Entrepreneurs in Health: A Bridge Between Armenia and Diaspora Health Professionals

The Entrepreneurs in Health (EIH) program was launched by the Turpanjian School of Public Health (SPH) in collaboration with the Turpanjian Rural Development Program (TRDP) of the American University of Armenia (AUA). The program aims to improve access to quality health services in the rural communities of Armenia, Artsakh, and Javakhk through the introduction of advanced technologies and innovative approaches that support healthcare professionals in developing and expanding quality health practices.

The EIH program equips its beneficiaries with the necessary knowledge and skills in the fields of healthcare quality improvement, preventive dentistry, entrepreneurship, and accounting. A unique component of EIH is the mentorship program between EIH beneficiaries and health professionals of the Armenian diaspora. The mentorship component is in the piloting stage between EIH beneficiaries and dentist mentors. To shape the mentorship in the most productive way, the EIH program engages mentors and beneficiaries in the decision-making process, where they discuss their expectations from the collaboration.

“The collaboration between Armenia and the diaspora should not be limited to donations of equipment or humanitarian assistance. We can strengthen health providers, and transfer knowledge and skills through mentorship,” remarks EIH Executive Committee member Dr. Shant Shekherdimian. “Mentorship is a very bidirectional type of engagement. While sharing their experience from the clinical field and providing guidance to private practices, mentors learn much more about the health system in Armenia and the healthcare environment of a specific region,” Shekherdimian continues.

On September 10, 2020, the Armenian American Health Professionals Organization (AAHPO) organized a town hall meeting with EIH Chair and AUA President Emeritus Dr. Haroutune Armenian, EIH Coordinator Dr. Astghik Atanyan, EIH Field Operations Manager Dr. Hratchia Lylozian, and EIH Executive Committee member Dr. Shant Shekherdimian. They presented the EIH project’s mission and objectives, information on the participation of EIH family physician beneficiaries in the primary care response to COVID-19, and a range of contributions from the Turpanjian School of Public Health to Armenia’s COVID-19 response. The Voice of Armenians TV program of New York covered the event.

The AUA Turpanjian School of Public Health works actively to improve population health and health services in Armenia and beyond through interdisciplinary education and development of public health professionals to be leaders in public health, health services research and evaluation, and health care delivery and management.

The AUA Turpanjian Rural Development Program provides education, funding and consultations to the existing and startup businesses in rural areas of Shirak, Tavush, Vayots Dzor, GegharkunikLori, and Ararat regions of Armenia, in Artsakh, and Javakhk (Georgia). The program is continuing to accept applications.

Media Coverage: 

[Voice of Armenians TV] AAHPO Town Hall: AUA Turpanjian Rural Development Program & Entrepreneurs in Health