June 21, 2004 -An alumna of the University of the Virgin Islands has returned to St. Thomas to practice internal medicine and pediatrics at Roy L. Schneider Hospital.
Dr. Reva Richardson, board-certified in internal medicine and board-eligible in pediatrics, is on the staff of the hospital and the East End Health Clinic on St. Thomas. As an internist and pediatrician, she is involved in diagnosing, treating and preventing disease in both adults and children.
Richardson, originally from Anguilla, graduated cum laude from the UVI St. Thomas campus in 1992 with a degree in biology. After spending a year teaching seventh and eighth grade science in the St. Thomas-St. John district, she enrolled in the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas.
After receiving her medical degree, she did her residency at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Medical Center last year. From last August to this April she was an attending physician in the emergency room at Miami Veterans Administration Medical Center.
"I am very happy to return 'home' and provide medical care to the people of the Virgin Islands and the region," Richardson said. She began work at the hospital earlier this month.
Richardson believes that a patient's medical knowledge and awareness plays an important role in preventing disease. Her research into innovative ways to educate adolescent girls about the importance of pap smears was published in 2002 in the Journal of Pediatrics Adolescent Gynecology. In February 2003 she gave a presentation at an international women's conference in Cape Town, South Africa, on controlling the transmission of HIV/AIDS.
"We are very pleased to have Dr. Richardson join our medical team," Dr. Thelma Watson, Schneider Hospital medical director, said. "She is a well-qualified physician with privileges in both internal medicine and pediatrics at the hospital. She has a wonderful personality and is a great addition to our staff."
Rodney E. Miller Sr., hospital chief executive officer, said he is pleased to have Richardson on his team. "This is another example of how we are increasing the number of medical specialists in our hospital to serve the public's needs," he said. "We have come a long way in a short time and are well on our way to becoming a world-class health-care institution."
Territory's First Returning Benjamin Scholar
While pursuing her medical degree, Richardson was awarded a Bennie and Martha Benjamin Foundation scholarship from UVI totaling $50,000, a UVI release states.
A 1993 legislative act established the foundation's scholarship program to assist V.I. students pursuing medical or health-care careers, and UVI awarded its first foundation scholarship that year.
Musician and hit-songwriter Claude A. "Bennie" Benjamin was born on St. Croix. Prior to his death in 1989 he established a memorial foundation to help the territory's hospitals. Benjamin scholarships not only provide financial support but also encourage recipients to return to the territory to pursue their careers. Richardson is the first foundation scholar to do so.
"It was quite a blessing to receive that money for medical school," Richardson said, so that she could concentrate on her studies and not worry about finances. "It was always my intention to return to St. Thomas," she said. "I feel that here we have needs just as much as anywhere else, and I want to contribute to those needs."
David Beale, executive director of the Bennie and Martha Benjamin Foundation, said it is "extremely gratifying to have Dr. Richardson return to the U.S. Virgin Islands to administer health care to the people of the territory. It fulfills the vision of Bennie Benjamin and the guiding principles of the foundation to improve health care in the territory by providing significant scholarship dollars to train doctors who commit to return with their acquired expertise."
According to Richardson, the UVI biology program prepared her for the rigors of medical school. "My days at UVI were both challenging and enjoyable," she said. "UVI helped open the doors for me and gave me the confidence I needed."
Richardson plans eventually to open a private practice on St. Thomas with satellite offices on other Caribbean islands, according to the UVI release.
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