Eighth Annual Al-Shifa Medical and Dental Clinic Fundraiser

The Eighth Annual Fundraiser of Al-Shifa Medical and Dental Clinic was held on July 7 at the Sheraton Park Hotel in Anaheim. The fundraiser was attended by a large number of prominent community members, distinguished diplomats and high-ranking city officials including Honorable Nekmat Ismail, Consul General of Malaysia; Mayor Elliott Rothman of Pomona and Mayor Ray Musser of Upland.

The Clinic provides comprehensive family and dental care to communities at large irrespective of race, color or creed. It has successfully launched a Mobile Health Care Clinic that has effectively reached out to community centers, mosques, churches and other organizations in Southern California.

Dr Mohammad Aslam, Medical Director, and Mr Shams Hasan, Chairman and founding member of Al-Shifa Medical Clinic, were among the speakers. They described at length the multifarious services offered by Al-Shifa and the gradual increase in the scope of the medical treatment extended by the Clinic’s volunteer staff. Below, a few excerpts from the Chairman’s speech:

I have been involved with the clinic since its inception, and I share Margaret Mead’s observation:“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

I certainly do not doubt this. I have seen how a group of dedicated Muslim physicians and community activists have and do come together to provide free medical care to the indigent population regardless of their color or creed. Most of the founders continue to serve the clinic as volunteers and Board members. Please allow me to recognize this group of thoughtful, committed citizens who have helped change the world for those who need medical care. They are: Dr Talat Khan, Co-chair; Dr Makbul Patel, Treasurer and Dental Director; Dr Tamseela Awan, Secretary; Dr Mohammad Aslam, Medical Director; Mr Ebrahim Ashamu, Ms Zarina Baqai, Dr Mohamed Amr Hafez, Dr Tariq Jamil, Mr Shakil Patel, Dr Yaser Slayyeh and Dr Mohammed Yaqub. In addition to the Board, I sincerely appreciate the commitment of the Clinic’s volunteer dentists and physicians: Dr. Farah Abdulla, Dr. Imdad Ahmad, Dr. Tahira Akram, Dr. Rubina Aqeel, Dr. Hadia Ashraf, Dr. Mohammad Aslam, Dr. Tamseela Awan, Dr. Ehsan Hadi, Dr. M Amr Hafez,Dr. Abid Hussain, Dr. M Ismail, Dr. Tariq Jamil, Dr. Faheem Jukaku, Dr. Talat Khan, Dr. M Rafiq Khayali, Dr. Siraj Mowjood, Dr. Satpal S. Multani, Dr. Kamran Qureshi, Dr. Yaser Slayyeh, Dr. Mateen Tirmizi, Dr. Carla Toms, Dr. M Yaqub, Dr. Manal Abdelkarim, Dr. Hina Sultana Ali, Dr. Sheryar Aslam, Dr. Mohammed Kader, Dr. Ahmedali Makati, Dr. Huzaifa Maloo, Dr. Anwer Naser, Dr. Makbul I. Patel, Dr. Ginette Shen, Dr. Samir Tadha, andMs Kiran Pervez, volunteer hygienist.

It is because of the hard work and efforts of these volunteer physicians and dentists that in 2011 Al Shifa Clinic was able to serve nearly 3000 medical and 1900 dental patients. As you can see from the charts, we provide services regardless of race, religion, color or creed. In addition, we also started the mobile clinic services, which was formally inaugurated in March 2012 by the Honorable Consul General of Pakistan, Ms Riffat Masood. Almost every Sunday, the mobile van visits different mosques, churches, and community organizations to bring healthcare to the community’s doorsteps.

All dental and medical services are being provided either free of charge or at a suggested donation of $10. As you may appreciate, the amount collected is far short of what is needed to sustain the services provided. Each year we spend nearly $250,000. We are grateful to our private donors and various community organizations that have supported us, but this past year has been very difficult and our resources are dwindling fast. We therefore, need your financial support and pledges so that we may continue to provide the much-needed services to the indigent population for whom Al Shifa clinic is the only support line.

The clinic building is old and in need of maintenance and repairs. The air conditioning system does not work properly and needs to be replaced. The carpet needs to be replaced. We have to repave the graveled parking lot. All of this costs money; and so we are here to seek your help. Please donate generously today. No amount is small and I would encourage all of you to participate in our monthly automatic deduction program. I do understand that most of you would like to donate in Ramadan as it multiplies your blessings. So, here is my suggestion: if you would rather donate in Ramadan, give us a post-dated check and we will deposit it in Ramadan.

In closing, I would like to thank you once again for being here tonight. I must thank the fundraising committee and give them special recognition. They worked hard night and day with no expectation of reward. Please join me in recognizing these individuals: Dr. Farah Abdulla, Dr. Mohammad Aslam, Dr. Makbul Patel, Dr. Khalid Memon, Saleem Moosani, Mohamed Gibani, Amber Ahmed and Dr. Aisha Memon

My personal thanks to Dr Farah Abdulla for her countless hours spent in coordinating this event and making sure that all the things are well taken care of. Last, but not the least, I would like to thank Sana Mirza for the beautiful flower arrangements and Imad Yezdani for the photography and audio-visual work.

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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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