What Keeps Me Coming Back

By JoyceKurdian, DMD

Hello from rural Armenia! It has been an extremely busy few days in the dental clinic. Dental caries is an epidemic in Armenia because there are not many dentists serving the rural areas and dental care is very expensive. They do not have preventative care (regular cleanings, fluoride in water and sealants for kids).  It is common to see people with multiple missing or rotted teeth and this affects their speech, nutrition, and self-esteem. I have seen children from ages 4-16 for pain, infection, cavities and root canals. Many are scared at the start of the appointment but at the end happily say they didn’t feel a thing and wouldn’t be scared to return. The dentists here are unfortunately very experienced in doing extractions so my goal is to save whatever I can save, leaving the extractions for the local dentists to address once we leave. The gratitude and happiness of these children once they are out of pain is so rewarding that it is impossible to fully describe.  This is what keeps me coming back each year (this is my 4th year volunteering in Armenia).  If you take dental healthcare as a whole, it is overwhelming but if you take it step by step and use the opportunity to educate parents, children, and the staff it is more manageable.  I am grateful to AAHPO and COAF for allowing us this opportunity and invite anyone who’s interested in joining our medical mission in the future to reach out!


Permanent link to this article: http://www.aahpo.org/blog/?p=375


AAHPO Annual Meeting and Christmas Brunch


of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut

Cordially invites you and your family to our

AAHPO Christmas Brunch

Sunday, December 4, 2010

Business Meeting:  11:30 AM SHARP
Election of New Officers

Brunch: 12:30 PM to 3:30 PM

The Palisadium Restaurant
700 Palisadium Drive
Cliffside Park, NJ 07010
(201) 886-9207


~ There will be Christmas Caroling
And a visit from Santa Claus


Adults $60.00, Children $35.00 (Age 6-12)
Children 5 and under are Free

Come & Have Fun, Good Food & Camaraderie


Kindly RSVP by November 30th

Knarig Khatchadurian Meyer, PhD – Chairperson
 (201) 444-0390 or knarigmeyer@hotmail.com

Garbis Baydar, MD – Assistant Chair
(201) 568-3262 or garbisb@aol.com

Armand Asarian, MD
(718) 250-6088 or sarkisjr@aol.com

Louiza Pusikian-Kubikian, DDS
(516) 248-2955 or lpk17@aol.com

Permanent link to this article: http://www.aahpo.org/blog/?p=292


AAHPO Members Meeting November 18, 2011

To All AAHPO Health Professionals and Spouses
Join us for our Fall Social and Educational Meeting

Friday, November 18, 2011

Sevan Restaurant
216-07 Horace Harding Expressway, New York, NY 11364
Phone: (718 ) 281-0004
(on Service Road of Long Island Expressway West of Springfield Boulevard)

Dinner 7:30 PM
Special Presentations 8:30 PM

Dinner $45 (Reservations required.)
Please R.S.V.P. by November 9, 2011


Edmund Gergerian, M.D.
“Electrophotonic Medical Imaging of Human Energy Fields: Clinical Applications and Beyond”

Lawrence V. Najarian, M.D.
“AAHPO Update”

* AAHPO 2011 Annual Gala Banquet and Fundraiser
* AAHPO CME Program
* Future Activities and Projects

For more information and to make your reservation, please contact:
Dr. Garbis Baydar (201) 568-3262 or email garbisB@aol.com
Dr. Arthur Kubukian (718) 786-3842 or (516) 527-7397(201) or email ahk29@msn.com

Permanent link to this article: http://www.aahpo.org/blog/?p=287


Be a Silent Auction Winner and Help Save Lives!


A magnificent family portrait, five nights at a luxury spa, ballet at the Met – these are a few of the unique items being offered in a silent auction at the AAHPO 2011 Annual Gala Banquet and Fundraiser on October 15, 2011.

