President’s Message: Dr. Kevin Galstyan

When I think back on 2020, I choose to see the glass half full. I can never forget the unprecedented turmoil and devastation that reached every corner of the world. Yet I will remember most, the deep compassion, generosity, and dedication to community and homeland displayed by our AAMS members. From the pandemic to the war, from Glendale to Artsakh, you responded to the needs of your brothers and sisters without hesitation, despite being personally affected yourselves.

We are now months into 2021 and while things are not yet back to normal, we are heading in the right direction. This is the perfect time to reflect on the priorities of AAMS for the upcoming year.

Our top priority is to raise funds for the new Cryogen Center/Oxygen Generator Project that is currently being installed at the Yerevan Physics Institute. This state-of-the-art technology is replacing equipment that is in a constant state of disrepair and unable to keep up with the unprecedented oxygen demands due to COVID-19 and the treatment of those wounded in the war. The installation of the new equipment will be completed in June. The project was made possible by the collaboration between AMIC, AAMA, and the AAMS.

This progress motivates us to continue cultivating our relationships with our sister organizations. The AAMS spent much of last year collaborating with them on projects related to COVID-19 and Artsakh. These collaborations were extremely fruitful, and we want to keep that momentum going. There remains much left to accomplish and we can only be successful by working together.

They say that necessity is the mother of invention and that certainly held true last year. Social distancing and stay-at-home-orders forced the AAMS to re-think how to deliver its CME and CDE programs. The AAMS leaped into the world of online education with CME/CDE webinars. The rapidly changing nature of COVID-19 made these webinars, which were attended by healthcare practitioners from around the world, an invaluable tool to keep everyone updated with the latest information. The online education was so successful that we will continue holding them as a permanent part of our program.

That is not to say we have abandoned in-person education. These gatherings serve as an important tool for networking and socializing — something lost through online communications. The AAMS will continue to hold in-person CMEs periodically. In fact, we are aiming to hold our popular offsite CME conference in Las Vegas this year, if restrictions have been lifted and it is safe to do so. We are also hoping to celebrate our 35th anniversary with a gala on November 20th — again dependent on the COVID-19 situation. We are hopeful we can return to some semblance of normalcy this year. We will keep you updated on the status of these events.

Once again, thank you for your support of the AAMS and its mission. I’ve said this many times and I will continue to say it; I am so appreciative of your service and dedication. It is a tremendous honor to work along-side of you. I am so proud of what the AAMS accomplished last year, despite the myriad obstacles. I can’t wait to see what we will accomplish in 2021.