AWWA to Honor Dr. Carolann Najarian at November Luncheon

JAMAICA PLAIN, Mass.—The Armenian Women’s Welfare Association, Inc. (AWWA) has announced plans for its annual Thanks-for-Giving Luncheon, which will take place on Saturday, November 9, 2019 from 12 to 4 p.m., at the Belmont Country Club in Belmont, Massachusetts. The luncheon will provide an opportunity for attendees to hear from the new Chief Executive Officer of the AWWA, Stewart Goff, and raise money for AWWA’s primary initiatives: the Armenian Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Inc. in Jamaica Plain and the Hanganak Elder Clinic (Hanganak) in Stepanakert, Nagorno-Karabakh. In addition, AWWA recently established the AWWA Founders Humanitarian Award to be conferred upon an individual or organization in recognition of outstanding humanitarian vision and dedication to helping improve the welfare of Armenians less fortunate. The luncheon will also serve to honor its first recipient of the AWWA Founders Humanitarian Award.  

AWWA is proud to announce that the inaugural AWWA Founders Humanitarian Award will recognize Dr. Carolann S. Najarian for her unfailing devotion and commitment to numerous humanitarian causes throughout a lifetime of dedicated service. Dr. Najarian was particularly instrumental in helping AWWA recognize the vision of helping elders in Nagorno-Karabakh, which led to AWWA sponsoring the Hanganak Elder Clinic in Stepanakert, Nagorno-Karabakh in 2004. For over 15 years, Hanganak has been providing medical care, food and social support, including spiritual and community activities, to elderly women and men living alone in Stepanakert, who have no other means of support. These elders have been profoundly affected by conflicts in this region; most having lost family members. Since 2014, Hanganak has expanded services by providing fuel assistance to its beneficiaries. Through AWWA’s sponsorship, Hanganak serves more than 200 elderly beneficiaries each year.

About the AWWA: In addition to Hanganak, AWWA sponsors the Armenian Nursing and Rehabilitation Center (ANRC), an 83-bed skilled nursing facility located in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, which serves both elderly Armenians and non-Armenians alike by providing outstanding person-centered care for residents requiring short-term rehabilitation, as well as the highest quality of life for those admitted for long-term care. The ANRC has a five-star rating from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), placing the ANRC in the top 10 percent of skilled nursing facilities within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.   

About Dr. Najarian: Dr. Najarian, a native New Yorker, spent the major part of her medical career in private practice in Cambridge and Watertown, Massachusetts. In 1988, after the great earthquake that destroyed most of northern Armenia, she spearheaded a medical relief effort through the NGO she established, the Armenian Health Alliance, Inc. Over the course of more than 50 trips to the region, she delivered millions of dollars’ worth of medicine and medical supplies to the destroyed region, established the Primary Care Center of Gyumri (providing care to needy residents and training to physicians) and the Arpen Center for Expectant Women, in Nagorno-Karabakh (providing food and vitamins to pregnant women). She most recently was awarded the Vachakan Barepasht medal from Artsakh President Bako Sahakyan in April of this year, which acknowledges her distinguished service in Artsakh, both during and after the war.

Dr. Najarian earned her M.D. from Boston University School of Medicine and an MSc in Medical Anthropology from Brunel University in London. She also holds a BA in Music from Queens College, New York. She is a diplomat of the American Board of Internal Medicine. Since 1989,  she has been president of the Armenian Health Alliance, Inc. which she founded along with other health care professionals to facilitate medical relief for Armenia. She is also a published author, having written A Call From Home: Armenia and Karabagh, My Journal (Arpen Press, 1999) based on her journals, chronicling her experiences and the people she met over the first eight years of her work after the earthquake and the break-up of the Soviet Union. Among the awards and honors Dr. Najarian has received are The Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 1999; Boston University School of Medicine Alumni Association Humanitarian Award in 2004; and Armenian Bone Marrow Donor Registry Charitable Trust Woman of the Year Award in 2003.

The AWWA Thanks-For-Giving Luncheon will be held at the Belmont Country Club in Belmont, Massachusetts, on Saturday, November 9, 2019, from 12 to 4 pm. Advance purchase of tickets is required and seating is limited. You may also contact Stephanie Ciccolo at or 617-522-2600, ext. 101.

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Guest Contributor

Guest contributions to the Armenian Weekly are informative articles or press releases written and submitted by members of the community.

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