This will be a night you won’t want to miss! The entire Armenian community is coming out for dinner, dancing, awards, and silent auction. Come enjoy the company of so many of your cherished friends and associates!

To RSVP and purchase Gala Tickets online or to Make A Donation, please click here.

“We want to thank all those who have made such generous contributions to our silent auction. Bidders will enjoy these valuable items even more, knowing that all the money we raise supports the AAHPO CME Program,” said Rita Arevigian and Suzy Davidkhanian, co-organizers of the silent auction.

A sampling of Silent Auction items includes:

Bradford Portraits

Bradford Portraits – imagine an oil-painted portrait of you and your spouse, your children, or your entire family! The painted portrait is based on a professional photo taken by one of the most renowned portrait photographers in the world.

Retail Value $5,000

Aqua Wellness Resort

Aqua Wellness Resort – five night, all-inclusive package for two at this luxury Nicarauga spa, including airport pick-up, meals and a wellness class. (Blackout Dates Nov 15, 2011  to Jan 15, 2012)

Retail Value $5,000+

American Ballet Theatre at the Met

American Ballet Theatre at the Met - Two Orchestra Seats – Spring Season May 14 – July 7, 2012.

Retail Value $250

Dr. Pamoukian

Sclerotherapy Session – Varicose Vein Surgery with Dr. Vicken N. Pamoukian.

Retail Value $1,000

New Jersey Devils

New Jersey Devils premium package – 4 Hockey tickets (great seats, Section I, Row 4), parking pass, plus a regulation hockey stick signed by Larry Robinson.

Retail Value $550


Grohe - Gift certificate.

Retail Value $1,350

AAHPO has dedicated the proceeds from the silent auction to support its CME program:

Help Save Lives! Support the Continuing Medical Education of Doctors in Armenia.

Here’s what one CME Program Graduate has to say:

“I could not believe such a humanitarian project could exist. It was a great opportunity to deepen my professional knowledge,” said Dr. Lilit Ananikyan, Ninotsminda Emergency Center.

To RSVP and purchase Gala Tickets online or to Make A Donation, please click here.


Permanent link to this article: http://www.aahpo.org/blog/?p=259


AAHPO Gala Banquet to be Held in NJ

By: Taleen Babayan

Fundraising Efforts Dedicated to Continuing Medical Education in Armenia

As a physician at the Ninotsminda Emergency Center, Dr. Lilit Ananikyan spends her days performing surgeries, checking in on her patients, and treating the ill in this Armenian-populated district in the Javakhk region of southern Georgia. Serving in an under-staffed and under-resourced hospital, Ananikyan and her colleagues face a multitude of obstacles on a daily basis, including lack of heat during the harsh winter months, outdated ambulance cars, and a scarcity of medical supplies. But perhaps the biggest challenge of all is the inability to update one’s medical training. Many of the doctors, not only in Javakhk, but also in Nagorno-Karabagh and rural Armenia, have not received additional training or courses to update their knowledge of medicine since the collapse of the Soviet Union some 20 years ago.

Vist www.aahpo.org/AAHPO2011Gala/ for more information about this event and to RSVP to attend!!

Read the whole article at: http://www.armenianweekly.com/2011/09/21/aahpo-gala-banquet-to-be-held-in-nj/


Permanent link to this article: http://www.aahpo.org/blog/?p=253


Dr. Garbis Kassabian – Visit to St. Grigor Lusavorich Medical Center

A visit to St. Grigor Lusavorich Medical Center impressed me with the dedication of the medical and nursing staff in taking care of their patients.


I first met with the hospital Vice President, Dr. Avagyan. He introduced me to Dr. Vardan Navasardyan, reanimatology specialist, who is in charge of the ICU. I rounded with him in the ICU. The patients there were short term and long term patients needing critical care, including ventilators. They ran the gamut of critical illnesses from trauma to complicated medical illnesses. Dr. Navasardyan revealed to me that parts are sometimes hard to replace on ventilators and other equipment.


