Missionaries volunteer their time to provide sustainable health care. It’s been five years since Adventist Health Glendale paved the way for local missionaries who had a personal aspiration to improve Armenia’s health care through medical assistance and equipment, lifesaving surgeries and medical expertise. The mission started in 2015 in partnership with the Armenia Fund, a humanitarian organization serving the needs of the Republic of Armenia and the Artsakh Republic. Established on Adventist Health Glendale’s vision to connect the local diaspora with Armenia, the mission continues today as a passionate project to inspire hope and healing in Armenia.
From Sept. 26 to Oct. 6, over 40 Adventist Health Glendale missionaries, including physicians, nurses and associates, will embark on another critical mission to Stepanakert, the capital of Artsakh, and to three nearby villages with a rapidly growing population. Located in the South Caucasus and internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, Artsakh is home to a large population of Armenians with limited resources. Geographically, it is bordered by Armenia to the west and Iran to the south. Stepanakert Republican Medical Center was chosen for this year’s medical mission based on special assessments during the visit in 2018.
“Our goal is to have our physicians and nurses train and mentor Artsakh’s health care professionals, medical residents and nurses so they can provide sustainable care in years to come,” said Alice Issai, Adventist Health Glendale president and volunteer missionary. “We are committed to helping create a better Armenia by sharing our knowledge of medicine and securing the future of our Armenian brothers, sisters and young children.”
In 2018, the medical mission performed 270 procedures and major surgeries ranging from total knee replacements, hysterectomies, GI procedures, eye surgeries to life-saving cath lab cases in cardiology, neurology and electrophysiology. Another 2,240 visits and consultations were provided for primary care, oncology, gynecology and pediatric patients, both at Noyemberyan Hospital and Stepanakert Republican Medical Center, and in the surrounding villages where free prescriptions were distributed.
“We are looking forward to another successful mission,” said Issai. “It is not only the work that we do that is fulfilling but the big hugs, tears and endless gratitude that warms our hearts forever. One thing I know for sure is that we are doing the right thing. We will continue to help Armenia until we know their health care professionals are able to provide the best care possible
2019 medical specialties offered include anesthesiology, electrophysiology, emergency medicine, general surgery, interventional cardiology, interventional neurology, neurology, orthopedic surgery, oncology pediatrics, primary care and pulmonary.