On behalf of Ponce Health Sciences University (PHSU), formerly Ponce School of Medicine and Health Sciences, it is with great honor and gratitude that we as a community welcome you to our web page. This page is meant to showcase our talented alumni from across the globe and give all of you a chance to reconnect, collaborate, share memories, and help further our mission of educating bi-lingual, bi-cultural healthcare professionals.
Our mission of the Alumni Relations Division is to support furthering PHSU’s institutional mission by increasing alumni participation and involvement in PHSU’s community events, fundraising activities, and mentoring opportunities for current PHSU students. It is important for us to hear from you all and we are excited to share our plans for the future with you.
Since 1977, when we began as Ponce School of Medicine, we have changed location, rebranded, and are currently pursuing building a state-of-the-art facility here in Ponce. Even though our name has changed, our core values have stayed consistent and have been the foundation in which we educate our students ever since our inaugural cohort first stepped on campus. You have all had a lasting impact on PHSU and we want to let the world know about what our distinguished alumni are up to. Please fill out the attached card and we would love to share your individual stories and accomplishments with the PHSU family.
In the decade of the 70’s, Ponce wished and planned to have a school of Medicine; Even Mayor Andrés Grillasca did everything in his power to make the UPR Medical School based in Ponce. In 1975, with the economic stimulus of the federal capitation program, the School of Medicine of the UPR increased its enrollment to 150 students per year and established an Educational Consortium in the District Hospital of Ponce. But Ponce did not stop dreaming of his own School of Medicine and when Dr. Francisco Carreras was President of the Catholic University and Dr. Sala was a member of the Board of Directors of that University, it began with the dreamed School of Medicine. Dr. Sala was the driving force for the creation of the School of Medicine of the Catholic University in 1976. Is there when Dr. Domingo Cerra was named by the Board of Directors of the Catholic University as Organizer Dean of the Ponce School of Medicine.
Doctor Cerra oversaw preparing the budget according to the needs to start medical school. The board responded positively to the recommendations. With the support of Bishop Fremiot Torres Oliver, the School was organized, and a renowned endocrinologist, Dr. Alfred Bongiovanni, was recruited as Dean of the School of Medicine. But the School of Medicine was very expensive, and in a short time, the university recognized that it could not cover the high costs and expenses, and had to consider closing it. Under the leadership of Dr. Sala and with the help of many Ponceños, in January 1980 a community group was formed to establish the Ponce Medical School Foundation, Inc., and Dr. Sala became the Chairman of the Board of Directors. Directors Dr. José N. Correa, a distinguished radiotherapist, was named Dean. That saved the School of Medicine in Ponce, although it took years to eliminate from the mind that it was no longer part of the Catholic University. Dr. Sala was then Dean of the School. Ponce Medical School Foundation graduated 23 students in its first class in 1981. Since then, it has operated uninterruptedly and has graduated more than 1,000 health professionals. Higher education leaders such as Dr. Fred Soltero Harrington and then Dr. Máximo Cerame Vivas were recruited as Deans of Academic Affairs. The School flourished graduating excellent doctors from Puerto Rico and the United States. In the following years, Dr. Jaime Rivera Dueño, former Secretary of Health, Dr. Manuel Martínez Maldonado, Dr. Raúl Armstrong, Dr. Olga Rodríguez de Arzola were Presidents-Deans of the institution, among others. Ponce Medical Foundation, Inc. Ponce was acquired by University Ventures Corporation in September 2014, to operate Ponce Health Sciences University and appoints Dr. David Lenihan. Dr. David Lenihan is used to taking risks. It is evidenced by his academic training in neuroscience, chiropractic and law.
Also, his foray into the administrative side of science education. Recently, the greatest risk it has taken is the acquisition and transformation, through Arist Medical Sciences University, of the Ponce Health Sciences University. As the main academic officer of Arist, Lenihan guided the process of purchase and evolution of the School, a widely recognized institution with around 40 years of training professionals of excellence in the field of health in the south of Puerto Rico. In recent years, the School had suffered administrative and financial decisions that threatened its stability, although not the academic quality. He was able to see beyond the difficulties to finalize the purchase of the institution – an innovative transaction in both the academic and the financial world. In fact, it was the first time in history that a school was acquired. In 2001, the faculty of the Ponce School of Medicine establishes and organizes its outpatient clinics in compliance with the AAMC, guidelines and recommendations. The outpatient clinics are an important support for the medical education program of Ponce Health Sciences University, as they provide a forum for medical students to work with patients, if they authorize it, under the supervision of the doctor. Another objective in the establishment of the clinics in 2001 was to offer a good variety of services to facilitate patients to find a wide range of evaluation and treatment, “under the same roof”. Currently, these outpatient clinics are known as the Ponce Health Sciences University Wellness Center for their approach in seeking physical and mental well-being for the patient. The mission of all the members of this organization is: “to learn and heal in an affectionate and compassionate environment”.
Mission & Vision
The Mission of the Office of Alumni Relations is to foster an enduring relationship between Alumni and current students that result in collaboration, advocacy and philanthropic support for Ponce Health Sciences University and Ponce Research Institute.
To create a diverse and global community of alumni who are focused, empowered and eager to support the university and its students.
Our Priority is to Provide Scholarships to our students. When donors like you support scholarships, you help our students by giving them a transforming experience to their personal growth.
You are a key component to the PHSU family, there are many ways for alumni to stay connected to their lifelong Alma Mater. Stay connected with former classmates, faculty, staff and PHSU community through events and programs.