Healthy New Beginnings
February 21, 2023
Our team at Makom believes that individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) should have a healthcare delivery system designed specifically to address their sometimes-unique healthcare needs. While there are healthcare options across the Washington, DC metro area, few are equipped to accommodate the accessibility needs of people with IDD. Makom’s strategic plan contemplates two initiatives to address this directly. First, we have started the development of a Clinical Services team, which we believe is a promising strategy for improving health status for this population; and second, we are convening the community to develop a healthcare delivery system to provide culturally relevant and accessible primary, some specialty and dental care that is designed to increase access to optimal health outcomes.
For Makom-based Clinical Services, our preliminary objective is to create and design innovative, interdisciplinary and responsive clinical services that are available to people supported by Makom. Clinical services include behavioral/mental health supports, occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech/language therapy and nursing. We envision this being an on-demand, integrated service that works in close collaboration with existing medical care providers, Makom staff, families and others to meet the clinical and health needs of individuals with IDD living in the community.
We strive to individually personalize our services to meet the specific requirements for individuals with IDD. Our goal is to provide people with opportunities for growth and freedom, regardless of the mental, physical, or behavioral support needs they may experience. As a result, we have come to believe that increasing access to clinicians who are knowledgeable about disabilities is a key step toward enhancing the lives of people.
My name is Aiman Tohid, and I am Makom’s first-ever Director of Clinical Services. I am a medical doctor, researcher, public health expert, and a mental health specialist. I completed medical school at Dow Medical College and earned a Master of Public Health from Keck School of Medicine of University of Southern California. My entire career has focused on clinical, teaching, and research in the care of patients with IDD. I have treated and cared for patients with psychiatric issues, especially those with IDD. Over the past 15 years, I have worked as the supervisor and project manager for a number of organizations. I also have significant experience in managing research projects in the field of mental health particularly those related to IDD.