A Passion for Health: Mohamed Ibrahim

Ten years ago, Mohamed graduated from Medical School in Somalia. He completed training with the International Committee of the Red Cross and began to work in hospitals in Somalia and East Africa. For the next six years he worked with the Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders in Somalia and East Africa, helping primarily with emergency medicine and surgery for patients who had been wounded in the civil war. When deteriorating security conditions forced most non-governmental organizations to evacuate the region in 2014, Mohamed applied to join his wife and son in Minnesota.

Now based in Mankato, Mohamed works for MCC Refugee Services where he is spearheading a new approach to refugee health management as one of the first Somali Community Health Workers in Mankato. He completed CHW training through a pilot program with Mayo Clinic in 2017 and completed his intern hours at the Mayo Clinic in St. Peter.

Mohamed’s work with MCC includes participatory training events called Health Connections as well as direct patient coordination. He shared that mental health is a particular focus of his and he is passionate about dispelling the stigma around mental illness, as well as helping people identify resources that will help them live well. He is also an imam in the community and shared about how he helps draw connections between faith, the Qur’an, and mental wellness, emphasizing that it is good to seek help when individuals struggle with depression, anxiety, PTSD, or other mental illnesses.

When asked if he would like to pursue the process of being a board-certified physician in the United States, he said with a laugh, “Of course, that’s always a dream,” but emphasized the many ways in which his work now is teaching him about health care in America and continuing the work of helping patients live healthier lives.