American Surgeons Take Part in Hospital Opening in Artsakh

The facade of the new Central Republican Hospital building in Stepanakert

STEPANAKERT—For decades, the Central Republican Hospital in Stepanakert remained the cornerstone of medical and surgical care in Nagorno-Karabakh. The advanced medical care provided by the staff at the hospital remained high, despite limitations in modern technology available for diagnostic and therapeutic treatment.

Board certified surgeons Dr. Hratch Karamanoukian and Dr. Raffy Karamanoukian visited the Central Republican Hospital in September prior to the commencement ceremony of the new hospital on September 24, 2013.  The surgeons provided new equipment and instruments to the Department of Plastic & Reconstructive surgery headed by Dr. Igor Zakharyan.  The instruments will allow Drs. Karamanoukian and Dr. Zakharyan to spearhead a new microsurgical program for complex facial and body reconstruction.  “The level of expertise at the hospital is amazing,” commented Dr. Hratch Karamanoukian, “but there are limitations in the availability of complex surgical instrumentation and diagnostic modalities.”

One of the key discussions made by the surgeons was the feasibility of accessing the medical expertise in Nagorno Karabakh for medical tourism.  “The surgeons and anesthesiologists are well trained and capable,” reported Dr. Raffy Karamanoukian, a plastic surgeon in Los Angeles. The two doctors were provided a tour of the new facilities and discussed the implementation of advanced surgical protocols for the new hospital. Instrumental in the exchange was Deputy Minister of Health, Dr. Karen Ghukasyan, an expert in the field of surgical urology.

The surgeons are both Fellows of the American College of Surgeons and have made several trips to Nagorno Karabakh. “The advancement of medical technology and surgical expertise in Nagorno Karabakh remains a priority for us as Armenian physicians,” says Dr. Hratch Karamanoukian.


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  1. Norin Radd said:

    Out of hundreds, perhaps thousands of Armenian physicians in the US today, only 2 have come forward to show any serious interest in this wonderful new endeavor in the homeland and participate in its improvement and care the place up to the highest standards.

    Where are the rest of our educated “elite”, all day on every Armenian channel I see ENTs, Dentists, OB/Gyn, Oncology, General Surgeons, Primary Care, Plastic Surgeons, and other “highly educated” elitists advertising themselves to our communities in hopes of garnering more patients who’s insurances they want to bill. Yet when it comes to giving to the community, many of these clowns are nowhere to be found except for a select few that genuinely participate in giving their time/support for our Armenian causes.

    I won’t name names, but there are plenty of Hye docs that fly around to various places in foreign countries to devote care as part of their “humanitarian” efforts, but unfortunately, where we need it most, in our homeland, seems to to always slip their minds somehow. Whenever Armenian causes come up, they quickly go into hiding in their big homes in Boston, NY, and Los Angeles.

    This medical center with the help of Armenian docs from around the world can easily become the epicenter of state of the art care for the Caucus region. Today, muslims from the middle east fly into Tel Aviv to get care despite cursing Israel at every turn. There is not reason by this Medical center cannot become such a place in which those that do not want Armenia to flourish, swallow their pride and come to get treatment because they know it’s state of the art care.

    To achieve this, we need Armenian physicians and dentists to take a break from billing their patients’ insurance for their last nickel and come out to participate in such causes affiliated with their own profession, hiding under each other’s skirts in fear of helping their own people won’t be good for them in the long run.

  2. sam said:

    this may grow up to fulfill the dreams and aspiration of all dedicated doctors to make Karabakh the most advanced medical facility outside of the USA , more power to Karamanoukians from St John’s in Santa Monica

  3. Hratch Karamanoukian MD said:

    Physicians are welcome to participate in medical missions to Artsakh. We took a group of 24 physicians from the U.S. in 2012 to Artsakh, all of them U.S. natives and included orthopedic surgeons (Dr Mark Anders, Dr Brian Smolinski, Dr. Craig Blum), radiologists, plastic surgeons (Dr. Jeffrey Meilman) and others as well as Dr Roupenian of Boston, MA. If there are physicians that are interested in going to Artsakh, we are willing and ready to make official contacts for them and you can contact us at anytime and we are always willing to help make your medical mission a success. The people of Artsakh need your medical and surgical expertise in orthopedics, reconstructive surgery, high risk obstetrics, gynecology, urology, colorectal surgery, advanced laparoscopic surgery, oncology, ophthalmology, GI medicine and endoscopy, vascular surgery and so on.