Thursday, February 5, 2015 â€” Yesterday, American Muslim Health Professionals (AMHP) Founder and President Arshia Wajid attended a meeting between a diverse cross-section of Muslim Americans and President Barack Obama and senior Administration officials. Attendees had an opportunity to share their accomplishments and also voice their concerns about the challenges their communities and institutions face.
Wajid outlined AMHP membersâ€™ work to advance public health, health equity, and civic engagement at both the grassroots and national levels. She highlighted AMHPâ€™s â€œConnecting Muslims to Coverageâ€ campaign to ensure that the Muslim community understands how the Affordable Care Act (ACA) makes health care coverage more comprehensive, affordable, and accessible.
â€œWith dedicated support from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as well as the White House Office of Public Engagement during the first open enrollment cycle, AMHP successfully partnered with 81 Muslim organizations, educated nearly 27,000 Americans about the Health Insurance Marketplace, and enrolled over 1,600 in a health insurance plan,â€ Wajid stated. â€œWe were glad to see this work recognized when our Program Director Khadija Gurnah was named a White House Champion of Change last year.â€
Wajid also offered recommendations for how the Administration can most effectively support AMHP and its partner organizations moving forward. One way was to work toward closing the funding and capacity-building gap that many Muslim American organizations face relative to other-faith based institutions doing similar work. Another concern was that of creating safe spaces for our community members to continue their work on the domestic front.
â€œOur members and volunteers are civically engaged and take pride in putting their faith into action. However, our work is at times overshadowed by negativity and prejudice. Being a Muslim American can mean being alienated and only called upon to condemn things that we have absolutely nothing to do with,â€ Wajid remarked. â€œWe need a safe space for young Muslim Americans to engage in domestic policy and contribute to achieving our shared goals as Americans.â€
AMHP is grateful for the opportunity to share its work to improve the health and well being of all Americans and looks forward to continued engagement with the Administration.