Presented within this section of the Donchian Foundation website is three summary reports describing the objectives and impact of programs funded by the foundation's directors. They are (1) the AmeriCares Pediatric Healthcare Reform Initiative, (2) the National Book Scholarship Fund, and (3) the Institute for Practical Ethics.

1. Leadership – Pediatric Primary Healthcare Reform Initiative (Republic of Armenia)


In June 1996, the Richard D. Donchian Foundation awarded the New Canaan, CT-based, medical relief agency, AmeriCares, a seed grant for the start of pediatric healthcare reform initiative in the Republic of Armenia. In cooperation with the Armenian Ministry of Health, AmeriCares set out to restructure Armenia's pediatric primary healthcare system, focusing specifically and exclusively on the care of children between the ages of zero and five.

Ninety Armenian pediatricians and ninety Armenian pediatric nurses were chosen to participate in this pilot project. Phase one of this multi-phased program required the selection of a team of pediatric specialists from within the U.S. and Armenia. The mission of this group was to substantively address the similarities and differences between the Soviet and U.S. healthcare systems, and to offer recommendations regarding the implementation of a post-Soviet pediatric primary healthcare system for this newly independent nation.

In November 1996, the appointed team of medical experts assembled in Yerevan to discuss the nuances associated with reforming Armenia's pediatric primary healthcare system. By the conclusion of a one-week session, it was determined that the Donchian Foundation-funded AmeriCares pilot project would consist of three essential components, Well-Child Care, Sick-Child Care and the Management of Children with Developmental Needs. It was also concluded that the joint venture would result in the development of a set of clinical practice guidelines published in the Armenian language.


To accommodate the didactic training requirements of this pilot project, an education facility was constructed and furnished by AmeriCares in a medical center located in the capital city of Yerevan. This facility was named in honor of the project's seed financial donor, Mr. Richard Davoud Donchian. The Donchian Training Center was designed to accommodate four concurrent training sessions, resulting in the project's ability to educate sixty people simultaneously.

To ensure the nationalization of all aspects of this healthcare reform initiative, the AmeriCares pilot project concluded with the establishment of the Armenian Pediatrics Society (APS) – headquartered at the Richard D. Donchian Pediatrics Training Center in Yerevan, Armenia. A key component in the development of the APS was the creation of a comprehensive pediatric medical library offering not only a collection of hard-bound text books, but also Internet access and a collection of CD-ROM and videotape educational technologies.

In September 2001, the pediatric protocols introduced during the implementation of the Donchian Foundation-funded pilot program were formally adopted by the federal government of Armenia and now serve as the national guidelines for all pediatric primary healthcare and child development.