Farhan Himmati always wanted to start a foundation to help others. The third-year Western University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific student found the perfect opportunity amid an imperfect time.
Himmati’s surgical rotation was halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so he returned home to his family in the Bay Area. He and his mother, Saher, and his brothers, Salik and Samee, started the Himmati Foundation in March.
“It started as an idea one night during a conversation near the dining table and before you knew it we were making our first set of masks and distributing to homeless shelters in San Francisco,” Himmati said. “Since then we have delivered to a total of 12 homeless shelters across the country, and constantly reaching more.”
The foundation has created more than 1,200 masks and donated more than 5,000 gloves and bags of rice and other nonperishable items to homeless/nonprofit shelters across the country. Himmati and his foundation were featured as a “KRON4 Hero” on television station KRON Ch. 4 in the Bay Area.
“My family and I did not want to remain bystanders during these crucial times for our country and starting this initiative of making and donating masks to homeless shelters per CDC guidelines served as the best way to get our foundation an early start,” Himmati said. “I hope to continue expanding this foundation as a physician alongside my family and friends to leave a positive impact on homeless communities across the nation.”
The foundation expanded to Seattle, Washington with help from Himmati’s girlfriend Hope Alcaraz and to New York through his COMP classmate Alexander Fauci. The foundation mails masks to Alcaraz and Fauci for distribution in those regions.
“I feel that it is important to support these vulnerable populations, as at the end of the day we are part of a collective society,” Himmati said. “I believe in the philosophy of ‘no one gets left behind’ and thus carry my actions to reflect this ideology. I have been fortunate to be in a position to better myself and receive an education but not everyone has these same resources at their disposal, so I dedicate my achievements back to the community so that I can help in any capacity I can so they too can one day make their own impact in the world.”
Himmati has been active in community services and leadership roles throughout his life. He serves as the COMP Class of 2021 Curriculum Representative, Essentials of Clinical Medicine Lead Teaching Assistant, and Sigma Sigma Phi service coordinator.
“Farhan has definitely been a leader in his class. He has also been very active in our Longitudinal Chronic Care Course where the learning focus includes empathy, compassion, cultural competences, and caring for patients from all backgrounds,” said COMP Associate Dean Edward Barnes, MD, FACP. “His leadership on this very important project comes as no surprise, as it falls right in line with his character. We are very proud of him and the work that he is doing.”
Contact the Himmati Foundation at: