It began off modestly.
In 2004, Fozia Ahmed noticed a necessity for social companies within the Muslim group. With a imaginative and prescient however no house, she made use of what she had obtainable: her basement.
Four years later, a free clinic was born. Borrowing house from the close by Salam Elementary School, volunteer docs supplied free medical companies on Saturdays.
The clinic moved into a brand new house in 2015. Looking to develop and develop, the Muslim Community and Health Center started offering companies six days per week, added a senior middle and started offering refugee companies.
Ahmed stays president of the Muslim Community and Health Center to this present day. Arman Tahir, director of operations on the clinic, mentioned the clinic’s growth got here from one mission: to care for everybody in the neighborhood.
“Our door is open, and we’ll do almost anything to make sure people are taken care of,” Tahir mentioned.
The Muslim Community and Health Center, a medical clinic situated at 803 W. Layton Ave., supplies scientific and behavioral well being companies. The clinic is open to everybody in the neighborhood no matter religion or tradition.
Tahir mentioned the staff tries to take away monetary boundaries as a lot as attainable. Many sufferers are on Medicaid, and the clinic affords a sliding scale to uninsured sufferers. Tahir mentioned the clinic sees about 4,500 to five,000 sufferers a 12 months throughout its companies.
Salma Akhter, administrative assistant and clinic float for the Muslim Community and Health Center, mentioned the middle has 4 branches: major care, behavioral well being, a senior day middle and refugee useful resource middle.
The clinic has seven suppliers providing major care companies and three who handle behavioral well being companies. It lately added a heart specialist to its roster for specialised care.
The clinic’s Sakina Senior Center supplies house for socializing and actions amongst elders in the neighborhood. This contains kitchen courses and a meal program that gives meals to enrolled seniors.
The clinic additionally supplies assets for a rising inhabitants of refugees, together with Afghan, Somali and Burmese populations. One of the rising wants is psychological well being companies.
Refugees can undergo from post-traumatic stress dysfunction, nervousness and anger administration points due to experiences in fleeing their dwelling nation. Being capable of have them really feel at dwelling makes an enormous distinction, Akhter mentioned.
“Refugees can experience culture shock,” Akhter mentioned. “To be in an environment where your language is spoken, and to see people who look somewhat like you and maybe have some similar understanding and similar values as you, it’s really comforting.”
Staff on the clinic can present companies in twelve languages, Akhter mentioned. Six languages are spoken in-house, and one other six are supplied by means of interpreters.
Janan Najeeb, president of the Milwaukee Muslim Women’s Coalition, mentioned it’s crucial for employees on the clinic to be well-versed in several languages and acknowledge the totally different cultures and nations the place individuals might come from in addition to elements like refugee standing.
“It’s important for patients to be comfortable and confident,” Najeeb mentioned. “When they realize that their culture is being taken into account, you’ll have a happier patient and better outcomes.”
Without that understanding, individuals will stroll away from the expertise with out feeling heard. Najeeb mentioned the training curve for navigating well being programs was additionally one thing that wanted to be addressed.
“Many times, people have felt dismissed, especially if they don’t know English well,” Najeeb mentioned. “Sometimes they feel like doctors see them and get rid of them … We need to make more accommodations for people who have less understanding of the systems.”
Tahir mentioned that the clinic was the primary of its sort in Southeast Wisconsin. It is within the strategy of turning into a federally certified well being middle this 12 months and hopes to realize the standing in autumn of 2022.
For Akhter, the significance of visibility and understanding with the group is obvious. Doing routine rounds within the clinic lately, she discovered herself administering a pediatric vaccine to somewhat woman. When the go to was over, the little woman mentioned, “I want to be like you when I grow up.”
“Something like that is really heart-touching,” Akhter mentioned. “They see the care we put in and the effort we put in, and they say ‘Oh, I want to do that, that’s something I want to pursue.’ That really makes it more meaningful and increases the purpose of what we’re doing.”
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