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OhioHealth Doctors Hospital partners with mosque to better serve immigrant community

Columbus-based OhioHealth Doctor Hospital is partnering with a local mosque to help community members and hospital staff overcome the cultural and psychological barriers immigrants face, according to the Columbus Dispatch.

Through its partnership with Abubakar Asiddiq Islamic Center, which opened just near the hospital in 2014, the hospital aims to help Somali immigrants navigate the U.S. healthcare system and to help medical personnel understand the cultural and historical issues dictating some of the fears and concerns Somali patients maintain.

As Somali patients become more comfortable with the healthcare system, hospital officials said their next goal is to help immigrant patients understand the differences between emergency room and primary care services, according to the article. Horsed Nooh, director of the mosque, told the Columbus Dispatch many Somali immigrants have never sought the care of a primary care physician. Understanding the different tasks and roles of the two medical services will help prevent Somalis from bringing a list of minor complaints to the emergency room.

"The point of these meetings and this community reach-out... is [to] help bridge that gap. It helps when you're taking care of a person — if you can understand that the fear or the concern is not about you, it's about all they know from their background," said John Casey, MD, an emergency physician at OhioHealth Doctor Hospital.

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