The 11th Armenian Medical World Congress (AMWC) was an undeniable success, taking place in Los Angeles from July 3 through July 6, 2013. The Congress held true to its theme of “Uniting for a Healthy Future,” bringing together healthcare professionals and dignitaries from 16 nations around the world.
The first day began with an inspirational opening ceremony featuring remarks from Vicken Sepilian, MD, FACOG, Chairman of the 11th AMWC and President of the Armenian American Medical Society (AAMS) along with the Ministers of Health Derenik Dumanyan, MD, PhD, DSc, from Armenia, and Zoya Lazaryan from the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR). The three flags of the United States, Armenia and the NKR were proudly displayed. A prayer was given to bless the gathering followed by a symbolic bang of the gavel officially beginning the Congress.
“I have attended most of the World Congresses and this year’s was by far the most successful,” says Derenik Dumanyan, MD, PhD, DSc, Minister of Health of the Republic of Armenia. “The scientific presentations were very interesting and it was nice to see so many younger physicians involved. The theme of ‘Uniting for a Healthy Future’ was realized by all the attendees.”
“By coming together at this Congress, important collaborations were made between the NKR and Armenia,” remarks Zoya Lazaryan, Minister of Health of the NKR. “I am looking forward to implementing these vital projects that we discussed.”
The Scientific Sessions embarked on a journey tackling the most serious medical conditions in Armenia and the world facing all healthcare professionals in attendance including heart disease, stroke, cancer and infectious diseases. Throughout the four day Congress, over 200 lecturers shared their vast medical and scientific knowledge and experience during the plenary sessions and daily breakout sessions.
“The sessions were relevant and very helpful and I have heard nothing but praise from all who attended the Congress,” says Ara Babloyan, MD, PhD, DSc, National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia. “The presenters were well prepared and the sessions were well attended. Congratulations on both a successful and memorable Armenian Medical World Congress. You have set a new standard.”
Innovations in medicine and science were discussed including cardiac stem cell and gene therapies and symbiotic bacteria and their positive effects on maintaining and restoring health. Another importantly debated subject was healthcare policy and medical education in Armenia and the Diaspora and how best to use resources more effectively. Also a mini-symposium on pharmacology was featured. The final Scientific Session confronted the global paradox and burden of overconsumption and undernutrition and the negative effects of diabetes and obesity.
“Having attended the 11th AMWC held in Los Angeles, we must say how impressed we all are,” states Mikayel Narimanyan, MD, PhD, Rector of Yerevan State Medical University. “The Congress was at its height with regard to organization, and it can serve as an example of wonderful management, indeed. Moreover, the lectures designed for the Congress participants were brilliantly organized in terms of content and delivery.”
During the Congress, many exciting social events were offered to attendees for their enjoyment. On the first evening, a Welcome Reception featuring dining, cocktails and networking was held at the historic Grauman’s Egyptian Theatre Courtyard in Hollywood with over 400 people in attendance.
The next night, on the 4th of July, over 200 attendees and their families witnessed a fireworks spectacular at the stunning Hollywood Bowl with the musical entertainment of Josh Groban. Friday night presented a special opportunity with two alumni reunion receptions. This was the first reunion for alumni from Yerevan State Medical University. Alumni from the American University of Beirut reunited in the Panorama Suite of the Loews Hollywood Hotel. During their reception, Dr. Ara Tekian mesmerized a crowd of fellow alumni with his piano playing talents and reminisced by singing traditional songs from Armenia.
On Saturday, the World Congress culminated with closing remarks echoing the overwhelming positive sentiments from the Ministers, Deans of Medical Schools and all the attendees. Saturday evening, everyone gathered to celebrate at the elegant Hollywood red carpet themed World Congress Ball held at the famous Ray Dolby Ballroom. Guests were greeted with palette tantalizing hors d’ouerves while being serenaded with familiar Hollywood tunes sung by a glamorous songstress seated on a silver gilded moon suspended in mid-air. A world-class dining experience was had by all and was specially prepared by Celebrity Chef Wolfgang Puck. Guests also danced the night away to the rhythmic sounds of the Cheerz Band by Ara Dabandjian.
Proceeds from the World Congress Ball benefitted two important projects of the AAMS – the Juvenile Diabetes Program and the Pediatric Epilepsy Program. Both programs provide vital medical treatment, supplies and education to children of Armenia suffering from these life-altering illnesses.
There was a brief video presentation highlighting the programs, along with an inspirational video on the making of the Congress. Two surprises topped off the evening. First, Dr. Sepilian was presented with the Outstanding Achievement Award for his extraordinary service and dedication to the AAMS. Secondly, as a result of the synergy created during the Congress and the strong new relationships built, it was announced that a donation of medical equipment valued at $1 million had been made in support of the AAMS.
“This World Congress was a re-energizing experience for the entire Armenian medical world community,” states Dr. Sepilian. “The carefully planned sessions, generated stimulating and fruitful discussions leaving the congress participants from all over the world with positive and optimistic sentiments towards a healthy and prosperous future.”