The state-of-the art Ross University School of Medicine was officially opened last night at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.
Prime Minister Mia Mottley, Minister of Education Santia Bradshaw, president of parent company Adtalem Global Education, Lisa Wardell, Dean William Owen Jr and Vice President of Operations Carey James, university officials, Members of Parliament and business stakeholders were present as the 40-year-old institution opened its new permanent campus in Barbados with classes expected to begin on Monday.
The LESC-based institution consists of a digital anatomy and medical imaging lab, living anatomy lab, clinical lab space with SimMan 3G advanced patient simulator.
RUSM Barbados is one of five accredited simulation campuses to be established outside of the United States. It also have 14 small group classrooms on campus, a digital library, faculty lounge, faculty meeting space, faculty work space which is shared space with a collaborative open floor plan.
According to Prime Minister Mottley, the LESC facility had been restored to its educational purpose.
During her feature address, Mottley urged Barbadians to embrace the 1350 students like their own.
“Let us embrace the children of Ross recognizing that they are our children, they are our partners and our family. Let them understand what a wonderful place this country will be,” she said.
She assured that her Government will be looking to make good on its promise of a partnership with Adtalem’s for-profit nursing school Chamberlain University and the Barbados Community College.
“There is a cry across the world for nurses, good nurses . . . We have to reset the things that our population see as possible opportunities for careers and regrettably many young girls have not seen the nursing profession as that profession that can create that career and vocation for them as their grandparents and great-grandparents have done,” said Mottley.
“The ability of the Caribbean to continue to produce large numbers of nurses is constrained only by our capacity to educate them and we stand here today ready to work on that partnership with you to significantly expand the number of nurses that we can produce not to send out to the rest of the world and immigrants but to send to the rest of the world for sale of services for 6, 9 ,10 months never forgetting where you come from and where you might return to,” she continued.
The construction projects for the living and academic facilities has provided work for over 1,000 Barbadians and the annual economic benefit of the RUSM is estimated to be between US$55 to 65 million. President of Adtalem Lisa Wardell, revealed that to date there are 40 new permanent employees in Barbados with an anticipated number of 150 for the new year.
While welcoming RUSM flagship to Barbados, Minister of Education, Technological and Vocational Training, Santia Bradshaw also expressed her anticipation at the future collaborations that her Ministry and the University will embark on to ensure high quality education.
“While the economic impact may be apparent, their commitment to collaborative research and development alongside our local tertiary institutions aligns well with our strategic goal to wider access to allied health programmes in Barbados,” Bradshaw said.
“Ross University School of Medicine will certainly contribute to Barbados moving forward the modernization of community health care structures, while at the same time, becoming a stronger competitor in the global health education arena,” she added. (KK)