Ken Walker Medical Rehabilitation University Clinic opened today. U.S. Ambassador to Georgia Kelly C. Degnan also attended the opening ceremony.The Clinic is a public-private partnership, facilitated by Emory University, USAID’s implementing partner in its Physical Rehabilitation Program. Due to the growing interest toward Ken Walker Clinic from the neighboring countries, additional funds will flow into the Georgian economy.
Ken Walker Medical Rehabilitation University Clinic opened in Tbilisi earlier today, complete with American and European rehabilitation equipment. The clinic, which was built with US support, will be the state of the art rehabilitation centre for people with disabilities in the Caucasus which has the capacity to treat up to 200 children and 250 adults at a time. The idea of building the centre belonged to professor of medicine and neurology in the US Emory University School of Medicine and professor of global health in the Rollins School of Public Health, Ken Walker, who died back in 2018, as reported by local media agenda.ge
After earning degrees at Oxford College, Emory College, and Emory School of Medicine, Walker built a sixty-year career at Emory that included an unrivaled dedication to Grady Memorial Hospital.
For his extensive service, Walker was awarded the US AID Outstanding Achievement Citation for Europe and Eurasia and was given honorary citizenship of the Republic of Georgia, both in 2005.
Walker was recently awarded Emory's highest alumni honor, the Emory Medal, presented posthumously at a ceremony on March 1.
Also it should me mentioned that, for more than twenty-five years, Walker and Archil Undilashvili directed the Atlanta-Tbilisi Healthcare Partnership, a collaboration between educational and health care institutions in the Republic of Georgia and Atlanta. They established the National Information Learning Center; participated in new laws and regulations reforming the healthcare sector; brought many Georgian medical students to Emory for internal medicine training and education in public health; modernized hospitals; started the field of emergency medicine and the modern emergency room; expanded nursing programs and education and planned a nursing school; established the Caucasus School of Business with a focus on hospital administration; and worked with Georgian scientists and physicians in AIDS and tuberculosis research and treatment.
Already a recipient of grants to establish emergency medicine as a specialty in Georgia and improve the nursing profession, recently he and collaborators were awarded $4 million from the USAID to establish physical therapy and rehabilitation medicine programs in Georgia.
By operation of the clinic, the Georgian economy will save a considerable amount of money, which was allocated to finance the appropriate rehabilitation course for Georgian citizens abroad. At the same time, due to the growing interest toward Ken Walker Clinic from the neighboring countries, additional funds will flow into the Georgian economy that will contribute to the development of medical tourism in Georgia, Georgian Public Broadcasting wrote.
Today, U.S. Ambassador to Georgia Kelly C. Degnan joined Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia and Minister of Internally Displaced Persons from Occupied Territories, Health, Labor, and Social Affairs Ekaterine Tikaradze to attend the opening of the Ken Walker University Clinic for Medical Rehabilitation, U.S. Embassy in Georgia stated.
Training, capacity building, and continuous supervision of the rehabilitation specialists are being provided by USAID’s Physical Rehabilitation Program.
The land for the new clinic was provided by Tbilisi State Medical University, and individual voucher-based funding for the rehabilitation of persons with disabilities is being provided by the Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from Occupied Territories, Health, Labor, and Social Affairs.
Earlier this week, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Georgia, Mr. UEHARA Tadaharu and Minister of Finance of Georgia, Mr. Ivane Matchavariani signed the Exchange of Notes between Japan and Georgia, for provision of medical equipment to Georgia. The Government of Japan provided medical equipment equivalent to 300 million yen or 2.8 million US dollars. Read more.