American University of Armenia
Yerevan, Armenia

The American University of Armenia is a private, nonsectarian, independent university founded in 1991 in Yerevan, Armenia. Its creation inspired in the aftermath of the 1988 Armenian earthquake, the university is the first Armenian institution modeled on Western-style higher education, committed to teaching, research, and service. The university currently offers instruction leading to a master's degree in the following eight fields of study: business administration, industrial engineering and systems management, computer and information science, political science, public health, law, comparative legal studies, and teaching English as a foreign language. Since 2013 university started providing undergraduate education in the following fields: computational science, business, English and communication By offering these programs in English, AUA strives to become accessible to qualified individuals from other countries in the region.Qualified students may complete an interdisciplinary Certificate in Environmental Conservation and Research. In preparation for the academic program, AUA offers its students instruction in the English language and in computer applications. Wikipedia.

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Beglaryan M.,American University of Armenia | Beglaryan M.,Johns Hopkins University
International Journal of Medical Informatics | Year: 2017

Background and purpose In health care, information technologies (IT) hold a promise to harness an ever-increasing flow of health related information and bring significant benefits including improved quality of care, efficiency, and cost containment. One of the main tools for collecting and utilizing health data is the Electronic Health Record (EHR). EHRs implementation can face numerous barriers to acceptance including attitudes and perceptions of potential users, required effort attributed to their implementation and usage, and resistance to change. Various theories explicate different aspects of technology deployment, implementation, and acceptance. One of the common theories is the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM), which helps to study the implementation of different healthcare IT applications. The objectives of this study are: to understand the barriers of EHR implementation from the perspective of physicians; to identify major determinants of physicians’ acceptance of technology; and develop a model that explains better how EHRs (and technologies in general) are accepted by physicians. Methods The proposed model derives from a cross-sectional survey of physicians selected through multi-stage cluster sampling from the hospitals of Yerevan, Armenia. The study team designed the survey instrument based on a literature review on barriers of EHR implementation. The analysis employed exploratory structural equation modeling (ESEM) with a robust weighted least squares (WLSMV) estimator for categorical indicators. The analysis progressed in two steps: appraisal of the measurement model and testing of the structural model. Results The derived model identifies the following factors as direct determinants of behavioral intention to use a novel technology: projected collective usefulness; personal innovativeness; patient influence; and resistance to change. Other factors (e.g., organizational change, professional relationships, administrative monitoring, organizational support and computer anxiety) exert their effects through projected collective usefulness, perceived usefulness, and perceived ease of use. The model reconciles individual-oriented and environment-oriented theoretical approaches and proposes a Tripolar Model of Technology Acceptance (TMTA), bringing together three key pillars of the healthcare: patients, practitioners, and provider organizations. The proposed TMTA explains 85% of variance of behavioral intention to use technology. Conclusions The current study draws from the barriers of EHR implementation and identifies major determinants of technology acceptance among physicians. The study proposes TMTA as affording stronger explanative and predictive abilities for the health care system. TMTA paves a long overlooked gap in TAM and its descendants, which, in organizational settings, might distort construal of technology acceptance. It also explicates with greater depth the interdependence of different participants of the healthcare and complex interactions between healthcare and technologies. © 2017 Elsevier B.V.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: INCO.2013-9.1 | Award Amount: 1.12M | Year: 2014

The overall aim of the SUAFRI-EPC project is to bridge the gap between Agri-Food research and innovation in Eastern Partnering Countries (EPC), by bringing together all actors of the knowledge value chain and raising their awareness on how to uptake research results into innovation. The SUAFRI-EPC is supporting the Agri-Food sector and community in EPC by developing the basis for an efficient Research to Innovation - R2I process with the support of European partnering specialists. The project will consist in the following activities: Networking between Agri-Food actors: Mapping EPC Agri-Food actors at different level of the knowledge value chain and organise brokerage events; Analyse the potential for cooperation and knowledge transfer in the field; Exchange best practices in knowledge/technology transfer via a range of specific training courses ; Implement a R2I pilot project in three (3) targeted EPC countries with a European partner: - R2I Topic A in Armenia: Production methods to optimise economical and environmental sustainability in aquaculture and apiculture sectors; - R2I Topic B in Belarus: Development of consumer preferences for fish and seafood. - R2I Topic C in Georgia: Wine production optimisation using bio-technologies and zoning techniques. Innovation support services to EPC (and European) Agri-Food organisations willing to receive hands-on support for their RDI activities. The SUAFRI-EPC project aims also to cooperate with other European projects and initiatives targeting EPC countries, under Cluster joint activities. Cluster activities will consist in organising and contributing to joint event, exchange of information and support current projects and the successors of: BILAT-Ukr*aina, INCONET CA/SC and INCONET-EECA.

