Entrepreneurs in Health Program Strengthens Preventive Dentistry in Armenia
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. As part of the training and support components of the Program, EIH equips its beneficiaries with the necessary knowledge and skills in the fields of healthcare quality improvement, entrepreneurship, and accounting.
Upon noticing substantial interest among EIH applicants to establish and expand dental services in rural Armenia, the EIH executive committee decided to launch the EIH Preventive Dentistry project last year in an effort to improve the oral health of the general population living in those communities that have EIH-supported dental clinics. The project includes expanding the scope of services provided by EIH dental clinics by offering up-to-date preventive dental care procedures and raising awareness of dental hygiene practices.
In order to develop a comprehensive training on preventive dentistry and dental hygiene, Adrine Reganian, instructor of dental hygiene at Pasadena City College, California, was invited to Armenia late last year to conduct a Training of Trainers (TOT). AUA Master of Public Health (MPH) Program graduates with a background in dentistry participated in the TOT. At the conclusion of the TOT, Dr. Marine Mkrtchyan (MPH ‘19) and Dr. Karin Karbouian (MPH ‘16) adapted the training materials to the local context and needs and translated them into Armenian. Subsequently, they conducted the first training for prospective EIH beneficiaries on August 25-27, 2020. These beneficiaries will go on to develop projects to raise awareness in their local communities under the continued guidance of EIH preventive dentistry consultants. The participating dentists and consultants received Continuous Professional Development (CPD) Credits approved by the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Armenia.
“We were pleased to see our colleagues’ enthusiasm to learn more about preventive dentistry and incorporate up-to-date professional hygiene procedures into the scope of their daily practice. The training evaluations demonstrated a very high satisfaction level among the beneficiaries” remarked Dr. Astghik Atanyan, EIH program coordinator.
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, Gegharkunik, Lori, and Ararat regions of Armenia, in Artsakh, and Javakhk (Georgia). The program is continuing to accept applications.