Somali Community Celebrates Opening of Primary and Urgent Care Clinic in Northland
A primary and urgent care clinic in the Northern Lights shopping center is now open, giving Columbus’ Somali community a place to received much-needed care during the pandemic and beyond.
The clinic, located at 3539 Cleveland Ave., is owned by Farhiya Shirwa, a midwife and primary care provider. A grand opening event saw Shirwa joined by prominent members of the Somali and other New American communities, as well as some city officials.
Shirwa grew up in Kenya and moved to the U.S. in 2004. She speaks highly of the opportunities afforded to her since coming to this country and said this is a way of giving back to her community.
“Columbus houses a huge immigrant population,” she said, adding that she speaks five languages, which will come in handy when caring for a wide variety of people. “That’s not to say the American people aren’t welcome, because we are Americans. We are citizens.”
The clinic is set to address a number of health needs, including mental health, primary care and chiropractic care.
“We’d like to serve the needs of the community in health,” said Shirwa. “There’s a lot of health disparities out there—the infant mortality rate in Franklin County is very high.” Shirwa points out that even with benchmarks, Columbus has not met many of the goals set out in some parts of the city to address the infant mortality rate.
Shirwa said this is positive news amid a rise in crime and other issues impacting her community.
“I want this to serve as a way of encouraging young females out there,” she said. “Women-owned, minority-owned, Black-owned. I want this to be a way of giving back to the education that was given to me.”