Episode 13 – From War to Asylum: Collaboration Interprofessionnelle Montréalaise Étudiante (CIME) Diminishing Healthcare Gaps in MTL

“Serving Humanity with Medicine”

– Peer med podcast

On this episode of the Peer Med Podcast, we welcome medical students from McGill University to speak about their initiative Collaboration Interprofessionnelle Montréalaise Étudiante (CIME). They share the common goal of diminishing healthcare gaps experienced by asylum seekers in Montréal. Through health promotion workshops, health navigation consultations and student screening clinics held at the William Hingston Center and at the CLSC Parc-Extension, CIME seeks to promote the health and wellness of these vulnerable populations by trying to improve access to health care and community services in Montreal.

For more information visit their Facebook page.

“With various inequalities in Montreal, CIME, an initiative by McGill students across various disciplines extended their arms to vulnerable asylum seekers. Despite the challenges they’ve faced they hosted health promotion workshops, health navigation consultations and a student screening clinic.”

– Peer Med Podcast

“Established in 2018, CIME originally began as a project to create Quebec’s first Student-Run Clinic (SRC). While CIME’s services have changed over time, the overall objective has remained the same; to promote and improve health and wellness for vulnerable or marginalized populations in Montréal.

CIME carries out its objective in an inter-professional manner that draws on the strengths of each of McGill University’s faculties, in order to provide comprehensive and holistic services, addressing the various needs of patients. CIME also provides an excellent educational experience for participating students, by providing them with exposure and experience working alongside asylum seekers.”


About the Speakers:

Arthega Selvarajan is the Med – 1 Representative of CIME, undertaking the coordination of CIME’s health promotional workshops. Having been a second-generation Canadian herself, she has been exposed to the barriers that newcomers of the country like face from a young age. Her personal experiences were the original motivator towards joining CIME. However, after learning about CIME’s united goal of diminishing the healthcare barriers faced by Montreal’s asylum seekers, she was inspired to join their cause. She believes that every individual deserves the right to information and the right to get appropriate health care in Canada, and wishes to do her part in ensuring the needs of the asylum-seeking community are met. On another note, Arthega is an avid foodie that is allergic to 12 food items and counting!

Brandon Au is a co-founder and current Executive Director of CIME.  He worked with the team to develop and deliver CIME’s 2 main services: health promotion workshops and health navigation. He has a strong interest in global health, and through his interactions with the asylum seeker community at Parc-Extension, he feels a need to find practical and effective ways for students to be of assistance. For fun, he enjoys music and has recently taken up baking.

Julia Phillipp is a Med-1 Executive member of CIME, currently coordinating the COVID Relief: Action for Asylum Seeker’s initiative. Wanting to appreciate the many facets of community support and outreach, Julia’s interest in CIME sprouted from her willingness to help vulnerable populations through working in an interprofessional team. She wished to learn about the asylum seeker status firsthand in Montreal’s local communities and find out what she could actively do to help. Having different cultural backgrounds has also led her to appreciate the importance of community and a sense of belonging, something she believes that all asylum seekers deserve. On a more personal note, Julia loves hiking and has a black belt in karate!

Lyna Siafa is a Med-1 Representative for CIME. Born in Montreal to immigrant parents, she was sensitized early on to the harsh reality of newcomers. She was drawn to CIME because it was the perfect way for her to give back to the community and help asylum seekers navigate through the challenges of their new lives in Canada. “Volunteering with individuals from all over the world”, she says, “really broadens your perspective on life!” Fun fact, during her free time, she enjoys running track!

Sheetal Pundir was born and raised in India. She came to Canada to complete a doctorate in biochemistry at uOttawa. Previously, she has organized many education and medical workshops in rural India. As a global health advocate, her research helped prepare an effective senior care strategy and was presented to our leaders on national advocacy day at Parliament Hill. She is also a passionate storyteller and scribbles some spoken word poetry. Winning a number of national and international speech contests, she uses this skill to fund raise for marginalized communities. Conscious of how fortunate she is to be attending McGill medical school, she joined CIME to help bridge the gap between privileged and unprivileged.

Episode 13 – From War to Asylum: Collaboration Interprofessionnelle Montréalaise Étudiante (CIME) Diminishing Healthcare Gaps in MTL

“Thank you Arthega, Julia, Brandon, Lyna, and Sheetal for representing your initiative CIME and for speaking with Peer Med. It is always enlightening to see young people giving back to society. Asylum Seekers are a vulnerable group of people and providing them with the resources they need to feel and stay safe is inspiring.”

– Peer Med Podcast

https://open.spotify.com/embed-podcast/episode/4gtXPfB9LjD0qdeCJiUGpg?si=AAhvGBAxTCyexguKScezPQ Peer Med by Leah Sarah Peer

Collaboration Interprofessionnelle Montréalaise Étudiante (CIME) is a not-for-profit organization consisting of McGill’s students from the Faculties of dietetics, nursing, medicine and social work, all united with a goal of diminishing the healthcare gaps experienced by asylum seekers.

The organization provides hands-on experience to students, allowing them to cultivate health advocacy in an interdisciplinary environment. By familiarizing students with the challenges faced by this underserved population, future healthcare providers will be prepared to handle such situations in their careers. We deliver health promotion workshops, and help asylum seekers navigate the healthcare system in Montreal by group consultations.

To contact them: brandon.au@mail.mcgill.ca with any requests, questions or feedback.

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