Extensive research has consistently shown us that poverty, poor physical and social environment at home, and low community social capital are some of the major factors in poor health. These fundamental risk factors, together with lack of access to culturally sensitive, well-coordinated medical care, promise even worse health outcomes.
Did you know that there are over 75,000 Muslims who live in Philadelphia? And that around 60% of these Muslims live in poverty, with a total annual family income of less than $40,000, with high rates of reliance on public programs, such as food stamps and Medicaid. In Philadelphia, about 25% of Muslims have no health insurance and about 30% report cost as a barrier to healthcare access. About 20% of Muslims in Philadelphia have no access to healthcare whatsoever.
At SHAMS clinic we hope to provide primary care and social services to these people in an integrated, patient-centered and affordable manner. We hope to open a social services unit to provide counseling in mental health, family, and financial issues. Through on-site counseling and off-site referral, we intend to facilitate access to public programs, such as unemployment benefits, food stamps, energy assistance, Medicaid and CHIP insurance, and other public benefits available to indigent community members. Through this counseling we hope to alleviate the effects of socioeconomic disadvantages on the health and social well-being of the underserved in Philadelphia.
Our efforts are motivated by the charitable principles of the Islamic faith but our services will be available to any individual in need.