Honorees: Lawrence V. Najarian, M.D.

Distinguished Physician and Visionary Leader

Dr. Lawrence V. Najarian, is a physician, teacher, and humanitarian who accepts the AAHPO Gold Medal Award on behalf of all the volunteers who have helped AAHPO accomplish its mission over the last 25 years. He is a second-generation Armenian American whose grandparents came through Ellis Island in 1921. Like other survivors of the Armenian Diaspora, they were forever grateful for the opportunity to flourish in a new country and were honored to become American citizens, a fact that is gratefully acknowledged by every succeeding generation. His parents, high school graduates, worked hard to send him to college.

Today, Dr. Najarian is a board-certified ophthalmologist, founder and medical director of the Bedminster Eye and Laser Center, Bedminster, NJ, where he has ministered to the surrounding communities for 30 years. He is a graduate of The Johns Hopkins University, the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine and completed his training in ophthalmology at New York University Medical Center, Moorfields Eye Hospital in London, and performed research in ocular immunology at Emory University.

For over 30 years, Dr. Najarian has served on the New York University and New York Eye and Ear Infirmary voluntary faculties, teaching ophthalmology residents. He also lectures at Columbia University’s Continuing Medical Education Program. He is the recipient of The Arnold P. Gold Foundation
Gold Award and this year received the “Healer of the Year Award” from the Teaneck Chamber of Commerce.

Dr. Najarian’s commitment to science education extends to local classrooms. In 2008, he developed a teaching program for 7th graders at the Gill St. Bernard School and continues to collaborate and expand the program.

Lawrence V. Najarian, MDA lifelong Boy Scout, Dr. Najarian was honored with the Good Scout Award (2018). At age 13, he was elected to the Order of the Arrow and attained the rank of Eagle Scout. He served as assistant Scout Master, merit badge councilor, fundraiser and board member of Friends of Scouting. His son, Greg Najarian, is an Eagle Scout.

Dr. Najarian has served since 2006 as President of the Armenian American Health Professional Organization, a volunteer-led 501(c)3 charity engaged in medical philanthropy. AAHPO provides medical mentoring, workshops, emergency consultations, counseling, medical care and education to underserved populations in the tri-state area as well as in Armenia and Artsakh.

Dr. Najarian also served on the Board of the Armenian Eye Care Project, which honored him with a Silver Award for his service to patients. He currently serves on the executive board of the Armenian Medical International Committee.

Through these organizations, he has made multiple medical missions to Armenia, organized and chaired international medical meetings, facilitated the donation of a $1 million microsurgical training laboratory in Yerevan, where several generations of eye surgeons have received training, and
supervised the training of physicians who provide much needed care in the rural villages of Armenia and Artsakh.

Dr. Najarian is also a 2019 recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, awarded to individuals for accomplishments in their field and inspired service to our nation.