905 526-0000

Refuge: Hamilton Centre for Newcomer Health (“HCNH”) aims to be a community leader in the provision of timely and high quality healthcare services to Hamilton’s newcomer population

  • Newcomers have equitable, barrier-free and timely access to primary healthcare and health-related services within a community setting.

  • Newcomers are actively engaged in decisions affecting their health and wellbeing through participation, health education and advocacy.

  • Newcomers become integral community members to further enrich our understanding of cultural competence and diversity

The Centre is comprised of a group of client-focused, community-driven, diverse interdisciplinary healthcare professionals, who provide comprehensive healthcare services to Hamilton’s new immigrant and refugee population. The Centre addresses the health disparities and the needs specific to newcomer populations. Our primary focus is to reduce barriers to healthcare access as identified by those client populations.

The emphasis is on communication through appropriate interpretation, providing culturally appropriate care and advocacy through a diverse team of interdisciplinary professionals in a community based setting.

The Centre provides primary healthcare services that include initial multidisciplinary health assessments of families recently arrived in Hamilton; primary care and ongoing care. The Centre’s team of specialists provide follow up to clients with complex medical issues, within a community setting, thereby reducing barriers to access.

The Centre’s long-term goal is to facilitate gradual transition of clients to community primary health care services through comprehensive orientation to the healthcare system, once they have gained a better understanding of and level of comfort with their new environment. While providing client- centered services, the Centre concurrently partners with client communities, as well as community organizations and larger medical and academic institutions in order to ensure an in-depth understanding of the unique needs of Hamilton’s Newcomer population.

Board of Directors:

Diana Leone (Chair)
Xu Peng (Secretary/Treasurer)
Ammar Abdel-Aziz
Michael Ou
Donaria Teles
Salimah Moffett (Ex-Officio)

Core Team

  • Abubaker Khalifa (Internal Medicine)

  • Aida Elnagar (Clinical Administrative Assistant)

  • Alejandra Huezo-Yanes (Client Relations – Spanish)

  • Alyson Bierling (Registered Nurse)

  • Andrea Hunter (Pediatrician)

  • Andrew Cheung (Internal Medicine)

  • Ashleigh Montague (Health and Wellness Connector)

  • Ashley McCullagh-Cheung (Family Physician)

  • Ben Croft (Family Physician)

  • Carmen Cuming (Mental Health Counselor)

  • Dejehan Lucky Hamilton (Health and Wellness Connector)

  • Elisabeth Canisius (Pediatrician)

  • Hannah Bell (Registered Nurse)

  • Hodan Ali (Nurse Practitioner)

  • Javier Ganame (Cardiologist)

  • Kym Singlehurst (Administrative Coordinator)

  • Leslie Martin (Internal Medicine)

  • Lisa Zhang (Registered Nurse)

  • Lita Cameron (Family Physician)

  • Marc Legault (Psychiatrist)

  • Maureen O’Malley (Dermatologist)

  • Melissa Govindaraju (Family Physician)

  • Mike West (Family Physician)

  • Madeleine Verhovsek (Hematologist)

  • Mohamed Khaled (Medical Director)

  • Natalie Childs (Nurse Practitioner and Case Management)

  • Nina Karachi-Khaled (Administrative Support)

  • Nikhil Pai (Pediatrician)

  • Rachel Erstling (Psychiatrist)

  • Rana Couchman (Registered Nurse)

  • Sandra Siegel (Pediatrician)

  • Shelley Sender (Physician)

  • Sheren Anwar (Registered Nurse)

  • Terri Bedminster (Executive Director)

  • Tim O’Shea (Internal Medicine & Infectious Diseases)

Interested in joining our governance team?
Please send your resume and letter of intent to: terri@newcomerhealth.ca