PHOENIX - A Phoenix doctor has made it her mission to help women from all over the world get the treatment they need.
She’s created a program that’s bringing awareness about things like cervical and breast cancers to women who may have never even heard of the diseases.
Dr. Christa Johnson’s patients come from 16 different countries including Somalia, The Congo and Iraq.
Her goal for the Refugee clinic at the Maricopa Medical Center ? “A medical home for refugee women,” said Dr. Johnson.
The staff includes women like Halima Abdirazak, a medical assistant and Somalian refugee herself.
“If they see me they’ll open up more and that is what mainly motivates me to be more connected with them, having the same background with them is what is very important,” said Halima.
For many they western medical system is like a maze and simple things like preventative care can be foreign and intimidating.
“When we look nationally at immigrants coming into the country they do have higher risk for cancer dues to the lack of preventative health in their countries or origin,” said Dr. Johnson.
To help educate they find volunteers in the community who teach about things like pap smears and self breast exams.
Massa Fahnbulleh is a patient turned volunteer.
“We go to educate our people as to where to get these resources because the information is very important,” said Massa.
She goes to community events and churches to reach her people.
Dr. Johnson says that is the real difference between this clinic and any other.
“I see the tangible impact we’re having on the lives of women.”
Dr. Johnson hopes the clinic will be a model for others nationwide.
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