Babak Bamdad, chief and director of Lincoln Hospital's pharmacy department, regularly donates to local homeless shelters. Some of Babak Bamdad's preferred donations are “care” packages, which include mittens, socks, and T-shirts.
Homeless shelters thrive on donations from generous citizens, but not all donations carry the same value. Some items are in higher demand and more effectively help shelters care for their residents.
Clothing items always help, and none are more important than socks and shoes. Warm clothing, such as sweaters and coats, help keep shelter residents safe in the winter. Shoes and socks, however, end up threadbare and damp at any time of year, thanks to the long distances walked by many without homes. Shoes and socks in both children's and adults' sizes help shelters keep residents properly clothed.
Sleeping bags can also help a homeless shelter function more effectively. These can make interior sleeping rooms more comfortable as well as allow the shelter to provide at least some warmth for those it cannot house. In some circumstances, giving a sleeping bag to a shelter can mean the difference between life and death.
Babak Bamdad, chief and director of the pharmacy department at New York's Lincoln Hospital, provides extensive community service in his spare time. Babak Bamdad often donates art supplies to homeless shelters that accept children, providing young people with chances to engage their creativity.
Children benefit from being able to participate in the arts, whether written, visual, performing, or musical. Children who engage in art develop greater creativity, gaining a sense of how to connect unrelated ideas and create new, innovative lines of thinking. As they use their senses, their synapses fire and new neural connections are made.
For young children, art also can help with physical development. Holding a pen, mixing colors, squeezing paint out of a tube, and similar activities are appropriate challenges for their level of physical development. Unlike other physical tasks, the child often will want to do them and improve their motor skills.
Emotionally, art helps children process feelings. Children often have difficulty expressing themselves or how they feel about the world around them in words. Art can help by providing a safe outlet for those feelings.
As the director and chief of Lincoln Hospital’s Pharmacy Department, Dr. Babak Bamdad oversees all of the hospital’s pharmacy operations. Committed to giving back to his community, Babak Bamdad, PharmD, often makes care packages, complete with T-shirts, mittens, and socks, for kids at a homeless shelter.
Since people who are homeless often walk several miles daily for food and shelter, the lack of socks can significantly impact their overall foot health. Each foot contains about 125,000 sweat glands on the bottom. This means that feet can produce a lot of moisture during the day. When this moisture isn’t properly wicked away, it softens the skin, thus making it more prone to blisters. Blisters make it extremely painful to walk and can essentially bar people without a home from getting the food and shelter they need.
Over time, blisters can lead to more serious issues, such as trench foot. When this condition takes hold, the outer layer of the skin of the foot absorbs water and swells. This leads to blisters and, if left untreated, infection and tissue death. Common during WWI, it has largely been eliminated in developing countries, with the exception of the homeless population.
Blisters aren’t the only foot issue facing people without a home, either. In areas that get snow, it takes only about 30 minutes to incur frostbite. This time is reduced to five to 10 minutes at temperatures of -15 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. These issues are easily avoidable as long as people have warm, well-fitting socks.
Babak Bamdad, the director and chief of Lincoln Hospital’s pharmacy department, is responsible, among other things, for supervising personnel and evaluating performance. An active philanthropist, Babak Bamdad regularly donates art supplies to kids in homeless shelters.
Many people overlook the importance of art programs for kids who are homeless, bur these programs are hugely beneficial. Following are just a few of the benefits that art offers for children:
*Correlates with positive academic outcomes: Kids who participate in an arts program usually have better grades than their peers, along with higher attendance rates, a better chance of graduating from college, and increased literacy. This connection is even stronger among children with lower socioeconomic status.
*Builds fine-motor skills: Creating art requires that young children learn to hold a paintbrush, drawing lines or dots, cut paper, and squeeze glue bottles. All this activity helps kids develop their fine-motor skills, increasing both coordination and dexterity.
*Improves problem-solving abilities: Open-ended art grants children plenty of opportunity to make choices and evaluate the results of their decisions. In doing so, kids become more comfortable with uncertainty and develop their confidence and creativity.
*Boosts understanding: As children grow, they absorb information about themselves and the world around them. However, they must process this information in a reflective way. Art gives them this ability and lets them express themselves and their daily experiences without words.
With a doctor of pharmacy from Long Island University, Babak Bamdad serves as the chief and director of Lincoln Hospital’s Pharmacy Department in New York City. Outside of work, Babak Bamdad gives back to his community by supporting local homeless shelters.
According to recent statistics, rates of homelessness in New York City are at the highest levels since the Great Depression. In March 2018, the number of people in the city experiencing homelessness was just under 63,000, including 23,000 children. Many of these individuals and families are served by the city’s municipal shelters, which are seeing 83 percent more people than they were just 10 years ago.
With so many people in need throughout New York, shelters and other nonprofit groups are relying heavily on community support. In addition to donating non-perishable food to community food banks and pantries, individuals can do their part by donating clothing, school supplies, hygiene items, and money to local groups serving the homeless population.
There are also a number of ways to volunteer one’s time to homeless outreach activities. Shelters and other organizations are always in need of volunteers to prepare and serve food and assist with life-skills programs. Volunteers are also needed to conduct citywide homelessness surveys to help outreach teams better assist those living on the street. Other ways to help improve the problem of homelessness in New York include advocating for affordable and supportive housing options, which often face opposition within local communities.
At Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center, Babak Bamdad’s primary duties involve establishing and maintaining quality, performance, and productivity standards in accordance with those set by Presentation Medical Center.