Improving health education, outreach to Seattle’s immigrant communities
Farah is a leader in bringing culturally relevant public health education and programming to Somali and East African immigrants and refugees in the Seattle area and beyond. Himself a refugee who spent nearly 18 years in Kenya’s Dadaab refugee camps, Farah works to alleviate health disparities that disproportionately affect new immigrants and refugees at the Somali Health Board. He also is spearheading a collaboration among the nonprofit, the UW and Somalia’s Ministry of Health to implement programs in that country, including an assessment of maternal and child health needs.
While at UW, where he also studied social work, Farah received a fellowship to study Swahili so that he would be better able to work with immigrants from East Africa. He has used those linguistic skills in a variety of positions with local and state public agencies. Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, Farah made a widely shared video in Somali to educate the community about how to prevent the virus’ spread.
Affiliations: Environmental Health Specialist, Public Health—Seattle & King County; Vice President, Board of Directors, Somali Health Board; Founder, Bille Consulting, which designs culturally sensitive public health research and communications