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About Us

Who We Are

Somerset West Community Health Centre (SWCHC) is a non-profit, community-governed organization that provides primary health care, health promotion and community development services, using interprofessional teams of health and social service providers. These teams include physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, social workers, dietitians, health promoters, early childhood educators, counsellors and others. We are sponsored and managed by an incorporated non-profit community board made up of members of our community.

SWCHC is well known for its excellent Community Health Centre (CHC) model and its professional health services team, but it has also become a leader in offering a wide range of social services, community-building activities and advocacy programs.

The Community Health Centre (CHC) Model

SWCHC is one of 74 Community Health Centres in Ontario. CHCs are the only primary health care model in Ontario that, under one roof, combines primary health care services with a wide range of other health promotion and community development services. They are also the only primary health care in Ontario that focuses on the social determinants of health.

What makes a CHC unique?

  • Interprofessional teams respond to people’s individual health and social issues

  • Programs and services carefully tailored to respond to the diverse needs of the many different communities it serves

  • Integrated model of care by partnerships with other social service, mental health and addiction agencies as well as other community-based organizations. Services are also being integrated and coordinated with the acute and long-term care system.

CHCs have been around for over forty years and we've always been a little ahead of our time!

The CHC model was inspired by Tommy Douglas’ original vision for Medicare. Douglas hoped that as it evolved, our health care system would focus more on keeping people well – not just treating them when they get sick.

SWCHC has an excellent reputation for its innovation and creativity regarding community programs, and has become a leader in terms of the range and depth of services available. Among other services, SWCHC offers primary health care including outreach nurses, social services, advocacy programs, street outreach and community health care with a philosophy of holistic service provision. The Centre has also been highly successful in reaching populations in the area considered difficult to serve namely the homeless, people with mental health issues and addictions, and newcomers to Canada. Currently, SWCHC has over 350 members and upwards of 14,000 registered clients, the majority of which are residents of the catchment area. Nearly 47% of our community population is currently living below the Low Income Measurement threshold, compared to the rest of the City of Ottawa.

Quality Services

In June 2013, SWCHC was the first CHC accredited by the Canadian Centre for Accreditation. We are proud to be accredited through the Canadian Centre for Accreditation who complete a third party review tailored to community-based organizations that is based on accepted organizational practices that promote ongoing quality improvement and responsive, effective community services. For more information on CCA's accreditation program plese go to

"SWCHC is a well-established organization, but is not just content with past successes. Those involved at all levels of the organization share a passion for their work and respect for each other. They continually reflect on past practise and work to improve what they do in the interests of SWCHC clients and community. The solutions they find to address multiple barriers faced by some clients are unique and creative. They are not afraid to take risks and fortunately these have paid off in a centre that is well regarded by its community, educational partners and clients."

Community Organizational Health

SWCHC is a proud member of both the Canadian Association of Community Health Centres and the Association of Ontario Health Centres.

To view our Quality Improvement Plan (QIP) please CLICK HERE. The QIP is guided by a regularly updated workplan, CLICK HERE for the most recent QIP workplan.

To learn about your rights as a SWCHC client please read our Client Rights.