Press Release

For Immediate Release
Mar 17, 2010
Contact : Tom Paolella, Public Relations Manager  

Bayshore Community Hospital Founding Physician Receives American Medical Association Foundation Award for Excellence in Volunteerism


Holmdel, NJ - Zaven S. Ayanian, MD, FACP, internal medicine, has been named a recipient of the 2010 Jack B. McConnell, M.D. Award for Excellence in Volunteerism. Presented by the American Medical Association (AMA) Foundation, the national award is part of the Excellence in Medicine Awards program and is given to a senior physician who increases access to healthcare for underserved and uninsured individuals in the United States. The honor also spotlights a physician who exemplifies the medical profession's highest values: commitment to service and altruism, community involvement, leadership and dedication to patient care. Dr. Ayanian accepted the award, along with another recipient, on March 1, 2010 at an awards ceremony in conjunction with the AMA National Advocacy Conference in Washington, D.C.

"This honor was given to Dr. Ayanian in recognition of his compassion and integrity on behalf of his dedicated volunteer efforts throughout the community," said Raimonda Clark, president and chief executive officer of Bayshore Community Health Services. "It is, without a doubt, a well deserved honor." As a founding physician of the hospital, Dr. Ayanian's broad community involvement began well before the hospital opened its doors on May 1, 1972. "From the beginning, Dr. Ayanian was a driving force behind the success of the hospital. He assisted with fundraising efforts on behalf of the hospital as well as securing community support," Clark added. After the hospital opened, he was named first president of the Medical Staff as well as first chairman of the Department of Medicine. "He was, and still remains, committed to providing patients with optimum healthcare in a community-like setting, close to home," Clark said. In recognition of his career achievements at Bayshore Community Hospital, Dr. Ayanian was named Physician of the Year in 1995.

Since retiring from private practice in 1998, Dr. Ayanian's medical commitment to the community has not wavered. For the past 10 years he has lent his medical talents to the Parker Family Health Center in Red Bank. The clinic provides 10,000 patient visits annually free of charge to residents of Monmouth County who do not have health insurance or the ability to pay for healthcare.

According to Dr. Ayanian, volunteering at the center allows him to continue assisting those in need on a weekly basis. It also provides him with a more personal connection. "I see my life as a series of journeys. One journey I embarked on a long time ago was being a physician. Volunteering my medical services affords me the opportunity to continue that mission," he said.

Dr. Ayanian is much more than a physician. "He is both a mentor and teacher to many," said Mary Nicosia, APN-C, director and clinic coordinator of the Parker Family Health Center. "Dr. Ayanian mentors medical students who come to the Center as part of their clinical rotation. With great enthusiasm, he also shares his extensive professional knowledge with nurses and others who volunteer. His willingness to educate others makes him a great support to everyone at the center," Nicosia added.

Though retired from private practice, Dr. Ayanian remains a highly respected physician throughout the medical community. "Not only does Dr. Ayanian deliver compassionate medical care to patients at the clinic each week, he remains committed to the Bayshore family as an active Emeritus member of the Hospital board of trustees," said L. Scott Larsen, MD, vice president for Quality Improvement and Medical Affairs at Bayshore Community Hospital.

Dr. Ayanian earned his medical degree from Upstate Medical University at Syracuse. He completed his rotating internship and served his residency in internal medicine at the Robert Packard Hospital – Guthrie Clinic in Pennsylvania. He is board certified in internal medicine and is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians. Dr. Ayanian is a member of several professional societies including the Monmouth County Medical Society, the Medical Society of New Jersey, the American Medical Association and the American College of Physicians. He is also a trustee of the Community YMCA Foundation in Red Bank.

Dr. Ayanian resides in Matawan with his wife Lori. They have two sons, one daughter and 10 grandchildren.