Opportunities - Addressing barriers to healthcare experienced by Calgary immigrants: co-design of a culturally tailored resource

Addressing barriers to healthcare experienced by Calgary immigrants: co-design of a culturally tailored resource


University of Calgary, Alberta Medical Association, AbSPORU Patient Engagement Platform, IMAGINE Citizens Collaborating for Health


This opportunity is looking to recruit 5-8 patient partners (Filipino, Indian, Chinese immigrants) to be part of a Steering Committee that will meet 1-2 times per month for 10 months (until mid-December 2021).  Along with medical students, physicians, and community partners, the Steering Committee will oversee and guide this important project aimed to improve the relationship between healthcare workers and immigrants in Calgary.



When immigrants move to a new country, staying healthy may be challenging. If they do not speak English, it can be harder to talk with healthcare workers (doctors, nurses, social workers). If healthcare workers do not understand immigrants beliefs or practices (food, religion) immigrants may not feel comfortable to ask for help. These factors can worsen immigrant health over time.


This project aims to create a tool to help Calgary healthcare workers and immigrants better understand each other’s views. To do this, we plan to speak with immigrant patients and community organizations to learn more about immigrant experiences receiving healthcare. We also plan to speak with healthcare workers to learn more about their experiences helping immigrants. Through this project, we hope to improve immigrant-doctor relationships and the quality of immigrant healthcare in Calgary.


Roles and Responsibilities

We are looking for 5-8 immigrants from Filipino, Indian, and Chinese communities in Calgary to advise and inform on the healthcare resource design as consultants and steering committee members. Recent and long-term immigrants are welcome.


Interested patient partners can expect to communicate 1-2 times per month, through their preferred communication method (phone, email, video call), to share their lived experiences and opinions as an immigrant in Calgary.


This includes:

  • Sharing ideas and suggestions on working together with immigrant communities
  • Providing feedback on surveys, focus group questions, messages, and other communication materials produced during this project
  • Engaging in decision making to guide this project


Time Commitment

This project is expected to start February 15, 2021 and end December 18, 2021. There will be at least one scheduled meeting per month (more if needed) and each meeting will be 30-minutes long. These meetings can be joined via phone or video conferencing. Email or phone will also be used throughout the project for feedback from patient partners.



There is currently no travel anticipated for this project. Meetings will be online. An honorarium will be offered based on contribution and AbSPORU guidelines.


For more information please contact


Katherine Yu                                                               Dr. Aleem Bharwani

katherine.yu1@ucalgary.ca                                        aleem.bharwani@ahs.ca