-Training of Armenian Doctors at USC Hospital Set for Six Months-
LOS ANGELES, Calif, June 18, 2010 /WCTF/ — The World Children’s Transplant Fund (WCTF) is providing funding for Dr. Gegham Poghosyan and Dr. Davit Dallakyan, both of Armenia, to receive specialized pediatric transplant training at the USC University Hospital in Los Angeles. The goal of the training is to educate the visiting doctors on pediatric organ transplantation and management of transplant candidates and recipients.
“It is very gratifying to be part of an authentic partnership between the USC University Hospital and the World Children’s Transplant Fund,” said Valerie McCaffrey, chairperson of WCTF’s Armenia Committee. “The training these doctors will receive is the cutting edge for pediatric transplantation, and is not available in Armenia.”
The USC training, which will be headed by Dr. Linda Sher and Dr. Yuri Genyk, will consist of academic and observational study. Once the training is complete, the doctors will return to Sourb Astvatsamayr Medical Center, where they will continue their medical careers and further WCTF’s mission of pediatric organ transplantation.
“We are enormously grateful that Doctors Linda Sher and Yuri Genyk, and their world-class transplant team, are willing to expend the time and effort in teaching the latest advancements in pediatric organ transplantation to eager visiting surgeons who will invest six months of their time into the partnership,” said McCaffrey.
WCTF is providing the doctors with a living stipend and reimbursement for expenses incidental to their stay. WCTF also is providing medical insurance for each doctor, and a shared apartment. While receiving their training, the doctors will remain employees of Sourb Astvatsamayr Medical Center in Armenia.
“The return on this investment is a human one, one that will be reflected in the healthy lives of Armenia’s children who will benefit from the new-found skills of the returning transplant surgeons,” said McCaffrey. “The spinoff of this project will be felt for many years in Armenia’s pediatric medical community and the children served by it.”
Poghosyan and Dallakyan are licensed, practicing surgeons at Sourb Astvatsamayr Medical Center. Poghoyan graduated from Yerevan State Medical University in 1997. After post-doctoral training in Moscow, he joined Sourb Astvatsamayr as a surgeon in 2007. Dallakyan graduated from Yerevan State Medical University in 2006. After his residency in Pediatric Surgery at Sourb Astvatsamayr, he joined the medical center as a staff pediatric surgeon. Both men have been selected by the Medial Center and WCTF as highly talented, dedicated individuals. They are both fluent in English.
ABOUT SOUB ASTVATSAMAYR MEDICAL UNIVERSITY
Sourb Astvatsamayr is one of the biggest medical centers in Yerevan, Armenia. It is the clinical base for the chairs of pediatrics, pediatric surgery, and neurology of YSMU, as well as for the chairs of neurology, neurosurgery and ENT-diseases of the National Institute of Healthcare. In 2003, thanks to a grant from the Japanese government, the Center was re-equipped with modern devices: digital analyzers, new sonograph machines, monitoring systems for patients’ follow-up, and endovision systems for endoscopic operations. In 2005, the World Bank started a program to modernize the medical center’s equipment, improving the management and quality of medical aid.
There is still a lot of improvement required for the Sourb Astvatsamayr Medical Center (and indeed, for health care in general in Armenia) to reach the levels of quality and care available in the rest of the developed world. Like other new independent states of the former Soviet Union, Armenia’s economy still suffers from the legacy of a centrally planned economy and the breakdown of former Soviet trading networks. In addition, a recent earthquake and conflict with Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh have hampered the country’s development. Armenian diaspora, foreign governments and nonprofits such as WCTF have been a source of assistance to medical centers such as Sourb stvatsamayr.
ABOUT WCTF IN ARMENIA
WCTF opened its center in Yerevan, Armenia in 2002. The first challenge in Armenia was to assist in the preparation of legislation that would enable organ transplantation to take place as well as to ban the sale of organs. The legislation passed in limited form (allowing living-related transplantation procedures among family members, as well as certain other types of transplantation).
Since that time, the Armenia chapter has been active in fundraising and in introducing the concept of organ transplantation to the country by funding cornea transplants for several children whose sight had been lost in accidents. The public awareness campaigns surrounding these procedures have increased the visibility of transplantation in Armenia while reducing the fear and uncertainty surrounding this type of surgery.
The next steps in Armenia are to assist in passing legislation that allows living organ transplantation from unrelated donors (for kidney transplants among unrelated persons) and to begin training physicians from various hospitals in Yerevan in life-saving organ transplantation techniques. In addition, he WCTF in Armenia plans to undertake fundraising campaigns to procure necessary intensive care unit technology necessary for after-care of pediatric transplant patients.
ABOUT THE WORLD CHILDREN’S TRANSPLANT FUND
The World Children’s Transplant Fund, or WCTF, is a nongovernmental, nonprofit organization dedicated to the development of pediatric transplantation around the world.
Lack of financing for transplant operations, and especially for post-operation treatment, is one of the major problems in every country. WCTF raises funds to establish pediatric transplant centers in those countries that do not have them; helps purchase necessary equipment and drugs for the transplant hospitals; helps organize appropriate training for the transplant surgeons and coordinators; and helps organize organ donation campaigns.
WCTF’s mission is to provide as many opportunities as possible for lifesaving pediatric transplant surgery to children of the world. The organization focuses on establishing World Children’s Transplant Centers in regional site locations of key population centers around the world attached to preexisting medical facilities, with the goal being to assist nations in developing and then sustaining independent pediatric organ transplant programs using training, technology and teaching.
The Training component incorporates the development of human resources including surgeons, support staff, coordinators, and ancillary organ procurement personnel. This component develops the education necessary to perform pediatric organ transplants by allowing for hands-on surgical experience in all areas of organ transplantation. Seminars, conventions, congresses, periodicals, and tapes are also covered through training.
The Technology component includes establishing fully operational pediatric organ transplant centers. This is accomplished through the acquisition of necessary medical and technical equipment utilized in pediatric organ transplant surgery.
The Technology component also includes regional organ procurement software to provide a network for donor matching and organ sharing through an automated organ and donor registry, and international communication between regional pediatric transplant facilities and the United States, to provide for efficient audio-visual training and the transfer of technology and communications.
The Teaching component includes the Public Awareness Campaigns designed to educate the populace regarding pediatric organ transplantation. This component further includes publicity through print, radio, television, on-line services, and other mediums.
For more information, visit www.wctf.org.
Source: World Children’s Transplant Fund
For information about the visit of the Armenian doctors and related info:
Valerie McCaffrey – Armenia Chair
For information about WCTF, including background, mission, and photos:
Web Site: http://www.wctf.org/