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Louise Olive Cole

Born Cobourg, Ontario. Louise attended Winnipeg public schools and secondary schools and the before earning a degree in dentistry from the University of Manitoba. She went on to earn a dental degree from the Dental College at Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois, USA then did postgraduate work at the Dewey School of Orthodontia in New York City, USA. She returned to Winnipeg to work as a dental surgeon. She was a member of the Winnipeg Dental Society, Women’s Canadian Club, and the University Women’s Club where she served as President in 1934-1936. She was also a member of Omicron Kappa Epsilon of Northwestern University, Delta Sigma Phi Sorority, and American Orthodontia Society.

R. Hélène L. Shingles

Dr Shingles, first female dentist stands by dental chairBorn August 12,1917 Poland. March 2009 Sarnia, Ontario. During world war ll she was working in a Warsaw, Poland hospital when she was arrested and taken to a concentration camp by the notorious Nazi regime. She was eventually liberated from a forced labour camp by the Allied Forces. It took her two years to recover from the camp life. Once recovered she joined at United Nations team of doctors travelling across Europe helping displace war victims. In 1950 she emigrated to Canada settling in Sarnia, Ontario where she worked at odd jobs putting herself through dental school. She retired from her dental practice after 20 years of service. After her career as a dentist, Hélène started to volunteer for Meals-on-Wheels to bring food to the homes of people who were ill or older and unable to cook for themselves. She noticed many meals went uneaten. She found out that his was because of dental problems. She founded a charitable Dental Health Centre and volunteered her services to help out. Her dedication and service of others has not gone unnoticed. Dental association, her home city, her home province all honoured her. In 1997 she became a Member of the Order of Canada. This polish immigrant has truly honoured her Canadian citizenship.

Caroline Louise Josephine Wells

née  Irwin Born August 1856. Died March 17, 1939. Josephine married dentist John Wells on March 9, 1877. The couple had three children. After the death of her husband the children were sent to live with relatives while Josephine attended dental school. In 1893 Josephine Wells was the 1st woman to graduate from the Royal College of Dental Surgeons. She went on to receive her doctorate degree from the University of Toronto in 1899. Josephine practiced her profession for 36 years in Toronto. She provided dental services at provincial mental hospitals in Toronto, Mimico, Hamilton, Orillia, and at the infamous Ontario Mercer Reformatory for Women.

Educator in Medicine         Return to categories
Meridith Belle Marks

Born March 24, 1962 Channel Post-au Basques, Newfoundland. Died April 22, 2012, Ottawa, Ontario. Meridith attended the University of Waterloo, Ontario and gained a keen interest in medicine. She returned to Newfoundland to attend Memorial University with a special interest in physical medicine and rehabilitation. She worked at the Rehabilitation centre in Ottawa after her June 1989 marriage Peter Bruneau. The couple had one child who died in infancy. She earned her Masters in Education and taught students to bring out the best in their profession. Her work was recognized by multiple care and teaching awards. She worked as Assistant Dean at the Academy of Innovation in Medical Education that she founded at the University of Ottawa in 2006.  Submitted by June Coxon, Ottawa Ontario.

Nurses                                   Return to categories
Elvina Adams

née Sinclair. Born  November 22, 1898,  Shoal Lake, Manitoba. She took her early education there then attended nurses training in Neepawa General Hospital, beginning in February 1918. Nursing duties at the time included milking cows for the patients’ meal trays. She worked at the hospital during the influenza epidemic of 1918, and was also one of the nurses who volunteered at private residences in order to contain the illness. She was also at the hospital for the second outbreak of influenza in April 1919. She nursed in Russell, Manitoba and Spy Hill, Saskatchewan before settling down again at the Birtle General Hospital. In November 1922, she married William R. Adams. She worked with the Red Cross as a Home Nurse and at blood donor clinics. In 1982 she wrote her autobiography providing a written legacy of being a nursing student from 1918 though 1921. Sources: Memorable Manitobans by Angela Graham. Manitoba Historical Society Online (Accessed December 2011) ; Diary of a nurse by Eva Adams Manitoba History no. 14, autumn 1987.

