Dr. Nancy Carter, Dr. Sandra Carroll, Dr. Olive Wahoush and Rawan Aljbour have been awarded $22,000 from the Hamilton Community Foundation’s Community Health, Education and Research Fund for the project “Exploring access to healthcare for adult newcomers in Hamilton with non-infectious diseases”. The team will work with agencies providing services to newcomers to Canada, including Refuge Newcomer Health, Wesley Urban Ministries, and the North Hamilton Community Health Centre.
Drs. Carter, Carroll and Wahoush are associate professors in the McMaster School of Nursing. Rawan Aljbour is a newcomer from Jordan, a trained dietician and a student in the Certificate for Internationally Educated Professionals in Nutrition (IEPN) program at Ryerson University. She is fluent in Arabic and English and will assist with data collection and translation.
Newcomers experience difficulty accessing healthcare services for many reasons. Data on resettled Syrian newcomers in Canada reports that their top conditions include hypertension, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, all of which require ongoing management for good quality of life. Researchers will conduct a multi-stakeholder needs assessment involving newcomers, health care providers, and community stakeholders. The assessment will identify and explore factors that influence the ability of adult newcomers to access services and manage their health. The team will design strategies to improve the current model of care and provide recommendations to develop a comprehensive, community-linked program of care for this vulnerable population as they transition from newcomer to new-Hamiltonian.