LOS ANGELES—The Armenian International Medical Fund completed its 23rd medical mission from June 26 to July 3. Nineteen children and young adults received cochlear implants (CI), allowing them to either hear for the first time or to regain lost hearing. The implant is placed surgically, and Dr. Akira Ishiyama, professor and otology surgeon at UCLA Health, is the principal surgeon of the CI program in Armenia.
Thanks to Dr. Ishiyama’s exceptional expertise and successful outcomes, Armenia is the only country in the region to offer the latest generation of implants and processors to CI candidates.
Dr. Salpy Akaragian, founder and president of AIM Fund, spends over half the year in Armenia taking care of the program’s logistics and meeting with parents and government entities. This year, AIM Fund is grateful to the Prime Minister’s Office, Ministry of Health, Erebouni MC, Arabkir MC, and parents for collaborating to complete another successful medical mission.
Due to the rising need for cochlear implants in Armenia, another medical mission (24th) will take place on Thanksgiving week of 2022. Dr. Ishiyama will spend his holiday in Armenia and operate on additional children and young adults.
In 2004, Kevork, four years old, became the first child to receive an AIM Fund cochlear implant in Armenia at the Erebouni Medical Center (EMC)—where implant surgeries are still performed. Today, Kevork is enrolled in medical school and speaks three languages.
AIM Fund has implanted over 170 children and young adults in Armenia and continues strengthening its CI program, in addition to the complicated ear surgeries performed by Dr. Akira Ishiyama. AIM Fund is a non-profit organization; all officers and members are volunteers.
On July 1, Arayik Harutyunyan, Chief of Staff of the Office of the Prime Minister, honored Drs. Akira Ishiyama and Salpy Akaragian with Certificates of Appreciation, recognizing the important work of the AIM Fund.
AIM Fund is grateful to all who participate in this innovative healthcare program in Armenia—especially its generous donors—which not only gives the gift of hearing to young patients but eases the burden of families faced with the economic hardship of providing for children who are hearing-challenged.
To learn more and to contribute to the AIM Fund, visit the website.