Transformational gift set to change the face of healthcare accessibility in Clarkston
Clarkston, GA – July 29, 2021 – In the midst of a global pandemic and recession, a transformational gift is set to change the landscape of healthcare in Clarkston. Thanks to a committed champion of community health, the Clarkston Community Health Center (CCHC) has been given the opportunity to expand their services into a new facility and reach thousands more in need of accessible healthcare.
Since 2013, Clarkston Community Health Center has been addressing the medical needs of the diverse Clarkston population, with a mission to be a state-of-the-art, culturally and linguistically competent primary and preventive health care facility, providing a medical home to the residents of the city of Clarkston and to those in need throughout north Georgia. Founded by Dr.Gulshan Harjee, the late Rev. Ben Johnson, and Saeed Raees, the health center has revolutionized the concept of a world-class affordable healthcare by partnering with local hospitals and universities, such as Emory University School of Medicine, Mercer University, Rollins School of Public Health, and many others, to bring innovation and the most up-to-date medical knowledge to their patients. Demand for accessible healthcare has skyrocketed in the past several years, which only accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic – the number of patients treated for free by the Clarkston Community Health Center tripled in 2020. They have long outgrown the small office-building they currently work from, and in late 2019 the decision to expand into a new home was formally made.
One of the hundreds of volunteers that have participated in bringing healthcare to the Clarkston community, Dilshad Dhanani shared her experience serving the community through CCHC with her brother, Shoukat Dhanani. A prominent businessman in the south, Mr.Dhanani toured the current facilities and site of the new location on Independence Day – that same day, he pledged $2.5 million to fund construction of the new building, and launch the center into a new stage of life.
“I am an immigrant also. I have been through a lot of what immigrants go through,” said Shoukat Dhanani, who came to America from Pakistan for college. “We are fortunate enough and we are blessed that we are in a position to help other immigrants.” A key pillar of his Islamic faith, Mr.Dhanani’s charity also serves to honor his parents, Hasan Ali and Daulat, and stepmother, Zubeda.
“The impact of this gift cannot be overstated,” says CCHC Board Chair Arshed Quyyumi, MD (Emory University) – “We are all truly grateful to the Dhanani family for making this gift and transforming the lives of many individuals for years to come, for saving countless lives, and for relieving distress and misery that accompanies poor health. There are no words to express our gratitude to the Dhanani family.”