ANA Human Rights

Dr Kalayjian Honored for Human Rights Achievement at ANA National Meeting

WASHINGTON, DC – Dr Ani Kalayjian, a Fordham University psychology professor and internationally recognized expert on mass trauma, received a national award for nursing excellence from the American Nurses Association (ANA), the largest nursing organization in the U.S., at its biennial House of Delegates meeting here today.

Kalayjian, EdD, RN-BC, BCETS, BCECR, DDL, DSc (Hon) of Cliffside Park, NJ, garnered the ANA Honorary Human Rights Award, which recognizes outstanding commitment to human rights and demonstration of the essence of nursing’s philosophy about humanity.

“Survivors taught me that the honeymoon phase after each disaster — when people come together to help one another, celebrate their humanness, and reinforce their love and compassion – should not only be a phase, but a lifestyle,” Kalayjian said in accepting the award.

ANA is honoring 20 nurses for their dedication to the profession and contributions toward improving nursing and health care during the meeting of its governing and policy-setting body.

“Nurses form the backbone of our health care system, yet that often goes unrecognized,” said ANA President Rebecca M. Patton, MSN, RN, CNOR. “Today, we recognize a select group of nurses who epitomize the best of the profession through their commitment to clinical practice, teaching, research and advocacy on behalf of patients and nurse colleagues.”

Kalayjian treats and heals trauma survivors and is an internationally recognized expert on the impact of mass trauma. She has served on United Nations panels examining children’s rights, human rights of refugees, and women’s status in cultures worldwide.

Kalayjian’s interest in trauma grew from childhood experiences. Her father was a refugee in Syria who escaped the Genocide of Armenians. She has treated and studied the survivors of disasters caused by man, such as the Gulf War, Armenian genocide, Sierra Leone war, Lebanon War, and World Trade Center attacks, as well as survivors of natural disasters in over twenty countries.

She developed a seven-step model: The Biopsychosocial and Eco-Spiritual Model to guide survivors in transforming experiences of trauma into experiences involving healing, forgiveness and meaning-making. She outlined her research in ground-breaking books, Disaster and Mass Trauma: Global Perspectives in Post-Disaster Mental Health Management; Forgiveness and Reconciliation; and II volumes in Mass Trauma and Emotional Healing around the World: Rituals and practices for resilience and meaning-making.

Kalayjian has been a professor at several colleges in the New York area, including Seton Hall University, Hunter College, the College of New Rochelle and Pace University.

Kalayjian is the founder and president of the Association for Trauma Outreach and Prevention of, a not-for-profit charitable organization affiliated with the United Nations


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The ANA is the only full-service professional organization representing the interests of the nation’s 3.1 million registered nurses through its constituent member nurses associations, its organizational affiliates, and its workforce advocacy affiliate, the Center for American Nurses. The ANA advances the nursing profession by fostering high standards of nursing practice, promoting the rights of nurses in the workplace, projecting a positive and realistic view of nursing, and by lobbying the Congress and regulatory agencies on health care issues affecting nurses and the public.

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