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Dr. Simon Keushkerian Named Physician of the Year

Awards & Recognition

Congratulations to Simon Keushkerian, MD, who was awarded a 2016 Physician of the Year Award by Adventist Health. Dr. Keushkerian is one of 19 physicians to be honored from Adventist Health locations throughout California, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington.

Dr. Keushkerian cares for hundreds of patients in far-off lands, from remote villages of the Philippines and distant mountains of Peru to underdeveloped provinces of Armenia and the southeast African Republic of Malawi. “You feel peace because of changes you make in people’s lives,” says Dr. Keushkerian. “They are small changes to us but so important to them. Their smiles mean the world to us.”

Dr. Keushkerian has for nearly 20 years traveled to underdeveloped areas on four continents and cared for countless numbers of patients. With his wife, Tsovinar “Sofie” Tekkelian, MD, he has gone on 12 missions.

Dr. Keushkerian began his mission work in Armenia, followed by a profoundly emotional visit to Malawi. “I intentionally chose Malawi,” says Dr. Keushkerian. “I wanted to go somewhere I could benefit people in the worst possible conditions.” Depending on the location and facilities provided, the focus of the medical missions is to either repair hernias or perform artery bypass surgery. “In Peru I see 100 to 150 patients a day,” says Dr. Tekkelian. “Most of them are elderly, around 60 pounds, malnourished and have no teeth. I feel sad that we still have people living in those conditions with no health coverage, no medication.”

In 2014, Dr. Keushkerian completed an extended three-year term as chief of staff at Glendale Adventist Medical Center. In October 2015, Dr. Keushkerian; Kevin Roberts, RN, president and CEO of GAMC; and a 31-member team of GAMC physicians and nurses traveled at their own expense to Noyemberyan, a remote community in northeast Armenia. For 10 days the team provided surgical care to many residents, transforming their lives and the lives of the team members forever. Dr. Keushkerian and Roberts, along with physicians, nurses and support staff, participated in the Pathway to Health LA Mega Clinic in April 2016—an all-volunteer effort that provided free medical, dental, vision and other services to 8,500 Los Angeles and Valley area residents.

“Dr. Keushkerian is the kind of physician who inspires his fellow providers to give their best, and to give more of themselves to others,” says Roberts. “Our nomination for Physician of the Year is unanimous.”