Glendale Adventist Medical Center Leaders Visit Armenia

Right to left: Sarkis Kotanjian, Executive Director, Armenia Fund - Glendale, CA;  Simon Keushkerian, MD, past Chief of Staff, GAMC; Arby Nahapetian, MD, Vice President Medical Affairs and Quality, GAMC; Kevin Roberts, President and CEO, GAMC; Armen Mudatyan, Health Minister, Armenia; staff of the Health Minister.  Copyright, Areg Balayan, Armenia Fund

EDITOR’S NOTE: Recently, executives from the Glendale Adventist Medical Center visited Armenia and toured the country on a mission to assess and familiarize themselves with healthcare in Armenia. Below is the report of the trip provided by the GAMC administration, which we are publishing as is.

With the intent of sharing God’s love with our community, Glendale Adventist Medical Center (GAMC) executives took a trip across the world to visit the mountainous country in the South Caucasus region of Eurasia, also known as Armenia, or Hayastan. President and CEO of GAMC Kevin A. Roberts tells us more about his adventure with Chief Medical Officer, Arby Nahapetian, MD; former Chief of Medical Staff Simon Keushkerian, MD; members from Armenia Fund and the Health Minister of Armenia Armen Muradyan.

Kevin Roberts reflects on the mission trip, the possibilities and the future of health care in Armenia:

Armenia selected for the mission.

Seventh-day Adventist hospitals occasionally choose to take their mission to share God’s love into far-away lands. Almost 100,000 Armenians live in our community and with several hundred providers of Armenian descent at GAMC, Armenia was naturally the best place to focus this type of outreach.

A committee of hospital leaders, physicians and the Armenia Fund worked together to identify the hospital that would benefit most from this project. Noyemberian hospital, located in the Tavush region on the northeast border of Armenia, fit the profile perfectly.

Focus of the project and objectives – Phases I and II.

The intent of Phase I was to verify that this was an appropriate partner hospital, identify common objectives with the health care community, and build relationships with local leaders. Fortunately, through God’s providence, all of these pieces fell into place. Now we will prepare for Phase II, where we will bring a select group of physicians and other medical personnel to serve specific, agreed-upon needs of the people of Noyemberian. This includes collecting, in advance, equipment, supplies and pharmaceuticals, and shipping them to the site for use upon arrival. We expect this trip to occur in fall of 2015.

One of our objectives is to facilitate connections between our two hospitals using “telemedicine” technology, for medical personnel in Armenia to connect and converse with specialized staff at GAMC.

Personal experiences.

I was personally overjoyed and blessed by the Armenian people, the culture and the country. We arrived in the blush of spring time so the wildflowers were blooming and everything was green. No water shortage in Armenia! I will never forget the hospitality, warmth and food. As a Christian, I was inspired by learning the determination of the Armenian people over the centuries. The zeal to uphold Christ, even under the most drastic and persistent persecution, strengthened my faith.

Next steps for mission-centered care.

In addition to contributions from the hospital and medical staff, the GAMC Healthcare Foundation and Armenia Fund will be raising funds to help support this project and coordinating any community-based contributions. For more information on how you can support this project, contact the Healthcare Foundation at (818) 409-8055 or Armenia Fund at (818) 243-6222.

Areas visited:

Yerevan, Noyemberian, Dilijan, Ashtarak, Garni, Geghard, Etchmaitzin, Armenian Genocide Memorial, Sardarapat

Who attended?

The GAMC scouting team included: Kevin Roberts, CEO; Arby Nahapetian, MD, Chief Medical Officer; and Simon Keushkerian, MD, former Chief of Medical Staff.

Members from Armenia Fund included: Antranik Baghdassarian, Sarkis Kotanjian, Greg Boyrazian, Vardan Partamyan

Health Minister of Armenia: Armen Muradyan

Noyemberian Hospital Leaders: Arturo Gabrielian, MD, Hospital Director; Aghasi Mahdesyan, Hospital Deputy Director


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