April 2020 MNCHWA Spotlight: Mohamed Ibrahim

Mohamed Ibrahim

Community Health Worker

Mayo Clinic Health System

I was born in Mogadishu, Somalia. I have a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery from Benadir University in Somalia and have worked in trauma and emergency surgery including service overseas with the International Committee of Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders.  Now I live in Mankato with my lovely wife Samsam. I have three boys, Hamza, Hisham and Hilal. I love soccer, reading and volunteering.

I earned my CHW certificate from Rochester Community and Technical College and currently work as a CHW in Mayo Clinic Health System where I serve as a central link between patients and health and social service providers, conducting home visits, facilitating health literacy workshops, and providing culturally-responsive interventions to address Somali health disparities.  In addition to that, I am studying for the US medical license examination test to continue the journey of helping underserved communities as a doctor.

In addition to my professional role, I am highly engaged in the greater Mankato community serving on several area committees and boards, including Blue Earth County Mental Health Task Force, Mayo Clinic Community Cancer Research Advisory Committee, Mayo Clinic Health System Diversity and Inclusion Committee, and Mayo Clinic Health System Family Medicine Quality Committee. I am a founding member of a developing grassroots group, Linking for Good, a committed group of local Somalis seeking to build bridges between the Somali and the greater Mankato community.  I also serve in a leadership role as one of the Imams at the St. Peter Islamic Center and Dar Abi Baker at Mankato.

In addition to our daily work to provide the Somali community in the Mankato-St. Peter area with information on the COVID-19 virus and Minnesota’s response, we have been doing many things.  These include:

  1. We have set up two What’sApp groups for Somali community members—one for Mankato and North Mankato and one for St. Peter.  You may already know this—community members move around between these communities.  A mom may live in St. Peter while here daughter lives in Mankato. This is often the case so there is a lot of movement back and forth.
  2. We set up a free conference call listening session to share information with the community and answer questions. We will continue to use free conference calls for meetings and for educating the community.
  3. We have identified people in housing complexes in Mankato, North Mankato and St. Peter where many Somali families live to share information with families in the building. We use What’sApp and free conference calls to inform these key people.

What’sApp and free conference calls are good tools because people can ask questions.  We find people have a lot of questions because they know something critical is happening, but they are not getting the information in Somali they need to understand. They have a lot of questions.  What’sApp is very simple and used by young and old alike.