Elena Sagayan & Gregory Matsoyan

Elena Sagayan and Gregory Matsoyan reside in the Bay Area with their three daughters, but their roots lay in the ancient Armenian city of Artvin, now located in Eastern Turkey. They met in Elena’s hometown of Krasnodar, a city situated in the south of Russia, where she received her degree as Doctor of Medicine (MD). Elena currently practices at Kaiser Permanente in the San Francisco Bay Area, as a board-certified Obstetrician and Gynecologist, specializing in minimally invasive gynecologic surgery.

Growing up as a third-generation Armenian in multicultural southern Russia, preserving and promoting her Armenian heritage was important to Elena, which is why she became a very active member of the vibrant Armenian community in Krasnodar, and even joined the local choir of the Armenian Apostolic Church. 

Gregory was born in Batumi, Georgia, and grew up in the Armenian town of Kajaran. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Engineering from Yerevan State Polytechnical Institute, and later pursued a master’s degree in Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. He currently works as a data engineer at Walmart E-Commerce, with over 20 years of industry experience. 

Gregory and Elena have been active supporters of initiatives in Armenia’s healthcare over the last decade. Elena is the founding president of the Armenian Healthcare Association of the Bay Area (AHABA), an organization that aims to foster collaboration among Armenian healthcare professionals in the Bay Area to support healthcare programs in Armenia and in the United States. AHABA has been a strong AUA partner for the last several years, playing a vital role in guiding AUA students’ academic endeavors by connecting them to online learning resources and helping them navigate research to achieve success in their academic pursuits. 

“We are proud of the resilience of our nation and we trust that through supporting educational initiatives, we will contribute to preparing strong leaders for Armenia. We believe that the key to the true transformation of Armenian society will be realized through enabling the educational system to create true professionals and the leaders of tomorrow. By recognizing the position AUA holds as an established and trusted educational institution in the country, supporting AUA is a natural choice for us,” Elena and Gregory say. “We envision AUA attracting highly skilled scholars, experts in their field, from around the world, to further develop its educational programs with a greater focus on practice-based learning, where exceptionally qualified graduate students would be tasked to identify solutions to real-world problems that Armenia faces today. The institution, where students work collaboratively across multiple disciplines and are enabled to produce valuable results prior to graduation, is bound to create new technologies, process improvement strategies and solutions that will ultimately accelerate the transformation of the socioeconomic and political fabric of the country.” 

Elena and Gregory stress the importance of collaboration among the Open Centers of Excellence at AUA, and with their combined experience in medicine, public health, organization of medical care, and information technology, the Center for Transformative Health Solutions greatly appealed to the couple, moving them to commit to joining the exclusive group of AUA ChangeMakers. “We believe that the true discoveries and innovations happen at the intersection of disciplines. We would love to see AUA become the cradle of new research-based solutions that will transform Armenia’s healthcare in the direction of an evidence-based care system that is focused on disease prevention and built on the foundation of quality and efficiency. The most fitting metrics can be brought into practice by leveraging information technology and artificial intelligence solutions,” the couple asserts.

AUA is grateful to Elena and Gregory for their commitment to Armenia through their support of AUA and AHABA. We trust that their three daughters will follow in the footsteps of their parents in the future, and stay connected with their homeland and the next generation of bright, young Armenian minds. 


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