Crain’s Detroit Business has recognized Najah Bazzy, CEO and founder of Zaman International, for her work to lift women and children out of poverty, naming her a 2018 Health Care Hero in the Allied Practitioner category.
The 17th annual Health Care Heroes awards honor metro Detroit health care professionals in nine categories who have improved quality of life, either by directly saving lives or by alleviating human pain and suffering. This year’s 11 winners (there were co-winners for lifetime achievement and administration) were announced on March 16.
A registered nurse specializing in transcultural care and training, Bazzy practiced for Detroit Medical Center and Oakwood Beaumont Healthcare before establishing Zaman International as an outreach organization providing emergency relief to severely impoverished women and children. With help from thousands of volunteers and hundreds of community partners, Bazzy has grown Zaman’s outreach initiatives to include crisis assistance, infant burial, literacy and job skills training, international and domestic orphan sponsorship, a summer meals program for youth, disaster relief partnerships, a resale shop, and a Gleaners-affiliated food pantry – all housed within the organization’s 40,500-square-foot Hope For Humanity Center in Inkster. These programs have served more than 215,000 individuals since Zaman’s founding in 1996, providing 8,000 hours of job skills and literacy instruction and distributing more than one million pounds of food among many other accomplishments.
Bazzy, who was named a 2017 Hometown Health Hero by the Michigan Public Health Partnership, posits Zaman’s outreach initiatives as community-based preventive health care, noting that poverty is strongly correlated with poor physical, behavioral, and social health outcomes including obesity, disease, depression, and family systems dysfunction.
“Breaking the cycle of poverty that is so deeply entrenched in Greater Detroit is critical to improving wellness among residents and one of the ways health care practitioners are thinking more holistically about health,” said Bazzy. “Empowering people – be it financially, physically, emotionally or spiritually – is entirely consistent with our health care training and a powerful extension of our mission outside the walls of traditional health care settings.”