Clinical Social Worker – GI and Rheumatology
“African Heritage Month is an opportunity to learn & celebrate African culture and the achievements of people of African descent.” says Shelina Gordon, IWK Clinical Social Worker with GI and Rheumatology.
Born and raised in Central Halifax, Shelina’s paternal line is South Asian (Indo-Caribbean), while her maternal is Cuban & African Nova Scotian.
Some of Shelina’s community icons when she was growing up include Terry Symonds, David Woods, Tracy Jones, Craig Smith, and Ros Fraser.
Before joining the IWK two years ago, Shelina worked as an Outreach Social Worker with the Nova Scotia Association of Black Social Workers (ABSW).
“I also work casually with the Mental Health Mobile Crisis Team (MHMCT) and really see a gap between community-based care and care and clinical settings,” Shelina says. “I want to focus on reducing health inequity through action on the social determinants of health as the roots of health.”
“For people of African descent we have a strong faith-based belief system, with the church as the focal point of many of our communities. Healthcare settings are often not equipped to address the culturally specific health needs of people of African descent.”
Shelina says she feels supported and safe in expressing her opinions/experiences with both her teams and says her team members are open to her unique perspective on patient care.
She recently attended the launch of African Heritage month at George Dixon, taking in some health panels and presentations.
This year’s theme for African Heritage month is Our History your History.