As Armenia became a proud independent nation in 1991, its healthcare delivery system faced unexpected challenges. While in the United States Continuing Medical Education (CME) is a yearly requirement for physicians, dentists, and most healthcare professionals, in Armenia, CME is not a requirement and does not really exist. So once one graduates from medical or dental schools there are no programs for continuing education.

Several years ago, Fund for Armenian Relief (FAR) and AAHPO, through the vision of Dr. Raffy A. Hovanessian, recognized the depth and widespread nature of this problem and partnered to fund the CME Program for physicians from rural Armenia and Karabagh. This program is vital to training physicians and nurses as tens of thousands of Armenians depend on their medical skills. The feedback gained from physicians trained in this program has been very positive. Truly appreciative of the knowledge gained, the graduates return to their rural villages, apply the skills gained in treating their patients and sharing their knowledge with fellow physicians.


Since 2010, AAHPO’s steadfast commitment to the Continuing Medical Education Program resulted in the training of 25 physicians each year. More than 200 health care providers have benefited from this program so far, with many more waiting to participate in this invaluable opportunity. The program enables doctors and nurses to enhance their skills and learn new techniques, improving the quality of healthcare delivery to their patients. Funds raised by AAHPO for the CME month-long program in Yerevan cover tuition expenses, lodging and a stipend for doctors who are taking time off from work and family.

Over the course of four weeks, physician and nurses participate in intensive programs in their specialty or subspecialty in leading medical centers, universities and advanced clinics in Yerevan. AAHPO’s efforts to raise funds for the CME program were realized through several major fundraisers and the generosity and philanthropy of Mr. & Mrs. Nazar & Ardemis Nazarian which have secured the continuation of the program for now. However, AAHPO still depends on the generosity of its members and friends to keep the CME program in place for many years to come.