Margaret Allemang

Born Toronto, Ontario July 19, 1914. Died April 14, 2005. Chronic illness as a child made her formal education a longer process than for most people.  However, she was not deterred and at 22 she entered the School for Nursing at the University of Toronto. She began her working career at the Toronto General Hospital and then volunteered for service during World War ll. After the war she took advantage of educational opportunities for veterans and returned to university studies at U of T to earn a BA and B.Sc in Nursing. She became a teacher of nursing science at Belleville General Hospital. In 1951 she returned to teach at the School of Nursing at University of Toronto. She continued her personal post graduate studies at the University of Washington in Seattle, U.S.A. Her thesis was on nursing history. It was the beginning of a lifetime interest in all things historic and nursing. She interviewed nursing sisters from both world wars. She collected stories, photos, uniforms and all sorts of memorabilia. In 1987 she and Barbara Keddy of Dalhousie University inaugurated the Canadian Association for the History of Nursing. She was also a kingpin of the Ontario Society of the History of Nursing incorporated in 1993 as the Margaret M. Allemang Centre for History of Nursing

Isobel Anderson

née Rae. Born FeImage result for isobel anderson nursebruary 18, 1910 Toronto, Ontario. Died December 5, 1999. Isobel graduated from nursing in 1929 from Grace Hospital, Toronto. In 1933 she married Fred Benham (d 1938). She became ill with tuberculosis and spent four yeas in Sanitariums and at the same time endured the death of her infant son. She returned to nursing in 1937 and became a widow a year later. She volunteered at the Chinese United Church, Toronto working with young girls. In 1943 she entered the United Church Training School. Graduating in 1945 her 1st appointment as a Deaconess Candidate was at a United Church in Brantford, Ontario. Isobel became a designated Deaconess on May 28, 1947 and worked at the Dixie work Camp. Here she met the Reverend Norrie Anderson (d 1952) and In June 1948 they married and she gave up being a Deaconess as a married woman. By 1950 the couple were serving in Scotland. After the death of her husband in 1952 Isobel replaced him in the pulpit. . She moved to Edinburgh, Scotland and served as a Deaconess with the Church of Scotland. She served as a Dormitory Matron at King Edward's School in Surry England prior to returning to Canada in July 1954. Isobel worked at the United Church's Five Oaks Centre in Ontario and took a refresher courts in nursing. Nursing wages were higher than wages of a Deaconess so Isobel worked at the Lambert Lodge for 14 years being Director of nursing the last six years. Isobel retired from nursing to care for her mother in 1969. She volunteered at St. Andrew's United Church, Toronto and started her own seniors home. Source: Deaconess History of the United Church of Canada online. (2019)

Augusta Edith Ariss

Born 1871 Guelph, Ontario (some records indicate 1877). Died January 9, 1952 Grand Falls, Montana, U.S.A. Augusta took her nursing studies at the Guelph General Hospital Nursing School graduating as a Registered Nurse. She then graduated from the Toronto Methodist Deaconess Home and Training School in 1900. She worked with the Fred Victor Mission in Toronto for her Deaconess internship. Working in Toronto she did what was called 'rescue work' which today would be called being a street nurse  dealing with the homeless and prostitutes. She was a familiar figure riding her three wheel bicycle though slum areas of the city. She went on a two year loan program to to Grand Falls, Montana, U.S.A.  and her work at the Grand Falls Methodist Hospital became her life career. In 1905 she started the nursing school and served as the Superintendent of the Hospital and the Schools for 30 years. The school had strong religious requirements including nursing students to attend daily chapel prior to going on dutySource: Deaconess History of the United Church of Canada. Online 2019

