CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — The Cambridge-based Ararat lodge of the Knights of Vartan (K of V) announced this week the arrival of medical equipment and supplies to hospitals and clinics in the Kashatagh region of Nagorno Karabagh, through the Ararat Lodge Armenia Medical Aid project.
The 40-foot container arrived in Yerevan in early August, was offloaded and then trucked to medical facilities in the Kashatagh region, including hospitals in Berdsor (formerly Lachin) and Kovsakan, and three clinics in Mooshatagh, Msheni and Ishkhanadzor. These medical facilities are all located in the strategic, liberated Kashatagh region that is contiguous with the border of Armenia. Collaborating on this project with the Ararat Lodge team were Eilleen Lucey of the International Medical Equipment Collaborative, Inc. (IMEC), Mary Matosian of the Tufenkian Charitable Foundation and Nouritza Abujamra of the United Armenian Fund (UAF) that provided ocean-freight delivery of the container.
This is the sixth container shipped to Armenia/Karabagh by the K of V Ararat Lodge in partnership with IMEC, having an estimated total value of $2.5 million. A non-profit volunteer- based humanitarian organization headquartered in North Andover, IMEC has shipped medical aid to over 800 needy medical institutions in 80 countries worldwide. IMEC collaborates with “shepherding” organizations that identify and fulfill the need in developing countries worldwide and perform due diligence follow-up at the destination. The K of V Ararat Lodge is one of 80 such organizations that work with IMEC. To date, K of V aid has been sent to the Yerevan-based Central Oncology Hospital (two containers) the Radiation and Burns Hospital in Yerevan, the Regional Hospital and the Calouste Gulbenkian Hospital in Gumri, and two hospitals and three clinics in Kashatagh.
The core Ararat Lodge team of volunteers is headed by Jack Medzorian, assisted by Varujan Masrof, Sarkis Gennetian and Albert Movsesian from the Arakadz Lodge. Other volunteers who have contributed their services to this project from time to time are Haig Deranian, Charles Guleserian, Krikor Shaboian, Juan Gheridian, John Peterson, Saro Khachikian, Albert Tsaturyan and George Elanjian. This team is responsible for identifying needs, acquisition, packing, shipping and follow-up at the ultimate destination. In addition, they do fundraising for donations to cover IMEC’s out-of-pocket costs over and above their volunteer personal services.
Also contributing equipment and supplies to this project are local members of the medical community — Dr. Nishan Goudsouzian, Dr. Paul Barsam, Dr. James Fantazian, Dr. Donald Shushan, Dr. Jack Kasarjian, Dr. Sarkis Kechejian (deceased), Dr. Gary Zartarian and others.
“Thanks to the collective efforts of our volunteers, thousands of patients have benefited from improved medical care in the communities we have served,” commented Medzorian, program director of the K of V Medical Aid Program.