Dr. Michael Stephenson, Kitchener champion of refugee health, receives CPSO Council Award


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On Friday, September 8, 2017, the Council of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario will present the Council Award to Dr. Michael Stephenson of Kitchener, Ontario.

The Council Award is presented four times a year to physicians who have demonstrated excellence in the eight physician roles identified as the essential qualities needed to practise modern medicine. Together, these roles create a model for the ideal physician. Further details on the Council Award can be found in the attached backgrounder.

Dr. Stephenson is the founder, director and chief physician of the Sanctuary Refugee Health Centre in Kitchener. Thanks to his dedicated work at the clinic, Dr. Stephenson has transformed the delivery of health care to the region’s most vulnerable patients and helped further the community’s understanding of refugee health as a specialized field of expertise.

With the creation of the Sanctuary Refugee Health Centre in 2013, Dr. Stephenson sought to establish a culturally sensitive primary health care centre that focussed on refugees’ unique health and human challenges. Today, the clinic has a roster of over 2,100 patients who are served by the clinic’s nine full-time staff and a network of over 20 volunteers, from administrators, psychiatrists and gynecologists to family physicians, nurse practitioners, medical students and researchers. In addition to providing primary health care, clinic staff also help patients through everyday challenges, facilitating access to resources that can aid in recovery, and advocating on patients’ behalf to ensure they receive much-needed services.

“Dr. Stephenson’s work is a making difference in the lives of some of his region’s most vulnerable people, “says CPSO President, Dr. David Rouselle. “He has helped the Kitchener-Waterloo community find creative ways to address refugees’ diverse challenges and give them a better chance to be physically and emotionally well. The College is proud of his work and proud to honour him with this award.”

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario is the licensing and regulatory body governing the practice of medicine in Ontario.

Tracey Sobers
416-967-2600 ext. 402