Patricia Hill-Bailey

née Born fall 1947 Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. Died November 15, 2017 Sudbury, Ontario.  Patricia earned her nursing diploma from Grace Hospital, Winnipeg, Saskatchewan in 1966. Desiring to further her knowledge of her chosen profession she studied at McGill University, Montreal for her undergraduate years and went on to earn her Master's at McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario. Still pushing forward she studied at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland and earned her PhD. While working at the emergency department at the Queensway General Hospital in Toronto she met and married Bruce Bailey. The couple settled in Sudbury in Northern Ontario and raised two children. Patricia would teach her beloved nursing at Laurentian University in Sudbury for 30 years. In 2014 she became a professor Emeritus. Along the way of her career she was presented with the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal as a pers who has made significant contribution to Canada, to thier community and to their fellow Canadians.

Sibella Annie Barrington

Born December 4, 1867, Sydney Mines, Nova Scotia. Died December 7, 1929, Saint John, New Brunswick. She was called 'Bey' ( sometimes spelled Bay) from 1901 through 1904 she attended the Aberdeen School of Nursing in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia.. She followed these studies with post graduate work in Chicago, Ireland and London England. She volunteered in the recovery during the Halifax explosion in 1916 and was made a life member in the British Red Cross. By 1917 she was set up in Halifax in private practice. From 1918-1923 she was superintendent at the Halifax Infant Home. She became an RN when Nova Scotia opened its registration of nurses in 1922. She was a member and served as president of the Graduate Nurses Association of Nova Scotia. By 1924 she was working with children through the Red Cross. She was by all accounts a gifted speaker and lectured about Home Nursing classes linking support from various organizations throughout the province. By 1928 she was Port Nurse at Saint John, New Brunswick. She was well remembered for her skills, service and dedication to her profession. Source: Dictionary of Canadian Biography Toronto; University of Toronto/Laval Université, 2005 vol. 15 1921-1930

Bertha Baumann

Born September 1,1916 Arbuthnot, Saskatchewan. Died April 19, 2005 Winnipeg, Manitoba. She had worked for two years at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Gravelbourg before entering the Grey Nuns Order on 5 February 1939. She graduated as a registered nurse in 1947 from the St. Boniface General Hospital School of Nursing and, in 1951, as a Laboratory Technologist specializing in Clinical Chemistry. Named Supervisor of the Laboratory at St. Boniface Hospital, she served for twelve years until she became Assistant Administrator of St. Boniface Hospital in 1962. A few years later, she was appointed administrator of the St. Boniface Sanatorium, later to become the St. Amant Centre, where she helped the cognitively impaired children and young adults of Manitoba. After 22 years she retired and continued until 1994 to serve at the Grey Nuns Provincial House as coordinator for the visiting residents whose health required medical needs.. She was inducted into the Order of Canada in 1985 and the Manitoba Order of the Buffalo Hunt the following year. Sources: Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 21 April 2005; Memorable Manitobans Online (Accessed December 2011)

Myra Bennett

née Grimsley. Born April 1, 1890 London, England. Died April 26, 1990 Daniel’s Harbour, Newfoundland. As a girl she studied nursing and continued courses as a midwife.  During World War l She worked in North London slums.  She was persuaded by Lady Harris, wife of the governor of Newfoundland, to immigrate and on April 13, 1921 she sailed for St. John’s, Newfoundland. She worked caring for the people of the great northern peninsula, a 200 mile stretch of isolated coastline in colony. In 1922 she married Angus Bennett, a former merchant marine. The couple had three children. One her paid contract ran out Myra worked free lance. She served as nurse, midwife, dentist veterinarian and educator and was known as the 'Florence Nightingale of Newfoundland'. She retired in 1953 but still continued to care for folks. In 1935 she was presented with the King George V Jubilee Medal and in 1937 the coronation Medal of George VI. She was made a member of the Order of the British Empire and the Order of Canada. In 1974 the CBC made a documentary on her life.  In 1991 the province of Newfoundland and Labrador declared her home in Daniel’s Harbour an Historic Site. Source: 100 more Canadian Heroines by Merna Forster, Dundurn Press, 2011. ; Heritage Newfoundland accessed June 12, 2012.

