Special Projects Fund

Grantee Name

New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (Harlem Hospital Center)

Funding Area

Special Projects Fund

Publication Date

July 2013

Grant Amount


Grant Date:

December 1, 2008 – November 30, 2009

Muslims are the fastest-growing religious community in New York City.

A particularly large proportion of the City’s Muslim immigrants come from West Africa and Yemen, and are likely to reside in either Harlem, the Bronx, or Queens. The City’s Muslim population faces a multitude of cultural and linguistic barriers when attempting to access health care services, and has few services available that are specifically tailored to its needs. Harlem Hospital Center, realizing the paucity of clinical services available for its growing Muslim patient base, developed a plan for a Muslim primary care clinic. The proposed clinic would address the unique needs of Muslim patients, including issues related to culture; religion, such as the need for same-gender providers and adjustment of medication regimens for Ramadan; language; finances; and immigration.

In December 2008, the New York Health Foundation (NYHealth) awarded a grant to Harlem Hospital Center to fund the development of its Muslim Health Clinic (renamed the Medina Clinic).

Outcomes and Lessons Learned

  • Completed 1,105 patient visits to the Medina Clinic at both sites of operation ─ Harlem Hospital Center and the Renaissance Health Network—serving a total of 580 patients;
  • Made 464 referrals to specialty care, of which approximately 75% were completed;
  • Ensured almost all patients had encounters with the lab and pharmacy;
  • Ensured all patients were screened for HIV, hypertension, and depression;
  • Ensured all patients received a gender-appropriate, age-specific cancer screening in  compliance with American Cancer Society recommendations;
  • Ensured the majority of the patients had financial assistance options and received financial counseling;
  • Referred about 90% of the patients to the language assistance program provided by Harlem Hospital Center; and
  • Referred all patients who required external services to community organizations for food assistance, English language lessons, and immigration and housing issues.