The Armenian American Health Professionals Organization’s (AAHPO) recent medical mission to the Berd Region has led to a new collaboration and a source of empowerment for local health professionals, including dentists, physicians, ophthalmologists, and nurses, among others.

The mission trip—the first of its kind by AAHPO—was part of FAR’s Breaking the Cycle of Poverty Program (BCPP ) and had the goals of exchanging ideas and experience with local healthcare professionals and identifying the local needs for long-term, effective and strategic collaboration in the future.

“We experienced a new kind of ‘spring’ at our hospital. Both our physicians and the AAHPO professionals involved in the workshops raised questions about health and services, nutrition and hygiene,” said Berd Medical Center Director Dr. Hamayak Adamyan.

After discussing Berd’s very high number of children with dental problems, the group decided to implement an urgent program on the basics of oral hygiene for school-age kids.

According to AAHPO President Dr. Lawrence Najarian, the trainings and meetings were beneficial for both sides. “We learned and they learned, so, it’s a perfect match,” he noted. “We were looking for an area that AAHPO could call a ‘home’, where we could meet with people, our contemporaries, our peers, our fellow physicians from the Berd Region, and exchange ideas. We were looking forward to not only meeting them but also looking at the facilities that they’re working in. Everybody in the mission group is extraordinarily impressed by the quality of the physicians here and their knowledge and their willingness to be receptive to new ideas.”

In addition to dental care, AAHPO intends to support Berd residents with access to better eye care and improved laboratories and lab testing abilities. They also plan to share medical information together using Zoom or Skype technologies. AAHPO also plans to try and work with military hospitals in Berd.

“Each hospital has it strengths and we want to make that stronger,” said Dr. Najarian, who also expressed his gratitude to FAR for making the medical mission possible for Berd professionals.