Windsor

Immigrant health clinic serving refugees opens in Windsor

An immigrant health clinic run by the Victorian Order of Nurses opened Wednesday in Windsor.
The Erie St. Clair LHIN and VON celebrated the launch of an immigrant health clinic in Windsor on Wednesday. (Meg Roberts/CBC)

An immigrant health clinic run by the Victorian Order of Nurses opened Wednesday in Windsor.

It will serve more than 600 Syrian refugees who have already arrived in Windsor and Essex County.

The clinic solves several issues for visitors, say health officials. It groups patients who can't speak English and provides them with translators and staff who are equipped to deal with refugee needs, including mental health struggles and culture shock.

"I think it's a very important role to be playing, helping these individuals," said Afef Zghal, a registered nurse with VON. "A lot of them have come as new immigrants and find there's a gap in care. Hopefully, we're able to bridge that [gap] for these people."

Care will be offered in English, French and Arabic. The clinic includes a nurse practitioner, registered nurse, registered practical nurse and administrative support.

The $275,000 in funding comes from the Erie St. Clair LHIN and space has been provided by the Multicultural Council of Windsor-Essex.

The need for the clinic was identified through the LHIN's work in preparing for the arrival of Syrian refugees, in partnership with the Health Equity for Newcomers and Immigrants Committee of Windsor-Essex.

"The result was the clear need for a one-stop service where newcomers can visit to get their immediate primary health care needs met and be connected to a long-term primary care provider," according to a news release issued by the LHIN.

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