The AAHPO Najarian Family Scholarship

In Honor of Our Parents | Established in 2019
The Najarian family created this AAHPO Najarian Family Scholarship to honor their parents, Mary and Vahan Najarian and Freda and Gagiuk Hovakimian, MD, PhD. The scholarship benefits students matriculating in a graduate program related to the healthcare sciences.

This scholarship program is conducted in collaboration with the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) to maximize its impact. We recognize that the annual tuition for a graduate healthcare program is expensive – and rising. This scholarship ($2,500) is awarded to qualified students who are also receiving an AGBU US Graduate scholarship award between $5,000- $10,000.


To be considered for the AAHPO Najarian Family Scholarship, all applicants must first apply to the AGBU Scholarship program. There are many elements to the application process which include a review of the student’s credentials, financial need, matriculation documentation, academic transcripts, letters of recommendation and a student essay.

Accordingly, the AGBU, which has a well-established, rigorous screening program, then screens our applicants. The AGBU then forwards their most qualified scholarship recipients in the health care sciences to be considered to receive the AAHPO Najarian Family Scholarship in addition to the AGBU Scholarship.

Below is a draft summary of how the program will work.
  • Through AAHPO, the Najarian family established an endowment to give scholarships to Armenian students who are completing graduate programs in the healthcare field.
  • All applicants must first apply to the AGBU Scholarship program.
  • Recipients of the AGBU Scholarship who are studying in a medically related field are automatically considered for the AAHPO Najarian Family Scholarship.
  • The AAHPO Najarian Family Scholarship is then awarded from among this pool of candidates.
2022 Scholarship Winner: Arin Balalian, MD, PhD

Arin A BalalianArin Balalian, MD, PhD received the AAHPO Najarian Family Scholarship in 2022, as he was completing his doctoral studies in Epidemiology from Columbia University. He is now a member of the AAHPO Board of Directors.

Dr. Balalian has over a decade of research experience. Along with his doctoral degree, he holds a master’s degree in public health from the American University of Armenia, and a General Medicine degree from Yerevan State Medical University. Dr. Balalian has made significant contributions to the fields of public health and medical research. His expertise lies in conducting observational research studies, implementing advanced epidemiological methods, and meticulously assessing the quality of existing research. Dr. Balalian has numerous scientific presentations and publications, including systematic literature reviews and meta-analyses.

His practical experience includes public health intervention evaluation, where he played a pivotal role in leading the evaluation of an Electronic Health Records-based referrals program to the early intervention program in the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Apart from international collaborations, Dr Balalian has contributed significantly to public health and scientific research in Armenia. Dr Balalian has been instrumental in evaluating several key public health interventions in Armenia, such as the Breaking Cycle of Poverty program in Berd and the National HIV program. Dr Balalian has a long history of being an AAHPO friend. He started his career with the Fund for Armenian Relief in Armenia, where he not only helped with the administration of the CME program but also conducted a rigorous evaluation of the CME program for Artsakh physicians. He serves as an advisor to Master of Public Health students at the American University of Armenia.