Doctors from country of Georgia visit Columbia for vocational training

Doctors from country of Georgia visit Columbia for vocational training

Mary Ann Beahon Announcements

Members of the vocational training team (left to right) Drs. Khatuna Lomauri, George Tsilosani, David Kvirkvelidze, Shorena Chankvetaze, John Paralos and Trish Blair

Four physicians from the country of Georgia are in Columbia this month training to save Georgian babies lives. Their trip was made possible by a Rotary District 6080 vocational training grant focusing on maternal and child health.

Georgia has the highest stillbirth and neonatal death rate in all of Europe and the Dmanisi region has the highest rate in Georgia. Working with the non-profit organization, A Call To Serve (ACTS), the focus is to reduce these rates by a threefold plan:

  1. Training—identify a team of Georgian physicians to become certified trainers and train all physicians and nurses in the delivery area to the internationally acclaimed American Association of Pediatrics Neonatal Resuscitation program (NRP). Create hospital-based physician trainers to provide sustain retraining.
  2. Prenatal care—improve pregnant women’s understanding of the need for prenatal care and develop a booklet to give them.
  3. Engage the pregnant woman’s family and community to support activities for healthy pregnancies.

Phase 1 was launched in June. The vocational training team traveled to Georgia, established the Dmanisi Neonatal Resuscitation Simulation Training Center and trained more than 100 physicians. The team consisted of Dr. Trish Blair, team leader and president of ACTS; Dr. John Paralos, University of Missouri NICU medical director; Erin Khul, R.N., MU NICU and medical transport nurse; and Courtney Kater, St. Joseph Hospital SSM hospital labor and delivery nurse supervisor.

This month four Georgian physicians are in Missouri for training at the University of Missouri neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) with Dr. Paralos. They are Dr. George Tsilosani, president of ACTS Georgia; Dr. David Kvirkvelidze, medical coordinator of ACTS Georgia; Dr. Khatuna Lomauri, medical director, NICU Tbilisi State Medical School; and Dr. Shorena Chankvetaze, medical director of a 13-bed NICU that will soon be 50 beds.

“The American Academy of Pediatrics intensive training approach is new to Georgians,” Dr. Blair said. “These dedicated physicians have one to two golden minutes to initiate and perform neonatal resuscitation while the simulation training is effective.”

She added, “These physicians are trying to be proficient at tasks they have never seen implemented by a team approach. In addition, the administration of the Georgian neonatal intensive care unit in Georgia is vastly out of date.”

For more information, contact Dr. Blair at or (573) 823-6431. Donations to A Call To Serve may be sent to P.O. Box 7026, Columbia, MO 65205.


For information, contact:
Mary Ann Beahon
Public Image Chair
Rotary District 6080
(573) 220-1947