Co-founder and Medical Director, GGHTx
Co-founder and Project Manager, GGHTx
Overseas Liaison, GGHTx
Dr. Arash Hakhamian is the co-founder and medical director of GGHTx.
A Doctor of Dental Surgery, Dr. Arash is an avid traveler, international lecturer, and global philanthropist who has volunteered with various medical missions and organizations for many years before helping establish GGHTx. As one of the only volunteer organizations exclusively for young professionals, Dr. Arash believes GGHTx was formed to allow young volunteers to travel around the world while also provide immediate medical and dental relief to the most underserved populations.
Dr. Arash explains, ”These incredible volunteer missions change both the lives of our participants and the patients they serve by allowing our young volunteers to experience various aspects of healthcare and medicine while providing a much needed service to the poorest individuals from 3rd world countries in Latin America.”
Dr. Arash is fluent in English, Spanish, and Persian.
Avi Kerendian is the co-founder and project manager of GGHTx.
Previously an EMT-B, Avi graduated magna cum laude with a degree in Biology and Spanish from YU in New York, where he was also a part of the NCAA D1 Fencing Team. After graduating, Avi was invited to participate at the prestigious Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) as an NE cancer-research intern in the Molecular & Pharmacology Dept under the auspices of physician-scientist, Dr. Blasberg MD at the renowned "Ronald Blasberg Lab." While there, Avi trained in multiple research-related specialties, where he used his skills to actively contribute towards two research projects that seek to reverse the progression of tumors in glioblastoma and breast cancer in terminal cancer patients.
Discovering that he had a great passion for helping serve others, Avi decided to help put his time and energy into helping create GGHTx to the global success it is today.
Avi is fluent in English, Hebrew, Persian and conversational in Spanish.
Julio - by trade - is a civil engineer who has a deep love for helping people in any way he can. He is passionate about public health and creating change, which led him to become the director and project development manager for clinic ASSADE which, in partnership with DOCARE, is a clinic home to approximately 32,000 people, most of whom are indigenous farmers with very low incomes.
"I am very happy that there are more people getting involved in global health with GGHTx" exclaims Julio. "There is a lot of work that still needs to be done and it's definitely not easy, but seeing our American volunteers go overseas during their vacation time continues to give me a sense of hope and that is something I thank God everyday for." Julio has been very appreciative for all the work that has been done in conjunction with GGHTx, especially for the ASSADE clinic that was built with the sole purpose of providing medical and dental relief for all, no matter one's income, while also meeting basic US standards.
ASSADE currently employs a full-time doctor and nurse, in addition to other health and support staff, and treats on average 30-45 patients per day - seventy percent of whom are women and children. In addition to caring for acute conditions, the staff increasingly focuses on preventive medicine to better avoid certain tragic outcomes that affect the population there.
Julio is fluent in English, Spanish, and various local indigenous tongues spoken only by few.
“GGHTx differs from all other volunteer groups and organizations because we really wanted to incorporate a fun and adventurous tourism aspect to our mission trips where we would dedicate our mornings to changing patients' lives and then have several hours of 'vacation-time' for our participants so as to allow our volunteers to experience the amazing extracurricular activities of each country we visit,” explains Avi.
It is not unusual to have days where our volunteers are assisting medical staff with delivering babies at 6:30 in the morning in some off-grid rural village with chickens flocking near our feet, while only later - that same day - changing out of our soiled scrubs so that we could get ready for our latin dance lessons from our amazing salsa-dance instructors, Nancy and Jose!
- Avi Kerendian, Project Manager (GGHTx)
One of GGHTx's core values is to hope to instill in the future generations of doctors, dentists, and clinicians attending these trips a sense of social responsibility and an opportunity to gain medical/dental experience while helping reduce the great health disparities prevalent in underserved populations in countries around the world.
With that said, it is also GGHTx's priority to provide our hard-working volunteers with a safe, exciting, rewarding and unforgettable trip that will reshape their perspective and their futures!
It is an exhausting and emotional trip and it is not for everyone, but with it comes this deep sense of fulfillment and pride that one can't explain...you just have to experience it; and that is something that I would not trade for anything. it's eternal."
- Dr. Arash Hakhamian, Medical Director (GGHTx)
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