Physicians Serve Community on APPNA CARES–Clinic Day
By Manzoor Tariq, MD
On November 19, APPNA physicians and volunteers performed free health screening testing and administered free flu vaccines at approximately 30 sites throughout the United States as they observed APPNA CARES–Clinic Day.
The energy and enthusiasm of the volunteers, as well as the level of organization, impressed the screened patients, many of whom came from indigent backgrounds or were new immigrants and had never experienced such attention or concern for their health needs.
On average, there were 10-15 volunteers at each Chapter event who arranged 50-100 patient screenings and administered flu vaccines. Some larger cities, such as Chicago had about 200 patients. In total, approximately 300 volunteers examined over 2,000 patients and provided over 1000 flu vaccines. The APPNA EC congratulates each and every APPNA CARES team member for their services. You represented APPNA and the Pakistani-American community in an exemplary fashion.
Continuing Dr. Manzoor Tariq’s initiative for expanding health services offered by APPNA physicians, several APPNA Chapters are in the process of joining with other Chapters -- such as in Chicago, Houston, and St. Louis -- to begin regular APPNA Clinics. Dr. Saima Zafar, President-elect of APPNA, was on hand for the grand opening ceremony of the Alabama APPNA Health Clinic. Congratulations to Drs. Khalid Mateen, Zakir Khan, and the Alabama Chapter for their outstanding achievement! Also, the Georgia Chapter plans the grand opening of its APPNA Clinic in December. Dr. Imtiaz Arain, Chairman of the Committee for APPNA Free Clinics, has provided guidance to these and other chapters for developing the infrastructure to support long-term health care by APPNA physicians. Additional information on APPNA Health Clinics is available at www.APPNA.org.
The APPNA CARES – Clinic Day also served as a platform for Pakistani-Americans to interact with fellow citizens of all races, religions, and backgrounds. The positive image of Pakistani-Americans as vibrant, productive members of their communities made an impression on a number of local politicians and media personalities that attended the APPNA CARES events.
In New Jersey, an outdoor event was attended by the Mayor of Bayonne. In St. Louis, Governor Nixon’s representative Brian May went through health screening with his family. The Consulate General of Pakistan, Mr. Zaheer Pervaiz Khan, visited the Illinois Chapter center and was briefed on the free clinic project and on future programs to help the community at large. As more reports come in from other chapters, we can get a true picture of how important being active members of APPNA can be. The general consensus, of both volunteers and patients, from the APPNA CARES – Clinic Day was to hold similar events periodically throughout the year so that more patients could receive needed services and more of the APPNA membership could be mobilized.