Mary Ellen Birties

Born  1858, Sheffield, England. Died Alexander, Manitoba on June 22, 1943. She immigrated to Canada with her family in June 1883, settling at Winnipeg. In 1889, she was one of the first three graduates of the nurse training program at the Winnipeg General Hospital, established in 1887. . Upon graduation, she left to work at a small hospital in North Dakota where she remained a few months. In 1890 she accepted a position as assistant nurse at a new hospital in Medicine Hat, North West Territories [now Alberta], staying there two years until a hospital opened at Brandon. She took the position of senior nurse and remained there a year and a half. Moving to Calgary in 1894 she was in charge of the new hospital being built there, the first Matron of the Calgary General Hospital. She attended British celebrations of the 1887 60th anniversary of the reign of Queen Victoria, returning to Manitoba the next year to become Matron of the Brandon General Hospital, where she stayed until her retirement in August 1919. In 1935, she received the Order of the British Empire . Source: Memorable Manitobans. Profile by Gordon Goldsborough Online (Accessed December 2011)

Elizabeth Hazeltine "Bonnie" Bjarnarson

née Polson. Born August 22, 1893, Winnipeg, Manitoba. Died November 12, 1979 Gladstone, Manitoba. Bonnie's family moved to Gimli, Manitoba in 1901 where she taught school for five years before taking nursing training at the Winnipeg General Hospital School of Nursing in 1916. She nursed privately and worked for the Victorian Order of Nurses (VON) until her marriage in 1922. After marriage she continued to provide nursing support to her community and especially to residents of the Sandy Bay First Nation, where she was known as “Mrs. Barney”. In 1969 she was presented a Good Citizenship Award for meritorious service to Manitoba.

Donna Margaret Louise Blight

née Crosland. Born September 30, 1936 Calgary, Alberta.  Died February 5, 2008. She graduated from the Calgary General Hospital, and went on to earn a Bachelor of Nursing Science Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario and  a Master's Degree from University of Manitoba Winnipeg. While nursing in Saskatoon, she met her husband, William J. Blight. The couple moved to Winnipeg Donna worked briefly for the VON (Victorian Order of Nurses) prior to raising the couple’s two sons.  She returned to work as a nursing instructor and registrar at the St. Boniface Hospital School of Nursing and as registrar with the Manitoba Association of Registered Nurses. She was a longtime member of the Alpine Club of Canada, and she served as a member of the Manitoba Environmental Council. She was actively involved with the University Women’s Club of Winnipeg and the Provincial Council of Women of Manitoba, serving on a variety of committees and as president of both organizations. The latter organization honoured her in 2007 at its first Celebration of Women. Sources: Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 9 February 2008; Memorable Manitobans. Online Accessed December 2011)

Annie Crisp Bond

Born 1854, Warwickshire, England. Died  June 11, 1943, Winnipeg, Manitoba. She trained at Queen’s Hospital before joining the nursing sisters in the British army. She served  in South Africa Zulu War,  as well as in Egypt, and the Sudan. She was decorated in each campaigns, receiving the Royal Red Cross Medal in 1884.That same year she moved to Auckland, New Zealand, to establish New Zealand’s first school of nursing. In 1886 she married Dr. John Henry Richard Bond. The couple moved to the U.S.A.   to administer the British exhibit at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1896. They  eventually settled in Winnipeg in 1903. She began urging the foundation of a children’s hospital in 1906, and in 1909 she began one on Beaconsfield Street which became the Winnipeg Children’s Hospital. Sources: Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by J. M. Bumsted (University of Manitoba Press, 1999); Memorable Manitobans. Online (Accessed December 2011)

