Jo Ann University Hospital is celebrating its anniversary. The hospital designed for the treatment of children's heart pathologies was founded 26 years ago with the help of the United States of America. The first American military plane landed at the Tbilisi International Airport on August 8, 1996, bringing all necessary equipment for the successful operation of the Children's Cardiac Surgery Center.
The establishment of Jo Ann University Hospital is associated with the name of Jo Ann McGowan, who had made a great contribution to the creation of the congenital heart disease treatment system in Georgia.
There was no possibility of surgical treatment of congenital heart pathologies in Georgia until 1996, and the majority of children born with this issue were unable to reach adulthood. The only way to save their lives was to go abroad for treatment. A young Georgian surgeon Irakli Metreveli, whose dream was to establish the children's cardiac surgery centre in Georgia, met an American lady Jo Anne McGowan in the United States in 1992, who expressed her desire to create an analogue of the children's cardiac surgery center already operating in St. Petersburg in Georgia. The efforts of enthusiasts and the support of foreign partners have yielded results. A new era has begun for children with congenital heart defects in Georgia.
According to the decree of President Eduard Shevardnadze on October 29, 1995, the Heal the World initiative of the American Foundation in Georgia was approved and the then Ministry of Health was instructed to create a children's cardiology center.
Soon after, on September 16, 1996, Jo Ann's Clinic was established in Tbilisi as a diagnostic and treatment facility for children's cardiology and congenital heart defects. In the same year, the first operations were performed on children born with heart defects. In the following year, a clinical laboratory was put into operation, and in 1998, a psychological support service was ensured to provide psychological support to patients suffering from congenital heart diseases.
In 1999, Jo Ann Medical Center independently created a so-called free donation-based safe "blood bank".
In 2000, the department of adult cardiovascular surgery and emergency cardiology was added to the center, with the angiocardiography laboratory being functional since 2003.
The center has been operating an Extracorporeal Life Support/ELSO program since 2006. In the same year, an Arithmology Department was established in the center.
In 2022, European University became a partner of Jo Ann Medical Center and it was named into Jo Ann University Hospital. The hospital currently performs as a base of the European University, where doctors of the clinic are sharing their experience with the university students.
Jo Ann University Hospital is focused on reducing child mortality in Georgia and its goal is to develop the areas of high-tech medicine that are unavailable for the country's population.
Jo Ann University Hospital - the only non-profit clinic in Georgia - has been successfully operating in Tbilisi for more than two decades, which, actually, equals about 600 saved children annually.