During a recent medical outreach visit to Armenia, Dr. Garo Tertzakian was honored for his 25 years of voluntary service to Armenian Urology during an official ceremony held at the main auditorium of the Yerevan State Medical University (YMSU) on October 4.
The event was sponsored jointly by the YMSU and the Armenian Association of Urology (AAU). Around 300 people were in attendance including physicians, academics, hospital administrators, government officials, patients and friends. All the speakers including the rector of YMSU, the president of AAU, clergy, colleagues, patients and political figures, highlighted the pivotal role that Dr. Tertzakian had played in the past 25 years in the advancement of the practice of Urology in Armenia by infusing Armenian Urology with modern knowledge and techniques. They all stated that in Armenia, urology was regarded as a role model to emulate by the other specialties. Dr. Tertzakian was presented with numerous honorary awards including the prestigious YMSA First Class Medal of Honor and an encyclical by the Catholicos of All-Armenians His Holiness Karekin II praising the doctor’s work and extending his blessings to him.
In his acceptance speech, Dr. Tertzakian thanked the organizers of the event. He specially thanked the Armenian urologists who 25 years ago gave him the opportunity and privilege to work with them in what turned out to be a successful example of US-Armenia cooperation. He also thanked all the organizations and individuals who helped him with this project over the years including. He also thanked the United States of America for giving him the opportunity to succeed and to be able to help others.
Since 1987, Dr. Tertzakian has traveled annually to Armenia to help advance the practice of Urology in that country by introducing modern urological patient management concepts and demonstrating new surgical techniques to his Armenian colleagues, by lecturing, conducting training workshops and by actively participating in the annual congress of the AAU that he co-founded with a few Armenian colleagues twenty years ago.
Earlier this year, Dr. Tertzakian was instrumental in securing the donation of a Revolix thulium laser machine by HealthTronics Corporation of Texas to the Saint Nerses Medical Center in Yerevan, a non-profit hospital with an active urology service. During his last visit, Dr. Tertzakian organized a 2-day course on “Lasers in Urology” at the hospital attended by over 50 urologists and other surgical specialists interested in medical lasers. Didactic lectures on medical lasers and their clinical applications were followed by several live Revolix laser prostate, urethral and bladder surgeries performed by Dr. Tertzakian, using the new Revolix laser machine and telecast live by video to the course participants.
Dr. Tertzakian expressed his gratitude to Saint Joseph Hospital in Orange, California for the donation of much needed medical equipment and supplies to this project over the years. In addition, the hospital has played an important role in the retraining of numerous Armenian urologists who have been invited by Dr. Tertzakian to come to Orange County to become acquainted with the latest advances in urology. The most recent Armenian urologist who visited Saint Joseph Hospital in early November was Professor Ashot Tsaturyan, a well-known oncological urologist in Armenia. He was very impressed by seeing the high quality, cutting edge urology being practiced at Saint Joseph Hospital like the robotic urology program, cryoablation of prostate and kidney cancers and minimally invasive laser surgery for the enlarged prostate among the many new cutting edge techniques being used by Saint Joseph Hospital urologists.
Dr. Tertzakian looks forward to continue this outreach work for many years to come with renewed energy as he finds it to be one of the most rewarding aspects of his professional life.