Who is Dr. Naeemah Ghafur?
Affectionately known to her patients as “Dr. G,” Dr. Naeemah Ghafur, 41, is a family medicine physician at Central Neighborhood Health Foundation in South Central Los Angeles and the Saban Free Clinic, in West Los Angeles, Calif.
She’s a proud wife and mom to two teenagers who were both born during her medical school training. And in her spare time, she’s an avid reader. She recently finished Common’s autobiography One Day It Will All Make Sense and is currently reading Tupac’s biography.
“I think it’s important to stay culturally grounded and be able to identify with my patient population,” Ghafur says.
Why is she on theGrio’s 100?
Her dedication to the underserved has earned accolades from her peers and colleagues.
She works hard to serve her patients through the clinics and is spearheading an outreach project to obtain better health care for her homeless patients.
Her colleagues commend her on the extra time she spends directing her patients to organizations and community resources for help with jobs, psychiatric care and counseling services. She fights to get them medications at little to no cost, which is lifesaving for patients who cannot afford them.
A Brooklyn native, she grew up in a socioeconomically depressed area and understands the struggle to obtain adequate health care. She can’t remember being treated by a doctor of color as a child, so it is important to her that young children, teens and young adults see doctors of color who look like them and genuinely care about their wellbeing.
As part of this dedication, she is one of three original members of the “We Are Doc McStuffins” movement, a spinoff of Disney Junior’s Doc McStuffins. The cartoon, about a young African-American girl who plays doctor to her stuffed animals in the backyard, will air short videos about each of the three African-American doctors throughout the season.
Her generosity also expands the borders of the United States. In 2005, after the earthquake in Pakistan, she procured large donations of supplies and medications and brought them, along with a team of health care providers, on a medical mission to the stricken country. While there, she worked in the burn unit of the government hospital.
What’s next for Dr. Ghafur?
She plans to continue her efforts to improve health care for homeless patients at her clinic.
Ghafur is also very active with Artemis Medical Society, of which she is a founding member and executive board member. Artemis represents over 2,500 female physicians who identify as African-American, creating a “global sisterhood,” and involves mentoring, networking and advocacy.
In the future, she wants to start a foundation that funds young women from underdeveloped countries to come to the United States for secondary education and medical school, with the goal of returning to their countries to provide quality medical care.
“We have all been given some blessing. Some have more than others. I try to give of myself what I can to improve the lives of others because I feel I owe it to society to so,” Ghafur says.
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