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
Motto Et oves ament[1]
Type Private
Established 1977
President & CEO David Lenihan, PhD, DC, JD
Academic staff
Students 800
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 and previously Ponce School of Medicine, is a private, for-profit university located in the city of Ponce in Puerto Rico specializing in the A nationally-accredited university inaugurated in 1977, it issues graduate degrees in Medicine (MD), Clinical Psychology (PsyD and PhD), Biomedical Sciences (PhD), Medical Sciences (MSMS), and Public Health (MPH and DrPH). The institution performs research funded by various organizations.


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 a medical school under the name 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) program 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 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]

On September 5, 2014, in a first for allopathic medicine, the Ponce Health Sciences University School of Medicine, a 35-year-old not-for-profit institution in financial distress, was acquired by Arist Medical Sciences University, a for-profit public benefit corporation.


The Ponce Research Institute (PRI) at Ponce Health Sciences University (PHSU) performs research in the basic, behavioral, public health, and clinical sciences. PHSU faculty is engaged in various areas of research including non-communicable diseases (Cancer, Women’s Health, and GI-related disorders), health disparities, infectious diseases (HIV, dengue), neurosciences 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 contributed to the establishment of the partnership. The National Cancer Institute also plays a role in the partnership.[4]

A grant awarded to the Oregon Health & Science University(OHSU) Blood-Brain Barrier Program allows for PHSU students to participate in research and clinical fellowships. The OHSU program 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]

Licenses and accreditation[edit]

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

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.