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May 11, 2009

For Immediate Release

Contact: Lisa Purdy, President
May 11, 2009 Council of International Programs USA
Tel. 216-566-1088

Maura Shelden
Open World Leadership Center
Tel. 202-707-6197

Cleveland, Ohio— Three Georgian leaders participating in the Open World Program will spend May 15 – 23, 2009, in greater Cleveland examining medical education with an emphasis on US practices regarding clinical education, grading, evaluation standards and academic career tracks.

The Council of International Programs USA (CIPUSA) a 53 year old international exchange program based in Cleveland will host the delegation. Managed by the independent Open World Leadership Center at the Library of Congress, Open World is designed to enhance understanding and capabilities for cooperation between the United States and the countries of Eurasia and the Baltic States by developing a network of leaders in the region who have gained significant, firsthand exposure to America’s democratic, accountable government and free-market system.

Over the next two years, medical schools in the country of Georgia will go through a national accreditation process based on international standards. The visiting participant’s program components will include classroom learning and observation, site visits, and the opportunity to draft and refine action plans to implement upon their return to Georgia.

While in the area, the delegates will take full advantage of everything the city has to offer in terms of the award winning medical professionals and educators, top-rated educational institutions and state of the art medical facilities that all call Cleveland home.

The visiting delegates are:
• Ms. Tinatin Chikovani, Ph.D., M.D. – Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Professor of Microbiology Immunology Department at Tbilisi State Medical University.
• Ms. Lally Mekokishvili, Ph.D., M.D. – Dean of the Faculty of Health Care and Associate Professor at Iakob Gogebashvili Telavi State University.
• Mr. Givi Tsetskhladze, Ph.D, M.D – Dean and Full Professor at Batumi State University.
• Ms. Maka Shioshvili will accompany the delegates as a facilitator and will offer interpretation assistance and support as a representative of Open World.

The Open World delegation is scheduled to visit a variety of sites and organizations including:
• The Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
• University Hospitals Case Medical Center
• The Cleveland Clinic
• Mt. Sinai Simulation & Skills Center
• The Bolton School of Nursing (CWRU)
• The Free Medical Clinic of Greater Cleveland

Home stays will allow the Open World delegates to experience American family life. They will also take part in several cultural and community activities, including visits to The Cleveland Museum of Art, and The Cleveland Botanical Gardens.

The Open World Leadership Center has awarded a grant to CIPUSA to administer this and similar exchanges in 2009.

The U.S. Congress established Open World in 1999 to enhance understanding and capabilities for cooperation between the United States and Russia. In 2003, Congress made all post-Soviet states eligible for the program. Thanks to Open World, some 14,000 current and future Eurasian leaders have experienced American civil society and have been exposed to new ideas and practices that they can adapt for use in their own work. Open World also promotes partnerships and continued communications between delegates and their American hosts and professional counterparts. Open World currently operates exchanges for political and civic leaders from Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan.

For more information, please contact Lisa Purdy, CIPUSA at 216-566-1088 or Maura Shelden, Open World Public Affairs Officer at 202-707-6197.
For more information on CIPUSA visit
For more information on Open World, please visit
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