The Promise Armenian Institute at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA — Dr. Shant Shekherdimian, a pediatric surgeon at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine (DGSOM), has been appointed the inaugural associate director for healthcare outreach at the Promise Armenian Institute (PAI) at UCLA.
In this role, Dr. Shekherdimian will conduct public health research, develop health-related education and research opportunities for UCLA faculty and students, facilitate healthcare initiatives that involve UCLA and explore alternative models for UCLA Global Health engagement for healthcare improvement in Armenia. In pursuing these activities, Dr. Shekherdimian will serve as a senior advisor to the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Armenia.
“Part of the Promise Armenian Institute’s mission is to coordinate interdisciplinary research and public impact programs between UCLA and the Republic of Armenia, and this new position will accomplish just that in the medical and healthcare arena,” said professor Ann Karagozian, inaugural director of the Promise Armenian Institute. “We are grateful to Dr. Shekherdimian for his extraordinary dedication to PAI’s mission and the improvement of healthcare in Armenia.”
“I am honored to serve as the associate director for healthcare outreach for the Promise Armenian Institute, and very much look forward to supporting and expanding the scope of healthcare-related activities with which UCLA is involved in Armenia. I am excited for this opportunity to collaborate with UCLA faculty and students, as well as our colleagues in Armenia, to work on developing solutions to some of the challenges Armenia’s healthcare system faces,” noted Shekherdimian.
Dr. Shekherdimian is an associate professor of pediatric surgery at UCLA DGSOM. For many years he has been actively involved in various initiatives in Armenia’s healthcare sector, including efforts to improve post-graduate medical education, introducing quality improvement programs and developing multidisciplinary care teams.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent war in Artsakh/Nagorno Karabakh in late 2020, Dr. Shekherdimian has been one of the leads in UCLA’s Operation Armenia, an initiative that provides immediate medical disaster relief and long-term humanitarian aid and infrastructure support to Armenia and Artsakh. While continuing to expand these efforts, the research he will conduct as associate director for healthcare outreach will provide additional insights for the Ministry of Health to help further strengthen the overall healthcare system in Armenia.
“Dr. Shekherdimian has a proven track record of service in Armenia, and we are very pleased to welcome him in this new capacity as senior advisor,” said Armenia’s Minister of Health, Anahit Avanesyan. “Dr. Shekherdimian’s expertise and support are especially welcome now, in view of the strain placed on the healthcare sector of Armenia by the recent war on Nagorno Karabakh/Artsakh and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We look forward to continuing our work with Dr. Shekherdimian and expanding UCLA's engagement in the improvement of Armenia’s healthcare sector.”
High Commissioner for Diaspora Affairs Zareh Sinanyan stated, “We are continuously working to engage and attract highly qualified diaspora specialists to work in Armenian state institutions. The appointment of Dr. Shekherdimian as a senior advisor to the Minister of Health is an important step in an ongoing partnership with the Ministry of Health, and what we hope will be a fruitful initiative to attract more qualified specialists to high-ranking positions in various ministries and state institutions. We are grateful to the Promise Armenian Institute at UCLA for its partnership and commitment to the improvement and development of the Armenian public sector.”
The Promise Armenian Institute (PAI) was established at UCLA in late 2019 as a hub for world-class research and teaching on Armenian Studies and for coordinating Interdisciplinary Research and Public Impact Programs across UCLA, and with the Republic of Armenia and the Armenian Diaspora.