By Almas Akhtar, TMO
— Charity sees the need, not the cost —
It was yesterday when a friend told me about the â€œShifa Clinicâ€ a student run medical facility dedicated to serve the diverse medically uninsured population of Sacramento area. It a charitable clinic located in the city of Sacramento, CA where my friend works a volunteer physician. Shifa means â€œto healâ€ in Arabic. This clinic provides basic medical services free of charge to many patients who belong to various ethnic backgrounds. Medical students in the area and a group of volunteer physicians run Shifa Clinic. It is one of the five free clinics run by medical students of UC Davis Health System in the state of California.
It started with a very modest beginning in 1994 when a small clinic was set up in an apartment near the V Street mosque in Sacramento area in California. It helped the local community notably people from South Asian, Middle Eastern and East Indian backgrounds .The volunteer physicians, medical students and the administrative staff provides interpretation in Punjabi, Arabic, Urdu and Hindi languages for the patients. In the year 2000 the current medical director Shagufta Yasmeen, two medical students and a few local community members launched a new and bigger clinic named Shifa Community Clinic. In 2005 the clinic received affiliation with the University of California at Davis School of Medicine. The Shifa Clinic is open every Sunday a team of two physicians and four to six medical students work providing one-on-one care to patients.
The ultimate goal of Shifa Clinic is to provide quality healthcare for the underserved population of the area, especially to the Muslim and South Asian Community.