Health care workers create inclusive environment inside hospitals

Two Twin Cities respiratory therapists joined forces with local designers to create a line of personal protective gear specifically for Muslim women.

ST PAUL, Minn. — Two Twin Cities area health care workers are creating a more inclusive environment inside hospitals by creating disposable hijabs for patients and staff.

Yasmin Samatar, Firoali Adam and Firoali Adam were respiratory therapists from the Twin Cities. They traveled to hospitals across the country during COVID-19. When it came time to put on personal protective equipment — known as PPE — they noticed something was missing.

“We went to the operating room and they gave us a bunny suit, and gloves and everything, and they were giving out beard covers, and we were like maybe we can make this into a hijab cover,”Samatar. “We realized they have other things like the beard covers, and everything else, and we kept feeling uncomfortable, just throwing a lot of hijabs away,”Adam said.

Both decided to team up to create their own line for personal protective gear for Muslim women with local designers.

“The pilot project for our hijab is called ‘Hijab on the Go,'”Samatar.

They began to research how to get their company started to provide safe and sterile hijabs to healthcare workers. “We were working as respiratory therapists for four years, and we had many interactions where there was a need,”Samatar.

Both took time off to work on their designs. The FDA approved their new scrub line for health care workers.

“We had a whole family; we had a whole team behind us,”Adam said.

Both say their next step is “to make sure it’s available to everyone else the way gowns and PPE are.”

They’re inspiring others to think outside the box, while opening the door for the next generation. 

“To feel comfortable and not go through what we went through,” said Adam. 

“Being a Black, Muslim woman, especially in health care settings, it’s not talked about, and we want to shed light that your presence matters,”Samatar.

The pilot project will be available in January 2022.

Visit their Kickstarter campaign for more information and to donate. Here.

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