On July 17, US Ambassador to Armenia John Heffern visited the Muratsan” University Hospital in Yerevan, where the Fund for Armenian Relief conducted a special course on intensive pediatric care.

“In our mutual relationships, we are not doing buildings or bricks any more, we do people exchanges. This is why I wanted to come and thank you and see it [the course] for myself,” Ambassador Heffern said in his speech. The Ambassador greeted the visiting doctors from leading hospitals of the United States, as well as the local participants and organizers of the special course. The day before, the Ambassador had welcomed the group of visiting U.S. doctors and FAR representatives at the U.S. Embassy where he was introduced to the course and expressed his gratification with the project.

During the meeting, Ambassador Heffern presented a copy of the newly issued in the U.S. “Pediatric Care” manual to the director of the National Medical Library, Anna Shirinyan. The doctors mentioned that it was the first copy of the new publication to have left the U.S.

The two-day course of intensive pediatric care was led by pediatricians and critical care specialists Dr. Edward G. Seferian from UCLA, MD, MS, FAAP (Department of Pediatrics at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center), Dr. Mohan Mysore, MD, FAAP, Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Nebraska College of Medicine, Dr. Mudit Mathur, MD from the Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital, Dr. Yves Oullette, M.D., Ph.D. from the Mayo Clinic, and Dr. Ndidiamaka Musa, MD, Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Washington (Seattle Children’s Hospital).

The participants at this international course were leading pediatricians, as well as nurses from the hospitals in Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh. The goal of the course is to develop a staff of local professional trainers in intensive pediatric care. To complete the process, another course of this nature will be organized next year.

Upon the completion of the course, the trainees are expected to pass on their updated knowledge and skills to their colleagues at their home institutions across the country. FAR will sponsor the process through one of its flagship projects in the homeland – Continuing Medical Education.

This important initiative was made possible thanks to a generous contribution from the Sapah-Gulian Foundation, established by the chair of FAR’s Board of Directors, Randy Sapah-Gulian. The Sapah-Gulian family was present at the event.

“I am happy to have our family foundation sponsor a program of this importance,” said Mr. Sapah-Gulian. “I am sure that the modern knowledge and skills that the local Armenian doctors and nurses will absorb from their colleagues from these leading U.S. Hospitals will eventually translate into a higher quality of healthcare that they will provide to their patients. This is just the beginning, and we have already started planning the next round of this program.”