Lang D.L.,Emory University | Salazar L.F.,Georgia State University | Diclemente R.J.,Emory University | Markosyan K.,American University of Armenia
AIDS and Behavior | Year: 2013

This cross-sectional study identified the prevalence of gender based violence (GBV) and examined its association with sexual risk behavior among female sex workers (FSWs). Among 120 participants between ages 20 and 52, a total of 56.7 % reported lifetime GBV. Multivariate analyses revealed that GBV was significantly associated with inconsistent condom use, unprotected sex, condom misuse, fear of client reaction to requests of condom use, self-reported history of STIs, and earlier age of initiation of sex work. GBV must be considered an urgent public health priority among FSWs in Armenia. Interventions addressing FSWs, in addition to targeting skill-based, sexual risk reduction must also introduce a discourse among FSWs, sexual partners, clients and community members about the role of GBV in HIV-associated risk behaviors and infection. Structural level initiatives must address economic opportunities for women, health-sector policies and responses to FSWs' health needs, law enforcement training and societal norms toward women. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

Rao K.D.,Vasant Kunj Institutional Area | Petrosyan V.,American University of Armenia | Araujo E.C.,The World Bank | McIntyre D.,University of Cape Town
Bulletin of the World Health Organization | Year: 2014

Brazil, the Russian Federation, India, China and South Africa - the countries known as BRICS - represent some of the world's fastest growing large economies and nearly 40% of the world's population. Over the last two decades, BRICS have undertaken health-system reforms to make progress towards universal health coverage. This paper discusses three key aspects of these reforms: the role of government in financing health; the underlying motivation behind the reforms; and the value of the lessons learnt for non-BRICS countries. Although national governments have played a prominent role in the reforms, private financing constitutes a major share of health spending in BRICS. There is a reliance on direct expenditures in China and India and a substantial presence of private insurance in Brazil and South Africa. The Brazilian health reforms resulted from a political movement that made health a constitutional right, whereas those in China, India, the Russian Federation and South Africa were an attempt to improve the performance of the public system and reduce inequities in access. The move towards universal health coverage has been slow. In China and India, the reforms have not adequately addressed the issue of out-of-pocket payments. Negotiations between national and subnational entities have often been challenging but Brazil has been able to achieve good coordination between federal and state entities via a constitutional delineation of responsibility. In the Russian Federation, poor coordination has led to the fragmented pooling and inefficient use of resources. In mixed health systems it is essential to harness both public and private sector resources.

Trietsch D.,American University of Armenia | Baker K.R.,Dartmouth College
International Journal of Project Management | Year: 2012

More than half a century after the debut of CPM and PERT, we still lack a project scheduling system with calibrated and validated distributions and without requiring complex user input. Modern decision support systems (DSS) for project management are more sophisticated and comprehensive than PERT/CPM. Nonetheless, in terms of stochastic analysis, they show insufficient progress. PERT 21 offers a radically different stochastic analysis for projects, based on relevant and validated theory. Operationally, it is sophisticated yet simple to use. It is designed to enhance existing DSS, and thus it can be implemented without sacrificing the investment already made in project management systems. Finally, regarding the important sequencing and crashing models developed under CPM, PERT 21 permits their adaptation to stochastic reality. © 2011 APM and IPMA and Elsevier Ltd.

Baker K.R.,Dartmouth College | Trietsch D.,American University of Armenia
Journal of Scheduling | Year: 2011

Although the deterministic flow shop model is one of the most widely studied problems in scheduling theory, its stochastic analog has remained a challenge. No computationally efficient optimization procedure exists even for the general two-machine version. In this paper, we describe three heuristic procedures for the stochastic, two-machine flow shop problem and report on computational experiments that compare their effectiveness. We focus on heuristic procedures that can be adapted for dispatching without the need for computer simulation or computer-based search. We find that all three procedures are capable of quickly generating solutions close to the best known sequences, which were obtained by extensive search. © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011.

Melkumyan M.G.,American University of Armenia
Pure and Applied Geophysics | Year: 2011

It is obvious that the problem of precise assessment and/or analysis of seismic hazard (SHA) is quite a serious issue, and seismic risk reduction considerably depends on it. It is well known that there are two approaches in seismic hazard analysis, namely, deterministic (DSHA) and probabilistic (PSHA). The latter utilizes statistical estimates of earthquake parameters. However, they may not exist in a specific region, and using PSHA it is difficult to take into account local aspects, such as specific regional geology and site effects, with sufficient precision. For this reason, DSHA is preferable in many cases. After the destructive 1988 Spitak earthquake, the SHA of the territory of Armenia has been revised and increased. The distribution pattern for seismic risk in Armenia is given. Maximum seismic risk is concentrated in the region of the capital, the city of Yerevan, where 40% of the republic's population resides. We describe the method used for conducting seismic resistance assessment of the existing reinforced concrete (R/C) buildings. Using this assessment, as well as GIS technology, the coefficients characterizing the seismic risk of destruction were calculated for almost all buildings of Yerevan City. The results of the assessment are presented. It is concluded that, presently, there is a particularly pressing need for strengthening existing buildings. We then describe non-conventional approaches to upgrading the earthquake resistance of existing multistory R/C frame buildings by means of Additional Isolated Upper Floor (AIUF) and of existing stone and frame buildings by means of base isolation. In addition, innovative seismic isolation technologies were developed and implemented in Armenia for construction of new multistory multifunctional buildings. The advantages of these technologies are listed in the paper. It is worth noting that the aforementioned technologies were successfully applied for retrofitting an existing 100-year-old bank building in Irkutsk (Russia), for retrofit design of an existing 177-year-old municipality building in Iasi (Romania) and for construction of a new clinic building in Stepanakert (Nagorno Karabakh). Short descriptions of these projects are presented. Since 1994 the total number of base and roof isolated buildings constructed, retrofitted or under construction in Armenia, has reached 32. Statistics of seismically isolated buildings are given in the paper. The number of base isolated buildings per capita in Armenia is one of the highest in the world. In Armenia, for the first time in history, retrofitting of existing buildings by base isolation was carried out without interruption in the use of the buildings. The description of different base isolated buildings erected in Armenia, as well as the description of the method of retrofitting of existing buildings which is patented in Armenia (M. G. Melkumyan, patent of the Republic of Armenia No. 579), are also given in the paper. © 2010 BirkhaÄuser / Springer Basel AG.

