Congratulations to American Board of Ophthalmology Diplomate Lawrence Najarian, MD, of Bedminster, NJ, who received the 2019 Ellis Island Medal of Honor. Awarded annually to distinguished citizens who exemplify a life dedicated to community service and extraordinary accomplishments in their field, Dr. Najarian was one of 94 medalists recognized this year.
In a May 11 ceremony held inside Ellis Island’s historic Great Hall, the original registry room and gateway for 12 million immigrants to the United States, Dr. Najarian accepted the award on behalf of his grandparents, who passed through the same room on their journey to America from Armenia in 1921.
Commenting on his award, Dr. Najarian said, “I am humbled by this recognition. I am deeply grateful and accept this award on behalf of so many people. For my grandparents who came to this country through Ellis Island with the hope of opportunities creating a new life for their family and community. And, for the many volunteers I am privileged to work with who have committed themselves and use their talents to do so much for so many people. I truly believe when people work together, we can accomplish so much more than we would accomplish individually."
Dr. Najarian is the founder and medical director of Bedminster Eye and Laser Center. He is a graduate of John Hopkins University and the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, and completed his training in ophthalmology at New York University Medical Center, Moorfield Eye Hospital in London, and Emory University. For more than 30 years, he has served on the voluntary faculty teaching ophthalmology residents at New York University and New York Eye and Ear Infirmary. Dr. Najarian lectures for Columbia University’s Continuing Medical Education Program and is on staff at the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset in Somerville, NJ. He has been honored by The Arnold P. Gold Foundation with the Gold Award for demonstrating skill, sensitivity, and compassion in patient care.
Among his many philanthropic achievements, Dr. Najarian has completed medical missions to Armenia, helped to organize and chair international medical meetings, facilitated the donation of a $1 million microsurgical training laboratory in Yerevan, and supervised the training of physicians in underserved, rural villages of Armenia. Since 2006, he has served as President of the Armenian American Health Professional Organization (AAHPO) and is a former board member of the Armenian Eye Care Project, which recently honored him with a Silver Award for his service to patients. He is currently on the executive board of the Armenian Medical International Committee.
Beyond his contributions to medicine in the U.S. and abroad, Dr. Najarian, an Eagle Scout turned scouting volunteer, recently received the Good Scout Award. He has also developed a science education program for seventh graders at a local elementary school, which he continues to support.
About the Ellis Island Medal of Honor
The Ellis Island Medal of Honor ranks among the nation’s most renowned awards. The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives have officially recognized the Ellis Island Medals of Honor, and each year the recipients are listed in the Congressional Record. Past Ellis Island Medalists include seven U.S. Presidents, three world leaders, several Nobel Prize winners ,and countless leaders in industry, education, the arts, sports, and government as well as everyday Americans who have made freedom, liberty, and compassion a part of their life's work.