BOSTON, Mass. — The Armenian American Medical Association (AAMA) proudly celebrated its 50th anniversary on November 12 with a gala banquet at the Sheraton Boston attended by over 200 guests. The room was festive, and the event surpassed original fundraising goals. Guests included members of the medical community from across the eastern United States, including leaders of sister organizations based in New York, Washington D.C., and New England. Many AAMA supporters outside the medical community also attended, as did notable guests, such as the president of Winchester Hospital, Dr. Rick and Mrs. Janice Weiner. Congratulatory letters were received from medical organizations in Armenia and Artsakh, including the former Minister of Health of the Republic of Artsakh, Dr. Mikael Hayriyan.
AAMA president Dr. Rosalynn Nazarian acknowledged past presidents and thanked the board of directors, fellow members and friends for their service and continuous support. Dr. Nazarian emphasized AAMA’s mission to promote excellence in the delivery of healthcare and medical education for Armenian communities from Boston and throughout New England to Armenia and Artsakh. The first president of the AAMA, Dr. Paul Barsam, shared memories and remarked on how the organization has grown since it was first established.
Dr. Garo Armen, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Agenus, Inc., and founder and chairman of the Children of Armenia Fund (COAF), served as keynote speaker. He detailed a brief history and current state of affairs of the healthcare system in Armenia and Artsakh and gave inspirational guidance on how Armenians can help improve healthcare delivery in Armenia.
An honorary award was given to the Stroke Initiative Advisory Task Force for Armenia (SIATA), accepted by Dr. Viken Babikian on behalf of the group. Through its work, the group has improved acute stroke care in Armenia, raising it to the standard of western countries.
The recipients of the AAMA’s inaugural Armenia/Artsakh Healthcare Improvement Grants were announced. The first place grant was awarded to the “Artsakh Combat Casualty Care in 2022” program established by the Tufenkian Foundation. The program provides combat casualty care training to reduce deaths resulting from delays in treating traumatic injuries. The second place award was granted to the Viva Charity for a project to implement prenatal testing for pregnant women in Gyumri.
Dr. Noubar Afeyan closed the evening by commending the AAMA on its history and achievements. He surprised the audience with the announcement of a generous donation to allow the AAMA to advance its efforts to improve healthcare delivery in Armenia and Artsakh.
Proceeds from the gala will directly benefit AAMA’s annual scholarships for medical and allied health students in the New England area and support ongoing projects of the AAMA both locally and abroad.