Special Projects Fund

Project Title

Harlem Hospital Center Muslim Clinic

Grant Amount


Priority Area

Special Projects Fund

Date Awarded

November 18, 2008








Harlem Hospital Center’s service communities include a growing number of Muslim residents, the majority of whom speak French, Arabic, and African dialects. Barriers to health care for this population involve an array of cultural, religious, linguistic, financial, educational, and immigration status issues. Hospital leaders’ meetings with Muslim representatives confirm the City’s lack of health services tailored for this population. Harlem Hospital Center is a 286-bed public, nonprofit community teaching hospital that has provided comprehensive preventive, primary, and acute health care services to the residents of Harlem for 121 years.

Harlem Hospital has partnered with mosques in Harlem, the Bronx, and Queens in developing a new, linguistically and culturally appropriate health clinic to fill this gap. The model clinic will provide primary care medical services—including general medical, Obstetrics and Gynecology, and pediatric services—to an estimated 2,000 Muslims the first year. Special efforts that will be undertaken include recruiting Muslim clinicians and support staff, installing medical translation telephone service and use of the Hospital Language Access Program, providing diversity training for staff, and establishing clinical policies and procedures consistent with Muslim observances.

The experience of the model would be systematically documented and disseminated to entities interested in replication, such as the National Association of Public Hospitals and Urban Health Conference, as well as the more than 20 partnering Mosques and health care organizations.