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Globetrotting: CHoR Faculty and Staff Develop International Partnerships to Advance Children's Health

Friday, January 9, 2015

From traveling to Armenia to teach pediatric emergency medicine - to discussing international research partnerships in China - CHoR faculty and staff are traveling the globe to advance children's health.


Dr. Aline Baghdassarian, a pediatric emergency medicine specialist at CHoR, has a special interest in advancing children's health – across the globe. In October 2014, a group of eight health care providers traveled from the Richmond to Yerevan Armenia to teach Armenia's first pediatric emergency medicine train-the-trainer course.

"This trip was a dream come true for me," said Baghdassarian. "I have a passion for global health and Armenia holds a dear place in my heart. Being able to organize this conference and share this passion with my dear colleagues made the experience extremely rewarding."

The trip was organized by Dr. Baghdassarian, CHoR's emergency medicine program, VCU's Center for Trauma and Critical Care Education, the Yerevan State Medical University Chair of Emergency Medicine and the Ministry of Health of Armenia. The trip was made possible in collaboration with the Fund for Armenian Relief, the emergency medicine physician association of Yerevan, and St. Gregory the Illuminator Medical Center.

Dr. Baghdassarian said she and her CHoR colleagues learned as much from the trip as they were able to teach. "That is the magic of global health development and international partnerships," said Baghdassarian.

Dr. Baghdassarian was joined by Dr. Robin Foster, director of CHoR emergency medicine; Nancy Georges, RN, a seasoned CHoR pediatric emergency medicine nurse and educator; two EMT-Ps from Hanover and Henrico; two providers from California; and a pediatric critical care faculty member from Hospital for Sick Kids in Toronto.

The global health team trained 53 Armenian physicians (emergency physicians, pediatricians, pediatric intensivists). The trainees received certificates of completion from the VCU Center for Trauma and Critical Care Education as well as PALS certificates.


Drs. Bruce Rubin and Wei Zhao, were recently invited to give lectures during the the 2014 Yuying International Forum on Pediatric Respiratory Disease in China. During the trip, they visited the State of Art Anatomy Gallery and Advanced Pharmacology Molecular Research Center of Wenzhou Medical University. Dr. Rubin had formal meeting with President Jia Qu and received honorable Guest Professorship of WMU presented by Dr. Qu. Dr. Rubin also had business meeting with leadership of Yuying Children's Hospital to discuss future collaborations in areas of clinical research, exchange of physicians and trainees, international medical consultation services, and telemedicine.

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