The legacy of FAR-founder and late board member Dr. Edgar Housepian will be forever immortalized in one of Armenia’s newly-opened medical facilities. Among the recent events surrounding FAR’s 30th anniversary celebrations, the inauguration of the Edgar Housepian Neurology and Neurosurgery Center at Arabkir Plus Medical Center was one of the most meaningful.
FAR founded the center in cooperation with Arabkir Charitable Foundation-Institute of Children and Adolescent Health and New York Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center.
The Arabkir Plus Medical Center is an addition to the existing Arabkir Medical Center and will enable the hospital to serve more people. It has the capacity to treat several dozen patients on a daily basis.
Head of Arabkir Plus Medical Center Dr. Ara Babloyan, Yerevan Mayor Hayk Marutyan, Dr. Edgar Housepian’s children Jean and David, along with FAR Board members and supporters from the U.S. and Armenia, were present at the hospital’s opening. A bust of Dr. Housepian sculpted by his daughter, Jean, was unveiled during the event.
“He was like an orchestra conductor. He got the right instruments together and he let the music flow. He really trusted all the people who he worked with to bring their own skills, their own compassion to create what FAR has become,” said Ms. Housepian during the ceremony. “He told me all about the FAR projects as they were happening; he was always so excited. When there was a new project there was such an enthusiasm coming from his presentation that I couldn’t choose anywhere better than FAR-suggested venue [for this sculpture].”
Dr. Housepian was one of FAR’s founders. Following the 1988 earthquake, he, along with Archbishop Torkom Manoogian and Kevork Hovnanian, immediately gathered resources and support to assist those impacted by the disaster. After witnessing the disaster, the three knew they had to do more and subsequently formed the board of what would eventually become FAR to help meet both the short-term relief and the long-term development needs of Armenia.
In the 26 years since FAR’s inception, Dr. Housepian exemplified his humanity through the numerous development initiatives he spearheaded and supported. Under his great leadership FAR started the medical fellowship program in 1996, which helped more than 90 doctors from Armenia receive training at leading U.S. Medical Centers, and later led to the creation of FAR’s CME Program, which has helped more than 1,000 rural Armenian physicians to receive professional development.
He was also a great supporter of the refurbishment of Armenia’s National Medical Library, by expanding its materials and resources, and transforming it into a modern center.
“Always deeply humble, Dr. Housepian never truly recognized the impact he had on the lives of so many and on the development of a nation, simply by being the dedicated, industrious person he was. Dr. Housepian is an example to us all. He will always serve as an inspiration to FAR, its vision and mission, just as he will continue to inspire us as people who are better off having known him,” said FAR Board Chairman Randy Sapah-Gulian during the inauguration.