The City of Ottawa will continue to play a lead role in the implementation of the Ottawa Immigration Strategy, just as we did in the founding of OLIP.

Steve Desroches
City Councillor and Deputy Mayor of Ottawa
All the WOW events that I went to were great – WOW does give a sense of a community trying to improve its attraction and retention!

Caroline Andrew
Professor, University of Ottawa
The target beneficiary of the work of OLIP is the whole community. In this short period we have planted together important seeds for Ottawa’s development.  

Dick Stewart
OLIP Council
OLIP helps to unite and share scarce resources for greater impact by working together in the field of student education.

Walter Piovesan
Associate Director of Education, Ottawa Carleton District School Board
The Ottawa Chinese Community Service Centre is so happy to have joined the OLIP Health and Wellbeing Sector Table. It is clear that OLIP cares about immigrants and refugees and…

Wendy Tang, Ottawa Chinese Community Service Centre
We are very pleased to have done the “Opportunity Cost of Not Investing in Interpretation” report – it is so important to have clarity on these challenges and…

Hindia Mohamoud, Director, OLIP
My nomination is an indication that our hard work in building Canada is recognized. All we do is to serve the community in return for embracing us when we needed it.  

Mehdi Mahdavi
Ottawa Immigrant Entrepreneurship Awards Nominee
I’m really impressed with the level of energy and commitment around the Health and Wellbeing table and look forward to continuing collaboration between OLIP and OPH.

Marcela Tapia
Ottawa Public Health
Canada has been shaped by people who came from all over the world to build this country. WOW offers a platform for us to celebrate this history and the future it will help…

Alex Munter, Chair of the OLIP Council and President and CEO of the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario and Ottawa Children’s Treatment Centre
In our city’s history, immigrants have always played an important role. They build our economic prosperity, diversify our culture, contribute to our social vitality.

Jim Watson
Mayor of Ottawa

Sector Table: Health & Wellbeing

The Health and Wellbeing Sector Table works to improve physical and mental health outcomes for immigrants and refugees in Ottawa. Current initiatives focus on innovative service provision to ensure equity in health outcomes, including preventive measures through health literacy capacity-building and capitalizing on the unique knowledge and community relationships of immigrant lay health workers. Partners also aim to counteract immigrants’ deteriorating health status after their initial arrival in Canada, a trend that is well-documented. The overarching objective is to ensure that the right person is offering the right services in the right place.

Priority #1:  To improve newcomers’ access to health care, including preventive services, primary health care, and dental services.

Priority #2:  To improve newcomers’ access to mental health care, through: a) greater access preventive services and mental health promotion; b) training of counselors, and c) establishment of culturally relevant trauma counseling.

Priority #3:  To enhance health literacy among immigrants and refugees, and to build capacity to support this goal.

Priority #4:  To enhance intercultural competencies, diversity, and other related capacities among health care providers, as well as promoting the hiring and retention of racialized medical professionals and lay health workers.

Priority #5:  To elevate the importance that health organizations attach to the provision of immigrant and refugee health services and to improve service coordination by agencies.

Priority #6:  To improve the quality and accessibility of local health care data bearing on the health and service outcomes of newcomers, and to stimulate related research.

OLIP Partners at the Health and Wellbeing Sector Table

Name Organizational Affiliation
Elaine Medline Director of Communications, Champlain Local Health Integration Network, Co-chair of the OLIP Health and Wellbeing Sector Table
Nitsuh Mekonnen Outreach Coordinator, Planned Parenthood
Hodan Aden Public Health Nurse and Team lead for Multicultural and Newcomer Mental Health, Ottawa Public Health
Dr. Josephine Etowa Associate Professor, School of Nursing/École des sciences Infirmières, University of Ottawa
Dr. Kevin Pottie MD, Champlain Immigrant Health Network/Institute of Population Health, University of Ottawa
Bonita Varga Knowledge Broker, Knowledge Exchange Centre, Mental Health Commission of Canada
Dr. Doug Grüner MD, Department of Family Medicine, University of Ottawa
Jacinthe Desaulniers Executive Director, Réseau des Services de Santé en Français de l’Est de l’Ontario
Laurent Touchant Coordonnatrice, Relations et développement communautaire, Centre de ressources communautaires Rideau-Rockcliffe
Ghassan Arabieh Mental Health Counselor, Psychotherapist,  Somerset West Community Health Centre
Siffan Rahman Manager, The Ottawa Newcomer Clinic, Somerset West Community Health Centre
Lucila Cabrera Manager, Catholic Centre for Immigrants
Paul Soublière Program Manager, Catholic Centre for Immigrants
Hector Addison Community Developer, African and Caribbean Health Initiative, Somerset West Community Health Centre
Dr. Azaad Kassam Queensway Carleton Hospital
Department of Psychiatry | Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Ottawa University
Dr. Khalid Bazaid MD, FRCPC, Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, Mental Health Patient Service Unit, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO)
Anca Kimel M.S.W, RSW, Professional Practice Leader and Co-Ordinator for the Discipline of Social Work, The Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO)
Michelle James Job Developer, Career Transitions for International Medical Doctors and Health Professionals, Catholic Centre for Immigrants
Naini Cloutier Executive Director, Somerset West Community Health Centre
Aditya Rao Sanctuary City Network
Jennifer Ridgley Sanctuary City Network
Wendy Tang Project Coordinator, Ottawa Chinese Community Service Centre
St Phard Desir Executive Director, Conseil Économique et Social d’Ottawa Carleton
Lori Bain Regional Advisor
Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration
Ministries of Tourism, Culture and Sport
Regional Services Branch

Kathleen Fairnie

Regional Advisor
Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration
 Donnielle Roman  Chief Program Officer, OCISO