New York – December 23, 2019 – Non-profit organizations are globally revered for their selfless work, but “Gracias” Global Health Trips, better known as GGHTx is fast becoming a global phenomenon under the stewardship of Medical Director, Dr. Arash Hakhamian and program director, Avi Kerendian.
Despite remarkable advancements in global civilization and technology, healthcare infrastructure in poor regions throughout the world still remain broken, or worse, non-existent. All hope is not lost, however. Several rural villages across Latin America are seeing many of their dire public health conditions substantially improve with the help of GGHTx’s volunteer mission trips and partnership initiatives.
Avi Kerendian, co-founder and program director of GGHTx was delighted to share with the release wire his inspiration prior to establishing the organization. He said, “Originally, my interests were in pursuing an MD/PhD because I thought, well this must be the most effective way to help others. I was doing cancer research in New York and though I loved it, I still felt like something was missing. I knew I could be doing more. Once I got to analyzing and researching the root factors of global health inequity, I started to realize the importance of confronting public health discrepancies head on with the point being self-sufficiency; not just delivery.” Following this epiphany, Avi Kerendian partnered up with dental-surgeon and lecturer, Dr. Arash Hakhamian, an ardent philanthropist from Los Angeles who’s worked with multiple national and international NGO’s in the past, to go on to establish the organization that they have both since become very passionate about.
“With GGHTx, our first priority was addressing the social determinants that would yield the greatest results for the most vulnerable of people,” shared Dr. Arash Hakhamian. “Health inequity exists among every country; that’s no mystery. The problem becomes how do we empower the villages where inequality is so rampant that women and children are suffering needlessly from totally preventable, every-day diseases. That’s when we started to take a look at really improving and fostering an environment based around a healthy lifestyle, sanitary conditions, and public-health education. I am very glad to say we accomplished our set targets”, stated Dr. Arash.
Before the emergence of GGHTx, many of the people in the villages were suffering from high rates of illnesses and communicable diseases that were being caused by lack of healthcare knowledge from medical staff, outdated medical/dental equipment and medicines, and low levels of sanitation. With the help of local leaders there, GGHTx partnered up to bring in medical and dental volunteers who would not only would provide the same level of aid and care that patients receive in the United States, but also a plan of healthcare initiatives and the donations necessary to help facilitate this new, more effective healthcare environment.
“Many of the diseases we were seeing were preventable through early screening methods and education”, shared Avi. “So that’s exactly what we started implementing. Early screening methods and education. We started to stress the importance of a healthier lifestyle and we even made it a fun opportunity for the kids. I loved seeing our volunteer groups spontaneously break out singing in Spanish as we practiced habits so simple, yet vital such as brushing our teeth or washing our hands with soap. It became a fun activity that the kids loved and looked forward to. We even gave out stickers!” something which Avi said the kids loved. “I’m just happy we were able to make a difference.”
It is owing to this sort of passion that it is no surprise GGHTx has received so many lengthy, positive reviews online for their relevance and absolute regards for humanity. Under the stewardship of them both, the organization has inspired a great deal of volunteers to get on board with making a difference in the world. “It’s inspiring to hear our volunteers want to return on our trips. They refer friends and family and we want to accommodate as many volunteers as we can, but we are still in the process of scaling and expanding our efforts”, explained Dr. Arash Hakhamian.
Dr. Arash Hakhamian left off with one final, pressing note remarking: “The greatest honor I could have asked for is being involved with GGHTx and helping direct these trips with Avi. I invite all professionals and students alike lo get involved, whether it be through GGHTx or countless other of the amazing non-profits out there, you will be glad you did. There is much work that still needs to be done and we should all strive on leaving behind a legacy we can all be proud of.”
For more information about “Gracias” Global Health Trips (GGHTx) and getting involved visit – https://gghtx.org/.