Adeus Dr Alva, Welcome Dr D’souza! New Dean of FMMC Dr Antony Sylvan D’souza Takes Charge

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Adeus Dr Alva, Welcome Dr D’souza! New Dean of Father Muller Medical College (MMC), Mangaluru  Dr Antony Sylvan D’souza Takes Charge from outgoing Dean of FMMC Dr Jayaprakash Alva. The Handing Over Ceremony was held on Saturday, 4 December 2021 at Father Muller Convention Centre at 9.30 am

Mangaluru: Yes, change is inevitable. It is a fact of life that individuals, organizations and nations alike have no choice but to deal with. Those who are able to acknowledge this fact and cope with change will survive. Those who are able to seek out change and actively embrace it will thrive. And yes, change is constant in the sense that it is always present. CHANGE-we need to Embrace it! Changes trigger progress. Things move forward and develop because of them.

Each change is a turning page. It is about closing one chapter and opening another one. Changes bring new beginnings and excitement to life. And remember—if there were no change, there would be no butterflies! And at Father Muller Medical College, Mangaluru, the change came in the form of a new Dean, who will be all set to take the prestigious Institute to greater heights, and continue the responsibilities and also unique projects undertaken by his predecessor.

For many at FMMC, the departure of Dr Jayaprakash Alva, who was the Dean for 12 years is wrenching; while installation of another person, Dr Antony Sylvan D’Souza is rejuvenating; and to go from the depth of one to the height of the other requires a process. Transition, including its Search component, is an exciting and blessed process. It is an opportunity for the Spirit to be present in unique ways. It is an opportunity to see through new eyes, decide with a free mind, and rewrite the future without constraints. It is challenging and time-consuming, but it is an investment well worthwhile. All said, Dr Antony Sylvan will be the right person to follow in the footsteps of Dr J P Alva, in leading FMMC as the new Dean of FMMC.

The installation ceremony accompanied by the felicitation ceremony of the new and former deans of Father Muller Medical College (FMMC) was held in a grand in-house event in the Father Muller Convention Centre on Saturday, December 4. The occasion marked the handing of the charge by Dr Jayaprakash Alva to Dr Antony Sylvan D’Souza in presence of the management and governing body of the Father Muller Charitable Institutions (FMCI).

In a festive spirit, the faculty of FMMC gathered to welcome Dr Antony Sylvan as their academic administrative head and to lead them to new heights. Though the event was only for in-house staff the positivity seemed to have created an aura over the whole institution. The announcement of the welcome note was delivered by Fr Richard Aloysius Coelho, director FMCI. He elaborated on the significance of the day as a milestone for a medical college such as FMMC which has a rich heritage and bound by traditions to carry on the same banner with a new academic head, who thus carries with him the yolk of the faculty, staff and students.

Dr Antony Sylvan was handed over the official files by Dr J P Alva, the incumbent dean, transitioning roles and thus installed as the third dean of the Father Muller Medical College. Dr Antony in his first speech as the dean of FMMC promised his colleagues to work in a holistic environment so that the momentum set by the former deans’ is trajected to newer heights. He thanked the management for instilling confidence in him to helm the post and take the heritage of the institutions forward. He also said, “Remember the three R’s: Respect for self; Respect for others; and Responsibility for all the actions. Fr Muller is known for a welcoming environment with excellent leadership, exceptional faculty and an amazing student body. The institution is making steady progress in all sectors ever since its inception. As teachers in Medical Colleges, our responsibilities are on the rise. Teaching, clinical services and research. I believe in learning rather than grading, we as educators are to be models of integrity, role models for all the stakeholders. Our actions should speak louder than our words and we have to live up to the expectations of our patients, students and their parents.

“We must find a way to help every student to reach his highest potential with the compassion and dignity that every human deserves. We don’t grow when things are easy, we grow when we face challenges. We do not learn anything from life if we think we are right all the time. Too many people think the grass is greener somewhere else, but the grass is green where we water it. We need to have a strong belief to promote harmony, dedication and a win-win situation for everyone. Harmony can be interpreted as Team Cohesion. As long as we have a strong and dedicated team aiming for the same goal almost anything can be achieved. We form a strong team when we care, share, trust and respect each other. Let us work hand in hand collaboratively for the betterment and progress of our institution” added Dr Antony D’Souza.

With 12 years and 8 months of helming the deans’ post at FMMC, Dr Jayaprakash Alva was felicitated with traditional fervour bestowed by the management for his untiring services as a physician, academician, astute dean, and a confidant of many. He has been an epitome of calm demeanour with a resounding voice and an excellent oratory vocabulary. He has been a part of FMMC since 2009 as dean after his various positions in a number of medical colleges. A dozen and more years of yeoman service given by Dr Alva will never be forgotten by FMMC and hoped his retirement brings him the fulfilment of career and life with joy and wellness of health was prayed by the president of FMCI. Prof Dr Venkatesh BM, NABH Coordinator and former HOD of Medicine spoke a few good words about Dr J P Alva and his achievements during his 12 years tenure at FMMC.

