Latvian Medical and Dental Association (LĀZA in Latvian) was established in Germany in 1947 by recent émigrés. There are some 300 active members in the organisation at this time – some 170 in the United States, 30 in Canada and less than 100 in Europe. Its purpose has always been to bring together Latvian medical professionals who live outside of Latvia. Since 1997, the organisation has had a bureau in Rīga, and it is responsible for publishing the annual newsletter.
During its history, the LĀZA has supported doctors with scholarships and awards of various kinds. Since the restoration of Latvia’s independence, many of these have gone to students and professionals in Latvia itself. Thus the LĀZA represents a bridge between Latvian medical professionals in Latvia and abroad.
The Zariņš—Knight Travelling Fellowship is awarded each year (since 2003) to young and talented doctors in Latvia so that they can spend time at major clinics in the world, and it is financed privately by the Zariņš brothers and the philanthropist Norman Knight(Boston, USA).
Mr. Knight receiving the Three Star Medal of Honor from former
Latvian President Vaira Vike-Freiberga in 2007.