Dr. Sharon Chekijian of Yale Receives Fulbright Scholar Award to Armenia

The American University of Armenia (AUA) is pleased to announce that Sharon Anoush Chekijian, MD, MPH has received the J. William Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program award from the Yale Department of Emergency Medicine (DEM) for work in emergency systems and curriculum development in the Republic of Armenia. Dr. Chekijian will be based at AUA Turpanjian School of Public Health (SPH), where she will lecture and conduct research as part of a project to strengthen a medical residency program in emergency medicine. Her work in Armenia will involve the expansion and development of emergency services, as well as research capacity building in the provision and evaluation of emergency services. Along with AUA, she will work with the National Institutes of Health of Armenia and the Yerevan Municipal Ambulance Service to develop a comprehensive plan for improving emergency care services to citizens, as well as to visitors in the Republic of Armenia.

Dr. Chekijian has previously worked in Armenia in the areas of organ transplantation, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, traffic safety, and stroke program development within the framework of the Stroke Initiative Advisory Task-Force for Armenia (SIATA). She has also served as a consultant for the World Bank, the U.S. Department of State, and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

Dr. Chekijian is thrilled to be one of the few U.S. citizens awarded the distinguished Fulbright Scholar Program award to teach, conduct research, and provide expertise abroad in the 2020-2022 academic years. She believes this is a great opportunity to bring to Armenia new knowledge and expertise in emergency medicine. “We know that emergency medical systems development is key to addressing and reducing mortality in a variety of acute conditions, such as heart attacks, strokes and trauma. The current pandemic has reinforced the importance of a robust emergency response system. Armenia has become a center for the tech industry, as well as tourism. The improvement of emergency medicine will be a major contributor to ongoing development in these areas. Having a dedicated group of trained doctors in emergency medicine in Armenia will mean we can expect a multiplier effect on the healthcare of the country. I am excited to work as part of a team dedicated to making this happen in Armenia and at the Yale Department of Emergency Medicine.” Dr. Chekijian said.

A “renaissance” clinical scientist, Dr. Chekijian holds multiple roles at Yale DEM and with national and international organizations. Clinically, she works as a supervising physician caring for patients in three extremely high-volume emergency departments. Administratively, she is the medical director for the emergency medicine physician associate and nurse practitioner (PA/NP) group, the inaugural medical director for the Yale New Haven Hospital PA/NP Residency Program, which she has developed, and a faculty member in the Division of Global Health and International Emergency Medicine, medical director of Patient Experience and Chair of the Patient Experience Forum. On a broader national level, she is the chair of the Society of Academic Medicine’s (SAEM) Academy of Women in Academic Medicine’s awards committee, as well as the chair of SAEM’s APP Medical Director’s interest group and SAEM Board of Directors’ Advance Practice Provider’s Task Force. She has also been nominated as lead ambassador to Armenia by the American College of Emergency Physicians.

An accomplished administrator, educator and global researcher, Dr. Chekijian is uniquely poised to enhance emergency medicine development in Armenia. “Dr. Chekijian demonstrates an outstanding spectrum of experience, professionalism, sensitivity and dedication in her work” says DEM Chair, Dr. Gail D’Onofrio. “As the founder of our highly successful PA/NP residency program, now graduating its fifth class, I am confident that her expertise, compassion, dedication, and determination will achieve similar results in Armenia, advocating for physicians who would like to practice emergency medicine and improving healthcare practices. Using internationally recognized guidelines and standards for emergency systems development, her project promises to have an enormous impact on emergency care in Armenia. Our department is proud to support Dr. Chekijian’s work.”

Dr. Chekijian has a long history with AUA’s School of Public Health. Her collaboration began in 1998 while she was conducting research projects in Armenia. In addition to her critical efforts to strengthen emergency medical training and research in Armenia, SPH Dean Dr. Petrosyan is certain that “Dr. Chekijian’s intellectual interactions and mentorship will enrich the educational experience of MPH students at AUA.”

Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia, affiliated with the University of California, and accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission in the United States. AUA provides local and international students with Western-style education through top-quality undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs, promotes research and innovation, encourages civic engagement and community service, and fosters democratic values. 

The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program and is designed to build lasting connections between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. Recipients are selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement, as well as record of service and demonstrated leadership in their respective fields. The Fulbright Program is funded through an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations, and foundations around the world also provide direct and indirect support to the Program, which operates in over 160 countries worldwide and has given more than 390,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists, and professionals of all backgrounds and fields the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas, and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.