Dr Peter Paul Saldanha, Bishop of Mangalore and president of FMCI honoured Dr Alva with the traditional shawl and peta. Director FMCI garlanded Dr Alva with the traditional pearl and sandalwood chain followed by a bouquet of flowers, citation, memento and a fruit basket. He said, “Dr J P Alva has professionally and efficiently guided Father Muller’s. He has shown nobility in character. He is a noble soul. He stood by us in thick and thin. He will always be known for his commitment and dedicated service.” More of Bishop’s speech watch video below)

He was honoured in presence of his wife Surekha Alva and daughters Mithali Shetty and Karishma Alva. Dr Venkatesh B M, professor and unit head department of medicine touched upon the career and workmanship of Dr Alva in Father Muller. His sentiments of gratitude brought a glimmer in the eyes of the faculty and staff gathered. Dr Alva in his message gratitude thanked God and his family for being the support system, the management of FMCI for their trust in his leadership, the faculty for never saying no for the work delegated, the staff for being helpful at all times and the students who have never failed to excel and leap into newer frontiers. “My journey has been full of memories to remember and a journey full of patience and experience,” he said.

On the dais seated with President of Father Muller Charitable Institutions and the Bishop of Mangalore Diocese Most Rev Dr Peter Paul Saldanha, were Director of FMCI Fr Richard Coelho, Administrator of FMMCH Fr Rudolph Ravi D’Sa, Dean Dr Jayaprakash Alva, Dr Udayakumar our Medical Superintendent, Administrator FMMC Fr Ajith Menezes, and Dr Ramesh Bhat-Vice Dean-FMMC. Students expressed their love and gratitude to Dr JP Alva in the form of a farewell song-this group of students, albeit small, includes students ranging from 2006 to 2020 batches: The farewell song was sung by Hrishikesh, Arathi, Aiswarya, Tina, Melisha, Dr Lenon & Dr Jostol.

Dr J P Alva was presented with bouquets from -Fr Rudolph Ravi D’Sa, Administrator of FMMCH on behalf of the entire hospital; Fr Ajith Menezes, Administrator of FMMC on behalf of the medical college; Fr Sylvester Lobo (Administrator) Dr Kiran Shetty (MS) of Fr Muller Hospital-Thumbay; Fr Roshan Crasta (Admin), Fr Rohan Michael Dias (Asst Admin) & Dr Prabhu Kiran (Principal) of FMHMCH & Pharmaceutical Division; Fr Ronald Lobo & Fr George D’souza, representing the Pastoral Department; Dr Ramesh Bhat, Vice Dean, FMMC, representing our entire teaching faculty.

Sr Jacintha D’Souza, Principal, FMCON; Sr Nancy Priya Mathias, Principal, FMSON; Prof Akhilesh PM, Principal, FMCOSH; Dr B Sanjeev Rai, Chief of Research; Dr Uday Kumar, MS, FMMCH on behalf of all our doctors; Sr Janet D’Souza, Chief Nursing Officer on behalf of our entire nursing cadre; Dr Lulu Sherif who heads the Simulation & Skills Centre; Dr Jessy M D’Souza representing FM Rural Health Centre, Bajpe; Mrs Ida, Mrs Geena and Mrs Meena on behalf of the College Office; Mrs Jyothi Pinto, our HR Manager representing the staffs; Student Representatives Jordan Rasquinha & Ms Melisha D’Souza; and Alumni Representatives Dr Ganesh, Dr Nicole Pereira and Dr Archana Bhat

Vote of Thanks was proposed by Fr Ajith Menezes-Administrator – FMMC. The entire programme was meticulously and professionally compered by Dr Jostol Pinto, the Assistant Professor & Interventional Cardiologist, Department of Cardiology, FMMC.

ABOUT DR ANTONY SYLVAN D’SOUZA:

Dr Antony Sylvan was the dean of the Father Muller College of Allied Health Sciences, the newest college under the FMCI banner. He has worked in various capacities over the years in different institutions before helming FMMC. He has served as a tutor in Anatomy, Kasturba Medical College – January 1987 to June 1992, assistant professor, Kasturba Medical College – 28th July 1992 to 27th July1997, associate professor, Kasturba Medical College, 28th July 1997 to 27th July 2001, senior lecturer in Anatomy, The University of the West Indies [UWI] – August 2001 to July 2006, professor of Anatomy, St George’s University, Grenada – August 2006 to December 2009, professor of Anatomy, Kasturba Medical College, 21st December 2009 to 30th April 2010, professor & head of Anatomy, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, 1st May 2010 to 28th February 2015, associate dean & professor of Anatomy, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal 1st March 2015 to 21st September 2017, dean & professor of Anatomy, DM Wayanad Institute of Medical Sciences, 25th September 2017 to 8th May 2020, professor of Anatomy, Father Muller Medical College and dean – Father Muller College of Allied Sciences – 1st June 2020 to 4 Dec 2021, teaching of Gross Anatomy, Histology, Embryology, Neuro-Anatomy and Cell biology to MS / MD, MBBS, BDS, MSc, Bio-Medical Engineering and Allied Health Courses [BPT, Nursing, etc] – at Kasturba Medical College, UWI – teaching all branches of Anatomy for the Medical, Physiotherapy and Nursing students and at St Georges’ University – teaching Anatomy and basic research principles to MD students.

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