Marie Bonin

Born November 15, 1932, Laurier, Manitoba. Died January 20, 2003,  Lexington, Massachusetts, U.S.A. She entered the Grey Nuns novitiate in St. Boniface, Manitoba, August 1950 and dedicated herself to the service of the poor in February 1953. Sister Marie received her nursing diploma from the Regina Grey Nuns School of Nursing,. She also earned her Masters in nursing and a Doctorate in Education. She was director of the School of Nursing, Saint Boniface from1960 to 1963. She helped to establish the baccalaureate degree in nursing at the University of Montreal from1965 to 1972 and  1978 to 1980 she became director of Pastoral Care at Saint Boniface General Hospital. In 1983, she was inducted into the Manitoba Order of the Buffalo Hunt. She served as local superior and provincial superior of St. Boniface from 1980 to 1986, and was elected assistant general of the Grey Nuns congregation in 1986. Towards the end of her life, she did mission work in the USA. Sources: Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 25 January 2003; Memorable Manitobans. Profile by Gordon Goldsborough. Online (Accessed December 2012.

Beulah Vernon Bourns

Born March 28, 1906, Havelock, New Brunswick. Died March 28, 1990, Morden, Manitoba. She studied nursing graduation from the Winnipeg General Hospital Nurse Training program in 1929 and joined the nursing staff at the United Church Hospital in Hafford, Saskatchewan. In 1931 she spent a year in Toronto preparing to leave Canada for Missionary work in Korea. In 1932 she took charge of nurse training in a 50 patient hospital while Superintendent Ada Sandell went on furlough. In 1933 she was assigned to a small hospital in Ling Chin Sen, Manchuria and carried out public health work and began her interest in working with mothers and babied. She moved on to North Korea as an itinerant, travelling by ox cart, horse and train along the Manchuria border. While nursing she provided baby clinics, established mother’s club,, cooking and sewing classes and challenged herself with learning the local language. During World War ll  she and Dr. Florence Murray (1894-1975) were held under house arrest and worked in an adjacent hospital. She was repatriated in a Prisoner of War exchange and returned to work in a United Church Hospital in British Columbia until the end of the war. At the end of the war she studied Psychiatric Care and went on to work in Matheson, Ontario before returning once more to Korea, this time to serve by special request of the Koreans. She was the only Western woman and the only Canadian not to leave Seoul during the Communist Invasion. During the Korean War she worked at refugee camps, helping organize evacuation of hundreds of orphans. In 1959 she was made a Honourary Life Member of Winnipeg General Hospital Nurses  (WGH) Alumnae Association and in 1962 she received the Korean Presidential Medal for her distinguished public service. She retired home to Manitoba in 1974. A chapel at Severence Hospital in Korea is named in her honour. In 1979 she received the Jubilee Award from WGH Nurses Alumnae Association. The Koreans called her their “blue-eyed-angel” and took her ashes to be buried in Yanghwajim International Cemetery, Seoul, Korea. Source: Beula Bourns.  Winnipeg General Hospital/Health Sciences Centre Nursing Alumnae Association Archives. Online (Accessed April 2014)

Constance Eleda Brewster

Born September 27, 1888.Brantford, Ontario. Died July 4, 1988. After completing her studies at the University of Toronto, Constance taught school in Saskatchewan. She took additional studies in nursing at the Royal Victoria Hospital at McGill University, Montreal, Quebec and began working in Hamilton, Ontario in 1925. From 1934 through 1953 she was Director of the School of Nursing at the Hamilton General Hospital. During her career she improved working conditions, strove for shorter working hours, better accommodations and fought for a higher rate of pay for the nurses under her charge. She also served as President of the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario from 1938-1940.

