Online Pediatric Educational Network (O.P.E.N.)
Improving pediatric healthcare outcomes in low and middle-income countries through education and validated by health records.
“Any educational program which can be developed, either university, post university, we have to be smart about it. Especially this new generation that comes, this is a digital education. They will like it.”
– Sergey Sargsyan, MD, Head of the Armenian Institute on Child Health
Our involvement in this work began at the request of the Armenian Eyecare Project (AECP) in 2009. Armenia had seen a rise in retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) that resulted from the increasing survival of their premature infants with the introduction of NICUs. The resulting epidemic of ROP related blindness created an urgent need for training programs. With the success of our first program, it became clear that the need for advanced medical education existed throughout Armenia’s health care system, including NICU nurses and neonatologists. This need led to CHLA, AECP, and USAID joining with the Armenian government to create the Armenian Association of Neonatal Medicine. Building on that early success, the program expanded into other areas of need such as endocrinology, cardiology, and general pediatrics.
As we built out our educational programs using YouTube, Facebook, online file sharing, and Excel databases, we reached the limits of what we could do with our patched together software approach. This approach led us to create the software platform, O.P.E.N. This platform gives us a fast, convenient way to validate our educational initiatives while also allowing us to deploy in a new country quickly and effectively. The future of this program is continued improvement of our educational methodology, supporting content creation to power our training and validating our work through health outcomes. As we validate our work in Central Asia, we will continue to work to expand this program to other sites around the world.
- Theory of Change
- Our Commitment to Children
- Government Orders
- Educational Content Examples
- Academic Journals
Erin Mounger, DNP NNP, is an education manager in the Newborn and Infant Critical Care Unit at CHLA. She has been a neonatal intensive care unit nurse for 14 years, and her interest in global health is what led her to the Armenian Eye Care Project. Erin has a vast amount of experience providing neonatal education to underserved countries, and her passion for this has led her on many medical missions trips throughout the world.
James Dickhoner, MD, joined CHLA as International Digital Health Director to provide expertise in lean product development methodology and entrepreneurial leadership. He recently completed his venture-backed startup, Orderly Health, where he served as co-founder and Chief Product Officer (raised $1.5M in venture capital). He led Orderly through the Techstars accelerator program and completed the Ignite program at Stanford's Graduate School of Business, where he focused on entrepreneurship. He was inspired to start Orderly based on a research question he developed in medical school while at Cincinnati Children's Hospital. Orderly's focus is on democratizing access to healthcare data.
Juan Espinoza, MD, Clinical Research Informatics Director and Medical Director of Innovation, is a devoted pediatrician serving low-income children. As an immigrant, his research interests have gravitated towards projects in low resource settings overseas. As a board member of Hernia Repair for the Underserved, he has leveraged education and technology to build and sustain surgical capacity in low-income countries and adapt US standards to the unique conditions of their practice environment. He is recognized as a leader of innovation in Pediatrics as the PI of a $6.5M FDA-funded pediatric medical device accelerator.
Nune Yeghiazaryan, Ph.D., MPA, is the in-country director of the Armenian Eyecare Project. She holds a Ph.D. in Economics and Management from the Economic Research Institute in Armenia and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. She has authored numerous articles on human development, human capital, transitional development, and public health. Previously she worked as a program officer at the United Nations.
Thomas Lee, MD is the director of CHLA’s Vision Center and has led a ten-year collaboration with the AECP developing online training programs with Armenian doctors and nurses. He received a $2.5M grant to establish telemedicine and online education for CHLA doctors and patients and subsequently received a $10M award to develop a comprehensive online educational platform, now called O.P.E.N., for healthcare providers and families in Armenia. His commitment to the underserved and his track record as an active evangelist for children makes him an impactful and persuasive leader of this team.
- Endocrinology Lectures (English & Armenian)
- Resident Education (English)
Sarin-Gulian, L., MD, & Lee, T., MD. (submitted). Development and Evaluation of a Tele-Education program for Neonatal ICU health professionals in Armenia. Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare.
- Arabkir Joint Medical Center and Institute of Child and Adolescent Health
- Armenian Eyecare Project
- Armenian Neonatal Association
- Armenian Pediatric Association
- Armenian Ministry of Education
- Armenian Ministry of Health
- National Ophthalmology Society of Armenia
- Armenian Office of the President
- Neonatal Simulation Center
- Nork-Marash Medical Center
- National Center for Maternal and Child Health of Mongolia