Dr. Navasrdyan then took me to the thoracic surgery floor where I participated in the rounds with the thoracic surgeons.The patients that I observed in the thoracic surgery department had a variety of illnesses, with a varying spectrum of pathologies, not unlike what we see in the US. Some illnesses are diagnosed and treated very similarly. Others are treated slightly differently but just as effectively. The limiting factors were diagnostic tests for uncommon and complex illnesses that are either too expensive to perform or are not available in Armenia.


Garbis Kassabian, MD
Mission Hills, CA

Permanent link to this article: http://www.aahpo.org/blog/?p=243


Dr. Garbis Baydar – Pediatrics in Armenia

My visit to a 60-bed pediatric hospital in Yerevan made me feel both encouraged and incredulous.

The hospital provided general pediatric care, as well as intensive care. They also had a cancer unit, where I saw some patients with leukemia and Hodgkin`s lymphoma.

The head of the Neonatal and Pediatric ICU gave us a tour. He was relatively well informed. His monthly salary was $150. No, I did not forget to put another zero! $150!!! When you see brand new Mercedes and BMW`s in Yerevan streets, you scratch your head. I am sure doctors there get paid under the table, otherwise, they can`t make a living!

I went to visit a COAF village outside the city in a rural area. They had a midsize polyclinic there which provides primary care. I examined some patients with coughs and rashes (minor issues).

In summary, I found the doctors to be knowledgeable but lacking the medical technology we use in the USA. At the Congress, we learned that in the entire country there is no MRI machine. And they don`t have the type of medications we have in this country. For instance there is no-new generation insulin for pediatric diabetes patients, which can prevent serious future complications. The insulin they are using keeps them barely alive. Very concerning.

Garbis Baydar, MD
AAHPO 2011 Medical Mission to Armenia Participant

Permanent link to this article: http://www.aahpo.org/blog/?p=241


Great AAHPO Mission!

It was an honor to visit Armenia along with the other members of the AAHPO Mission and their families. The young doctors in Armenia are nothing but AMAZING! Their dedication, their humility, their passion to serve the people of the villages of our Motherland left me in awe. We are still recovering from this heartwarming experience. Our thanks and appreciation go to AAHPO for making this such a successful Mission. We are looking forward to participating in future AAHPO events.


Sona and Heratch Doumanian, MD


Permanent link to this article: http://www.aahpo.org/blog/?p=237


Tesla Machines


As per one of the radiologists at the Nazarian Center, they are 0.35 Tesla machines.  I was also told that the 0.35 Tesla machine does not require cooling maintenance whereas a 1.5 Tesla MRI machine will require cooling with Helium (costing $50-60,000 per year).

I’ll continue to research how we can help increase access to this important technology.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.aahpo.org/blog/?p=233


From Hambardzum Simonyan, MD

AAHPO received this today!

First of all I would like to express my grateful appreciation to all AAHPO members, both as an Armenian physician and a citizen. Each time, when one of our colleagues from the diaspora visits Armenia, he or she brings a measure of hope, motivation and encouragement for colleagues and people who live and work in the Motherland. We have observed that about one in 10 of these visits evolves into a medical project in the Motherland.


This time AAHPO visited with the largest and most professional team, and I am sure that we will have a significant outcome of this visit very soon. It is wonderful.


FAR is implementing a great program with AAHPO funding –  the Continuing Medical Education (CME) Program for Karabagh and Javakhk physicians. I am so happy and proud to be part of this team and to have the opportunity to work with them.


I am sure that FAR cooperation with AAHPO will continue for a very long time, and we will conduct a many additional projects that improve Armenian health care.


Once again, a deeply thank-you to my colleagues in AAHPO.


Hambardzum Simonyan, MD

Health Projects Coordinator

Medical Monitor Officer /UAF

Fund for Armenian Relief

Permanent link to this article: http://www.aahpo.org/blog/?p=203

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