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Posted: Friday 17 May, 2024 at 7:50 PM

Remarks by Prime Minister Honourable Dr. Terrance Drew Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine (RUSVM) Commencement Ceremony

    May 17, 2024
    Miami Florida


    Distinguished Guests
    Esteemed Faculty
    Family and friends
    Today, amidst the energy and anticipation in the air, we gather to honour not just the culmination of years of rigorous study, but the forging of futures filled with purpose, compassion, and boundless potential.
    This Commencement Ceremony heralds the remarkable journey of each graduate, a journey defined by resilience, passion, and an unwavering commitment to the welfare of all living beings, particularly animals. We don't just celebrate your successes; we embrace the transformative power of knowledge, compassion, and the indomitable spirit of veterinary medicine.
    To the 384 graduates of the Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) program, the 18 graduates from the various graduate programs, and those achieving the remarkable feat of dual-degree DVM/MSc, I offer my sincere admiration for your academic achievements. Your commitment to excellence in the field of veterinary medicine is commendable, and I have no doubt that you will continue to make significant contributions to the health and well-being of animals and communities worldwide.
    As a medical doctor myself, I understand firsthand the immense dedication, late nights, unwavering focus, and relentless pressure required to complete a degree of this magnitude. To achieve such distinction amidst these challenges, such as being away from your loved ones, in an unfamiliar land is truly commendable (although I must say, Saint Kitts and Nevis a very beautiful and welcoming land). For those of you who have not visited, I invite you to Venture Deeper and come join us.
    Graduates, your journey is a testament to your resilience, perseverance, and commitment to excellence. These are virtues that will pave the way for success in your relevant fields. I applaud each and every one of you for your remarkable achievements and wish you continued success as you embark on this new chapter in your professional lives. Congratulations, graduates! Today marks the culmination of your hard work and the beginning of a promising future filled with boundless opportunities.
    I must also extend my appreciation to the Ross University of Veterinary Medicine for its invaluable contribution to our nation's education landscape. As a proud member of the Adtalem Global Education family, RUSVM is dedicated to improving health equity through workforce development solutions. This partnership not only enhances the prestige of your institution but also underscores your commitment to excellence in education and research.
    Recently, Ross University of Veterinary Medicine celebrated their 40th anniversary on our island. This milestone is a testament to its enduring legacy and its pivotal role as a key partner in sustainable development. Through initiatives such as the Government's One Health Initiative, Ross University has demonstrated its unwavering commitment to collaboration with ministries of Agriculture, Education, and Health.
    The One Health partnership between the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis and RUSVM stands as a beacon of collaborative excellence in addressing complex health challenges. Anchored in the principles of interdisciplinary cooperation, the partnership recognizes the intricate connections between human, animal, and environmental health. RUSVM's commitment to One Health is evident through its robust research centers, dedicated to unraveling the complexities of zoonotic diseases and ecosystem health. The memorandum of understanding we signed in November 2023, solidifies our  partnership, fostering an environment of shared responsibility and mutual support. Through initiatives like the Small Ruminant Breeding Project and the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Degree Scholarship programme, tangible efforts are made to enhance livestock quality, bolster local agriculture, and nurture the next generation of veterinary professionals. This ongoing collaboration exemplifies the power of collective action in safeguarding the health and well-being of both our communities and our environment.
    In line with this, our government recently held a signing ceremony paving the way for the start of the new Joseph N. France General Hospital project; a climate smart hospital. This groundbreaking project heralds a new era of healthcare excellence in Saint Kitts and Nevis, one that will not only be resilient in the face of climate change but also equipped with cutting-edge technology to ensure the highest standards of medical care for our people.
    The decision to construct a climate-smart hospital underscores our unwavering commitment to safeguarding the health and well-being of our citizens and visitors alike, against the inevitable challenges posed by climate change. By incorporating sustainable design principles and innovative technologies, this hospital will serve as a beacon of resilience, capable of withstanding the most severe weather events while providing uninterrupted medical services to those in need.
    The new JNF General Hospital will serve as a cornerstone of our vision to position Saint Kitts and Nevis as a hub of medical excellence within the Caribbean region. Its strategic location between the University of Medicine and Health Sciences and the Ross University of Veterinary Medicine is no coincidence. By fostering collaboration and synergy between healthcare professionals, researchers, and educators, we aim to establish a health city under our One Health initiative. By fostering interdisciplinary collaboration and innovation, we can address complex global challenges and ensure a healthier, more resilient future for generations to come.
    I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge Ross University’s significant contributions to Information Technology in education nationally, with the establishment of 11 labs to date. Your commitment to enhancing educational opportunities and fostering technological innovation is truly commendable and greatly appreciated by the Government and people of Saint Kitts and Nevis. The university has played a pivotal role in equipping our young people with the skills and knowledge necessary to thrive in the digital age. It has been nothing short of transformative for our youth.
    In today's rapidly evolving technological landscape, proficiency in Information Technology is no longer a luxury but a necessity. By providing access to IT facilities and resources, Ross University has empowered our youth to explore new horizons, unlock their potential, and seize 21st-century opportunities.
    These IT labs serve as incubators of innovation, where students can cultivate their creativity, problem-solving abilities, and critical thinking skills. From coding and programming to digital literacy and cybersecurity, the curriculum offered in these labs prepares our youth for the diverse challenges and opportunities of the digital world.
    By investing in our young people and empowering them with the tools they need to succeed, we are laying the foundation for a brighter, more prosperous future for generations to come. For this, we extend our heartfelt appreciation to Ross University and look forward to continued collaboration in advancing IT education and digital literacy in Saint Kitts and Nevis.
    I wish to extend my deepest gratitude to Ross University of Veterinary Medicine for its unwavering partnership and dedication to the advancement of our nation's progress. From spearheading community outreach programs to championing initiatives in health and agriculture, your commitment has left an indelible mark on the socioeconomic fabric of our nation. Through your generous educational sponsorships and tireless efforts, you have empowered countless individuals to pursue their dreams and contribute meaningfully to society.
    To the distinguished graduates of today's ceremony, I offer my heartfelt congratulations on your remarkable achievements. Your degrees and awards symbolize not only your academic prowess but also your unwavering dedication to excellence. As you embark on the next chapter of your professional journey, I encourage you to carry forth the knowledge, skills, and values instilled in you by Ross University. May your endeavours be guided by a spirit of compassion, integrity, and innovation, as you strive to make a positive impact in your respective fields and communities.
    Let us look to the future with optimism and determination, knowing that our collaboration with Ross University will continue to flourish, paving the way for a brighter and more prosperous tomorrow. Together, we can achieve great heights in our pursuit of excellence.
    Congratulations once again, and may you all continue to soar to new heights of success and fulfillment.
    Thank you.






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