Marjorie Brook

née Buck. Born 1898 Port Rowan, Ontario. Died April 5, 1988. A talented hospital administrator she took her early nursing training in the United States. She became the 1st Superintendent of the Norfolk General Hospital in Simcoe, Ontario in 1925 and remained in the position until 1943. She was an active member national nursing organizations, the I.O.D.E., the University Women’s Club and the Norfolk Historical Society. (2019)

Phyllis Burgess

Born  1917 Saskatchewan. Died November 9, 1988. Between 1957-1977 she was the Director of Nursing at the Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto, Ontario. She was internationally renowned for developing nursing strategies for the treatment of cancer patients. She would pioneer programs to meet physical and emotion needs of the hospital’s cancer patients. For her contribution to ontological nursing she was presented with the Civic Award of Merit from the city of Toronto.  She would also serve on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Cancer Society of Ontario for 20 years. In 1988 she was awarded the Volunteer of the Year Award from the Canadian Women’s Breast Cancer Foundation. (2019)

Norma Busby

née Ingimundon. Born February 25, 1930.Lundar, Manitoba. Died April 8,  2008. She trained to be a nurse then worked at Whitehorse, Edmonton and Winnipeg with the federal government working in Aboriginal and Northern Health and in Occupational Health. In 1978, she led a national federal nurses’ strike resulting in salary increases and other benefits for nurses. In the 1980s, she was instrumental in developing national guidelines for occupational health nursing certification and she initiated the Nurses-at-Risk program, the first of its kind in Canada. In 1992 she was awarded the Confederation Medal. Sources: Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 10 April 2008.Memorable Manitobans. Online (Accessed December 2011)

Grace Louise Reynolds Calder

née Reynolds. Born United Kingdom. Grace trained in Leeds, England with the teachings of the Florence Nightengale system of nursing. In 1884 she immigrated to Winnipeg, Saskatchewan. In 1890 she became the 1st Matron at the new Medicine Hat General Hospital which opened June 4, 1890. This hospital was the 1st such hospital between Winnipeg and British Columbia. Grace is credited with introducing the Nightingale system of nursing to the Canadian west. Grace resigned her position on December 14, 1891 and on January 12, 1892 she married the chief Medical Superintendent of the hospital Dr. John G. Calder (d 1912). John served as superintendent from 1881 through 1894. August 1, 1894 a training school for nurses opened at the hospital with Miss Jean Miller as Head Nurse. Perhaps Jean Miller called upon the expertise of Grace in establishing the student curriculum. The Calders remained in Medicine hat and john took over his brothers pharmacy in 1911 just a year before his death. There is not much information on Grace and her son after this date but there is a record  of a Mrs. J. G. Calder purchasing 160 acres of land in Saskatchewan in 1912. Source: Kay Saunderson, 200 Remarkable Alberta Women, (Famous Five Foundation, 1999). (2019)

René M Caisse

Born 1888 Bracebridge, Ontario. Died December 26, 1978 Bracebridge, Ontario. While nursing in Hailabury Hospital in northern Ontario, René (she pronounced it Reen)  came across an old woman who had survived much longer with cancer than doctors had projected. The old lady had used a remedy that she said was an old Indian cure for cancer. The old lady shared the recipe for this life saving tea and René, whose goal was to control cancer and alleviate pain,  used it to help cancer patients, including her own mother, who were considered to be incurable.  René  began to refine the herbal tea. She joined with Dr R.D. Fisher to study in a makeshift lab and began to research on mice with the herbal tea and found it to be successful in treating breast cancer and other cancers.  They isolated what they deemed was the herb responsible for reducing the tumors and called their product ESSIAC which is René’s surname spelled backwards. In 1926 she was charged with practicing medicine without a license by the Canadian Government. Thus began a 50 year controversy over this “cure”. From 1928 through 1930 René worked at the Christie Street Hospital Laboratories, Toronto and even consulted with Dr. Frederick Banting (discoverer of Insulin) but she always kept the formula of Essiac to herself. She opened a cancer clinic in Bracebridge, Ontario where tending patients deemed hopeless by other doctors. René continued to treat patients in Bracebridge even though her cure fell out of favour. She married Charles McGaughey, a North Bay Lawyer and former patient but retained her maiden name. In retirement she took up oil painting. In 1977 René handed her formula to the Resperin Corporation, controlled by uranium magnate Stephen Roman of Toronto who paid $250.00 during a test period and promise of a share in future profits.   In 1985 a Dr. Gary Glum purchased the formula for $120,000.00 from one of René’s former patients and released this formula into public domain in 1988.. He wrote a book, Calling of an Angel: Essiac Nature’s cure for Cancer. Mary McPerson who had worked with René in preparing the formula did not want to die with the controversy over her head so she released the formula , as she had prepared, to public domain on December 23, 1994. Today several versions of Essiac are on the market sold as a natural remedy. The Rene M. Caisse Memorial Theatre was built and named in her honor in her hometown of Bracebridge. Sources: Obituary. Bracebridge Examiner, 1978 : Lisa Wajna. Great Canadian Women: nineteen portraits of extraordinary women. (Folklore publishing, 2005).

