By Florence Avakian
NEW YORK — It was at a world famous location, the New York Stock Exchange that the Armenian American Health Professionals Organization (AAHPO) of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut held a fundraiser on November 6. Two worthy and important projects were the recipients of the proceeds — AAHPO’s Voskevan Clinic in Armenia, and the Armenian EyeCare Project, which has already provided free eye care to 20 percent of Armenia’s poorest people.
The crowd of more than 150 which weaved in and out of America’s capitalistic center, was warmly welcomed by AAHPO Board Vice President Dr. Arthur Kubikian, standing on a platform high above the famous hall. Tireless AAHPO Board President Dr. Lawrence Najarian, in striking a “symbolic bell” rather than the stock exchange’s opening bell, declared that “we stand ready to help provide the basic human right to good health for our brothers and sisters.”
Giving just a few examples of the impact the donations make, he revealed that $1,000 buys insulin for 100 diabetics for one year in Armenia; $1,000 also services an entire Armenian village with a mobile dental office with two dentists and two staff for 30 days. In Voskevan, a village close to the Azeri border, he announced that a seven-room clinic will replace the decaying, bombed-out kindergarten currently used to provide medical and dental services to 4,000 poverty-stricken people.
In this country, he pointed out that in three New Jersey counties, in collaboration with the North Hudson Community Action Corporation, AAHPO has provided free medical care to any Armenian adult and child with no insurance and no means of payment. Donations have also been earmarked for AAHPO’s public education programs, including the Diabetes Awareness Day on November 22, in New Jersey, and the medical alerts on the AAHPO.org website.
Another recipient of the contributions is the tele-medicine initiative in collaboration with Armenia Fund USA, which uses the Internet “to collaborate with and train medical professionals in the most remote areas of Armenia,” Najarian noted.