Two Dublin women are being recognized for their good deeds, whether it's providing medical care for the uninsured or helping victims of human trafficking.

Two Dublin women are being recognized for their good deeds, whether it's providing medical care for the uninsured or helping victims of human trafficking.

Dr. Malika Haque and Caitlin Vandeveer were named finalists for the annual Jefferson Awards.

Established in 1972, the Jefferson Awards were created to recognize people who do extraordinary things in their communities without expecting anything in return. The finalists will be honored at an April 5 luncheon.

A longtime Nationwide Children's Hospital doctor, Haque helped open the Noor Community Free Clinic at Rardin OSU Family Practice Center, 2231 N. High St., to serve the uninsured in central Ohio.

"The unemployment rate in Ohio and all over the country is rising every day," she said. "The number of uninsured patients is rising. There are working poor people who do not qualify for Medicaid or Medicare. They have small jobs at local stores or are working at restaurants that do not provide any insurance. They have some money, but not enough to pay for insurance."

The clinic opened in 2010 after Haque received news about an ex-patient who had died from complications from diabetes because he did not go to the doctor.

"This motivated me further," she said. "This clinic will be for people who feel a kind of hopelessness of not seeing a doctor even though they have an illness."

The clinic was opened by the nonprofit Muslim Clinic of Ohio, which also has locations in Dayton and Cincinnati. Haque's 40-year history in medicine in central Ohio qualified her to lead the quest.

"The reason we named it the Noor clinic is because people who provide services have been Muslim. We wanted to get together and show we care," she said. "We wanted to open our hearts and care for people from all faiths and cultures. Every week we see close to 15 patients. We have increased our load over time and have seen several hundred patients."

At the clinic, Haque handles administrative duties, see patients and teaches medical students.

"I'm teaching medical students how to examine the patient, how to get patient history, how to interact, what kind of first impression they need to make when the patient walks into the room, how to welcome the patient and proceed with the exam and then come to the conclusion," she said.

While Haque has spent numerous hours helping the uninsured receive medical care, she never expected anything in return.

"I don't expect anything for what I do," she said. "I think I'm so grateful for God to give me the opportunity to serve - that in itself is an award for me. I don't need any other awards. It's very satisfying."

Coffman High School senior Caitlin Vandeveer was named a finalist for her work aimed at ending human trafficking.

Vandeveer's interest was sparked when she heard a victim speak about the issue during her freshman year, but she began volunteering after a trip to Cambodia.

"I went to Cambodia in 2010, the summer after my sophomore year, to an orphanage my church sponsors," she said, noting that the missionary at the orphanage was getting involved with helping the victims of human trafficking.

The group heard a journal entry from one of the victims.

"It was depressing and hard to hear, but once we met the woman, it was uplifting in a way and there was hope," she said. "Once I came back to the U.S., there was no way to push it aside."

Through the Young Professional Academy at school, Vandeveer got involved with DOMA, a nonprofit group that works to help victims of human trafficking with CATCH Court.

According to Vandeveer, CATCH Court was created by a police officer who noticed repeat offenders arrested for prostitution often were victims. Women can enter a two-year program that includes drug rehabilitation instead of jail.

"I got to hang out with the women of CATCH Court," she said. "They have to meet at court every week, but it's very laid-back. They have lunch and catch up."

Since her internship is over, Vandeveer doesn't get to volunteer with DOMA and CATCH Court as much, but she still attends as many events as possible.

She also works to educate others on human trafficking and holds a monthly meeting to educate through movies. Vandeveer raises money for the cause through Traffick Jam, as well.

"Traffick Jam is a nationwide walk. Anybody who wants to can participate in the walk," she said. "I brought the walk to Dublin and raised money for children in Cambodia. Last time was the first time I've done it."

The walk will return April 14 at Coffman Park pavilion, Vandeveer said. For more information on the walk, look online at or email Vandeveer at

After going to Cambodia, Vandeveer said she had to do something to help and never expected to be recognized.

"I think I have to give it to God. My faith is very important to me," she said. "Something put it on my heart. Going to Cambodia, something broke in me."