MEET THE TEAM: Malik Campbell, Director of Operations, CHCB, Inc.

Malik Campbell is a member of the Community Health Center of Buffalo, Inc. (CHCB, Inc.) leadership team serving as Director of Operations.

Reporting to Dr. LaVonne Ansari, Chief Executive Officer, Malik oversees and manages all aspects of operating CHCB, Inc.’s facilities, including supporting department leaders on day-to-day operations; directing building maintenance, exterior grounds maintenance, cleaning services, and security, to name just a few duties.

Malik also heads up special projects, including new facility expansion and implementation, such as the recently completed CHCB, Inc. primary care satellite clinic at Westminster Commons at 419 Monroe St. in East Buffalo.

Overall, Malik is responsible for leading and coordinating a large and diverse group of staff members and contractors who rely on him for daily direction. In many ways, you might say Malik is a “Quarterback” on CHCB, Inc.’s team. And in fact, directing the play and calling signals have been a natural leadership role for Malik since an early age.

 

Consider this… Buffalo State College’s men’s basketball head coach Fajri Ansari was once asked, “A lot of people around here consider Malik Campbell one of the best athletes the City of Buffalo has ever produced. Do you agree?” “Yes. Absolutely,” replied coach Ansari. “He’s one of the few athletes I know that could just put the helmet up on Saturday and then go right to basketball practice on Monday.”

As an 18-year-old, 6-foot-3, 180-pound senior at Turner Carroll Catholic High School, Malik was indeed a force on the football field as well as on the basketball court. A product of the East Side Ferry-Wolhers neighborhood, Malik was the team leader as quarterback, and starred at guard, averaging 18 points per game.

He earned All-State (N.Y.) honors in football and was named to first-team All-Western (N.Y.) in basketball. He was also a serious student who held an 85 average. Malik’s unique dual talents on the football field and basketball court drew close attention from several college scouts, including from Notre Dame, Michigan State, Pittsburgh, and the University of Maryland, whom he signed with.

Set to compete for the starting quarterback position as a freshman at Maryland, Malik experienced an unforeseen setback as the NCAA ruled Turner Carroll’s requirement of one religion class in each academic year was insufficient and that Malik had to repeat his senior year. Although a major disappointment, Malik persevered and, while playing AAU basketball, was scouted by Syracuse University.

He went on to join the Orangemen, where he earned three football letters as a wide receiver and ranked ninth on the school’s all-time punt-return yards list. He also played two seasons as a reserve guard for the Syracuse basketball team.

After graduating from Syracuse with a bachelor’s degree in Social Work, Malik played in the Canadian Football League and the Arena Football League before turning to coaching AAU and working as the director of the Kensington-Bailey Community Center on the East Side.

Malik continued his coaching career serving as Assistant Basketball Coach with the Buffalo State College, men’s basketball team, in addition to serving as a residential Counselor with Gateway Longview.

“Sports is almost a microcosm of life; you learn teamwork, how to fight through adversity,” explained Malik. “Playing sports is some of the first teachers for kids. You’re doing things early on in life that you will encounter in the work environment.”

He next served as an Erie County Probation Officer prior to joining the Community Health Center of Buffalo in 2001 as a Patient Services Representative dedicated to CHCB’s immigrant population. He served in that role for one year and was named Director of Operations in 2018.

“Growing up in my neighborhood gave me the perseverance to deal with and overcome any challenge that might arise in life,” concluded Malik. “I feel I try to bring this to the people we serve every day.”

“For me, getting the buy-in from the team is most important. Whether it be at work, family life, or sports, the biggest thing is getting the team to believe in the goal that you are trying to accomplish and working together to accomplish it,” he continued.

“At the end of the day, it’s all about understanding our patients, making them feel comfortable, and having them trust that they are in good hands and that they will get whatever they need taken care of.”

Malik Campbell, far right, at the Niagara University premiere of CHCB, Inc.’s documentary film Fight for Good: One Body One Soul. Malik is joined by from left: Mani Mehrvarz, Director and Editor, Buffalo Documentary Project; Dr. LaVonne Ansari, Chief Executive Officer, CHCB, Inc.; Naila Ansari, Executive Producer, Buffalo Documentary Project; and Maryam Muliaee, Art Director: Buffalo Documentary Project.

Fight for Good: One Body One Soul, which Malik is featured in, is a short documentary created by Buffalo Documentary Project. It tells how Buffalo’s Community Health Center (CHCB) responded to the COVID-19 pandemic as the crisis moved into its second year. As racial disparities persist in the everyday lives of underserved communities of color, COVID-19 has presented us with new challenges of vaccine hesitancy and outright refusal. CHCB’s leader and providers go into the community in an endless effort to continue to fight the pandemic and provide healthcare for the most disadvantaged populations residing in the cities of Buffalo and Niagara Falls. This film shows how CHCB leaders present candid community voices that offer an effective way to respond to unprecedented difficulties encountered in the current COVID-19 and future pandemics.

Fight for Good: One Body One Soul

 

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