports, with particular attention to programs that improve opportunities for local youth. RUSM also provides two full scholarships annually to Dominican students who meet the university’s admissions criteria and wish to pursue a medical degree. Since 1996, RUSM has granted scholarships to 57 Dominicans, totaling EC $13.5 million,” the school said.
The school also said it employs more than 450 full-time staff on the campus, of which nearly 70 percent are local nationals. “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. Since 2005, 202 Dominicans have participated, with benefits totaling EC $19.4 million.” the school said in its release.
Dr. Joseph Flaherty, dean of RUSM, said the experience of students in Dominica has been very beneficial. “Many of our students are looking forward to careers in under served communities that have the greatest need for skilled physicians. The time they spend in Dominica working in the local health clinics helps instill in them a commitment to service and a strong sense of how to contribute meaningfully to the lives of others. These programs are an important part of RUSM’s educational mission,” he said.
RUSM said it will engage local contractors for the campus expansion projects “whenever possible.”