In 2018, Global Healing and JAUH were awarded an American Schools and Hospitals Abroad (ASHA) grant from USAID to assist JAUH in the creation of a new pediatric oncology ward at the hospital. The grant has helped finance the renovation and construction of a hospital facility that will allow the JAUH to establish the first national-scale comprehensive pediatric oncology-hematology center in the Republic of Georgia. The resulting Georgia Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Program will create new medical capabilities in Georgia by developing relationships between oncology specialists in the US and Georgia which will provide training opportunities in pediatric oncology for Georgian physicians and improve health outcomes for some of Georgia’s most vulnerable patients, children suffering from cancer.

The above is but a continuation of Global Healing’s ongoing partnership with JAUH. What follows below is the shared history of both organizations.

PEDIATRIC CARDIAC CARE Est. 1994: The Heart of Global Healing/Our Work

Thirty years ago, a small team of American volunteers began working alongside medical professionals in the Republic of Georgia to establish what would become known as the Jo Ann Medical Center (now renamed Jo Ann University Hospital), a much-needed pediatric cardiac care & diagnostic facility in Tbilisi and the first ever of its kind in the entire Caucasus Region.

The Global Healing team and Georgian physicians worked closely with the Georgian government, local businesses and associated hospitals to provide cardiac care for infants and their families, which was otherwise unavailable. Born of friendship and cross-cultural collaboration, the state-of-the-art center opened in 1996, and surgeons began performing the very first pediatric cardiac surgeries in the region.

Three decades later, the JAUH is now fully sustainable and provides blood products to the JAUH surgical center and other medical institutions throughout Georgia. Today, the JAUH is a Center of Excellence and serves as a national training center for blood banking, transfusion medicine and cardiac services.

The program created through this initial endeavor has given life to a number of other important on-site projects that include:


Blood as a critical component of care.

As surgical capabilities broadened at the JAUH, demand for reliable, safe blood supplies to support more advanced procedures also increased. In response, Global Healing facilitated the creation of the JAUH Blood Bank to serve the Center and other neighboring medical institutions. To this day, the JAUH Blood Bank is the only not-for-profit blood bank in the region. Global Healing’s team of volunteer physicians, medical technologists and nurses continue to lead robust training programs, sharing with their Georgian counterparts the most up-to-date blood banking and transfusion medicine principles.

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (2001)

In 2001, with the JAUH having achieved self-sufficiency and the blood bank project underway,]move] Global Healing expanded efforts to enhance care by signing an agreement with the Georgian Ministry of Health and partnering with Tbilisi State Medical University and Children’s Hospital #1 to open a new Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and operating room at Tbilisi State Medical University Pediatric Hospital. This new facility improves health outcomes by offering post-surgical and medical follow-up care for newborns.

Catheterization Laboratory (2005)

Generous support from donors made it possible for Global Healing to equip the Catheterization Lab at the JAUH with modern technology and enable physicians to perform advanced, non-invasive corrective cardiac procedures with minimal recovery time. Patients’ lives were improved significantly as a result. The new equipment allows physicians to be more fully aware of the condition of a patient’s heart prior to surgery, and in many cases avoid performing unnecessary open heart procedures altogether. The ability to offer less invasive treatment also makes care more cost-effective for the country and patients alike.

Electrophysiology Service (2008)

A grant from Global Healing provided the equipment to begin performing electrophysiological procedures and catheter ablations for the treatment of arrhythmias.


Upon invitation by the Georgian Ministry of Health, Global Healing worked with the Georgian National Center for Disease Control (NCDC) to facilitate the creation and implementation of national blood safety standards & policy. Over the course of five years, Global Healing helped to establish a uniform national policy with guidelines and standards to ensure that blood products are at an internationally acceptable level of quality.

Through a series of training trips and a strong partnership and as part of the National Blood Safety Reform efforts in Georgia, Global Healing has helped scale up existing blood transfusion services at the JAUH. Global Healing did this by assisting in the institution of mobile blood banking, expanding donor recruitment, offering transfusion medicine education and training, improving quality management and establishing an immunohematology reference laboratory. These developments have established the JAUH Blood Bank as a leading training and consulting resource for blood centers throughout Georgia.