Dr. Edgar Housepian (right) with Dr. Aram Chobanian (left), President of Boston University Medical School. Credit: asb360

Armenia Can Be a Champion of Medical Care


NEW YORK — Throughout his two decades of working in alliance with the Armenian people, Dr. Edgar Housepian’s faith in their strength and resilience has grown. A retired Columbia University neurosurgeon, Housepian is a co-founder of the Fund for Armenian Relief (FAR), vice chairman of the organization’s Board of Directors, and chair of its Medical Committee.

On January 15, FAR will honor this great man with a gala at Cipriani Wall Street. And while the evening will indeed pay homage to Housepian’s incredible life achievements, it will also focus on his vision of the nation of Armenia one day being an international center for medicine, medical education, and research. Through FAR’s Dr. Edgar Housepian Medical Education Fund, it is indeed possible to make this hope a reality.

Each of FAR’s medical education projects — many of which Housepian pioneered — specifically target areas that are essential to not only Armenia’s success as an international center for medical care, but also to the success of the nation as a whole.

Housepian was an inspiration behind the founding of the FAR Fellowship Alumni Association, a non-governmental organization of medical professionals who are aimed at improving the healthcare system of the community and advancing medical sciences in Armenia. This group has not only helped to develop a culture of volunteerism and philanthropy in Armenia, but it also established the Continuing Medical Education (CME) program.

Through CME, doctors from all over Armenia have an opportunity to advance their medical training under the mentorship of leading medical experts in Yerevan and establish partnerships and networks that can guide them into the future. Since many of Armenia’s doctors work in rural and isolated settings and have not had a chance to advance their skills since medical school, learn the latest discoveries in the field, or work with the latest equipment, this program is often the only opportunity these physicians have to make changes and save more lives.

Housepian advocates the expansion of the CME program, as it helps to elevate the level of medical practice in Armenia to international standards.

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Housepian and FAR have also greatly improved Armenia’s National Medical Library. It now serves as a medical center with course offerings, computer training opportunities, research programs, and partnerships with other medical institutions around the world. With further support, the library will become a regional showcase for medical education, research, and training.

He has been actively supporting Dr. Aram Chobanian and his colleagues from around the World in the International Board of Advisors of the Yerevan State Medical University, to reform the entire medical education system of Armenia.

Housepian was instrumental in creating the Armenian National Science and Education Fund (ANSEF), which provides research grants to Armenia’s top scientists, engineers and scholars, giving them the opportunity to pursue major steps of their groundbreaking research within their own borders.

Each of these programs has the potential to make a groundbreaking change in the Armenian healthcare system and the overall health of the Armenian people. Together, these initiatives can change the nation as a whole, and make it a leader on the international stage.

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, write to FAR, 630 Second Ave., New York, NY 10016 or press@farusa.org.

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