ST. CLOUD ― Tucked in the South Village Business Center off Roosevelt Road, co-owner Mohammad Gas excitedly talked about the variety of medical products and tools on display at Insight Medical Supply Thursday, a company with a new location that opened in St. Cloud last month.
Wheelchairs and rollator walkers sit in the display room, and bath safety equipment, canes, respiratory equipment, formula and incontinence aids hang on the walls. Insight Medical Supply is the only minority-owned company in the area that offers medical products like these and has multilingual and culturally competent staff.
Gas said he wants to bridge a gap in care and break barriers to access in St. Cloud. Staff speak multiple languages besides English, including Somali, Swahili and Arabic.
The company also provides delivery options to patients who may have difficulty getting around, and staff are trained to walk customers through the entire medical process, including insurance. Some older adults in St. Cloud are new to America and need extra guidance navigating the medical system, Gas said. Having staff who look like them and speak their language helps a lot.
"We try to handhold the customer all the way through, because navigating insurance and health care can be really kind of scary. So just walking them through the steps on what they need, and, you know, prescription orders, any documentation that they need," Gas said. "It's exciting to be here. We've been getting a lot of calls and everything already coming in, just by establishing some connections throughout the community. It's kind of a fun journey."
Gas said before they opened in mid-July, many people would have to go to the Twin Cities or elsewhere to find culturally competent providers.
"And some of them, they tried to kind of go to places in this area, but they were having challenges and difficulties. So us being here now, being able to work with their providers and their doctors, and not having that language barrier, it's very helpful," he said. "It's a huge step for this community."
Insight Medical Supply also has a location in Richfield, and this is the company's first expansion. Gas said he and co-owner and co-founder Aidrous Ali are working to partner with CentraCare and other clinics, too, to provide referrals. Their vision is to build a larger enterprise that could include services like in-home personal care and night supervision.
"Health care is a big industry," Gas said. "We like to really be passionate about what we do, and providing care to the customers and the patients is the number one thing that we look at. Making sure they're happy, they're being taken care of very well."
Ali said they don't just sell medical equipment and help customers navigate insurance, but also educate the community on how to use, maintain and sanitize equipment. Sometimes people don't understand how these tools can be useful and improve someone's quality of life. Or by living in a rural area, they might not know what resources are out there, he said.
"We just want to help everyone," Ali said. "Get them what they need, be able to live a comfortable life at their home and in the community as well."
Customers interested in exploring what equipment Gas and Ali supply can visit their website at insightmedsupply.com or stop in their store. They can order equipment online in the future, Gas said. He encourages any health care professional wanting to learn more or work with the company to reach out as well.
"Our doors are open," he said.
The business is located at 2239 Roosevelt Road, Suite 3, in St. Cloud.
Becca Most is a cities reporter with the St. Cloud Times. Reach her at 320-241-8213 or email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter at @becca_most.
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This article originally appeared on St. Cloud Times: Insight Medical Supply aims to help St. Cloud's minority communities