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AWWA-logo

About AWWA

Our History

Armenian Women’s Welfare Association (AWWA) story begins in 1915 in Boston, Massachusetts. Ten immigrant Armenian women came together to form a non-profit women’s service organization that would focus on aiding and promoting the moral, intellectual, physical and social well-being of the Armenian people.

When the group was in its early infancy during WWI these “patriotic Armenian women” — this is what they named themselves in Armenian — began aiding Armenian orphans and shipping clothing and supplies overseas.

By 1930, the Depression demanded that the organization refocus its energies locally. Having renamed and incorporated itself, in 1935, as the Armenian Women’s Welfare Association, Inc., the group provided fuel, clothing, and other necessities to the local Armenian community.

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photo: Asdour Arzomanian (1948)

Armenian Nursing & Rehabilitation Center

  • In 1948, after 14 years in pursuit of its goal, the AWWA founded the first Home for the Aged.
  • In 1960, the AWWA built the Armenian Nursing Home, a full-care nursing facility, on the same property. The home began providing rehabilitative care in response to the needs of the community.
  • In 1979, AWWA expanded the Armenian Nursing Home to its present bed compliment of 83 beds.
  • In 1996, with the added programmatic focus on short-term rehabilitation, the name was changed to Armenian Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.
  • In 2022, the ANRC took another giant stride toward excellence by contracting with Legacy Lifecare (Legacy) to provide day-to-day management and resources to our facility. Legacy also provides strategy, finance, operations, and support systems management, while preserving the unique mission, identity and governance of the ANRC.
  • In 2023, we found an award-winning leader in elder care in our new Executive Director, Renato de Leon, who brings a strong track record of innovation and person-centered care.
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Hanganak Elder Program and Clinic

  • In 2004, AWWA made the decision to further expand its elder services, this time in the Republic of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabagh).
  • Working with Gohar Hovhannisyan, MD, MPH and her team, the AWWA sponsored the Hanganak Elder Program and Clinic (“Hanganak”) in Stepanakert.
  • Hanganak’s original mission was to provide medical care, food and social support to elders living alone and then increased its support by providing fuel assistance to its beneficiaries.
  • In 2019, Hanganak expanded to a second location in Askeran.
  • In 2023, Hanganak was providing assistance to more than 300 beneficiaries.
  • In September 2023, the horrific  human tragedy that unfolded there proved catastrophic to the staff and beneficiaries of Hanganak. In the chaos, many of the beneficiaries were forced to flee leaving everything behind.
  • As of December 2023, the Hanganak team has been able to successfully locate almost all of the beneficiaries, many of whom are in Armenia. The team continues to evaluate ways in which to continue services to those in need as this situation evolves.

Leadership

Board of Directors

(AWWA & ANRC)

Martha Mensoian

Martha Mensoian

President

Seta Nersessian

Seta Nersessian

Treasurer

Hilda Sahan Campbell

Hilda Sahan Campbell

Director

Hannah Dagg

Hannah Dagg

Director

Rebecca Garabedian

Rebecca Garabedian

Director

Manneh Ghazarians

Manneh Ghazarians

Director

Laurie Manjikian

Laurie Manjikian

Director

Ani Stepanyan

Ani Stepanyan

Director

Alyssa Yenikomshian

Alyssa Yenikomshian

Director

AWWA Advisory Board

  • Nancy Barsamian, RN, MPH, DNP
  • Lori Chobanian
  • Susan Deranian
  • Cindy Fitzgibbon
  • JoAnn Janjigian
  • Nancy Kasarjian
  • Ani L. Kharajian
  • Cornelia Cassidy Koutoujian
  • Carolann S. Najarian, MD
  • Lynne Janjigian Nee
  • Barbara Chrakian Tellalian
  • Armenie Varadian, RN
  • Michael S. Varadian, JD, MBA

Senior Leadership at ANRC

Renato de Leon

Renato de Leon

Executive Director

John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Director of Nursing

Stephanie Ciccolo

Stephanie Ciccolo

Director of Admissions