Touching lives, and helping to build healthy communities through faith, a free clinic in Mount Pleasant offers those in need not only health care, but a helping hand as well.
Dr. Reshma Khan is our Everyday Hero.
Dr. Reshma Khan is living her dream by helping others. She left a private gynecology practice to open the Shifa Free Clinic in Mount Pleasant. Her journey began years ago, and took years of planning, hard work, and prayers. “Shifa is an Arabic word which means healing through God,” says Dr. Khan. “Every step that I took, it was not an easy step, because I had a lot of work to do to accomplish one step. “I prayed hard. I said god if you think I’m sincerely doing justice for you, you have given me so many blessings, I want you to use me for you.”
The clinic opened in 2012. Khan says, “Everything is free. When I started, I had one room and one computer somebody donated that computer to me. Very limited budget of basically 35-thousand to run the entire year and no staff. There were a few housewives who came in to help, me but they had no office experience. They just came to help me out of the goodness of their heart.” Now, they have a full staff and eight volunteer doctors. “Now we have a full time clinic. This clinic runs Monday through Friday 9 to 4:30 pm. We provide GYN, routine, and advanced care, anything you can have in a GYN office, we can do here. We recently started a pediatric clinic for children who are uninsured. We have vaccinations, both for adults and children. We have mental health services through a collaboration with the Charleston Dorchester Mental Health Center. In 2016, we had 1,382 visits total. This year we already reached more than that,” says Dr. Khan.
The Shifa Clinic also offers vision care services, outreach programs, including a community food pantry, child hunger prevention program through a partnership with a local school. They also have a clothes closet for those in need. Dr. Khan says, “If they can come to our clinic, we will see them. We have patients coming from Walterboro, McClelanville, Conway, Hilton Head.”
Leslie Barnett says the services provided at the Shifa Clinic are a blessing to the community. “My husband had a kidney transplant, and he lost his job and there went the medical insurance. I have no medical insurance, so I go to the Dream Center for health insurance, and they referred me here, and I fell in love with Dr. Khan. She’s a wonderful person God sent to the whole community. She’s an everyday hero. We’re blessed to have her.”
Dr. Khan says she is thankful she is able to live her life’s purpose. “When I look back, I myself do not know how we came all this way. It is not me. I keep telling everybody, please do not praise me. It is God who led the way, and who made it happen so easily. I’m just a little puppet. He just paved the way for me, and I’m just walking on it. I’m sure there are many many other people who are doing so much more than what I’m doing. They’re doing so many things better than what I’m doing, but I just feel so blessed that God chose me to do this little small tiny thing for him. Everyday, I walk into the clinic, everyday the moment I step in, the first thing I say is I thank God for giving me this opportunity to do this thing we are doing here. I feel very humbled and very thankful.”
The clinic receives funds from the Department of Health and Human Services, SC Free Clinic Association, Catholic charities, and private contributions. For more information on the Shifa Clinic call 843-352-4580.