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GAMC, Armenia Fund Prep for 2nd Medical Mission to Armenia


GLENDALE, CA – Glendale Adventist Medical Center (GAMC) and Armenia Fund are preparing to leave for their second medical mission trip to Noyemberyan, located in Armenia’s northeast Tavush region. The medical mission is a result of a special partnership between Armenia Fund, GAMC and Noyemberyan Hospital, now a sister hospital to GAMC. 

The purpose of this visit, which will occur Oct. 13–22, 2016, is to offer free medical services and surgeries to the residents of Noyemberyan and the surrounding 30 villages. It also provides the opportunity for physicians, surgeons, nurses and medical professionals from GAMC to lay the foundation of this long-term partnership. 

“As physicians, we go to Armenia to help people who are marginalized and lacking resources,” said Simon Keushkerian, MD, GAMC vascular surgeon. 

In October of last year, GAMC and Armenia Fund collaborated for the first time on their first medical mission trip to the rural Armenian community. Led by GAMC President and CEO Kevin A. Roberts, the 31-member medical team from Glendale performed 35 surgeries, including maxillofacial, varicose vein, gallbladder removal and hernia procedures. Volunteers also provided over 800 patients with physical exams and screenings. The magnitude and scale of a mission like this had never occurred in Armenia’s modern history. The GAMC surgical team, composed of three surgeons and two anesthesiologists, surgical nurses, scrub techs, and a biomedical engineer, worked long hours. Upon completion of the first medical mission, the group was received by the president of Armenia, Serzh Sargsyan who personally thanked everyone for volunteering their time and efforts in helping an area very important to Armenia.

“We felt God’s call to expand our mission of ‘sharing His love’ to Noyemberyan. He then blessed our service with safety, unity and effectiveness,” stated Roberts. "Seeing the joy and relief on peoples’ faces and hearing them say ‘you brought hope to our community’ exceeded our expectations and propelled us to return and do more.”

This year, 40 missionaries from GAMC, including 16 doctors, will be participating. Specialties include general surgery, oral and maxillofacial surgery, orthopedic surgery, obstetrics and gynecology services, ophthalmology, pathology, anesthesiology, cardiology, pediatrics, internal medicine and family medicine. The group has already shipped more than 170,000 doses of critical pharmaceuticals to treat high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol and asthma, as well as antibiotics, surgical supplies and pediatric medications. Newly added services compared to 2015 are orthopedics, ophthalmology, gynecology and pathology. 

Missionaries contribute their personal time and talent, bring their own medical scrubs and pay for their personal airfare and lodging. 

GAMC coordinates the missionary team of doctors, nurses and support staff as well as donates all supplies and equipment, and oversees the clinical and surgical process flow in Noyemberyan. 

For the 2016 mission trip, Armenia Fund is coordinating the logistics, connections, itinerary, regional communication to gather patients for medical services, shipping of all supplies and equipment, entire team transportation in-country and food for the missionaries.

Funds needed to support the cost of the trip total $150,200, including approximately $87,000 for surgical and clinical supplies, $50,000 for pharmaceuticals, $7,000 for a portable ultrasound machine, $4,000 for a patient monitor and $2,200 for two oxygen concentrators. Community members can make a difference by donating to support Compassion in Action – “Mission Armenia.” Donations will cover medical supplies, equipment and pharmaceuticals, medical training for Armenia’s health care professionals and patient education. To donate, click here or contact the GAMC Healthcare Foundation at (818) 409-8055.