Mangaluru, Nov 16: The mantle of the Father Muller College of Allied Health Sciences (FMCOAHS) was bestowed on Dr Hilda Fernandes nee D’Souza in a short yet meaningful installation held in in the Father Muller College on Wednesday, November 16.
The programme saw in attendance the Management Committee members and the faculty and students of the Father Muller Medical College (FMMC) and College of Allied Health Sciences who awaited in anticipation of the new principal’s announcement.
Fr Ajith B Menezes, administrator of the Father Muller Medical College, took on his shoulders to coordinate this solemn ceremony and welcomed the dignitaries for being present in support of the new installation. His address mentioned a gratitude to the director who he said shouldered the burden of the Institutions as a leader, mentor, guide and friend in his various statures. With the prayers of the Governing Board members and the nod of the director, the new principal’s name was announced.
The dean of FMMC Dr Antony Sylvan D’Souza who mantled the extra responsibility of the FMCOAHS laid the carpet of greetings to all those gathered and professed his support and faith on the newly appointed principal of the FMCOAHS. He thanked the management, faculty and students for the trust reposed on him during his additional charge.
Fr Ajith, in his announcement, named the selected principal Dr Hilda D’Souza and requested her presence on the dais. With this the dean of FMMC handed over the file of the FMCOAHS in a symbolic overture to Dr Hilda to mantle the new office and a bouquet of flowers was handed by the Director FMCI on behalf of the management.
Dr Hilda D’Souza, in her acceptance and maiden speech as the principal, expressed anxiety on the burden of the largest college of the Father Muller Charitable Institutions being given to her and at the same, elation for the trust imposed in her and reciprocity of the management. Her long association with the medical college from the start as an assistant professor to the director of the NABL accredited lab of FMMCH has been a fruitful yet learning journey. “All comes to those who patiently wait, yet earnestly work,” she said with appreciation to the management and her colleagues and students who, she added, had always nudged her in the path of success. She thanked her parents and her siblings for their ardent support in completing her medical education even though from a poor rural background. She made it a point to thank her teachers and PU faculty who guided her in the path of science. Her praises and thanks to her better half, her pillar of support, her husband Dr Clement R S D’Souza, professor and head, Department of General Surgery was in abundance. She thanked her children too for being her guides in her acceptance for the post.
Fr Richard Aloysius Coelho, director, FMCI, in his presiding address, welcomed Dr Hilda into the Management Committee fold and reminded that her faith and service at the Institutions had made her an apt candidate for the post. Being a woman at the helm, moreover being the one who has strived hard for success and climbed the steps with confidence, was commendable and exemplary, he said. Though the place was left vacant due to unforeseen circumstances, the leadership and charge taken by Dr Antony Sylvan needed appreciation, he expressed. He thanked the students for their support and prodded them to learn harder in the subjects they have chosen. He thanked the Bishop of Mangaluru and the president of the FMCI whose wisdom and support to the Institutions in its every need including the installation, he said, was plentiful. He wished success and a long innings to the new principal.
‘O Give Thanks’, a hymn of praise to God for the providence and deliverance was sung bringing the installation to a close. Later, the new principal was led to her office and formally seated in the principal’s chamber in the presence of the Management Committee members.
Brief details of the new principal
Dr Hilda Fernandes (D’Souza) completed her MBBS in KMC (KIMS), Hubballi in 1992 and MD Pathology from KMC (KIMS) Hubballi in1997. She was trained as an observer at Tata Memorial Hospital in 1997, Consultant Pathologist- Cancer Hospital Navanagar in 1997-1999. She has a vast teaching experience in KIMS Hubballi from March to April 1999 and Father Muller Medical College, Mangaluru from then onwards till date. She was the professor and head between October 2012 and 2016. Currently, she is a professor of Pathology and Lab Director of Father Muller Medical College Hospital Laboratory.
Her research activity has seen 70 research articles in international and national journals, of which a chapter ‘Recent developments in Medicine and medical research’ is also part of a textbook. She has organized various conferences and CMEs in the department. “Muller path- a tryst with exams,” a national level workshop started in 2019, has become an annual event for the MD pathology students.
She has also been resource person for CMEs, conferences and workshops in Pathology, Cytology, Transfusion Medicine and clinical subjects, a reviewer for indexed journals of Pathology, Cytology and Oncology.
For the last 25 years she has taught Pathology, Laboratory Science and Transfusion Medicine subjects to undergraduate and postgraduate students of Medical, Homeopathy, BPT, Nursing and Laboratory Technology. She has guided many MD pathology students and MSc MLT students to conduct research and submit dissertation.
She is also a PhD guide for RGUHS and a co-guide for Nitte University students. She has helped many PhD students in preparing and interpreting animal tissues and MSc students in the St Aloysius College, Mangaluru.
She has conducted 15 community breast cancer awareness camps and examined more the 1500 women for breast lumps as a part of project titled, “self-breast examination, clinical examination and FNAC in rural women.” She has also conducted research projects on tuberculosis and oral cancer.
She is a member of Pathology and Cytology associations of India, Karnataka and local pathology bodies and also of various committees like NABH core committee, Anti-ragging Committee, Bioethics Committee, Purchase Committee of Fr Muller Medical College & Hospital.
She has undergone training in ISO 15189 for NABL in 2010 and 2014.
She is credited with starting new investigations like Immunohistochemistry, Immunoflourescence and Acetyle Cholinesterase staining in Hirschprung’s disease, Flourescent staining for AFB, Toludine blue staining for adequacy testing in FNAC in the department.