Global ARCH well represented at 14th Global Forum on Humanitarian Medicine in Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery

Global ARCH / Global ARCH well represented at 14th Global Forum on Humanitarian Medicine in Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery

Global ARCH well represented at 14th Global Forum on Humanitarian Medicine in Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery

The conference was chaired by Prof. Afksendiyos Kalangos, President and Founder of the Global Forum, who presented the Welcome Address. Conference organizers included Global ARCH Medical Advisory Board member Dr. Kathy Jenkins and Board Member Bistra Zheleva.

The aim of the Congress was to continue to address critical issues facing developing countries, including the shortage of financial, material, and human resources, and to create strong partnerships to build successful future collaborations. The conference was attended by international specialists in humanitarian and cardiovascular medicine, as well as representatives from international NGOs working in the area, to further share their ideas and experiences.

On the opening day, Dr. Kathy Jenkins chaired the Workshop on International Quality Improvement Collaborative for Congenital Heart Disease (IQIC). She provided an IQIC Update, presented 2022 IQIC Surgical Data, and spoke about the work being done in research and the innovations in IQIC and how care for CHD can be transformed.

Global ARCH Executive director Kate Doherty-Schmeck spoke about Global ARCH and the exciting work being done to support and empower CHD and RHD patient and family organizations worldwide.

South Africa’s Dr. Liesl Zuhlke, Global ARCH Medical Advisory Board Member, talked about using data for research and data studies with IQIC.

Bistra Zheleva chaired the session How NGOs assure CHD patients have access to lifelong care, and discussed how NGOs are helping to set up sustainable pediatric heart surgery programs in low- and middle-income countries.

Global ARCH President Amy Verstappen discussed how patient and family organizations can promote government investment in CHD care in LMICs, followed by Grace Jerald, Global ARCH Board of Directors Member and Founder of CHD Malaysia, speaking about patient and family advocacy and support efforts in Malaysia.

Global ARCH

Nahimeh Jaffar 

Nahimeh Jaffar has worked as a certified Project Manager (PMP) in various fields, including Public Health, Biotech, and Pharmaceuticals, working within clinical settings such as hospitals and clinics. In addition, she worked with global communities in Africa, the Caribbean, and the Middle East, supporting various social impact projects. Ms. Jaffar has been involved in preventive health initiatives in collaboration with the Center for Disease Control (CDC, USA) and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS, USA).


Ms. Jaffar holds an MBA in Business Development from the Swiss Institute of Higher Management, Vevey, Switzerland, and a bachelor’s degree in Consumer Affairs from California State University, Northridge, USA.

Amy Verstappen, President

Amy Verstappen has been a patient advocate and health educator since 1996, when her own challenges living with a complex heart defect led her to the Adult Congenital Heart Association, where she served as president from 2001 to 2013. She has served as an advisor to the Centers for Disease Control the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute; and the International Society for Adult Congenital Cardiac Disease, and worked with congenital heart patient and professional groups throughout the USA and the world.  Ms. Verstappen received a Masters in Education in 1990 and a Masters in Global Health in 2019.