A free health clinic whose Islamic affiliation stoked fear and skepticism among some Northeast Philadelphia residents when it was announced last year is set to open in April, and organizers say they hope residents will embrace them.
"The community has been more positive. I know initially it had a little bit of hesitation," said Ammar Shahid, a doctor with ICNA Relief, the nonprofit launching the Holmesburg clinic. It will be open to anyone who can't afford basic health care and will offer free blood-pressure screenings, dental work, and counseling.
The clinic has emphasized that it will be available regardless of religion or race. A similar clinic run out of a mosque in Cherry Hill stressed that as well when it opened last year.