L to R: Ophthalmologist surgeon Dr. Mireille Hamparian, Surgery Center Administrator Raffi Sarkissian, surgery tech Angel Matevossian, and nurse Angela Shagoyan prepare the eye surgery supplies and equipment for the medical mission at the Stepanakert Republican Medical Center.
L to R: Gastroenterologist Dr. Edgar Mehdikhani, GI Tech Vartan Lalayan, and Surgery Center Administrator Raffi Sarkissian make final reviews of the GI scopes and processors.
Los Angeles, September 10, 2018 – Chevy Chase Surgery Center has donated state-of-the-art equipment to the Stepanakert Republican Medical Center, in support of Armenia Fund USA’s 2018 medical mission to Armenia and Artsakh. The mission’s Stepanakert component, to take place from September 27 through October 5, is organized and will be implemented jointly by Armenia Fund USA, Chevy Chase Surgery Center, and Adventist Health.
“The Stepanakert Republican Medical Center, built by Armenia Fund in 2013, is a magnificent hospital, with ultra-modern facilities and amenities, however the ophthalmology and gastroenterology departments are in need of major upgrades in equipment and improvements in services,” said Maria Mehranian, President of Armenia Fund. “We are truly grateful to Drs. Avedis and Ara Tavitian, as their generous donation will bring both service lines to the 21st century.”
Valued at over $250,000, the donation made by Drs. Tavitian consists of the leading-edge Alcon Infiniti System and a complete GI machinery suite, including five Japanese-made Pentax scopes for endoscopies and colonoscopies. Considered as the gold standard in Europe and the US, the Alcon Infinity equipment will give the Stepanakert Hospital the flexibility to perform three different types of cataract surgeries, while the Pentax scopes will allow Artsakh doctors to easily perform endoscopy and colonoscopy screenings, remove polyps, and provide other treatments. Chevy Chase Surgery Center’s volunteer physicians will also provide extensive technical trainings in Artsakh.
The physician volunteers from Chevy Chase Surgery Center include Dr. Edgar Mehdikhani (GI), Dr. Armine Sarkisian (GI), Dr. Mireille Hamparian (ophthalmology), Dr. Armen Gregorian (colon-rectal surgeon) and Dr. Andre Yarian (anesthesiologist).
“I visited the Stepanakert Republican Medical Center in May of this year,” said Raffi Sarkissian, Administrator of Chevy Chase Surgery Center. “Touring its GI and ophthalmology departments and meeting with its leadership, I recognized the need for an upgrade. This donation will provide the hospital with the necessary equipment and tools needed to support its doctors and staff to apply the very latest medical methods, on par with the highest Western standards. I thank Armenia Fund USA for the great job they have done in making sure that all our equipment and supplies get to Artsakh in a timely manner, being our liaison with the Stepanakert Republican Medical Center, and making sure that the hospital provides us with all the tools needed to make our engagement successful.”
Armenia Fund USA has carried out missions to the Noyemberyan Hospital since 2015, through a special partnership with Adventist Health. Through the past three missions to Armenia, close to 5,750 patients from borderline villages have been provided with high-quality care in the areas of internal medicine, cardiology, pulmonology, gynecology, neurology, orthopedics, and pediatrics. The services have included 235 surgeries, ranging from gallbladder, hernia, orthopedic, and maxillofacial procedures to removals of lumps and tumors. Over 15 tons of modern medical equipment, medicines, and supplies have been provided to Noyemberyan Hospital.
In addition to the Noyemberyan Hospital, the 2018 medical mission will expand to Artsakh’s Stepanakert Republican Medical Center. The volunteer team of over 60 doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals from the Adventist Health Southern California Region and Chevy Chase Surgery Center will provide a range of free medical services – including primary and specialty care, gastroenterological procedures, and cataract surgeries– to thousands of patients. As importantly, the mission will boost the technical and professional capabilities of the Stepanakert Republican Medical Center through training and technological assistance.
Noyemberyan Hospital was completely rebuilt and modernized by Armenia Fund USA’s Swiss and German partner organizations in 2011. The Stepanakert Republican Medical Center was built by the Hayastan All-Armenian Fund in 2013, through a generous donation by Russia-based benefactor Samvel Karapetyan. The facility is adjacent to the Stepanakert Armine Pagoumian Polyclinic, built by Armenia Fund USA in 2006; as well as the Stepanakert Oncology Center, constructed by the Fonds Armenien de France in 2007.