On Wednesday, July 26, Democratic Congresswoman from California Ms. Maxine Waters recognized the significant contribution of a Muslim-American founded community health center in Los Angeles on the floor of the House of Representatives.
University Muslim Medical Association (UMMA) clinic was established by Muslim graduate and medical students at UCLA and Charles R. Drew University to provide community service to the public at large. During the past ten years, UMMA community clinic has provided free and low cost health care to the residents of South Los Angeles.
Congresswoman Maxine Waters spoke at UMMA's 10th Anniversary Community Festival on July 9, 2006, where she praised UMMA's 10 years of service and Muslim-American identity. The festival was accompanied by a series of proclamations issued by the Los Angeles City Council and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors in recognition of the Clinic's service to the community.
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. This effort sprang from an unanticipated source: Muslim-American students. Acting on the teachings of their faith, these college and medical students transformed an abandoned, dilapidated building into a vibrant Clinic that would be the medical home for thousands in the local community.
Ten 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. As a local nonprofit organization, UMMA welcomes everyone who walks through its doors regardless of faith. In fact, of its 15,000 regular patients, 95% are not from the Muslim community.
"I always get treated like a person at UMMA - not a number - but like a human being," said an UMMA patient, whose husband, children and grandchildren all come to UMMA for their medical needs.
By serving the people of Los Angeles with dignity and compassion, UMMA bolsters Los Angeles' existing network of charitable, social services organizations. UMMA Clinic is a one-of-a-kind institution, in touch with the pulse of the local community and applying the principles of the Islamic faith shared by over 1.2 billion people worldwide.
"UMMA continues to serve as a vital institution in this great city's infrastructure, improving the lives of thousands of its citizens. Civic leaders and policy makers have taken note of this fact, and we are honored by their recognition, "said Dr. Mansur Khan, a co-founder and Board Member of the UMMA Community Clinic.
For more information visit UMMA website at http://www.ummaclinic.org
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