UMMA Community Clinic Enters National Dialogue on Healthcare Reform

Washington, DC: As the nationwide debate about comprehensive healthcare reform continues, the University Muslim Medical Association (UMMA) Community Clinic appeared before an ad-hoc Congressional hearing chaired by House Judiciary Chairman Congressman John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI).
This is the first time that a Muslim-American healthcare institution has been asked to weigh in on one of the crucial issues of our time: the need to ensure universal access to affordable healthcare.
The UMMA Clinic was among a handful of community leaders and grassroots activists invited to participate in a special Congressional hearing that discussed the current crisis and future of the nation's healthcare system. Congress is seeking UMMA's unique insight as a medical provider to thousands of uninsured residents in Los Angeles, the nation's second largest city.
While on Capitol Hill, UMMA's President and CEO, Yasser Aman met with legislators and policy advocates in hopes of coordinating efforts aimed at improving health care for all. These meetings underscore the urgency for developing sensible wide-reaching reform that establishes access to affordable high-quality healthcare as a right for all people.
In July 2006, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) recognized the clinic's historic contribution on the floor of the House of Representatives, and saluted its exceptional, decade-long attention to the health of South Los Angeles residents.
Just blocks from the flashpoint of the 1992 civil disturbances, UMMA was founded in 1996 to revitalize a beleaguered region in the aftermath of the civil turmoil that rocked the city. These efforts, however, sprang from an unanticipated source: Muslim-American students. Acting on the teachings of their faith, these students transformed an abandoned, dilapidated building into a vibrant clinic that would serve thousands in the local community.
Eleven years later, UMMA's impact is felt on the national and local levels. Nationally, UMMA was the first free medical clinic founded by Muslim-Americans in the United States. To Muslims, UMMA Clinic exemplifies core Islamic tenets of mercy, compassion and social justice. Although a local, faith-based enterprise, UMMA is not a religious organization and welcomes everyone who walks through its doors. In fact, of its 15,000 regular patients, 95% are not Muslim.




Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
2004 . All Rights Reserved.