Ponce School of Medicine was founded by the Catholic University of Puerto Rico in 1977 with a charter class of just 26 students. In January of 1980, a group of lay and professional leaders in southern Puerto Rico, established a non-profit organization, the Ponce School of Medicine Foundation, for the purpose of operating the Ponce School of Medicine, now Ponce Health Sciences University. 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.
In 1989, a group of outstanding 3rd year medical students began to establish the Beta Chapter of Alpha Omega Alpha. There were two 3rd year medical students in particular, Gabriel Martinez and Ana Puga, who worked arduously and relentlessly for the founding of the AΩA chapter at Ponce Health Sciences University. After a year of persistence and resilient effort, Beta Chapter was ultimately founded in 1990. On March 1990, six 4th year medical students were inaugurated into the Beta Chapter: Gabriel Martinez, who became the first President of Beta Chapter Puerto Rico; Ana Puga, the Vice- President; Maruha Santiago; and Neisa Prado among others. Dr. Poulines was elected councilor of the chapter, along with Dr. Iriarte and Dr. Felix Cortes, who were elected as facilitators. It was a humble and solemn inaugural ceremony that took place in the hall called "The House of the Doctor" in Ponce. This ceremony commemorated the first induction of the Beta Chapter Ponce Health Sciences University.
Ponce Health Sciences University has as its mission to provide high quality education and graduate training, to strengthen students' character, moral fiber and ethics, and to prepare physicians and scientists for a fast-changing world in the area of healthcare delivery and research.
The Beta Chapter of Ponce Health Sciences University has the philosophy to perpetuate excellence in the medical profession, promote academic and scientific investigation, and maintain the philosophy, the practice, and the science of medicine to the highest standards.
Today, the Beta Chapter continues to uphold its mission as an organization of medical professionals "worthy to serve the suffering". The devotion to reach out into the community is demonstrated by its dedication to honor and promote medical professionals who demonstrate a strong background in academics, medical research, leadership, community service, and humanistic dedication.
© 2020 Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society