The "6 of Substance" series is the Chippewa Valley Post's news of area nonprofit organizations in order to increase public awareness of their missions and activities, and to provide information that otherwise might not be made available.
Mahmoud S. Taman Foundation
Who do you serve?
The Mahmoud S. Taman Foundation’s goal is to serve the Chippewa Valley community, especially youth, as well as community, social service and social justice organizations. We create and support projects and grassroots initiatives that promote interfaith and civic causes whose general nature is the promotion of humanity. Initiatives include interfaith outreach actions (especially those advocating for inclusivity of Islam), civic participation, peace education, humanitarian issues, health promotion (including mental health awareness and advocacy), education and literacy, arts and culture. These efforts can be undertaken by organizations or by individuals who aim to fulfill a need in the targeted community. The Foundation also serves individuals and groups outside the Chippewa Valley – in northern Wisconsin, elsewhere in North America and internationally.
How long have you been established in the Chippewa Valley?
The Foundation was established in 2015. It was a wish of Dr. Mahmoud S. Taman, who lived here and served the Chippewa Valley as a psychiatrist and a Muslim interfaith advocate, to continue to support his community and causes he valued. The Foundation’s three current programs include an essay contest for Chippewa Valley high school students to promote discussion on equity, diversity and inclusion. We also provide community grants to organizations and individuals for efforts that align with our mission. Finally, we award scholarships to Islamic studies students in North American universities.
The Islamic Society of Northern Wisconsin – Center and Mosque originally managed the Mahmoud S. Taman Trust which offered some of the programs of the Foundation but on a smaller scale. Visit our website to see some of the past programs.
What are the major issues you will be facing over the next 18 months?
One of our major goals is to stimulate a discussion in the Chippewa Valley about the importance of diversity and inclusion within our community, as well as in the nation. We think that asking youth to learn about those who are different from them will bring people together, whether this involves the white majority population learning about minority populations or minorities studying the vast diversity in the majority. We also wish to support actions that aim to bring about social equity, which includes addressing mental health care, pulling people out of intergenerational poverty and overcoming Islamophobia.
Aside from financial support, how can the Chippewa Valley Community support you?
We hope that our programs will become well known in the Chippewa Valley. We are providing small grants and want the Chippewa Valley to see us as a resource. We hope to engage with the many ongoing initiatives by providing a new perspective.
Who are some of the key people in your organization?
We have a diverse board of directors including friends and colleagues whom Dr. Taman valued, and his three children: Sahar, Mona and Tarik. The president of the Mahmoud S. Taman Foundation is Prof. Ali Abootalebi, a political scientist at the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire. Originally from Iran, he is a researcher on the Middle East, especially Iran and the Palestinian/Israeli issue, and a social justice commentator and blogger. His vision is for the Foundation to become an integral part of the community. Sahar Taman, Dr. Taman’s older daughter, is secretary-treasurer of the board. She has a background with the federal government and in interfaith dialogue and international exchange. She hopes that the Foundation will honor and promote the many passions of her father. The board also includes Dr. Thom Chisholm, a Chippewa Falls native and an armed services veteran who returned to the area after a distinguished world-wide medical career. He is a co-founder of the Open Door, a free medical facility in Chippewa Falls.
What is the most important thing about your organization that people should know, but don’t?
While the Foundation is still a small organization, we are open and accessible to all ideas from the community. We look forward to hearing new ideas about how we can improve and serve the real needs of the area.
Dr. Thom Chisholm's thoughtful article on healthcare was published in the September 28, 2017 Eau Claire Leader Telegram.
It Seems to Me: Repeal measure ill-advised
by Thomas Chisholm
The billionaire in the White House and Congress insist that Obamacare be stricken from memory and replaced with Trumpcare, health care reserved for special American patients.
I was taught, “to be worthy to serve the suffering.” Medicine is a sacred trust, an art, a calling, not a business. “One of the essential qualities of a physician is interest in humanity for the secret in the care of the patient is in caring for the patient.” The current bill advocated by the Republican majority is unworthy, uncaring and inhumane. It is business as usual, partisan and exclusive.
Fortunately, the AMA, the American and Catholic Hospital Associations, The American Medical Students Association and other groups, including AARP, are opposed to the Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson amendment to H.R. 1628.
Unlike its rigid opposition to Medicare in 1965, the AMA states this latest effort to repeal or improve the ACA fails the principal of “first do no harm.” It would jeopardize health insurance for tens of millions of Americans and destabilize access to affordable coverage and care.
In his recent letter to Senate leaders, Dr. James Madara, CEO of the AMA, urged Congress to focus on stable premiums, avoid any law that would cause the loss of insurance for those currently covered, those with pre-existing conditions, and continue the parental coverage provision. Dr. Madara insists that Medicaid, CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) and other safety-net programs be adequately funded.
His letter reminds the Senate that per-capita caps fail to anticipate costs for medical improvements or the impact of public health epidemics, including opioid abuse. The AMA adds that allowing states to base premiums on health status could make insurance unaffordable and objects to eliminating the ACA’s Prevention and Public Health Fund after 2018.
If the Senate passed the bill before the end of September as the Republicans desired under current rules, the CBO would not have had time to measure the cost or the effects of H.R. 1628 on more than 23 million Americans excluded from health insurance.
Who will care for those millions? There are approximately 1,200 free clinics in the nation, including Eau Claire, Chippewa Falls and Menomonie, serving the untouchables — for primary care only. Are we concerned; are we caring for the patient? Is the amendment to H.R. 1638 just?
There is a solution: America Care — financed equitably by taxes rather than premiums only the Brahmins can afford.
Dr. Chisholm, of Chippewa Falls, is a member of Veterans for Peace and the American Medical Association.
Contact: Sahar Taman, MSTamanFoundation@gmail.com
The Mahmoud S Taman Foundation is pleased to announce a series of new programs aimed at promoting peace, interfaith, and civic causes by providing grants to initiatives in the Chippewa Valley of Wisconsin, in the U.S., and around the world.
The programs include:
Please review the website for details.