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Somali Muslims and Health Care

NOVEMBER 7, 2006

8:30 am to 12:30 pm

Hoppe Auditorium
St. Cloud Hospital
1406 6th Avenue N
St Cloud, MN 56303

Direction/Map to the St. Cloud Hospital

Direction to Hoppe Auditorium
Park in the north parking lot (the main visitor parking lot on the north end of the hospital). Enter Entrance E and follow the main corridor to Lobby D and the D Elevator. Take the D Elevator down one level to Level A. Turn left out of the elevator bay and Hoppe Auditorium is directly in front of you.

Saeed Fahia, Ph.D., Executive Director,
Confederation of Somali Community in Minnesota,
Minneapolis, MN
Dr. Osman M. Ahmed (aka Harare), M.D.

Hani A. Jacobson

Ayan Omar
Nathan Jacobson



Each education offering has been designed to meet the Minnesota Board of Nursing continuing education requirements for four (4.0) contact hours. It is the personal responsibility of each participant to determine whether this activity meets the requirements for acceptable continuing education by the licensing organization.

Registration fee
$30 per session (pre-registration)
$35 per session (at the door)

50% discount for full time students. Please include photocopy of student ID with registration when mailing check

Continental breakfast included.

Registration form can be downloaded at:







8:30 – 9:00 am
Salient history, geography, of country of origin; demographics of Somali Muslims in Minnesota and how they got here
Presenter: Saeed Fahia

9:00 – 9:10 am
What is my experience being a Somali Muslim in St. Cloud? What brought me here?
Presenter: Hani Jacobson

9:10 – 9:20 am
Questions and Answers
Saeed Fahia & Hani Jacobson

9:20 – 9:30 am

9:30 – 10:00 am
Salient religious and cultural characteristics of Somali Muslims in Minnesota
Presenter: Saeed Fahia

10:00 – 10:10 am
What aspects of my culture are vitally important to me? What aspects of my religion are vitally important in my thinking and practice?
Presenter: Hani Jacobson

10:10 – 10:20 am
Questions and Answers
Saeed Fahia & Hani Jacobson

10:20 – 10:30 am

10:30 – 11:00 am
What health care related concerns of Somali Muslims do health care professionals need to be aware of?
Presenter: Dr. Osman Ahmed

11:00 – 11:10 am
Role play: Simulating an actual situation of a Somali Muslim patient in a health care facility; a volunteer from the audience comes up to deal with the situation; patient & volunteer give feedback to each other at the end
Presenter: Hani Jacobson

11:10 – 11:20 am
Questions and Answers
Dr. Osman Ahmed & Hani Jacobson

11:20 – 11:30 am

11:30 am – 11:40 pm
Cultural performance
Performers: Ayan Omar and Nathan Jacobson

11:40 am - 12:00 pm

12:00 - 12:30 pm
Discussion & Questions and Answers
Fahia, Jacobson couple, Ahmed, Omar, and Nooh



Series Planning Phase
Phase A
Cultural Healing Festival


All files are in pdf format




Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation
CentraCare Health Foundation
St. Cloud Hospital


Confederation of Somali Community in Minnesota
Hani Mohamed
Mohamed Hassan Yusuf
Lao Assistance Center of Minnesota
Hmong Cultural Resource Center, Inc.
Sally Griffin
Jean Gunderson
Dan McKanan
Frank Lee
Jocelyn Ancheta
Kathy Twohy
David Zander
Angie Wilson
Carol Virnig
Bruce Corrie
Cindy Eskandary
Mary Beth Nehl
Peggy LaDue
Gwen Dahlhoff
Joan Wilcox
Julie Collins
Shivanthi Sathanandan
Bette Schnettler
Diane Tuff
Hedy Tripp
Adela Gross
Don Ottenhoff
Robert C. Johnson
Paul Knutson
Tom Pendergast
Sandra Robin
Dia Cha





Saeed Fahia

He is the executive director of the Confederation of Somali Community of Minnesota (CSCM), the Somali organization in the Twin Cities that has created a unified voice for the widest possible range of Somali community members. Founded in 1994 by a group of Somali leaders, CSCM's mission is to enhance the lives of Somalis in Minnesota by delivering appropriate advocacy services, working to unite groups in Minnesota, preserving Somali traditions and culture, and educating the community-at-large about Somali people. In his role as executive director, Fahia creates and supervises programs to assist East African people to resettle in Minnesota and integrate successfully into American life. Both the East African community and the community-at-large see him as a leader and bridge builder. Fahia has a Doctorate in Education from the University of Massachusetts, a Master of Science from Eastern Michigan University, and a Bachelor of Science from Somali National University. He was Associate Dean of Somali National University from 1981 - 1987.


