Painting of Artsakh
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EIH Program Publishes Research on Health Entrepreneurship in Rural Armenia

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The American University of Armenia (AUA) is happy to share that researchers of the Entrepreneurs in Health (EIH) program of the Turpanjian College of Health Sciences (CHS) have published an article titled “Qualitative study of barriers and facilitators of health entrepreneurship in rural and semirural communities of Armenia” in the international, peer-reviewed journal Rural and Remote Health, that focuses on rural and remote health education, research, and practice.

The manuscript is authored by Astghik Atanyan, MD (MPH ‘18), Karine Markosyan, PhD (MPH ‘97), Anahit Demirchyan, MD (MPH ‘99), Hratchia Lylozian, MD (MPH ‘16), Aida Giloyan (MPH ‘07), Lusine Kocharyan, MD (MPH ‘13) and Tsovinar Harutyunyan, PhD (MPH ‘99). It explores the perceptions of barriers and facilitators of medical entrepreneurship and the impact of medical entrepreneurship on the owners of private medical practices and communities in rural and semi-rural areas of Armenia served by these practices. 

The study was conducted by the researchers of the Avedisian Onanian Center for Health Services Research and Development (CHSR) in 2015 and served an important role in subsequently shaping the EIH program. The findings of the study suggested that high investment cost, intense competition with state facilities, unfavorable laws and regulations, as well as lack of entrepreneurship and healthcare quality assurance skills were perceived as barriers to establishing/operating private healthcare practices. The dissatisfaction of healthcare providers with their work conditions in public facilities, instability of the job market in Armenia, and the development of clear marketing strategies by the entrepreneurs facilitated the establishment and operation of private practices. All of the interviewees felt that their practices had a positive impact on the communities they served, in terms of creating new jobs and introducing up-to-date and demanded services in those communities. The EIH program developed training courses for program beneficiaries to address some of the barriers identified in this research.

The aim of EIH is to improve access to quality health services in rural communities of Armenia, Artsakh, and Javakhk through introduction of advanced technologies and innovative approaches supporting healthcare professionals to develop private health practices.

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