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New Hospital Wing Brings Hope to Iraqi Citizens

By Spc. C. Terrell Turner, USA
Special to American Forces Press Service

CAMP TAJI, Iraq, Oct. 17, 2006 – On a typical day at the medical clinic in Tarmiya, Iraq, patients and clinic workers witnessed a not-so-typical grand opening last week of a new surgical and pregnancy wing hosted by Ministry of Health personnel, local council members and soldiers from the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division.

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Army Maj. Herb Joliat, civil affairs officer, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, shakes the hand of Hameed Halhelal, contractor in charge of the Tarmiya (Iraq) Medical Clinic’s new surgical and pregnancy wing, during the clinic’s Oct. 10 grand opening north of Baghdad. Photo by Spc. C. Turner, USA

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

The $400,000 project features operating rooms, labor and delivery facilities, and recovery rooms.

After the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Dr. Ali Ibrahim, district clinic manager for the Ministry of Health, gave Army Maj. Herb Joliat, civil affairs officer, Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, a tour of the new wing of the clinic.

Ibrahim is the medical official in charge of several clinics in the northern Baghdad region, including Saab Al Bour, Mushada, Taji, Tapi and others. He is responsible for providing medical services to more than a million people in the region.

“The job ran a little over the projected end date because of conditions on the site that were outside of his initial scope that he needed to address for quality assurance,” said Joliat. “Despite that, he still brought in his touches with his own photos and plastic plants. It was his building, his work, in his town.”

Hameed Halhelal, the local contractor in charge of the project, said he enjoyed the project and the opportunity to help the people of Tarmiya.

“This is my first project here in Tarmiya, and a very good thing for the people,” he said. “This clinic is a great project for people needing surgery and for pregnant women and their children.”

The clinic serves about 140,000 people in the greater Tarmiya area.

Ibrahim coordinated the movement of additional personnel to work in the new clinic wing. He also said he receives regular assistance from local Iraqi security forces when he needs it.

“We moved our staff around, and also brought in more experienced staff from Baghdad to work in the clinic,” he said. “Many people have told me that the new clinic is very beautiful. Everything that we do here is for the benefit of the people.”

(Army Spc. C. Terrell Turner is assigned to 1st Brigade Combat Team public affairs, 4th Infantry Division.)

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Click photo for screen-resolution imageDr. Ali Ibrahim, northern Baghdad regional medical director, cuts a ribbon Oct. 10 to officially open a new surgical and pregnancy wing at the Tarmiya Medical Clinic north of Baghdad. The project was completed with the help of regional council members and the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, civil affairs staff. Photo by Spc. C. Terrell Turner, USA  
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