WATERTOWN, Mass.—The Armenian National Committee of America—Eastern Region (ANCA-ER) will be honoring longtime Hai Tahd advocate Carolann Najarian with the prestigious Vahan Cardashian Award at its Dec. 2 gala dedicated to the 30th anniversary of Artsakh Liberation Movement.
“I am deeply honored to be the recipient of the ANCA Eastern Region’s Cardashian Award this year. The ANCA’s agenda embodies the needs and aspirations of the Armenian community—from its work on Genocide recognition to support for Armenia and Artsakh,” said Dr. Najarian. “I am especially proud to be a supporter of the Capital Gateway Program, which brings young Armenian professionals together, supports and mentors them. What could be more important? Thank you, ANCA! ”
The Vahan Cardashian Award is given annually to an ANCA supporter who has demonstrated longstanding dedication and active involvement in the Armenian-American community and its priorities. The award is named after Yale-educated lawyer Vahan Cardashian, who set aside his successful New York practice to dedicate himself to the establishment of the American Committee for the Independence of Armenia (ACIA), predecessor organization of the ANCA, and to advocate for the plight of the Armenian Nation.
Past recipients of the ANCA-ER Cardashian Award include John Jerikian of Washington D.C., Levon Palian of Washington D.C., Tom Vartabedian (in memoriam) of Mass., Armen Topouzian of Mich., Alice Movsesian of N.J., Vahe Amirian of N.J., Martha Aramian of R.I., Bedros Bandazian of Va., Melanie Kerneklian of Va., Tatul Sonentz-Papazian of Mass., Ruth Thomasian of Mass., Stephen Dulgarian of Mass., Professor Richard Hovannisian of Calif., and Zohrab Tazian of Ind.
The Dec. 2 gala, sponsored by the ANCA Eastern Region Endowment Fund, will take place at the prominent International Place located in the heart of Boston (2 International Place, Boston, Mass. 02110). The event will kick off with an elegant cocktail reception (open bar for beer and wine) and silent auction at 6 p.m., followed by buffet dinner and awards ceremony at 7 p.m. Additional information, sponsorship options, and tickets are available at https://ancaef.org/gala/.
Carolann S. Najarian, M.D., is a native of New York City and the child of Armenian Genocide survivors. She spent the major part of her medical career in private practice in Cambridge and Watertown, Massachusetts. In 1988, after Armenia’s devastating earthquake, she spearheaded East Coast medical relief efforts to that country. As president of the Armenian Health Alliance Inc. (1989-2015), she made more than 50 trips to deliver medical aid to survivors in the destroyed region. In 1994, with funds raised through AHA, she established the first primary care center in Gyumri, and in 1995 the Arpen Center for Expectant Women, in Artsakh (providing food and clothing to pregnant women until today). In 1992, she began traveling to Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabagh) and Kashatagh to distribute medical supplies and equipment, to teach, and to care for patients.
Dr. Najarian earned her M.D. from Boston University School of Medicine, class of ’80, and an M.Sc. in Medical Anthropology from Brunel University, London, ’04. She also holds a B.A. in Music from Queens College, New York, ’62. Her first book, A Call From Home; Armenia and Karabagh, My Journal (Arpen Press, 1999), based on her journals, chronicles her experiences and the people she met in Armenia and Karabagh. In 2014, she published her father’s memoirs, Avedis’ Story, which chronicles his family’s escape through Dersim, to Russia, and eventually to the U.S. She has served on her medical school’s Board of Overseers (2004-2010), and she is a board member of the Armenian Bone Marrow Registry and the Board of Advisors of the Tufenkian Foundation.
Dr. Najarian is the recipient of The Ellis Island Medal of Honor, 1999; Boston University’s School of Medicine Alumni Association Humanitarian Award, 2004; the Armenian International Women’s Association Achievement Award, 1997; the Haystack Award for Charity, United Church of Christ, MA, 1996; Exceptional Women’s Award, Boston (Magic Radio), 2000; Armenian Bone Marrow Registry Trust, Woman of the Year, 2003. She has also received awards from the governments of Armenia and Artsakh.
Dr. Najarian resides with her husband, George, in East Orleans and Lincoln, Mass. Together they have endowed the Najarian Human Rights Lecture held each year at Faneuil Hall in conjunction with the Armenian Heritage Foundation and Park. In addition to other philanthropic activities, they annually sponsor scholarships through AIWA and their alma maters.
The ANCA Eastern Region Endowment Fund is a 501(c)(3) charitable and educational organization that supports the Armenian National Committee of America Eastern Region in outreach to Armenian-American communities.