FAR Celebrates 15 Years of Improving Armenia's Healthcare




Fifteen years ago FAR, in partnership with the FAR Fellowship Alumni Association, launched a program aimed at elevating not only the professional capacities of Armenian doctors, but also the quality of Armenia's healthcare system as a whole.

Today, the Continuing Medical Education Program (CME) has received national and international recognition for the powerful impact it has had on the country.

“Through this program, we have not only expanded the knowledge and skills of regional doctors, but we have also established a new, significant culture of ‘giving back.’ The number one success of the program is due to the volunteer trainers—people who unconventionally believed in the success of the program from the very first day and got involved in sharing their knowledge and skills with regional doctors. Over time, we have established a solid and effective network,” said FAR Healthcare Program Director Dr.Hambardzum Simonyan.

Last week, FAR celebrated the 15th anniversary of CME at the National Medical Library in Yerevan. The event brought together CME trainers,participants, program supporters, and partners.

Back in 1990s, FAR established its Medical Fellowship Program, through which 96 young physicians attended trainings at leading American medical schools and eventually became the first instructors for CME.

A “train the trainer” model was employed to amplify within Armenia the knowledge these doctors had gained abroad. Since 2005, CME has enabled 1,300 doctors from the regions of Armenia and Artsakh to improve their skills through four-week training programs at leading Yerevan medical centers. They would then return to their home communities better able to serve their patients.

Since 2011, the Armenian American Health Professionals Organization(AAHPO) has made CME possible in Artsakh.

“Since the very beginning, Dr. Edgar Housepian [founder of FAR’sHealthcare Program] was encouraged by the idea of CME. Every day, these doctors change or save lives in the remote areas of Armenia and Artsakh. I want to extend my wholehearted gratitude and appreciation to all of you for your incredible work and dedication,” said FAR Executive Director Garnik Nanagoulian.