1. Built a newly established community based organization's capacity by 500% Developed and supervised programs; trained staff and provided structure; worked closely with funding bodies, social service providers and other community organizations; and managed finances and raised funds to assist Somali people in resettlement in MN, developing their attitudes and social skills for improved community integration and responsibility

2. Developed cross-cultural relationship between communities. Developed working relationship with more than 150 mainstream and immigrant community organizations; Participated in the Board Directors of more than ten non-profit organizations; Assisted in the holding of more than16 multi-cultural festivals and events.

3. Managed the academic and student affairs of a college As the academic dean of the Lafole College of Education, a member college of the Somali National University, he supervised the academic and student affairs of the 2000 students; taught courses using lectures, seminars and laboratory activities; arranged training opportunities for faculty and staff; and counseled the Ministry of Education on popularization of science in schools.


Dr. Osman M. Ahmed (aka Harare), M.D.

Dr. Ahmed was born and raised in Somalia. A multilingual physician, he speaks Somali, Italian, Russian, Arabic and English and has published articles in medical journals in English and Italian. From 1983 to 1990, he participated in four World Health Organization-sponsored workshops, related to health care, in Pakistan, SriLanka, Syria, and Thailand.

In 1969, Dr. Ahmed completed his training as a pediatrician at Kiev Medical Insititue, U.S.S.R., and, in 1979, his specialization in Tropical Disease in the University of Rome, Italy. In Somalia, he received a bronze medal for implementing rural primary health care and health education. In 2003, he was recognized by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota as a Champion of Health, for his outstanding efforts to improve community health.

Following are some milestones in his extensive experience as a health care professional.

1970-72, Regional Medical Officer, Hiran Region, Somalia; 1972-75, Head of Infectious Diseases Section, Forlanini Hospital Mogadishu, Somalia; 1975-77, Director of Forlanini Hospital, Mogadishu; 1980-81, Director of Public Health Department, Mogadishu Municipal Government, where he coordinated environmental health programs; 1975-90, Lecturer on Tropical Disease, Faculty of Medicine, Somali National University, Mogadishu; 1981-90, Director of Community Health Department, Ministry of Health, Somalia.

After the outbreak of civil war in Somalia, from 1991-92, Dr. Ahmed was chair of the Volunteer Medical Board, in Kismayo, Somalia; in 1992-94, Medical Coordinator, Ibrahim Al-Ibrahim Refugee Camp, in Mendera, Kenya; in 1994-95, Medical Volunteer, Utanga Refugee Camp, Mombasa, Kenya.

After arriving in the USA, from 1996-2004, he was Chair of the Somali Health Project, and Assistant Director of SAHAN Education Project. From 1997 to the present, he has been serving at the Hennepin County Medical Center as a Somali Patient Advocate; and, from 2004 to the present, he is co-founder and executive director of the East Africa Health Project.

Dr. Ahmed lives in St. Paul, MN, and can be contacted at (651) 776-8692 or (612) 275-6286.


Hani A. Jacobson

Hani Jacobson first came to the United States in 1993. Since then she has lived in Atlanta, Seattle, and Nashville. She moved to Saint Cloud in 2005, she is a member of the “Building Bridges, Opening Doors” community outreach program at the Whitney Senior Center. In the program she teaches Basic Computer and English to the elder members of the Somali Community. She also works for the “Bridge, World Languages” as a Medical Interpreter and a Community Liaison. In her free time Hani likes to cook, design formal dresses, and hang out with her family.



Ayan Omar

Ayan Omar is a Paramedic Student at St. Cloud State University. She is a Nursing Assistant at Country Manor. She moved to the United States in 1993 when she was five years old. She moved to Saint Cloud in 2005. She helps new comers in the Somali Community with day to day living from giving rides to Grocery stores to reading their mail to them and explaining it in Somali. She helps kids with their homework and tutors in English and Science. In her free time Ayan likes to take her little twin sisters out to the movies or shopping.


Nathan Jacobson

Husband of Hani Jacobson. He works at Country Manor. Currently he is working on obtaining his license to practice as a social worker.