The Annual Event to Honor Salpy Akaragian, Ph.D., RN, NPD-BC, and Jane Mahakian, Ph.D.

On Saturday, May 4, 2024, The Armenian American Medical Society (AAMS) will host its 39th Annual Gala Celebration at the Jonathan Club in downtown Los Angeles. This year's theme is "Hope and Renewal," celebrating the resilience of Artsakh refugees.

The gala will feature a cocktail reception at 7:00 p.m., followed by dinner and entertainment at 8:00 p.m. Proceeds raised will provide critical aid for Artsakh refugees' recovery and well-being through mental health services, healthcare access, educational support, and career development initiatives.

"The people of Artsakh have endured immense hardship, but their spirit remains unbroken," said Elizabeth Zoryan, RN, BSN, PHN, gala chair. "This gala is our chance to come together and translate hope into meaningful action that can help rebuild their lives."

The evening will honor Salpy Akaragian, Ph.D., RN, NPD-BC, with the 2024 AAMS Lifetime Achievement Award for her distinguished career and contributions to healthcare. Jane Mahakian, Ph.D., will be presented with the 2024 AAMS President's Leadership Award in recognition of her exemplary service.

Salpy Akaragian, Ph.D., RN, NPD-BC, president and founder of the Armenian International Medical Fund and Armenian American Nurses Association is responsible for developing nursing reforms and is currently working with Armenia’s Nursing Commission to define the scope of practice and establish a Board of Registered Nursing in Armenia. In 2003, Dr. Akaragian co-founded Armenia's cochlear implant program, enabling over 250 children to gain hearing—the program still going strong today. During the recent Artsakh crises, Dr. Akaragian delivered critical supplies, facilitated burn victim transfers to the U.S., and collaborated with WHO on rehabilitation.

Jane Mahakian, Ph.D., a gerontologist and clinician, has spent over 30 years advocating for those with dementia. She founded Aging Matters, Inc. in 1998 for Alzheimer's patient care management. Dr. Mahakian later established Alzheimer's Care Armenia (ACA) for sustainable dementia care programs and policies. Notable ACA initiatives include the 2022 Brain Health Armenia early detection project screening over 4,000 people, developing Armenia's 2023 National Dementia Plan, and launching an in-home program serving 500+ patients. In 2024, ACA joined the Armenian American Medical Society to expand its mission of improving Armenian dementia care and awareness.

KTLA 5 News reporter Ellina Abovian will serve as the Mistress of Ceremonies. Ellina was born in Yerevan and emigrated to the US with her family when she was a year old. They settled in Glendale, where she grew up. Under the direction of the dynamic and charismatic Ellina, the 39th Anniversary Gala will surely be a notable one.

For tickets to the 39th Annual Gala or to become an event sponsor, please text 818.943.4274 or visit www.aamsc.org

The AAMS is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with over 500 members from around California whose practice areas cover the entire spectrum of allied healthcare. The AAMS is the largest Armenian medical society in the Diaspora. Its directory of practitioners is a vital resource for patients seeking care in various health-related disciplines and specialties. In addition, the AAMS is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) and the Dental Board of California, ensuring that AAMS members maintain their competence in new medical knowledge through Continuing Medical Education activities to improve quality care for patients and their communities.