Meet the Team

Meet the Team

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Aasim I. Padela, MD, MSc

Director, Initiative on Islam and Medicine 

Dr. Padela is an emergency medicine physician, health services researcher, and bioethicist whose scholarship focuses on the intersection of minority health and bioethics through the lens of the healthcare experiences of American Muslim patients and health care providers. Dr. Padela’s empirical research focuses on the ways in which religious beliefs, values and identity impacts American Muslim health behaviors and the healthcare inequities faced by American Muslims. He also charts out the ways in which Islam influences the practice of American Muslim physicians. He is currently a fellow at the Institute for Social Policy & Understanding where he takes this descriptive work to the policy-level developing recommendations for healthcare institutions and state authorities that better meet the needs of American Muslim patients and a diverse healthcare workforce.


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Adel Syed, MPA

CEO, UMMA Community Clinic

A recent recipient of the Los Angeles-based Empowerment Congress' 40 under 40 award, Adel Syed serves as CEO for UMMA Community Clinic. Adel Syed most recently served as Chief Operating Officer at UMMA. A graduate of Northwestern University's Masters degree program in Public Policy and Administration, Adel is currently a Fellow of the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) and the Blue Shield of California Foundation's Clinic Leadership Institute, a 2013 Rockwood Leadership Institute Fellow, and a 2011 New Leaders Council Fellow. In his five years at UMMA Clinic, he has provided vital leadership for UMMA's development, outreach and operations. Under his leadership, he helped create and expand UMMA's Member Services Department and guide the clinic through a new phase of growth and facilities expansion.


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Yasser Aman, DrPH, MPH

Chief of Medical Campus Integration, Martin Luther King Jr. Outpatient Center

Dr. Yasser Aman served as the founding CEO of the UMMA Community Clinic for 15 years. During that time he pursued his masters and doctorate in health policy with a focus on healthcare disparities for vulnerable populations. Dr. Aman was also the co-principle investigator, in partnership with the UCLA School of Public Health, for the nation’s first Muslim breast cancer study. He currently serves as the Chief of Medical Campus Integration at Los Angeles County Martin Luther King Outpatient Center and as a health policy assistant professor at both USC and Charles R. Drew Medical School. He enjoys teaching and engaging students around real health policy implications for underserved communities.


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Haaris Ahmad, ESQ

Lawyer, The Whitestone Foundation

Haaris Ahmad is an attorney, entrepreneur, and social activist. He is the former Executive Director of CAIR-Michigan and he is currently its President and the Legal Advocacy Chair. He is the former President of the Michigan Muslim Bar Association and co-founder and past President of the American Learning Institute for Muslims (ALIM). Mr. Ahmad is also the founder and an executive committee member of the Post 9/11 civil rights fellowship at the Keith Center for Civil Rights at Wayne State University Law School. Mr. Ahmad also serves as President of MCWS, one of the largest mosques and Muslim community centers in Michigan. Mr. Ahmad has testified in front of the US Commission on Civil Rights as well as participated in many meetings with the White House and other political figures to present a Muslim American perspective. He regularly delivers speeches and seminars to a variety of audiences regarding leadership, entrepreneurship, activism, and civil rights in the Muslim American context.


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Fatema Mirza, MBA, PMP, MPA

Executive Director, Worry Free Community

As a certified Project Manager, Fatema Mirza has initiated and led several community health projects in past 12 years and provided healthcare and IT consultation to health care entities on electronic medical records, Accountable Care/Managed Care regulations, JCAHO and Medicare accreditations. Her team of ACA Navigators and health coverage counselors has been enrolling the uninsured in Obamacare and providing resources for underserved in since 2013 and continue to serve the states of Illinois, Texas and New York. She helped set up Senior Health Insurance Program sites for faith based and community-based organizations and designed Community health training programs to support the projects in mosque communities. She has been a co-founder of several organizations including Worry Free Health, Max Care Home Health Services, Max Health Network and Worry Free Community (WFC). While serving on the board of Compassionate Care Network, she designed and implemented community health worker training program and incorporated the peer education principles and methods learnt through Dr. Padela’s research. As the executive director of WFC, she strives to bridge the gap between healthcare competency and health disparities through trainings and workshops for all ages. Through her signature Program F.L.O.W. (for the love of wisdom) she is currently rolling out a Learning and Career Resource center program for youth that are focused on Islamic Seminary studies to get them engaged in community health leadership.