Ann Thomas Callahan

Born 1935 Peepeekisis First Nation, Manitoba. Ann was forced to attend File Hills Residential School away from her family for ten yeas. In 1946 she went home to Peepeekisis and attended Birtle Indian Residential School. She enrolled at the Winnipeg General Hospital three year nursing school. After working twice as hard as non-indigenous students who had received good primary education, and surviving racism she graduating in 1954 as one of the 1st aboriginal nurses to graduate from the program. In 1958 she worked in the gynecology ward of the Winnipeg General Hospital. She quickly was promoted to Head Nurse, a position she held until 1973. After leaving the hospital job she took a position with the newly formed Continuing Care for People in Need providing care to people in the inner city. In 1883 she became an instructor and counselor with the Southern Nursing Program at Red River Community College. She retired in 1996. Retirement did not meant she stopped learning as she earned a BA and Master degree . On June 28, 2006 Winnipeg Health Services named a building in her honour.

Margaret Amelia Campbell

Born June 27, 1923 Vancouver, British Columbia. Died January 29, 1992. She earned her BA at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in 1947 and then earned a second Bachelor degree in nursing science in 1948. She would continue her studies with a Masters of Science in Nursing at Western Reserve University in 1955 and return to again study to earn her Education Doctorate at Columbia University in 1970. She was the co-developer of conceptual models for nursing. In 1987 she was recognized for her research efforts with the Award of Excellence from the Registered Nurses Association of British Columbia. She was also the recipient of an Award of Distinction from the nursing division of the Alumni Association of the University of British Columbia in 1988. followed in 1990 by a Certificate of Merit. She was an instructor and professor of nursing at the UBC School of Nursing from 1955 through 1988.

Marguerite Carr Harris

Born July 4, 1879 Ottawa, Ontario. Died 1964. Marguerite was born into a family of means and her father was a university professor. In 1886 to 1899 she attended Queens University, Kingston, Ontario where she was a member and captain of one of the earliest women's hockey teams. There was a reversal of family fortune and Marguerite left queen's without graduating. She trained as a nurse at New York Presbyterian Hospital, New York, U.S.A. She worked in New York and Canada prior to enlisting May 12, 1915 as a Nursing Sister with the Canadian Army Medical Corps serving at the 16th Canadian General Hospital. She was awarded the Red Cross 2nd Class medal for bravery while evacuation patients from the hospital during the bombing of Etaples in northern France in 1918.  After the war she worked for  a short while at the Canadian Department of Soldiers Civil Re-establishment Hospital. By 1927 she was attending teachers College at Columbia University, New York City, New York, U.S.A. after having earned a BSc. Her story was written by Meryn Stewart and published in the Canadian Medical Lives Series.  (2019)