We evaluated the cost-effectiveness of PCI with DES versus CABG in terms of preventing MACE (composite outcome of myocardial infarction (MI), repeat revascularization (RR), and death) after four years of procedure among patients with ischemic heart disease (IHD) treated at NMMC from January 1 2004 to December 31 2005. Patients who were more than 70 years old, who had prior revascularization (CABG or PCI), cardiogenic shock, end-stage renal disease defined as a serum creatinine>2 mg/dl, severe left ventricular dysfunction defined as a left ventricular ejection fraction<30%, or cancer at the time of admission were excluded from the sample. We also excluded patients whose procedures were covered by the Ministry of Health of Armenia (3 patients at the time of study). PCI and CABG patients were matched 1:1 for three important predictors that may potentially affect the selection of procedures and the outcomes--age (±3 years), gender, and diabetes mellitus status. Patients in the CABG group had significantly longer event-free survival times than patients in the PCI group (p<0.037, unadjusted difference) in 4.2 years of follow-up. CABG was less costly by $6,540 with preventing one more MACE compared to PCI with DES. According to our findings, CABG is a more cost-effective strategy than PCI with DES in terms of preventing RR, MI and death and saving costs. Prospective evaluation with longer time horizon would add more information to the results of our study, since the number of patients referred to the PCI replacement is increasing, the pricing is frequently changing, and there are new technologies in development.

Demirchyan A.,American University of Armenia | Petrosyan V.,American University of Armenia | Thompson M.E.,University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Journal of Affective Disorders | Year: 2011

Background: This study examined the psychometric value of the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) translated for use with an Armenian population. Methods: Using data obtained from a country-wide health survey of 2310 households involving female and male respondents aged 18 and over, we investigated the response pattern to the CES-D items, the factor structure, internal consistency, inter-item correlations of the total scale and its negatively and positively formulated subscales. We used logistic regression analysis to relate the constructs measured by the CES-D and its subscales to known determinants of depression. Results: Armenian respondents of both genders significantly suppressed their positive emotions, thus over-endorsing positively formulated (reverse-coded) items, therefore producing artificially high depression scores. Factor analysis of the scale yielded a three-factor structure (combined Depressed/Somatic, Positive Affect, and Interpersonal). The Positive Affect factor correlated weakly with the other two factors, and its inclusion reduced the internal consistency of the whole scale. Unlike the 16-item subscale of negatively formulated items, Positive Affect was not related to several known determinants of depression and did not reflect known depression-specific differences between genders. The set of determinants of Positive Affect included mainly lifestyle and attitudinal variables. Limitations: This study did not assess the concurrent and discriminate validity of the Armenian CES-D. Conclusions: For Armenians, the construct measured by the four Positive Affect items of CES-D is not related to depressive symptoms as measured by the other items. It introduces ethnical/cultural response bias in CES-D score and reduces the cross-cultural comparability of the latter. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Boghosian B.M.,American University of Armenia | Boghosian B.M.,Tufts University
Physical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics | Year: 2014

An important class of economic models involve agents whose wealth changes due to transactions with other agents. Several authors have pointed out an analogy with kinetic theory, which describes molecules whose momentum and energy change due to interactions with other molecules. We pursue this analogy and derive a Boltzmann equation for the time evolution of the wealth distribution of a population of agents for the so-called Yard-Sale Model of wealth exchange. We examine the solutions to this equation by a combination of analytical and numerical methods and investigate its long-time limit. We study an important limit of this equation for small transaction sizes and derive a partial integrodifferential equation governing the evolution of the wealth distribution in a closed economy. We then describe how this model can be extended to include features such as inflation, production, and taxation. In particular, we show that the model with taxation exhibits the basic features of the Pareto law, namely, a lower cutoff to the wealth density at small values of wealth, and approximate power-law behavior at large values of wealth. © 2014 Published by the American Physical Society.

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