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CRCF to honor Drs. Hilal and 2019 scholarship recipients, celebrate 25 years

Wed, May 29th 2019 09:50 am

Drs. Ahmad and Naheed Hilal have left an indelible mark on the Olean community with their contributions to medicine, education, philanthropy and community service.

In recognition of the wide impact they both have had on the community, the Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation will honor Drs. Ahmad and Naheed Hilal as the 2019 Friends of the Foundation.

CRCF’s Friend of the Foundation award is the organization’s most prestigious. It honors a person or persons who have established a fund or funds there and given generously and consistently over the years; an individual who has donated generously to existing funds; and/or someone who continues the Foundation’s mission through giving and volunteerism.

The Hilals have long been champions for healthcare and education in the area, and across the globe, as demonstrated by the mission of the Hilal Family Fund and the couples’ efforts at CRCF.

They will be honored at the Foundation’s annual luncheon event in July, which also is part of the Foundation’s 25th anniversary celebration this year.

Both served in their respective fields of medicine for a number of years and have remained deeply involved even in retirement. The Hilals advocate for area nurses, doctors and physicians – together they established and continue an Olean General Hospital Nurse Reception, now entering its 18th year – and donate to local health care causes.

The Hilals also support aspiring health care professionals and educators through a scholarship they established together as part of the Hilal Family Fund at CRCF -- the Mohammad & Sakeena Iqbal Health Care/Education Award, which was established in memory of Dr. Naheed Hilal’s parents, who were educators in Hilal’s native Pakistan.

Dr. Naheed Hilal was born in Pakistan and studied at the King Edward Medical School and worked in OB/GYN and general surgery in Lahore, Pakistan, before obtaining a post-graduate degree of OB/GYN at Royal College in London, England.

Dr. Ahmad Hilal was also born in Pakistan and attended King Edward Medical School, where he met his future wife. He also migrated to Great Britian after serving an 18-month residency in Lahore. In Great Britian he earned the post-graduate distinction in internal medicine and cardiology.

After getting married, both were accepted at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester for further training. There they competed their boards and licensing exams.

In 1980, the Hilals made Olean their home, in part because the mountains and rolling landscape reminded them of their homes in Pakistan. In Olean they raised their four daughters and deeply impacted the community through their work as medical professionals and through their volunteerism.

Dr. Naheed Hilal maintained her medical practice in the Olean area while raising her four beloved daughters, Shireen, Yasmin, Pashmeena and Nargis.

She served an active role in the Allegany-Limestone Central School District (ALCS) while her children attended. She served as a room mother, teacher’s aide, school-event chaperone and was involved in the academic booster club. She also was treasurer and chairperson of the Academic Recognition Committee for several years.

Dr. Ahmad Hilal had an extensive career as an internal medicine practitioner and cardiologist in Olean. During his career, he served as the chairman on many committees of St. Francis and Olean General Hospitals including the intensive care unit, the credential and executive committees, the quality council and was president of the medical staff.

Despite the rigor and stress of their respective medical careers, both served the community as dedicated volunteers in a multitude of roles.

In addition to all of her involvement at ALCS, Dr. Naheed Hilal has served on the CRCF board of directors and a number of committees for 15 years.

She also served on the executive board of the Islamic Society of the Southern Tier and has acted as chair of the board of trustees. She also has been a member of the foundation board of Olean General Hospital and Olean YMCA as well as the board of the Genesis House of Olean.

Some of Dr. Hilal’s other volunteer experiences include teaching for the Literacy Volunteers of America and organizing and participating in interfaith and cultural events as a board member of the Montessori Children’s House.

Dr. Naheed Hilal said that her love for community service came from her parents, who dedicated their lives to improving the lives of women and children in their home village in Pakistan.

One of his proudest accomplishments, in 1983 Dr. Ahmad Hilal founded and served as the medical advisor of the “It’s Your Heart Club.” Even after retiring, Dr. Hilal has remained dedicated to furthering cardiac treatment in the area, by organizing health fairs and education conferences and leading lectures.

Dr. Ahmad Hilal has dedicated himself to educating the public and other professionals in the county on cardiac and coronary health. He has worked extensively with the YMCA and the ReHabilitation Center to provide training and education related to public health. In the last 10 years he has been the director of the chest pain center at Olean General Hospital, which paved the way to cardiac catheterization and other cardiovascular services.

Naheed and Ahmad have also both founded and continue to support Girls and Boys Schools in their respective towns in Pakistan. They have also established scholarships, not just locally, but abroad to support continuing education for students.

“On behalf of the CRCF board of directors, we are thrilled to honor Drs. Ahmad and Naheed Hilal as the 2019 Friends of the Foundation,” said Wendy Brand, CRCF board president. “Through their philanthropy, volunteerism and dedication to making a difference, the Hilals have come to embody true friendship at the Foundation and in this community they have called home.”

At the 2019 Friends of the Foundation Luncheon, CRCF will also honor the 2019 scholarship recipients.

CRCF officials expect to pay out over $185,000 in scholarship awards to area students, including new scholarship recipients and those who are receiving multi-year awards.

The CRCF board of directors recently approved 121 new scholarship awards to 92 area students.

For 25 years, the Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation has been the area’s supportive, responsive and trusted community foundation. Established in 1994, CRCF is growing good by connecting donors to the causes they care about most in the region. Grants from the foundation support many areas, including education, scholarships, health care, the arts, community development, human service, and youth development. To learn more, call (716) 301-CRCF (2723), email [email protected], or visit online at www.cattfoundation.org. CRCF is also on Facebook (facebook.com/cattfoundation) and Twitter (@CattFoundation).