Health Care Providers

“Doctor Mike”
Dr. Michael Stephenson is the founder and director of Sanctuary Refugee Health Centre. He has dedicated his career to refugee health since he began his residency in 2006. Doctor Mike started SRHC with six patients in 2013, and has worked tirelessly to grow the clinic to more than 3000 patients and dozens of staff and volunteers today. His work has been recognized with a Kitchener Mayor’s City Builder Award in 2016 and a Council Award from the College of Physicians and Surgeons in Ontario in 2017.

Sarah Flanagan
Sarah is a Physician Assistant with a background in medical anthropology. She has been a member of SRHC’s clinic care team since November 2016. She enjoys working with all of Sanctuary’s patients, with a special focus on prenatal and infant health.

Kendra Weerheim
Kendra is a nurse practitioner who has been at Sanctuary Refugee Health Centre since 2016. She hopes to continue working here forever. She welcomes many of the new families and always loves to snuggle the new babies.

Anna Oegema
Anna is a nurse practitioner who began at Sanctuary Refugee Health Centre in October 2017. She has extensive experience in ICU and cardiology, and has worked internationally with mobile health clinics. She feels honoured to be part of a team that works to provide hope and basic health care to refugee newcomers!

Dr. Shiva Adel
Dr. Shiva Adel is a family physician who first came to Sanctuary Refugee Health Centre as a medical resident in 2017, and has now returned as a staff physician. She enjoys working with priority populations in a team-based approach.

Dr. Manisha Hladio
Dr. Manisha Hladio is a new family physician with a passion for refugee health. She currently sits on the board for the Society of Refugee Healthcare Providers and on the planning committee for the annual North American Refugee Health Conference. Manisha was initially introduced to Sanctuary Refugee Health Clinic as a resident physician, could not stay away, and subsequently joined the team in 2018.

Joanna Wu
Joanna is the original Sanctuary Refugee Health Centre nurse, having worked here since 2014. She has worked with refugee patients for the entirety of her nursing career and appreciates learning from such a resilient patient population.

Kimberlee Habermehl
Kimberlee is one of our clinic nurses. She began at Sanctuary Refugee Health Centre in 2015 as a volunteer nurse and joined us as permanent staff in April 2017. Kimberlee loves working at SRHC and being around so many diverse cultures, wonderful patients, and amazing staff and volunteers!

Travis Habermehl

Dr. Dalia El-Assar
Dr. Dalia El-Assar is a family physician with a specialty obstetrics practice. She provides culturally sensitive antenatal care in both English and Arabic to many of Sanctuary’s expectant mothers. She enjoys delivering the first-generation of Canadian babies for refugee and newcomer patients.

Adrienne Racher
Adrienne is a respiratory therapist and Certified Respiratory Educator from the St Mary’s General Hospital Airway Clinic. She has been seeing clients at SRHC since January 2018 through the Community Airway Clinic partnership with Kitchener Downtown Community Health Centre. She provides spirometry testing and asthma and COPD education.

Nancy Martin
Nancy has been a volunteer nurse at Sanctuary Refugee Health Centre since September 2017. Nancy enjoys working here, learning, caring, and supporting refugees and their families.

Dr. Sindu Govindapillai
Dr. Sindu Govindapillai is a pediatrician who joined SRHC in June 2019. She has had previous experience in care delivery and program development in Guyana, South Africa, Ghana and Lao PDR. She completed her medical training and pediatrics residency at the University of Toronto, a Masters of Public Health at Harvard University, and a Global Health Services Delivery Fellowship at Boston Children’s Hospital.