For the past 23 years, I have had the great pleasure of working at the Armenian American Wellness Center (AAWC) and leading a team of 122 staff members. It is an honor for me to help my people and to devote myself to the wellbeing of the women, mothers and families in Armenia. In carrying out the often challenging tasks for this very vital project, it has now become part of my life’s mission. I feel rewarded in so many ways.
The AAWC medical staff is regularly trained in the USA and in Europe at major medical university hospitals by the best medical professionals.
Daily, we provide services to 220 women. Every woman who comes to the Center for the first time becomes a regular visitor due to the special and caring approach by the Center staff. Over 23 years of activity, the AAWC has provided 672,556 high-quality medical services. Annually, 45-50 thousand women have been served at the Wellness Center. Since its establishment, 329,521 breast screenings have been provided and 16,704 breast cancer cases have been detected.
Unfortunately, there is a tendency of increasing breast cancer incidence in younger women: 122 women under the age of 29 were diagnosed with breast cancer.
96 medical exchanges were organized, during which numerous surgeries were performed, giving self-confidence and happiness to thousands of women in Armenia.
Today, the dream of our founders, to detect breast cancer at the precancerous stage, has become a reality. This initiative drew the attention of the leaders from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the US Embassy in Armenia. The USAID/ASHA grant projects as well as Vivacell Armenia have played a major role in the establishment of the Center, due to which very huge and important projects, instead of remaining on paper, became a reality.
Moreover, of course, all this has been made possible due to the staff of the center consisting of young, promising, trained and well-educated members. They consider the Center as their home and family. I am happy to work with such a team whose exceptional work inspires and pushes me to new achievements, which become possible, because we have powerful founders, Rita Balian and Hranush Hakobyan, behind us.
This center is the outcome of the unbreakable will, state mentality, and infinite patriotism of these two women. It is an example of transparency, corruption-free and devoted work, which has been awarded prizes, diplomas and words of gratitude many times. The public trust is the most substantial for us.
With respect, Khachanush Hakobyan
Executive Director, AAWC