Muslim Community Centerâ€™s Al-Shifa Clinic welcomes area agencies and community leaders
Memories of September 11, often bring fear and sorrow to the community. To focus on the need for healing at all levels, the Al-Shifa Clinic (The Healing Place), a free medical and social services clinic sponsored by the Muslim Community Center for Human Services, sponsored an open house and lunch on September 11, 2007, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 7600 Glenview in Richland Hills. The event is also in celebration of Ramadan.
The Al-Shifa Clinic is a reminder to the general population that Islam has a rich tradition of caring for the poor and less fortunate. Plans to extend clinic hours and add dental and optical care require increased funding from donations. Publicizing the available services will help the clinic continue to assist those in need.
Every Saturday morning about 25 indigent patients, regardless of their religious affiliation, receive free medical care with payment of a $10 annual membership fee. Men, women, and children converge on the clinic for treatment of minor illness, hypertension, diabetes, infections, depression and other emotional problems. Lab tests (nominal charge), mammograms, prescriptions, and samples of medicine are also available. Eighteen doctors volunteer their time on a rotating basis. Free psychiatric counseling is provided for marital and personal issues.
The Muslim Community Center for Human Services (MCCHS), a 501c(3) nonprofit organization, was formed in 1995 by a group of concerned physicians and community leaders in response to the already overburdened medical and social services system for those who cannot afford to pay for these necessities. Of special concern was the need for health care providers and mental health professionals familiar with the Islamic culture and able to communicate in the wide variety of languages spoken over 200,000 Muslims living in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex.
â€œWe believe that Muslims should take leadership in offering social and medical services to, not only the Muslim community, but also to the nation at large. We are Americans, and we have a responsibility to promote help for the less fortunate in our nation. We need to train our youth to become future leaders by carrying out programs to help those who are in need, regardless of religious or political beliefs,â€ said Basheer Ahmed, M.D., Chairman, MCCHS.
In addition to the free medical clinic the following services are provided, among others, free of charge to anyone, regardless of religious affiliation, by the MCCHS:
It offers a 24 Hour Help Line, Domestic Violence 24 Hour Hotline, Health Fairs, Refugee Outreach, Guidelines for Health Care Providers, and more.
About 80 people representing various agencies including the Department of Health, Shelters of Victims of Domestic Violence, United Way, the Susan G Koman Foundation, Harris Methodist Hospital, Mammogram services, Multi-cultural Alliance, the Texas Christian University Department of Nursing, the Moncrief Cancer Center, and high-level politicians attended the Open House.
Muslim community leaders including Imam Yousuf Kavakci of Dallas, Mr. Mustafa Carroll and Executive Director of CAIR also attended the Open House. Dr. Basheer Ahmed, Chairman and Board members of Muslim Community Center shared with them the various programs and activities of the center. The clinic was open on this day as the patients were coming to have the mammogram. Dr. Kavakci made a brief speech about the importance of Ramadan in the spirit of giving and helping the community.