Carolann Najarian To Receive Vahan Cardashian Award at 2017 ANCA-ER Gala

November 8, 2017

Boston, MA – The Armenian National Committee of America – Eastern Region (ANCA-ER) will be honoring longtime Hai Tahd advocate Carolann Najarian with the prestigious Vahan Cardashian Award at the December 2nd Gala dedicated to the 30th anniversary of Artsakh Liberation Movement.

“I am deeply honored to be the recipient of the ANCA Eastern Region’s Cardashian Award this year. The ANCA’s agenda embodies the needs and aspirations of the Armenian community – from its work on Genocide recognition to support for Armenia and Artsakh,” said Dr. Najarian. “I am especially proud to be a supporter of the Capital Gateway Program which brings young Armenian professionals together, supports and mentors them.  What could be more important? Thank you, ANCA! ”

The Vahan Cardashian Award is given annually to an ANCA supporter who has demonstrated longstanding dedication and active involvement in the Armenian-American community and its priorities. The award is named after Yale-educated lawyer Vahan Cardashian, who set aside his successful New York practice to dedicate himself to the establishment of the Armenian Committee for the Independence of Armenia (ACIA), predecessor organization to the Armenian National Committee, and to advocate for the plight of the Armenian Nation.

Past recipients of the ANCA-ER Cardashian Award include John Jerikian of Washington, DC, Levon Palian of Washington, DC, Tom Vartabedian (in memoriam) of Massachusetts, Armen Topouzian of Michigan, Alice Movsesian of New Jersey, Vahe Amirian of New Jersey, Martha Aramian of Rhode Island, Bedros Bandazian of Virginia, Melanie Kerneklian of Virginia, Tatul Sonentz-Papazian of Massachusetts, Ruth Thomasian of Massachusetts, Stephen Dulgarian of Massachusetts, Professor Richard Hovannisian of California, and Zohrab Tazian of Indiana.

The December 2nd gala, sponsored by the ANCA Eastern Region Endowment Fund, will take place at the prominent International Place located in the heart of Boston (Two International Place, Boston, MA 02110). The event will kick off with an elegant cocktail reception (open bar for beer and wine) and silent auction at 6:00 pm, followed by buffet dinner and awards ceremony at 7:00 pm. Additional information, sponsorship options, and tickets are available at

Carolann S. Najarian, M.D., is a native of New York City and the child of Armenian Genocide survivors.  She spent the major part of her medical career in private practice in Cambridge and Watertown, Massachusetts.  In 1988, after Armenia’s devastating earthquake, she spearheaded east coast medical relief efforts to that country.  As president of the Armenian Health Alliance, Inc. (1989 – 2015) she made more than 50 trips to deliver medical aid to survivors in the destroyed region.  In 1994, with funds raised through AHA, she established the first primary care center in Gyumri  and in 1995, the Arpen Center for Expectant Women, in Artsakh (providing food and clothing to pregnant women until today). In 1992, she began traveling to Artsakh (Karabagh) and Kashatagh, to distribute medical supplies and equipment, to teach, and care for patients.

Dr. Najarian earned her M.D. from Boston University School of Medicine, class of ’80 and an MSc in Medical Anthropology from Brunel University, London, ’04.   She also holds a BA in Music from Queens College, New York, ‘62.   Her first book, A Call From Home; Armenia and Karabagh, My Journal (Arpen Press, 1999) based on her journals, chronicles her experiences and the people she met in Armenia and Karabagh. In 2014, she published her father’s memoirs, Avedis’ Story,  which chronicles his family’s escape through Dersim, to Russia, and eventually to the U.S.  She has served on her medical school’s Board of Overseers (2004-2010), a board member of the Armenian Bone Marrow Registry, and the Board of Advisors of the Tufenkian Foundation.

Dr. Najarian is the recipient of The Ellis Island Medal of Honor, 1999; Boston University’s School of Medicine Alumni Association, Humanitarian Award 2004; the Armenian International Women’s Association Achievement Award, 1997;   the Haystack Award for Charity,  United Church of Christ, MA, 1996; Exceptional Women’s Award, Boston (Magic Radio) 2000; Armenian Bone Marrow Registry Trust, Woman of the Year, 2003. She has received awards from the governments of Armenia and Artsakh.

Dr. Najarian resides with her husband, George, in East Orleans and Lincoln, MA.  Together they have endowed the Najarian Human Rights Lecture held each year at Faneuil Hall in conjunction with the Armenian Heritage Foundation and Park.  In addition to other philanthropic activities, they annually sponsor scholarships through AIWA and their alma maters.

The ANCA Eastern Region Endowment Fund is a 501(c)(3) charitable and educational organization that supports the Armenian National Committee of America Eastern Region in outreach to Armenian American communities.

For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Armen Sahakyan
Email / Tel: 917-428-1918
Armenian National Committee of America
Eastern Region
80 Bigelow Ave, Watertown, MA 02472 | | @anca_er