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Improving Cancer Screening Rates Among Newcomers and Racialized Populations

Champlain Screening Outreach Program and Community Town Halls Join Forces to Increase Access to Care and Early Diagnosis for Better Cancer Outcomes

The Ottawa Health Team - Équipe Santé Ottawa is leading a collaborative effort to improve cancer screening rates among newcomers and racialized communities. Evidence shows that newcomers and racialized populations are screened for cancers at a lower rate than the general population and face challenges in accessing primary care.

The pandemic has further exacerbated this issue as routine cancer screenings were paused, leading to a backlog in early detection. To address this, the Champlain Screening Outreach Program has been launched to provide access to cancer screening for anyone without a primary care provider in the Champlain Region. The Ottawa Health Team and their partners have joined forces with the program to improve equity of access to care and enable earlier cancer diagnosis, aiming to improve cancer outcomes.

To further this goal, the Ottawa Health Team has introduced Community Town Halls, which aim to educate and motivate newcomers and racialized community members to seek cancer screening and dispel any misconceptions about cancer. The first town hall was held on October 12th, 2023, and was attended by community members and community health staff. Presentations were given by Sarah Junkin-Hepworth, a Nurse Practitioner with Champlain Regional Cancer Program, and Mona Al Gashm, a Nurse Practitioner from the Newcomer Health Clinic at Somerset West Community Health Center. These town halls will continue to be held every two to three months.

For more information on The Champlain Screening Outreach Program and Cancer Screening 

  1. Screening videos from OHT-ÉSO Oct 2023 Newsletter

  2. OBSP screening locations

  3. Champlain Screening Outreach webpage (for contact and booking information) in English and French: and


For more information on this initiative, please contact Ayan Barre at

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