Muslim Health Clinics Cited in Report for Serving Underserved Communities, Including Blacks and Hispanics
The not-for-profit Institute for Social Policy and Understanding in a recent report recognized 10 Muslim health clinics across the nation that have improved the health of underserved community members, including blacks and Hispanics, the San Bernardino County Sun reports (Shadia, San Bernardino County Sun, 4/10). The report, "Caring for Our Neighbors: How Muslim Community-Based Health Organizations are Bridging the Healthcare Gap in America," outlines how Muslim community-based health organizations are providing a health safety net for underserved populations and "provides a deeper understanding of the motivations that drive American-Muslim health providers, the demographic makeup of the populations they serve and the clinics' growing role in American public health and community building," according to the ISPU Web site (ISPU Web site, 4/11).
Study author Lance Laird, an ISPU fellow and assistant professor of pediatrics at the Boston University School of Medicine, said, "The message I want to convey is these Muslim clinics represent a trend in what Muslim communities are doing to address fundamental problems in the U.S." He adds, "When we think of faith-based groups, we shouldn't think of Protestants, Catholics and Jews, but other minority organizations."
The report featured 10 clinics in the Los Angeles, Detroit, Houston and Chicago area, including Muscoy, Calif.-based clinic Al-Shifa. The clinic, which serves mostly Hispanics and blacks, is open four days per week and offers medical, dental and eye care. Laird said, "Al-Shifa serves on the ground of a mosque, yet were very specific about saying 'we don't mention Islam.' And saying, 'We're here to serve,' yet all of their volunteers are Muslim and their board is Muslim" (San Bernardino County Sun, 4/10).
The report is available online (.pdf).