Ponce Health Sciences University

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Coordinates: 17°59′36″N 66°37′11″W / 17.993406°N 66.619778°W / 17.993406; -66.619778

Ponce Health Sciences University
The Ponce Health Sciences University logo.jpg
Logo of the Ponce Health Sciences University
Former names
Ponce School of Medicine and Health Sciences
Motto Tamdiu discendum est, quamdiu vivas[1]
Motto in English
We should learn as long as we may live
Established 1977
Type Private
President & CEO David Lenihan, PhD, DC, JD
Academic staff
Students 475
Location Ponce, Puerto Rico, USA
Campus Urban, 100 acres
Website www.psm.edu

The Ponce Health Sciences University (PHSU), formerly Ponce School of Medicine & Health Sciences, is a private university located in the city of Ponce in Puerto Rico. It was inaugurated in 1977. It holds nationally accredited graduate programs in the disciplines of Medicine (MD), Clinical Psychology (PsyD and PhD), Biomedical Sciences (PhD), Medical Sciences (MSMS), and Public Health (MPH and DrPH). In 2002, the institution established an academic partnership with the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute.


In January 1980 a group of lay and professional leaders in southern Puerto Rico established the Ponce Medical School Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization, for the purpose of providing continuity to the Medical Education Program (MD Program), originally developed by the Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico in 1977. In July 1980, the Council of Higher Education of Puerto Rico (CHE-PR) authorized the Foundation to operate the Ponce School of Medicine. In 1981, the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) accredited the school to grant the MD degree. The new administration, governed by a Board of Trustees, successfully handled the change and challenge and the new free-standing School of Medicine graduated its first class of 23 students.

In 1983, the institution applied for funds under the Minority Biomedical Research Support Program (MBRS) and the Research Center in Minority Institutions (RCMI) Program. The award of both grants permitted the faculty to undertake expanded research activities. A Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences (PhD Program) was also initiated in 1988, and in 1992 the Council of Higher Education of Puerto Rico (CHE-PR) accredited the PhD Program and authorized PHSU to award a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in Biomedical Sciences to those students who successfully completed the program.

In January 1995, the academic institution moved to a new campus. The new facilities included a research building, a library, classrooms, a teaching laboratory, and the Gross Anatomy building.

During 1999-2000 academic year, PHSU began a Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program (PsyD Program). In 2004, this program was accredited by the American Psychological Association(APA). An expansion of the program's curriculum resulted in the offering of a PhD in Psychology, as well as a Professional Certificate in Couples and Family Therapy and a Postgraduate Certificate in Neuroscience of Learning.

In August 2002, the institution started a Master's of Public Health (MPH) progam with specialties in Epidemiology, Environmental Health, and General Public Health. It also offers a DrPH in Epidemiology. In June 2014, the Public Health Program obtained full accreditation from the Council on Public Health (CEPH), until July of 2018.[2]

In April 2010, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that Ponce Health Sciences University had been awarded a $19 million ARRA grant to establish Health Information Technology Regional Extension Centers (RECs) serving Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.[3]

In September 2014, University Ventures invested in the Ponce School of Medicine and Health Sciences to provide the necessary financial support to extend its rich history and mission.[citation needed]

Licenses and accreditations[edit]

The Ponce Health Sciences University is accredited by the following entities:


The Ponce Research Institute (PRI) at Ponce Health Sciences University (PHSU) is dedicated to ongoing research in the Basic, Behavioral, Public Health, and Clinical Sciences. PHSU faculty is actively engaged in multiple areas of research such as: Non-communicable diseases (Cancer, Women’s Health, and GI-related disorders), Health Disparities, Infectious diseases (HIV, dengue), Neuroscience and Behavioral Sciences, Genetics, and Community Health Promotion and Outreach (obesity, smoking, cancer, HIV).

In 2002, Ponce Health Sciences University established an academic partnership with the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute. The geographic proximity and large Hispanic populations in Florida and Puerto Rico drove a long-standing effort by the Ponce Health Sciences University and the Moffitt Cancer Center to develop the education and research oriented "PHSU-Moffitt Partnership". This partnership is based on a cooperative agreement between the Ponce Health Sciences University, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute and the National Cancer Institute.[4]

Under a recent grant awarded to the Oregon Health & Science University(OHSU) Blood-Brain Barrier Program from the Walter S. and Lucienne Driskill Foundation, OHSU provides PHSU students opportunities for research and clinical fellowships. The International Blood-Brain Barrier Disruption Program at OHSU combines basic science, research and comprehensive patient care to treat patients with brain tumors.[5]

On December 4, 2014, Professor Andreas Charalambous, Executive Dean of the University of Nicosia Medical School (UNMS), and Prof David Lenihan, President and Chief Executive Officer of PHSU, signed an agreement to promote academic cooperation and research collaboration between the two institutions.[6]

Leadership and governance[edit]

The Ponce Health Sciences University is led by Dr. David Lenihan, the President and CEO of the institution. The Board of Directors serves as its governing body. The current Board members are David Lenihan, Charles P. Rose, Daniel Pianko, Gregg Rosenthal, Ryan Craig, Terri Cannon, Ricardo Phillips, David Figuli, Lorenzo Dragoni, Francisco Cerra, Arturo Valldejuly, Tatiana Goldstein, and Guillermo Picó.[7] Notable members of the board have included Charles Cuprill Oppenheimer (emeritus), Joxel García, and David H. Chafey, Jr..[8]

Notable alumni and members[edit]


  1. ^ "General Catalog 2015-2018". Ponce Health Sciences University (PHSU). 
  2. ^ "CEPH Accreditation response letter". Public Health Program. Retrieved 17 July 2014. 
  3. ^ "American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Ponce School of Medicine". U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Retrieved 2010-03-05. 
  4. ^ "Ponce School of Medicine-Moffitt Cancer Center Partnership". Moffitt Cancer Center. Retrieved 2010-03-05. 
  5. ^ "Opportunities for OHSU Mentors". Neuro-Oncology Blood-Brain Barrier Program at Oregon Health & Sciences University. Retrieved 5 July 2014. 
  6. ^ "Medical School signs agreement with Ponce Health Sciences University of Puerto Rico". University of Nicosia Medical School. Retrieved 16 December 2014. 
  7. ^ "Board of Directors". Ponce Health Sciences University (PHSU). 
  8. ^ "Board of Trustees". Ponce School of Medicine. Retrieved March 7, 2014.