Glendale Adventist staff gearing up for trip to Armenia

Glendale hospital doctors, nurses and other medical specialists will be heading to Armenia this fall to help improve care offered at a hospital in a rural village and develop a sort of a “sister partnership,” the Glendale News-Press reports.

Earlier this year, Kevin Roberts, chief executive of Glendale Adventist Medical Center, and two of the hospital’s doctors headed to Noyemberyan, a Tavush province town about 120 miles from the capital, Yerevan, and just 3 miles from the Azerbaijani border.While visiting Noyemberyan Hospital, they identified the health demands that needed to be met and plan to return in October to perform surgeries, provide treatment and bring supplies.

“We came back from that trip very excited and enthusiastic and feeling that the purpose was going to be well connected to this community,” said Roberts, who has wanted to carry out a medical outreach mission since becoming the medical center’s chief executive.

Glendale Adventist is teaming up with the nonprofit Armenia Fund for the outreach, and both will carry out fundraising efforts leading up to the trip.

Roberts said he’ll be heading back with 35 hospital employees this time. The focus will be to offer gallbladder and hernia surgeries as well as procedures to repair cleft palates.

Stroke and heart attack victims will also be treated, and there will also be a focus on preventive care.

“They have a widespread gap in their vaccination program we would like to start helping to fill,” Roberts said, adding that, as a registered nurse, he will also be pitching in with the effort.

But the project may go beyond the autumn visit. Roberts said he hopes some of the doctors in Noyemberyan will visit Glendale Adventist to get some training and tele-medicine equipment will let them consult remotely with local physicians.

Roberts said that being a public hospital in Armenia limits the resources Noyemberyan has access to and the goal of establishing a sustainable relationship is so that people in the village will not only get better treatment, but regain faith in their local medical center.

“If we can help them reinforce and upgrade some of their practices, their community will save a three-hour drive to Yerevan, and say, ‘I’m going to try my local hospital again,’” Roberts said.

In 2010, the Armenia Fund paid to refurbish Noyemberyan Hospital. The facility staffs 30 doctors and houses 60 beds.[column col=”1/4″]ADD_CONTENT_HERE[/column]

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