Raffy Hovanessian, MD

Raffy Hovanessian, MDDr. Raffy Hovanessian has touched the lives of many individuals as a doctor, philanthropist and community leader. Inspired by his mother who was a midwife, the young Dr. Hovanessian graduated from American University of Beirut (AUB), where he specialized in internal medicine and gastroenterology, finally concluding his instruction at Johns Hopkins University. Drafted into the U.S. army as a major, Dr. Hovanessian put his medical education to good use during the Vietnam War, focusing on infectious diseases of the stomach and colon during his assignment at the Fort Knox, Kentucky, army camp.

For 40 years, Dr. Hovanessian led a vibrant private practice in Northwest Indiana. He has been president of the medical staff at Mercy Hospital, of the Alpha Omega Honor Medical Society, and of the Asian American Medical Society. He has also served as chairman of the Department of Medicine at both Mercy Hospital and Methodist Hospital, and chairman of Methodist Hospital’s credentials committee. Through his efforts at Fund for Armenia Relief and as a Board member of the Armenian American Health Professionals Organization (AAHPO), he has been an activist leader in supporting continuing medical education to physicians in Armenia.

In the Armenian community, he has been a Board member of the Armenian Assembly, the AGBU, the American University of Armenia, the Armenian Church Endowment Fund, and St. Nersess Armenian Seminary, and was a member of the Diocesan Council for 16 years. He has served as a vice chair and delegate to the Armenian National Assembly at Etchmiadzin for the election of the Catholicoses in 1995 and 1999, vice chair of the Diocesan Council, and a member of the Knights of Vartan.

In 2014, Dr. Hovanessian was honored as the Diocesan Armenian Church Member of the Year. In 2000, he received the Ellis Island Award, Etchmiadzin’s St. Gregory Medal in 1996 by His Holiness Catholicos Karekin I. He has received many awards, including the Prince of Cilicia from His Holiness Karekin II (1983), the Golden Heritage Award of the NAACP (1987), Prelacy Man of the Year Award (1988), Ellis Island Award (2000) and the Diocesan Armenian Church member of the Year (2014). In 1993, Catholicos Vasken I bestowed the “St. Nersess Shnorhali” medal on Dr. Hovanessian and the following year his story was entered into the Congressional Record by Congressman Peter Visclosky. Dr. Hovanessian has been married over 50 years to his accomplished, art curator wife, Vicki Shoghag, and is proud of his three children, Armen, Ani, and Aileen who are all professionals, and his seven grandchildren.