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Minnesota hospital offers Hijabs for patients and staff


Friday, November 22, 2019
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Hijabs made by Henna & Hijabs, a company owned by full time medical student Hilal Ibrahim are now available for sale at Methodist Hospital in St. Louis Park. The hijabs will only be available at Methodist for now but there is an expectation that they will be in the network of hospitals owned by the HealthPartners Park Nicollet system of which Methodist is part.

The product line was introduced during a launch that HealthPartners called historic.

“Today, our Gift Shoppe introduces a new product line of locally made H&H hijabs and by doing so, we take an important step in inclusivity that no other U.S. health care organization has taken before,” said HealthPartners.

The 24-year old Ibrahim started volunteering at Methodist when she was 14 and noticed that a lot of the Muslim patients would wear white hospital blankets to cover their heads. When she transitioned from volunteer to the employee at the hospital, she realized how critical the need was, when a patient would for example vomit on their hijab and would need to remove it but did not have a replacement.

“Seeing a lot of Muslim women, their hijab was falling off during labor or they were rushed to a C-section and there was nothing available to them,” said Ibrahim. “Sometimes when I was working in the ER I would see someone vomit on a hijab and need to remove it.”

The hijabs by H & H are specially designed for hospital settings according to Ibrahim, describing them as “breathable” and “flexible.”

“If you are a nurse in ICU, or surgery, or labor and delivery, you don’t want a scarf that is slipping off constantly; likewise, if you are a patient, you want something that is comforting,” she said.

The move by HealthPartners comes less than a year after the US Congress lifted its 181-year headwear ban after Rep. Ilhan Omar got elected to Congress. Omar wears a hijab and alongside Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib became the first two Muslim women elected to Congress on November 2018.

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About Tom Gitaa

Tom is the President and Publisher of Mshale and chair of the Minnesota Multicultural Media Consortium (MMMC). As Mshale founder, he did a lot of the reporting during the humble beginnings of the newspaper. While he still does the occasional reporting, he now concentrates on the publishing side of the news operation.Tom was also the original host of Talking Drum, the signature current affairs show on the African Broadcasting Network (ABN-America), which was available nationwide in the United States via the DishNetwork satellite service. On the show, he interviewed Nobel laureates such as 2004 Nobel Peace prize winner, Professor Wangari Maathai, the first woman from Africa to win the peace prize and heads of states such as the president of  The Gambia, Yahya Jammeh at State House, Banjul. Tom has previously served in the board of directors of Global Minnesota, the sixth largest World Affairs Council in the United States. He has also previously served as President of the Board of Directors of Books for Africa, the largest shipper of donated books to Africa and. He sits on the board of the United Nations Association.

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