Following the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan in the summer of 2021, the country was thrown into chaos – and millions of Afghans fled to seek safety and refuge abroad.
Canada was one of many nations around the world that opened its doors to Afghan refugees. And when they began arriving, Women’s College Hospital’s Crossroads Clinic team was there.
Working with COSTI immigrant services, the Inner City Health Associates and the Canadian Centre for Refugee and Immigrant Health Care, the Crossroads Clinic – the first hospital-based refugee health clinic in Toronto – helped set up one of two hotel clinics in the Greater Toronto Area at the start of the Afghan refugee crisis.
Providing urgent and equitable health services for hundreds of Afghan refugees within days of their arrival in Canada, including arranging access to COVID-19 testing and vaccines, the clinics broke down barriers to care and offered much-needed comfort and support during a time of extraordinary upheaval and uncertainty.
“By situating ourselves where people were living, we were able to overcome many of the barriers that confront newly arrived refugees in accessing health care,” says Dr. Meb Rashid, Medical Director of the Crossroads Clinic.
The Crossroads Clinic is also getting a major boost from TELUS Friendly Future Foundation and The Slaight Family Foundation, two major donors who are committed to ensuring newcomers have access to compassionate, patient-centred healthcare upon arriving in Canada.
The Slaight Family Foundation, which recently announced a major donation to the Crossroads Clinic, is helping the team launch a new strategy specifically for refugee women and girls.
The Foundation’s gift is advancing advocacy efforts by the Clinic and its community partners to raise awareness of the health gaps impacting women and girls as well as supporting new interventions, educational resources, and equipment to enhance quality of care.
“Refugees face extraordinary challenges to stability and well-being, and those challenges are amplified for women and girls,”
“Through our gift to the Crossroads Clinic, our goal is to help newly arrived women and girls access the healthcare they need to truly thrive.”
Learn more about the Crossroads Clinic at