By Adil James, TMO
The biggest and oldest secular Arab institution in Dearborn is ACCESS. It began as a storefront volunteer operation in Dearborn in 1971. It caught on and blossomed, until the point now where it is in itself a major Dearborn employer, providing a large variety of essential community services to the residents of Dearborn.
This weekend ACCESS sponsored a health fair from 10AM to 3PM. The event was coordinated as it has been for the past eight years, by Mona Farroukh.
Ms. Farroukh is a diminutive woman with immense energy, a ready smile and a gentle goodnaturedness, who in my brief interview with her Saturday seamlessly juggled multiple conversations in Arabic and English, helping patients, helping doctors, helping newspaper reporters, without missing a beat.
She explained that about 25 different health care providers had agreed to attend the event and were present in the building the day of the Health-O-Rama.
She described the service providers present with intimate knowledge of each one, mentioning Henry Ford, Naama, four dentists, a chiropractor, and seven representatives of Oakwood Healthcare.
The event provided an opportunity to provide other services as well, including child and adolescent care, a social worker, and a family life educator.
Ms. Farroukh explained that she expected â€œat least 200 people,â€–one year, she explained, the Health-O-Rama had hosted 450 people, and served people from 8AM to 5PM.
The ACCESS health care services clinic is open full time, with medical and mental health services, and she explains that it serves 3,000 people each month. There is a new Macomb County ACCESS clinic as well.
Said Cheryl Buss, of the Oakwood Health Center which provided cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar screenings of visitors, â€œACCESS is always busy for us, I brought supplies for 100 people–itâ€™s a busy day.â€
To learn more about ACCESS please visit www.accesscommunity.org. They have an office in downtown Dearborn, at 6450 Maple Street.