Armenian EyeCare Project Goes Virtual with Fall Events

AECP-CHLA 18th International Conference logo

AECP to Host Virtual Ophthalmology Conference in September, Regional Eye Clinic Opening in October & Virtual Gala in November

The Armenian EyeCare Project will be hosting some of its biggest annual events a little differently this year as the organization prepares to go virtual due to the coronavirus. Both the AECP’s annual ophthalmology conference and its annual Gala fundraiser will be held online this year, in September and November, respectfully. Plus, the organization will be unveiling its fifth Regional Eye Clinic in in October.

AECP-CHLA 18th International Conference

The AECP-CHLA 18th International Conference, organized by the Armenian EyeCare Project (AECP) and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) in collaboration with the Ministry of Health of Armenia, the World Diabetes Foundation and a number of medical associations in Armenia, will take place on September 23, 2020 and continue until October through a series of online events free for participants from all over the world.

While the International Conference has been held in Yerevan, Armenia for the past 17 years, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the widely attended international event will be held digitally in 2020, which will give an opportunity to increase the number of conference participants and geographical scope of the event. As well, upon completion of the conference, all its materials and lectures will be stored online and available for access at no cost.

Armenian EyeCare Project Goes Virtual with Fall Events

A physician in Armenia records her talk for the conference at AECP’s office in Yerevan

The first part of the Conference will cover the subject of ophthalmology and will be held from September 23 to September 30. The Conference will begin with a talk from a vitreoretinal expert on September 23. During this talk internationally recognized professionals, together with their Armenian colleagues, will present the modern treatment approaches of retinal eye diseases and will reflect on the issues in this area in a live panel discussion.

As the Conference continues, each day will be devoted to one ophthalmology subspecialty: glaucoma on September 24; neuro-orbital ophthalmology and oculoplastics on September 25; corneal eye diseases on September 26; retinal diseases on September 28; refractive surgery on September 29 and pediatric ophthalmology on September 30.

The AECP will host conference speakers from all over the globe including ophthalmologists from some of the best hospitals and universities in the U.S. and U.K. as well as physicians and medical staff from Armenia. In fact, the AECP’s administrative office in Yerevan has transformed into a partial recording studio as local doctors and medical personnel in Armenia record their talks for the conference there.

At the end of each conference day there will be a discussion session on the subspecialty facilitated both by local and guest speakers. The second part of the Conference will cover the subject of neonatology and pediatrics and will be aired in mid-October of 2020.

AECP Regional Eye Clinic Opening

Also in October will be the opening of the AECP’s fifth Regional Eye Clinic in Armenia, which will be located in the town of Yeghegnadzor in the Vayots Dzor province.

Armenian EyeCare Project Goes Virtual with Fall Events

A crowd of physicians, staff and supporters witnesses the ribbon cutting for AECP’s Regional Eye Clinic opening in in 2018. This year’s clinic opening will be a little different.

In 2015, the AECP unveiled its biggest project yet – Five-for-Five – developing five Regional Eye Clinics in Armenia for $5 million in five years. The clinics would be located in regions throughout Armenia where they were needed most. Even though 2020 came with its own set of challenges due to the unexpected coronavirus pandemic, the AECP was able to stay on track and will be delivering its fifth Regional Eye Clinic, as promised, by 2020.

Armenian EyeCare Project Goes Virtual with Fall Events

AECP Founder & President Dr. Roger Ohanesian will speak at all events virtually this year

The four other AECP Regional Eye Clinics in Armenia include the Haig Boyadjian AECP Regional Eye Clinic in Ijevan, Tavush, which opened in 2015; the John and Hasmik Mgrdichian AECP Regional Eye Clinic in Spitak, Lori, which opened in 2016; the AECP Kapan Regional Eye Clinic in Kapan, Syunik, which opened in 2017; and the John Ohannes Khachigian AECP Regional Eye Clinic in Gyumri, Shirak, which opened in 2018.

While AECP Founder and President Dr. Roger Ohanesian and other volunteer physicians and U.S. donors will not be able to physically attend the Regional Eye Clinic opening in Yeghegnadzor, Dr. Ohanesian will be giving a speech remotely during the unveiling of the clinic to mark its opening. The October opening of the Regional Eye Clinic in Yeghegnadzor cannot come soon enough as it will make eye care much more accessible to the tens of thousands of residents living near this region who will no longer have to travel to Armenia’s capital to receive care or wait for the AECP’s Mobile Eye Hospital to make its visit to the region.

AECP Virtual Gala

Finally, the AECP will be hosting its annual Gala virtually this year and at no cost to attend! While the end-of-year fundraising event usually takes place in Newport Beach, California, this year, the organization will be putting together a Virtual Gala on Sunday November 22 at 4 p.m. PST /7 p.m. EST.

The event will feature the same great qualities as the AECP’s past Galas to make for an excellent evening. This includes exciting musical performances from a variety of Armenian talent and opportunities to win phenomenal auction items like trips to Armenia and Mexico; gift cards to great restaurants; art from local artisans in Armenia and much more. Plus, you will be able to hear from some of the patients in Armenia who the organization has helped through the gift of sight – watching their reactions as their eye patches come off after surgery and seeing the bright looks on their faces when they realize that they can see.

Best yet, because the event will be held online, all friends and donors of the AECP – no matter their location – will have an opportunity to attend. Those who have been interested in attending the organization’s past Galas but have not been able to make it due to its location now have a chance to participate and be a part of something magical: seeing how transformative the gift of sight is to those in need in Armenia! For more information visit the AECP’s Virtual Gala visit website or call 949-933-4069.

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