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Commitment to North Armenia, Artsakh — Armenia Fund USA Newsletter 2014.1

Armenia Fund USA Inc.
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For Immediate Release
May 21, 2012


NEW YORK, New York — Exposing Armenia’s physicians to western best practices medicine has quickly become a favorite project for many Armenia Fund USA donors. They recognize that quality health care starts with well-trained, up-to-date, professional staff. They have seen how the Fund’s initiatives in health care are already saving the lives of stroke victims through its neurosurgeon training program. And they understand that helping talented, dedicated doctors gain direct access to some of the top hospitals and doctors in America will pay many dividends for communities in the homeland for years to come.

Thanks to the efforts of Dr. Armen Arslanian, Dr. Musaelian is now visiting Winchester Hospital in Winchester, MA for a 4-week observership program

Building on the success of the neurosurgeon training program organized by Armenia Fund USA board member Dr. Arthur Grigorian, Armenia Fund USA is now facilitating training in emergency medicine. At present, patients without access to an ER are treated at a polyclinic. If they are victims of trauma, they go directly into surgery without the benefit of sophisticated diagnostic tests. Or, they are sent to another hospital, using up the precious time so critical in emergency care.

Emergency medicine is one specialty particularly urgent in Karabakh and, all the more so, when doors open to new health care facilities, such as the Martuni regional hospital, which will boast a state of the art emergency room.

“What good is all that new technology, if there isn’t the skilled, properly trained medical team on hand to use it?” asks Irina Lazarian, executive director of Armenia Fund USA and driver of the Fund’s overall health care effort in general and the physicians training program in particular.

The deserving recipient of the first such “observership” in emergency medicine is Dr. Mher Musaelian of the national health center in Stepanakert, capital of Karabakh. Thanks to the efforts of another Armenia Fund USA board member Dr. Armen Arslanian, Dr. Musaelian is now visiting Winchester Hospital in Winchester, MA for a four-week observership program.

Dr. Gregg Ciottone, chief of disaster medicine of BIDMC, visited Armenia years ago and came back with many fond memories. So he gladly helped arrange for Dr. Musaelian to shadow hospital physicians for various shifts at the BIDMC ER for trauma exposure. Dr. Musaelian will have ample opportunities to observe procedures, surgeries, patient histories and physical exams. He will also attend patient rounds, teaching conferences and enjoy privileges to the hospital’s medical research library.

While the program itself is free of charge, Armenia Fund USA helped facilitate the visa process with an official letter of invitation as well as reached out to the community for in-kind support. For example, the family of Albert Hovanessian of Winchester MA has put out the welcome mat for Dr. Musaelian and are graciously hosting him while he is in the program.

Upon arriving in the U.S a short time ago, Dr. Musaelian, had this to say: “The medical community in Karabakh has been very eager to adopt the standards used in the U.S. and Europe. Our goal is to produce better outcomes for our emergency patients. New diagnostic equipment in the ER, such as a CT scan, is a big step forward. But we also need to upgrade the administrative side. I look forward to learning how a quality ER service should be organized and equipped to run efficiently and effectively. Everything I learn here, I will share with my colleagues back in Karabakh.”

Irina Lazarian also pointed out that, “Most patients from these struggling communities usually wait until their symptoms or chronic condition become a health crisis. While we are trying to change that behavior, we are challenged to give them the best possible emergency care. Our hope is that with western trained physicians, patients and families will feel comfortable about seeking treatment. They will have all the right elements in place: a clean, safe environment, the latest diagnostic testing, and doctors and nurses up-to-speed on quality health care delivery.”

With so many established and well-respected Armenian-Americn medical specialists in our community’s midst here in the eastern region, Armenia Fund USA benefits not only from their professional connections but also their generosity of spirit.

“Doctors at the top of their game like Dr. Grigorian and Dr. Arslanian are demonstrating their dedication to the Armenian homeland by so generously giving of their time, knowledge, expertise and networks to the next generation of health professionals” stated Khoren Bandazian, chairman of Armenia Fund USA. “It has often been said, that a healthy nation is a wealthy nation,” he went on to say. “Our physician training programs can help bring our homeland ever closer to that ideal.”

ARMENIA FUND USA: founded in 1992, was one of the first of “Hayastan” All-Armenian Fund’s 20 international affiliates and serves constituents in all states east of the Mississippi. As a non-profit, non-governmental, nonsectarian organization, the Fund represents all Armenian constituents, supporting strategic infrastructure projects in Armenia and Karabakh. The Fund has adopted a policy to go “Beyond Bricks and Mortar” to provide sustainability for projects it sponsors.

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