Adult Complex Cardiology & Cardiac Surgery

Kan Thar Yar Hospital

 Yangon, MYANMAR

MARCH 18-27, 2018

CardioStart announces a return mission to Yangon, Myanmar, during May 2018.  The mission will use a select team of limited size. It will focus on the development of quality care practices at the inauguration of the interventional cardiology and the adult cardiac surgery programs at the new Kan Thar Yar Cardiac Hospital. This unique opportunity, to assist in the birth of a new hospital and new hospital staff, will give this small CardioStart team a chance to improve the lives of thousands of Myanmar patients for years to come.  This new hospital’s mission is to serve all peoples of Myanmar and to providing 20% of its services as charity care to the underprivileged, non-insured and indigent population.

Myanmar, which has a population of 55 million, was under military rule and essentially closed to outside influence until 2011 when President Li Thein Sein was elected and major changes toward democracy were instituted, including the election of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Ang San Suu Kyi in 2015.

Since 2011, Myanmar has welcomed tourists and new trade.  While westernization and modernization are progressing rapidly, there are many aspects of this beautiful country that retain the untouched qualities of the world before mechanization.

Myanmar is a predominately Buddhist country and agrarian, using animal power for tiling the land, weaving on hand looms, and fishing from dugout teak boats.  It has a beautifully diverse culture with more than 135 different ethnic groups, each with its own history, culture and language. Its natural resources are rich in gold, gems and natural beauty.

Yangon is the largest city in Myanmar, with a population of about 7 million, on the southeast edge of the Irrawaddy Delta, in a tropical climate zone. The December to March period is dry and hot, with temperatures averaging 90 – 100 degrees F.

Cardiac Surgery Status in Myanmar

Myanmar cardiac services are currently limited.  Four hospitals have done cardiac surgery in Yangon.  There is a public hospital, Yangon General (less than 200 adult cases per year); Yankin, (60 cases of basic ASDs and PDAs each year); the Defense Services Hospital, run by the military, (250 adult cases per year); and PinLon Hospital, a private hospital that had just started its program during our visit in 2015 but which has since changed its strategic focus towards oncology and away from on cardiothoracic surgery—that cardiothoracic program is not scheduled to continue.

The Kan Thar Yar Hospital will be the location chosen to receive the early growth and development of services and personnel training by the CardioStart team.  The cardiac surgical team at Kan Thar Yar is headed by Dr. Tin Maung Aye.  Dr. Tin is requesting assistance at Kan Thar Yar with advanced adult cardiac surgical techniques, nursing, biomedical engineering and respiratory therapy.  CardioStart has advised that the local team at this brand new hospital ensures assistance to the poor in the community will be addressed in the development of cardiac services.

A scout report is available on request.

The Mission: Adult Cardiac Surgery

MyanmarCardioStart’s role in this mission will be to offer:

  1. Assessment of departments facilities, with checking of instruments (Dr. Tin), Perfusion area and equipment CS perfusionist)
  2. Anesthetic techniques and equipment checks with educational support on specific topics. (CS anesthesiologist)
  3. Intensive care nursing areas – review of monitors, suction, mobility, beds, medication crash cart, and intensive CV Critical Care education and development of protocols and algorithms of care.  Rehearsals of patient transfer and procedures will be carried out using local volunteers.
  4. Biomedical engineering assessment of all equipment and OR/ICU circuitry.
  5. All CardioStart volunteers will be required to help with bedside teaching, daily lectures, and development of modern quality improvement plans in all relevant areas.
  6. Review of cardiology angiogram suite, equipment areas; review of procedures, protocols and care patterns.

The Team Required

CardioStart Mission Director will be Dr. Kirk Walker. He will select the team with adult expertise in the following areas. A cardiac surgeon will not be part of this visiting team.

  • 1 Adult Cardiologist (Dr. Walker)
  • 1 Adult Anesthesiologist -available
  • 1 Perfusionist -available
  • 3 Cardiovascular ICU Nurses -filled
  • 1 experienced Biomedical Engineer -available


Mrs. Sophie Stone (a Bago, Myanmar native who lives in New Jersey) and Dr. Terri Walker, OD, MBA, will explore this opportunity. It is hoped that at the end of the mission, the entire team will travel 60 miles (2 hours) to the historic city of Bago, Myanmar to help at an orphanage of 70 children and then to tour the historic pagodas, palaces and monasteries of the city.

Mission Travel Details


We are assured by the Scout team (Dr. Walker and Ms. Lindsey Garrett) that the security and political issues will not intrude into the mission’s program and the team will be very well looked after.  The crisis at the Myanmar-Bangladesh border is over 500 miles to the north (a 19-hour car ride).

Team selections will be made based on team needs and professional experience. Mostly, selections will be made on a first come, first served basis.  CardioStart tries to balance each team with returning volunteers and those joining a mission for the first time.

Travel and airfare:  Airfare costs will be half-funded by each volunteer. WE RECOMMEND YOU DO NOT PURCHASE A TICKET UNTIL YOU ARE ACCEPTED ON THE TEAM BY WRITTEN CONFIRMATION. This confirmation will be provided after you have met all the required paperwork submission.

A visa (business-type) is required to enter and work in Myanmar.  You can do this by either:

  1. Applying through the Embassy of the Union of Myanmar in Washington, D.C. (For those leaving from the USA, the fee is US $50 by money order, and requires application forms with two passport photos to be sent to the Embassy with your passport). OR
  2. Applying for an E-visa. You can do so using this website:

Lodging: Lodging will be provided by our hosts in comfortable accommodation on the top floor of the hospital.  This area contains new rooms that will be off limits to patients and families while we are there.

Meals: Breakfast and lunch will be provided at the hospital.  Dinner will be on our own with team with an occasional invitation to a special dinner event.  Bring a nicer outfit for these events.

Touring: CardioStart mission leaders cannot directly help you make internal tourist travel arrangements.  Tours and tour packages are available through hotels. Popular tourist sites include Yangon itself, Bagan, Mandalay, and Inle Lake.

Personal Health:  The city of Yangon is relatively safe and clean. It is however, in tropical Southeast Asia where risks of malaria, hepatitis, tuberculosis, and typhoid exist.  Japanese Encephalitis vaccine is recommended if your trip lasts longer than one month depending on where you visit in Myanmar. The CDC website is a good place to look for up to date information and of course, visiting a Travel Health specialist for any trip like this, is necessary.

Applying for CardioStart’s Mission To Yangon, Myanmar: Please visit our Volunteer Interest Form, and upload your CV/resume. Correspondence and applications should be directed through the Tampa, FL USA office. Upon being accepted to the team you will be immediately notified and then receive additional correspondence from CardioStart via email with information on how to proceed in submitting necessary paperwork and documentation.

You will be part of a great historical medical development and we very much look forward to welcoming you to the team!

Contact recommendations:

Preliminary information, please contact CardioStart Head Office:

Tel: 813-304-2163; Fax: 813 304 2165