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Fund for Armenian Relief

Press Release


Fund for Armenian Relief (FAR)
Press Office
630 Second Avenue, New York, NY 10016
Tel: (212) 889-5150; Fax: (212) 889-4849

email: press@farusa.org
web: www.farusa.org


FAR Honors Armenia's Distinguished Healthcare Professionals

On Wednesday evening, July 3, Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Eastern Diocese and the FAR board of directors hosted a dinner at the Diocese to honor the service of a distinguished group of Armenia's healthcare professionals, most of them former FAR Medical Fellows.

During the 1990s, FAR organized and funded a special program that brought 89 young doctors from Armenia to study in leading hospitals in the United States. The program was initiated by FAR Board members: Dr. Edgar Housepian, Dr. John Nercessian and Professor Annette Choolfaian. Dr. Aram Chobanian, then-Dean of the Boston University Medical School and a current FAR board director, contributed to the success of this program significantly.

The FAR Medical Fellowship Program was a wise and strategic investment for the Armenian healthcare field. Most of the 89 fellows are now leading healthcare experts in Armenia and are also leaders in the healthcare reforms in Armenia. In addition they are working closely with FAR to support their junior colleagues in the provincial hospitals by volunteering as mentors for FAR's Continuing Education program.

The FAR family came together on July 3 to celebrate FAR fellows' achievements, their contribution to the advancement of medical service and medical education in Armenia, and to say thank-you to the fellows who are now giving back to their communities in remote provinces of Armenia.

Among those who received FAR Distinguished Service Award were - Dr. Harutyun Kushkyan, the Minister of Health; Dr. Ara Babloyan - the Chairman of Healthcare Committee of the National Assembly; Dr. Gohar Kyalyan - Rector of Yerevan State Medical University; Dr. Ara Minasyan - Director of "St. Grogor Lusavoritch" Medical Center; Dr. Ara Ter-Grigoryan - Director of the State Health Agency; Dr. Manushak Yeritsyan - Director of "Arabkir" healthcare Center; Dr. Gevorg Yaghjian - Vice Dean of the Yerevan State Medical University; Dr. Hambartzum Simonyan - Coordinator of FAR healthcare programs in Armenia; Mrs. Anna Shirinyan - Director of the National Medical Library.

FAR also presented a Distinguished Service Award to the Board of the American Armenian Health Professionals Organization (AAHPO) for their leadership in organizing the 10th Armenian Medical World Congress in New York City.

"Fund for Armenian Relief started its mission in our motherland with healthcare programs and with relief to the victims of the1988 earthquake. However, even at that critical time, our medical team saw the core problems in Armenian healthcare and decided to concentrate its assistance to medical education," said Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, welcoming the participants to the Tribute Dinner. "We are happy to see that the seeds planted ten to fifteen years ago by the FAR Medical team and one of our cofounders, Dr. Edgar Housepian, are now bringing such powerful results."

"FAR Fellows are among the pioneers of volunteerism in Armenia" said FAR Chairman, Mr. Randy Sapah-Gulian. "They are selflessly and enthusiastically giving back to their communities, serving their less privileged brothers and sisters. This is a call from their heart, and for that we express today our appreciation and honor their service."

While presenting the awards, Dr. Edgar Housepian, Dr. Aram Chobanian, and Professor Annette Choolfaian shared memories of the FAR Fellowship Program. They spoke highly of the honorees and their individual contributions to the advancement of Armenia's healthcare and medical education, and praised their continuing partnership with FAR in supporting the progress of the healthcare services in remote Armenian provinces.

"Armenian healthcare has gone a long way from the early 1990s until now," said Dr. Edgar Housepian. "The achievements are noticeable. However, there is still a long way to go. We are optimistic about the future and believe Armenia is well positioned to become a regional Center of healthcare in the Caucasus and beyond. FAR is committed to make this dream come true, we will continue supporting you."

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About FAR

Since its founding in response to the 1988 earthquake, FAR has served hundreds of thousands of people through more than 220 relief and development programs in Armenia and Karabagh. It has channeled more than $265 million in humanitarian assistance by implementing a wide range of projects including emergency relief, construction, education, medical aid, and economic development.
For more information on FAR or to send donations, contact us at 630 Second Avenue, New York, NY 10016; telephone (212) 889-5150; fax (212) 889-4849; http://www.farusa.org; e-mail press@farusa.org.

-- July 13th, 2009