The Next Phase: The Age for Building Health

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YEREVAN, Armenia – On April 30, 2014, the American University of Armenia (AUA) School of Public Health (AUA SPH) hosted a public seminar entitled, “The Next Phase: The Age for Building Health,” with Haroutune K. Armenian, MD, DrPH. Dr. Armenian talked about three approaches to health: curative, preventive, and salutogenesis (building or generating health), and emphasized that these approaches can be implemented together, rather than in phases.

During his talk Dr. Armenian highlighted, “Health is something you build and develop at any age and under any circumstances and conditions by improving physiology-functionality, mental health, or at least by improving the sense of dignity of individuals and communities. Health promotion is our primary intervention in our efforts to build health or salutogenesis and our current main tool for salutogenesis is exercise.”

AUA students, alumni, researchers, and faculty, as well as representatives of government and non-governmental health agencies, attended the presentation. Participants had the opportunity to continue the discussion during the reception that followed the presentation. Click here to view the event recording.

Dr. Armenian is the Associate Dean of Academic Programs and Professor in Residence of Epidemiology at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. He is also AUA President Emeritus, the founding Dean of the AUA School of Public Health, and Professor Emeritus at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health.

His career in epidemiology has spanned a number of countries and regions of the world. He has special interests in the application of epidemiologic methods to health services research and chronic diseases. He was one of the first to apply epidemiologic methods to study the effects of the civil war at the population level during the 1980s in Lebanon, and the long-term effects of the 1988 earthquake in Armenia. In the 1980s, he pioneered epidemiologic research by using Armenian Church parish records to study infant mortality as well as other health indicators in 16 diasporan countries over a timeframe of 300 years. More recent research includes the 23-year follow-up of the survivors of the earthquake in Armenia. Dr. Armenian has been the Editor in Chief of Epidemiologic Reviews for 15 years and on the editorial board of a number of professional journals and publications. He has published over 100 scientific peer reviewed papers and 21 chapters as well as 20 books. He also published two collections of his watercolors and prose-poetry in Armenian and English: Colors and Words and Past Here Does Not Yet Melt. The latter was composed while they climbed Mount Ararat during an AUA expedition led by Sona Armenian to Ararat and Western Armenia in 2006. In 2009 he became the supervisor of the Chair in Epidemiology and Public Health at the King Saud University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. In Armenia, he continues to lead the Turpanjian Rural Development Program (TRDP) with over 200 businesses established in the villages and 1000 people trained in entrepreneurship.

The AUA School of Public Health works actively to improve the health of the populace and health services in Armenia and the region through interdisciplinary education and development of public health professionals and others to be leaders in public health, health services research and evaluation, and health care delivery and management.


Dr. Armenian during the seminar


Climbing Mount Ararat (5,165 meters)

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