The Albanian American Medical Society (AAMS) was proud to host its first ever scientific session at the Mayflower Hotel which has also been called “Washington’s second best address after the White House” a term stemming from the hotels rich history of hosting president’s and statesman. The 1st Scientific Session showcased many of its talented professional members involved in high caliber and in a wide array of academic research in the States. The panel of seasoned medical professionals, Dr. James Strickler, Dr. Philip Çaushaj, Dr. Samy McFarlane and Dr. Sulejman Çelaj listened to the presentations offering feedback and encouragement to the presenters. A total of 10 presentations included topics in the fields of neuroscience, cardiology, and community epidemiology to name a few. While all candidates who presented had outstanding research presentations it was a tie between physician scientists Dr. Dukagjin Blakaj and Dr. Dafina Pruthi for the “Dr. Richard Velaj-A model of excellence” Award as the most distinguished research project presented at the 1st Scientific Session of AAMS.
The evening commenced with the 2nd Award Gala Dinner Event in the Grand Ballroom of the hotel. In the opulent and spacious grand ballroom with its crystal chandeliers and gold leaf crusted architecture the evening began with a warm cocktail reception among members of the society, honored guests, and dignitaries from Kosovo and Albania. The highlight of the evening came when Nobel Laureate and the AAMS Honorable Chairman, Dr. Ferid Murad bestowed Dr. James Strickler with the “Lifetime Achievement Award towards the Albanian Medical Cause”. “Make the worlds’ problems your own” was the philosophy Dr. Strickler followed since his early tenure at Dartmouth Medical School. In fact, along with many other colleagues on both sides of the Atlantic, Dr. Strickler worked tirelessly to help improve conditions in a tiny European country most people may have never heard of—Kosovo. While Dr. Strickler is no stranger to humanitarian relief work having worked in many nations spanning the globe it was a very special group of people who decided to honor him in our nation’s capital. The AAMS recognized him for his outstanding humanitarian work as well as his distinguished efforts in helping improve healthcare for Kosovo through education programs as well as supporting organizations such as the Foundation for Healthy Mothers and Babies which aims to reduce the informant mortality rate in Kosovo—the highest in Europe! Dr. Murad emotionally shared an intimate part of his own experiences explaining his father’s emigration to the United States in hopes of a better future, a story not unique to the Albanian American community but certainly very close to their hearts.
We are very excited to share this project, which we have been working for the past few months; creating a survey with intentions of collecting preliminary data on the Albanian American population, which may have historical impact.
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The goal of the Albanian Health Initiative is to identify and eliminate health care disparities that exist in the Albanian-American community in an effort to promote preventive screening measures and more efficiently utilize health care resources empowering both the patient and the physician to improve the quality of care and strengthen the patient-physician relationship.
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We kindly request your help by sharing this survey with your Albanian friends and family. Your help would greatly be appreciated and will certainly make a difference.
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