The Promise Armenian Institute at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA — The COVID-19 in-home management program for the Republic of Armenia is now underway. This program was designed by the COVID-19 Management and Contact Tracing Workgroup of UCLA’s Operation Armenia, in collaboration with the American University of Armenia’s Turpanjian School of Public Health, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, the Ministry of Health of Armenia, and the National Burn Center of Armenia.
The COVID-19 in-home management program is an innovative care program for low-acuity COVID-19 cases. It aims to free up crucial hospital beds and healthcare personnel to meet the needs of more severe coronavirus cases. The first patient was enrolled in mid-April, 2021, and since then, enrollment has increased to nearly 49 patients from Yerevan and the nearby regions. The program allows patients in Armenia, whose main reason for remaining in the hospital is oxygen therapy, to be cared for in the comfort of their own home with a comprehensive clinical visit program and an in-home oxygen concentrator.
“This cutting-edge program supports Armenia's healthcare system's ability to manage hospital capacities more effectively, and at the same time, makes healthcare services more accessible to patients by providing safe in-home oxygen therapy without any additional financial burden on patients and their families,” noted the program’s manager, Lusine Musheghyan.
Patients whose oxygen levels are suitable for in-home care are enrolled in the program. Together with their caregivers, they are provided educational materials and training, including safety measures associated with oxygen therapy. Once discharged from a hospital, patients are transferred to their homes with an ambulance team and a nurse, who set up the oxygen therapy. Patients are continuously monitored, either by phone or in-person, until they no longer need oxygen therapy and are cleared from the program.
The National Burn Center coordinates both the ambulance teams and telephone operators who respond to calls from enrolled patients. "The COVID-19 in-home management program allows us to utilize the advances of telemedicine by providing frequent touchpoints between patients and providers," said Dr. Nika Harutyunyan of UCLA Health.
“The COVID-19 in-home management program is an innovative enterprise designed with the needs and resources of Armenia in mind. We hope to transition this model to the treatment of other diseases in the future,” said Dr. Alina Dorian, associate dean for public health practice at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health.
In addition to helping develop this program, Dr. Dorian leads a UCLA team working on the National Contact Tracing Program for the Republic of Armenia. This collaborative initiative among the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, American University of Armenia Turpanjian School of Public Health, Armenia’s Ministry of Health, and Armenia's National Center for Disease Control and Prevention helped to rapidly address the urgent public health needs of Armenia and continues to build the capacity of the public health workforce.
UCLA’s Operation Armenia is a coordinated effort of a dedicated interdisciplinary team that provides immediate medical disaster relief and long-term humanitarian aid and infrastructure support to Armenia and Artsakh. It operates under the umbrella of The Promise Armenian Institute at UCLA and is implemented thanks to the generosity, advocacy, and support of UCLA Health. To learn more about Operation Armenia or to sign-up for volunteer opportunities, please visit international.ucla.edu/armenia/operationarmenia.