The Canadian Centre for Refugee and Immigrant Health Care Receives the 2016 ROTARY DISTRICT 7070 Wilf Wilkinson Peace Award

September 28, 2016

By Market Wired |

The Canadian Centre for Refugee and Immigrant Health Care (CCRIHC) volunteer medical team has operated free medical clinics for refugees, migrants and others new to Canada for 17 years. Most are yet without access to Canadian health care.

Trying to re-build lives broken by war, patients and their families sit side by side in our Centre’s waiting area. While waiting for care, they care for each other. New to Canada, they are all in the same boat. They need medical help. They talk with each other. They look after each other’s children while parents receive care. Their children play together in the playroom. New friendships begin. Hope starts again. Some patients return to our Centre’s clinics to help out. They bring food. They drive others to appointments. They translate. They donate when they can.

There are no boundaries or barriers to those we provide with medical care. We respect and treat all world citizens who arrive at the clinic’s doors. In Canada our clinics have welcomed and treated waves of refugees, immigrants and the world’s forced migrants. To date patients from 122 countries of origin have received care. We are inclusive of all cultures and faiths from around the world. Care is provided unstintingly and without judgment of circumstances.

The numbers seeking our care continues to increase. Thousands have been treated; 40,000 patient visits have been recorded. Half of our patients are children and youth new to Canada and pregnant women without access to care. Our Pediatric Outreach Program clinic, staffed by volunteer residents in pediatrics at The University of Toronto and The Hospital for Sick Children and their supervising pediatricians has treated hundreds of these children.

Since 2005 our volunteer dental partners have operated the Urban Dental Clinic with CCRIHC, providing free urgent oral healthcare for working poor Canadians and those new to Canada unable to afford care.

We exist to ensure health care equity by providing access to medical and dental care for refugees and migrants who have neither. We strive to build bridges from where they came, to Canada. Each refugee and new Canadian deserves a healthy start and a fighting chance to succeed and re- build lives. The immigrant experience is part of each Canadian family. It is our strength and heritage. We are all from different places. It is what defines us, what makes us Canadian.

We are deeply humbled and honoured to receive the 2016 Rotary District 7070 Wilf Wilkinson Peace Award. We gratefully acknowledge our donors and supporters. Without their gifts and generosity our work would not be possible.

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