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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. SWCHC is 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 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.

In June 2013 SWCHC was the first CHC accredited through our new accreditation body the Canadian Centre for Accreditation. "Somerset West Community Health Centre is proud to be accredited through the Canadian Centre for Accreditation which offers a third party review tailored to community based organizations based on accepted organizational practices that promote ongoing quility improvement and responsive, effective community services." For more information on CCA's accreditation program plese go to

The 2013/2014 planning cycle began with a refresh of our strategic directions and confirmation of our mission statement. These refreshed strategic directions provided the framework for the development of departmental, corporate and board priorities and goals. The development and submission of a Quality Improvement Plan (QIP) is identified and tracked as a Board priority and championing the quality agenda is communicated to staff as a corporate goal with each department identifying its own quality project. These projects are tracked through the regular meeting of the Senior Leadership Team. The QIP plan, as mandated by Health Quality Ontario, is one component along with the corporate goals and the departmental goals of the SWCHC operational plan. 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.

Our services and programs are designed to meet the specific needs of our community. In addition, SWCHC provides a variety of health promotion and illness prevention services which focus on addressing and raising awareness of the broader social determinants of health such as employment, education, environment, isolation, social exclusion and poverty.

In the past three years SWCHC has registered just under 7000 new clients! To learn about your rights as a SWCHC client please read our Client Rights.

In April 2014 Somerset West Community Health Centre again entered into a multi-year service accountability agreement with the Champlain Local Health Integrated Network (the LHIN). For details please click on Service Accountability Agreement.  As part of this agreement the board chair signs a Declaration of Compliance twice per year.

The M-SAA agreement includes a number of performance standards that we have to meet. Our progress towards meeting these targets are included in our Balanced Scorecard.

For more information on the Champlain Local Health Integrated Network and their priorities over the next three year period please Click Here.

ONE MISSION, FOUR GOALS, TWENTY STRATEGIES. At our Annual General Meeting in June 2013 our membership approved our Strategic Directions 2013-2016.

Over the next three years SWCHC staff and Board will work with our community partners to realize these goals.

"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

Somerset West Community Health Centre is a proud member of both the Canadian Alliance of Community Health Centre’s and the Association of Ontario Health Centre’s.

What are Community Health Centres?

Somerset West Community health Centre (SWCHC) is one of 73 Community Health Centres (CHCs) in the province of 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. Interprofessional teams respond to people’s individual health issues but they also create programs and services that reduce social and environmental problems harming health in the communities they serve. All services are carefully tailored to respond to the diverse needs of the many different communities being served. What’s more, CHCs provide a very integrated model of care by working in partnership with other social service, mental health and addiction agencies as well as other community-based organizations. And increasingly services are integrated and coordinated with the acute and long-term care system.

Community Health Centres (CHCs) have been around for over forty years. But we've always been a little ahead of our time!

CHCs were inspired by the ideas of 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.

It’s been a tough road getting the health care system to make this shift. But CHCs started as small pilot projects and have nimbly been able to put many of Douglas’ ideas into action.

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, the addicted, new Canadians and the mentally ill. 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.