New Immigrant Health Clinic to Help Syrian Refugees and Newcomers Access Primary Care

In an effort to help assist more than 600 Syrian refugees who have already come to the Windsor/Essex area, and the many other newcomers that make Windsor their home, an Immigrant Health Clinic has been opened by the Victorian Order of Nurses Windsor-Essex (VON).  This primary care program was created to address current health care gaps and assess the capacity needed to support Syrian refugees and other newcomers in the Windsor/Essex region. The $275,000 in funding for this innovative new program was provided by the Erie St. Clair LHIN and space has been provided by the Multicultural Council of Windsor-Essex.

The VON Immigrant Health Clinic team offers care in English, Arabic, and French and includes a nurse practitioner, registered nurse (RN), registered practical nurse (RPN), and administrative support. The team provides care for immediate health issues, comprehensive medical screening, interim primary care supports, and a facilitated introduction to local physicians and clinics accepting new patients. This program builds on the essential health care that has already been provided by the Multicultural Council, Dr. Chaker, and others in the community.

Additionally, patients will be able to access other appropriate community supports through the VON Immigrant Health Clinic thanks to partnerships with other agencies, including:

  • Windsor-Essex CHC
  • Windsor Family Health Team
  • Essex County Nurse Practitioner Led Clinic
  • Public Health
  • Solo practitioners
  • CCAC Health Care Connect Program

The need for the clinic was identified through the LHIN’s work in preparation for the arrival of Syrian refugees, in partnership with the Health Equity for Newcomers and Immigrants (HENI) Committee of Windsor-Essex.  The HENI Committee is a partnership between the ESC LHIN and the Windsor-Essex Local Immigration Partnership (WE LIP).

A Syrian refugee health needs capacity assessment was completed by Health Service Providers, which identified primary care providers and their ability and capacity to take on new clients, their language capabilities, and requirements for rostering. 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.

The VON Immigrant Health Clinic is providing care through the satellite site at the Multicultural Council of Windsor-Essex, located at 245 Janette Ave, Windsor, Ontario. All immigrants in the Windsor/Essex region are eligible for clinic services. For more information, please call Antoinette Nasr at 519-916-4370 or by email at


-          “We’re very proud to be able to work with VON and the partners of the HENI* in order to provide a nimble and flexible solution to meet the needs of the recent refugees that have come to Windsor. The VON Immigrant Health Clinic is an example of local care providers coming together quickly to develop a made-in-Windsor solution. We applaud everyone involved.”
- Shannon Sasseville, Director of Communications and Public Affairs, Erie St. Clair LHIN
*HENI: Health Equity for Newcomers and Immigrants

-          “VON Windsor-Essex are proud to work with all the settlement agencies in the City and County to provide this multilingual clinic service to the immigrant population. Health care is a fundamental part of successful integration into Canada, and with the support of the Erie St. Clair LHIN we are honored to help meet these needs.”
- Andrew Ward, Executive Director, VON Windsor-Essex

-          “We have worked hard to ensure there is open access to all immigrants, regardless of immigration status or other perceived barriers.  If you are a newcomer to Windsor Essex who needs access to health care, the VON clinic can help.”
- Michelle Suchiu, Windsor Essex Local Immigration Partnership, Community Connector 

Additional Information