From left, AAHPO Vice President Garbis Baydar, MD; John Bilezikian, MD; Tsoline Kojaoghlanian, MD; Mihran Seferian, MD; AAHPO President Lawrence V. Najarian, MD (not pictured: Kim Hekimian, PhD)

AAHPO Honors Four Healthcare Professionals for Outstanding Service During Pandemic


By Stephan S. Nigohosian

The Armenian American Healthcare Professionals Organization (AAHPO) honored four healthcare professionals for demonstrating exceptional leadership and service during the Covid-19 pandemic.  The event, held during the organization’s Annual Winter Brunch, recognized AAHPO Board of Directors John P. Bilezikian, MD; Kim Hekimian, PhD; and Tsoline Kojaoghlanian, MD; as well as AAHPO Member Mihran Seferian, MD.

During the global pandemic, the four dedicated individuals were located at the epicenter of the overloaded and fatigued healthcare system in the metropolitan New York City region.  In March 2020, the gravity of the pandemic became clear when recorded cases of the coronavirus grew exponentially in New York, from one to 89 to 75,795 in just 30 days.  “Our region was blessed with countless Healthcare Heroes, including our honorees, who bravely cared for the sickest patients during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said AAHPO President Lawrence Najarian, MD. “It is worth noting that within our organization, the actions of these four members in particular distinguished themselves in unique ways during extraordinary circumstances.  Their actions benefitted countless numbers of people, including those in and outside of the Armenian community.”

Each of the honorees have volunteered their leadership, expertise, and time toward serving the critical healthcare needs of citizens in Armenia and Artsakh, as well as in the United States.  Their inspiring commitment, support, and compassion during the Covid-19 pandemic served to demonstrate their dedication to the well-being of others worldwide:

John P. Bilezikian, MD, a leading endocrinologist and medical researcher at New York’s Columbia University, was recognized for his contribution to the body of scholarly publications that aided the understanding and treatment of COVID-19 at the beginning of the pandemic.

Kim Hekimian, PhD, a public health specialist and educator at New York’s Columbia University, was honored for tirelessly educating the medical community and the public by interpreting COVID-19 data from the U.S. and Armenia.

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Tsoline Kojaoghlanian, MD, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at New York’s Maimonides Children’s Hospital, was honored for tirelessly educating medical and lay communities with the latest COVID-19 information through articles and public webinars.

Mihran Seferian, MD, an infectious disease specialist, was recognized for caring for the sickest patients at Holy Name Hospital (NJ), considered by many to be Ground Zero for COVID-19 during the darkest days of 2020.


Topics: AAHPO, Pandemic
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