Thursday, April 22, 2010

CPAC Program Helps Newcomers Re-enter Healthcare Field

Celebrates Graduates from RBC Sponsored Program

TORONTO – April 22nd, 2010. Immigrants with a background in healthcare were awarded Certificates of Graduation for completing a mentorship program that helped them become licensed to work as healthcare professionals in Ontario.

With funding support from the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), the Chinese Professionals Association of Canada (CPAC) launched a unique Mentoring for Healthcare Professionals program.  This is the first bridging program in the community that is focused specifically on helping immigrants obtain registration/licensure and work in the healthcare profession.

“As a frontline service provider, we know too well the frustrations and the barriers immigrants can face,” said Howard Shen, President of CPAC. “With encouragement from RBC, we took on the task of adding a healthcare program to our portfolio and we are very glad that we did,” continued Mr. Shen. “Not only is this an important occasion for these proud graduates, but it is also an important day for their families, their employers and of course for CPAC and our partner, RBC,” said Mr. Shen.

The occupations of the graduates at today’s ceremony include pharmacist, registered nurse, and registered practical nurse.

“I am very thankful for the help of my mentor who guided me every step of the way,” said Yanni He, a registered nurse. “I had been a nurse for several years in China before I immigrated to Canada in 2007. However, the language barrier and complicated accreditation process made my dream of working as a nurse again look impossible.”  Ms. He then learned about the CPAC program. Under the guidance of her mentor, Ping Xiao, a Registered Nurse working at Toronto Public Health, Ms. He passed the required exams in four months and is now a registered nurse in Canada.

Ms. Jennifer Tory, RBC Regional Vice President, Greater Toronto Region, also spoke at the event in support of CPAC and the program.

CPAC began the Healthcare Mentoring Program in 2007 and has served 20 immigrants including the seven graduates at today’s graduation. Intensive one-on-one mentoring not only helps participants improve professional and language skills, but also guides them through the registration/licensure process and eventually leads them to healthcare jobs. Over the years, CPAC has built a strong mentor team, representing physicians, surgeons, pharmacists, registered nurses, registered practical nurse, dental hygienists, and medical laboratory technologists.

Despite the services available to help immigrants become licensed to practice in Canada, barriers still exist for internationally trained professionals. For example, Mr. Qiupeng Zhan, a foreign trained MD with a PhD in cardiovascular research and a graduate of the CPAC program, continues to wait for a medical resident opportunity long after passing the required exams. Mr. Zhan’s story is common among immigrant professionals and CPAC encourages all healthcare stakeholders to work together to provide open access to training and jobs in the healthcare field.
About CPAC 
The Chinese Professionals Association of Canada (CPAC) is a federally registered not-for-profit organization with over 25,000 members across the country.  It is one of the most active organizations providing career development and training services for immigrant professionals.  CPAC has been serving immigrant professionals since its inception in 1992.  With growing needs from the increasing immigrant healthcare professionals looking for re-entry in their original field in Canada, CPAC is committed to expanding its healthcare mentoring service to help Canada’s newcomers. 

For more information, please contact
Mr. Jason Yi
Tel: 416-298-7885 ext. 106

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