OMI Fellow Reunion Sparks Fond Memories

May 31, 2023

40 OMI alumni from Kyrgyzstan reunited to share their memories of an impactful program!

The reunion took place at the Jannat Resort in Alamedin, Kyrgyzstan on May 23, 2023. Attended by more than 40 OMI alumni who joined from all around the country, the event sparked fond memories as guests reminisced and shared stories of their time at the OMI in Salzburg and their careers since participating.

The evening commenced with a heartfelt welcome by Dr. Lola Asanalieva, the OMI local coordinator, who reported on the activities of the Open Medical Club Kyrgyzstan, which was founded in 2003.

As part of the event, guests were invited to share their personal OMI stories. The most senior alumna, Dr. Cholpon Imanalieva, a pediatrician who attended her first Salzburg seminar more than 20 years ago and now works for UNICEF, reflected on the OMI’s impact on her personal and professional growth. Symbolically, she handed over the microphone to Dr. Nuraiym Turanova, the youngest member of the Kyrgyz alumni community, who just started her OMI mentoring process. What a powerful moment!

Besides reminiscing, the reunion was also a vital opportunity to look ahead to the future. Stephanie Faschang, OMI managing director, shared program updates and encouraged alumni to remain actively involved in the OMI network.

Stephanie Faschang said “it was truly wonderful to see so many familiar faces and to hear what our fellows have been up to. We love to see our fellows thrive. During my stay, I had the chance to meet with several alumni at their workplaces, both in the public and private sector. Understanding local conditions is essential to better evaluate future activities. Change can only happen from the inside. Since 1996, the OMI has awarded 455 fellowships to Kyrgyz doctors, of whom 55 completed observerships at Austrian hospitals. We are fully committed to supporting and empowering doctors from Kyrgyzstan. Together, we continue to make a difference.”

Thanks to Dr. Lola Asanalieva and her organizing committee for making this reunion such a memorable success!