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Dr. Mansoor Emam: A Medical Hero in Utah

Source: PARSA Community Foundation

 Maliheh Clinic

As a child in his native city of Dezful, in southern Iran, Dr. Mansoor Emam could hardly have believed his destiny. From a city with little or no medical services, Dr. Mansoor Emam dreamed of one day becoming a doctor. With that dream fulfilled, Dr. Emam is now helping others in a new city, far away from his birthplace, and honored as one of America's finest humanitarian physicians.

As a teenager in the 1980s, he attended the University of Utah's School of Medicine, became a doctor in 1990 and realized his lifelong dream of aiding the sick and the poor. Upon completing his studies, Emam stayed in the U.S. and became an American citizen, internist and emergency physician working for Intermountain Health Care, a nonprofit health care organization providing medical services in Utah and Idaho.

Realizing the great demand for free health care in Utah, Dr. Emam turned to his friend Khosrow Semnani, an Iranian-American and Utah-based philanthropist. Through the help of Semnani's philanthropic Semnani Foundation, the Maliheh Clinic was built free of cost and initial funding of $400,000 was provided. The Maliheh Clinic is named after Semnani's grandmother, who inspired him to become a leader in charity and humanitarian work.

Dr. Mansoor Emam

Today, the number of uninsured residents in Utah has reached 300,000. The Maliheh Clinic is one of four charity clinics in Salt Lake County and serves the working poor - those who earn about $20,000 for a family of four. According to Emam, the clinic's medical director, emergency room physician and internist, "No one will be turned away. But we're really here for the people who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid, but not enough to buy private insurance."

In its first year of operation, Maliheh Clinic connected more than 3,000 low-income and uninsured Utah residents to the medical care they need. To date, it has helped over 35,000. Remarkably, almost all of the clinic's physicians are volunteers. "Ninety-nine percent of everything relies on volunteer time and services," Emam says. Filled with volunteer doctors, nurses, dentists, social workers, X-ray technicians and office workers, the clinic serves sixty to eighty people per day.

While the clinic has received startup support, its goal is to be self-sufficient through ongoing donations. Emam's ambition is for the clinic's success to serve as a replicable model throughout the country. His leadership has driven the clinic to attract considerable attention, and recently, Emam and Maliheh Clinic were video profiled by GoodTube's Profiles in Caring. The clinic has also been the recipient of a Select 25 Award, an award given by SelectHealth to outstanding nonprofit health providers in Utah. The $2,500 award will allow Maliheh Clinic to provide more supplies, medication and care to patients. 

Emam's work has also been recognized by the state of Utah, who honored him as the "Emergency Room Physician of the Year" in 2005. In 2008, he was named a "Utah Hero of Emergency Medicine" by the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP). He is a member of the board of the Utah ACEP, as well as a board member at Intermountain Health Care.

Thanks to increased exposure and Maliheh Clinic's measurable success, hundreds of community, state, medical and religious leaders have contributed to the clinic in addition to the Semnani Foundation's support. President Gordon B. Hinckley of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints recently sent Emam a letter expressing his gratitude and in response, Emam said: "This message clearly exemplifies that humanitarian work is universal and transcends any boundaries."

... Payvand News - 05/07/09 ... --

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