Dr. Samuel Badalian Receives Prestigious Fulbright U.S. Scholar Award
Bassett Healthcare Network’s Chief of Women’s Health Will Establish Urogynecology Fellowship Programs in Armenia
The U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board have selected Dr. Samuel Badalian, chief of Women’s Health at Bassett Healthcare Network, to receive a Fulbright award for the 2021–22 academic year. With this funding, Dr. Badalian will travel to Yerevan, Armenia in fall 2021 to establish urogynecology fellowship programs at two different universities. Dr. Badalian’s selection for this prestigious grant is a reflection of his leadership and contributions to society. As a Fulbright participant and a representative of the United States, Dr. Badalian will have the opportunity to work collaboratively with international partners and engage with the local community. As the largest and most diverse international educational exchange program, the Fulbright Program is devoted to increasing mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries. Past Fulbright alumni include 60 Nobel Laureates, 88 Pulitzer Prize winners, 75 MacArthur Fellows, and thousands of leaders across the private and public sectors.
Urogynecology — also known as female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery (FPMRS) — is a subspecialty in obstetrics and gynecology. Dr. Badalian has been practicing, teaching, and researching in this field for nearly 30 years. His plans include teaching a course at Yerevan State Medical University introducing residents and fellows to the basic principles of the discipline. This will be the first approved program of urogynecology as a subspecialty in women’s health in Armenia.
“Yerevan State Medical University already has a variety of outstanding woman’s health programs,” says Dr. Badalian. “But I believe my experience will allow me to significantly contribute to these programs. I am also confident that this experience will benefit my own understanding of how to prevent and treat women’s health problems.”
“Dr. Badalian has my warmest congratulations for this well-deserved recognition of his work,” says Dr. Tommy Ibrahim, Bassett Healthcare Network’s president and CEO.
“When our caregivers provide our patients with excellent care, they naturally become preeminent in their field. Dr. Badalian’s work continues Bassett’s legacy of academic study and brings our work to the global stage. We are proud of his work.”
Building on Previous Work
This endeavor is a continuation of Dr. Badalian’s past work. In 2019, he studied pelvic floor disorders (PFDs) among women in Armenia. The final study, published in the European Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, found that rates of PFD were high in Armenia when compared to other nations. Badalian and his coauthors linked this rate to a combination of factors, but of special interest was the rate among patients who had previously undergone pelvic surgeries.
“Without urogynecology and female urology subspecialties, urogynecological procedures in Armenia are performed by gynecologists and urologists,” explains Dr. Badalian. “The rates we saw suggested that the surgeries may not have been performed properly, resulting in more problems. Our study recommends that the Armenian Ministry of Health and Yerevan State Medical University start education and training programs specifically geared towards pelvic floor disorders. After publication, I shared our findings with Dr. Arsen Torosyan, the Minister of Health, who expressed significant interest in starting a urogynecology fellowship program.”
About the Fulbright Program
The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. Since 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided more than 400,000 participants from over 160 countries the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas, and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns. The primary source of funding for the Fulbright Program is an annual appropriation by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations, and foundations in foreign countries and in the United States also provide direct and indirect support.