Transcending language barriers and background differences, the Surrey New Canadian Clinic Team shines empathy and compassion on each person they serve.
The work happening at the Surrey New Canadian Clinic is inspiring, far-reaching and commendable, but their ethos is simple.
“Pay attention to the small positive changes you can offer your patients, sometimes it does not take a huge effort to positively impact their health or social issues,” shares Sara Hosseina, a nurse practitioner at the clinic.
This multidisciplinary team of nurse practitioners, medical staff, a social worker, a part-time pharmacist, a dental hygienist and administrative professionals is dedicated to providing a welcoming space for new Canadians and making their path to accessible primary care as easy as possible.
The clinic serves newcomers from over 60 countries. The main goal of the clinic is to provide fulsome primary care to newly arrived refugees. Often this includes individuals and large families who have moved to Canada as refugees within the last two years.
“Many of our patients have not been able to access care adequately or they have received fragmented care in the community,” explains Sara.
“Our patients regularly require assistance with social determinants of health such as housing, food insecurities and settlement.”
The team-based, wrap-around care patients receive at the clinic includes having their health conditions addressed and accessing specialty care as needed.
“The complicated journey of our patients transitioning to a life in Canada is filled with barriers and successes. The team is inspired to be a part of this transition. We assist patients with their health and settlement journey and feel proud that our patients can get comprehensive care once they are attached to our clinic,” says Sara.
The team brings culturally safe care into practice and a trauma-informed approach into this work by centering care on what is prioritized by, and important to, the patient, and helping patients with their health-related decisions through individualized education.
Raj Khadka, a social worker on the team, agrees. “This team goes above and beyond to deliver exceptional care which they do using good listening skills, being culturally competent, being empathetic to patients’ stories, letting patients make informed decisions and responding to their concerns promptly.”
Every team member brings their best to serve others.
“There have been numerous occasions where we’ve booked in-person interpreters for patients. They are extremely grateful. Their smiles are worth it,” shares Asra Habib, a clerk on the team.
Creating partnerships to improve the experiences for patients is another achievement.
“This year the clinic is excited to partner with the Canadian Literacy Foundation Early Words Program to promote early literacy development for our zero to five pediatric population. Two team members received training on literacy engagement and have books to give out to clients during child visits,” Raj beams.
What inspires the team to go above and beyond?
“The gratitude of the clients. When we see a refugee family happy and satisfied, it motivates us to do more for the community,” says Asra.
“The patient histories and the struggles they’ve experienced inspire us to go above and beyond for them,” affirms Clerk Harpreet Sohi.
As for Sara: “A special moment was to be involved in the care of a young girl who had lived with multiple comorbidities due to heart disease. She lived in refugee camps without being able to access any formal education or socialize with her peers due to her physical limitations. After being attached to our clinic, a major surgery and months of rehab, this young girl was able to run for the first time, attend school and make friends. There is always so much resilience in our patients – it’s inspiring to be a part of.”
Congratulations to the Surrey New Canadian Clinic Team for their Service Delivery Excellence Award.