Kathleen 'Kay' Christie

Born 1911. Died 1994, Toronto, Ontario. 1934. Kay graduated and worked as a nurse. When World War ll broke out she did not hesitate to sign up with the Royal Canadian Medical Corps in 1941 as a Lieutenant. She was posted to Hong Kong. The British military hospital where she served came under heavy Japanese shelling and the British surrendered on Christmas Day 1941. Kay spent the next 21 month as a POW (Prisoner of War) in the Far East living under severely crowed conditions with little food and water loosing some 20 pounds. In September 1943 she and other nurses were part of a prisoner exchange between the Allies and the Japanese. The conditions on the ship before the exchange were worse than at the camp. Even after the exchange she was more than a month before reaching home. After V E Day, Kay received a position with a prominent Toronto heart specialist as a medical nursing secretary. She was granted a discharge from the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps on October 30, 1945. After her discharge, she worked as a medical secretary for a neuropsychiatry specialist until retirement. She was awarded the Associate Royal Red Cross medal for her distinguished service, and in ensuing years she was named Honorary Patron of the National Council of Veterans, Honourary President of the Nursing Sisters Association of Canada, and in 1995, both she and fellow nurse, Ms. Waters were honoured by a plaque erected in the Police Academy in Hong Kong in recognition of their outstanding service. Sources: Women of Courage 1812-2012 Reading and Remembrance. Online (Accessed March 2015. ; Veterans Affairs Canada. Nursing Sister – Kay Christie. Online (Accessed March 2015) (2019)

Elsie Cressman

Born April 13, 1923 Wilmot Township, Wellington County, Ontario. Died September11,  2012, New Hamburg, Ontario.  Elsie attended Goshen College in Indiana, and Easter Mennonite College, Virginia, U.S.A. and studied nursing at St Mary’s Hospital, Kitchener, Ontario. Later in life she took extra midwifery training in England. As a Mennonite medical missionary from 1953 through to the mid 1970’s she established  a number of health clinics in East Africa. She also established a Leprosarium in Shirati, Tanzania and the Tom Mboya Memorial Health Centre in Kenya. Elsie was also responsible for setting up midwifery program at various Canadian Universities such as Mc Master University, Hamilton, Ontario, Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario and Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ontario. All of these universities offer a bachelor degree in midwifery. Her efforts earned her recognition with the Order of Ontario. She retired from birthing babies in 1998 at 75 years of age.  In 2010 she was the subject of a documentary aired on CTV.  Source: Waterloo Region Hall of Fame. Online (Accessed July 2014) ; “Elsie Cressman was staunch advocate of midwifery in Ontario.” The Record, Kitchener/Waterloo September 13, 2012. Online (Accessed July 2014) ; “Elsie Cressman” . Global Anabaptist Mennonite Enclcyloedia Online. (Accessed July 2014) Book: Elsie Cressman: A trailblazing life by Nancy Silcox, 2012

Gladys Elizabeth Matheson Crim

née Matheson. Born September 27, 1892, St Barnabas Mission, Onion Lake, Died 1968, Winnipeg, Manitoba. Gladys was the daughter of Dr. Elizabeth Scott Matheson (1866-1958) who was the 1st woman licensed Doctor in the area.  From 1906 through 1909 she attended Kilborn Sister’s School at Dunham Ladies College, Ottawa, Ontario. She returned home to work at her parent’s mission for 2 years before she began training as a nurse at Memorial Hospital in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan.  Again she returned home to work. She taught at the mission school for 3 years while helping in her mother’s hospital. In 1914 she went to Winnipeg General Hospital to complete her nurses training. In 1916 both her father and her fiancé died but she continued her studies graduating in 1917. She worked at Tuxedo Military Hospital in Winnipeg prior to enlisting on May 25, 1917 for overseas war service as a lieutenant nursing sister at the Eastborne, England hospital for Canadian soldiers. On May 6, 1918 she was ordered to serve at no 3 Canadian General Hospital in Boulogne, France which was a series of huts near the front line of the war. In May 1919 she was back serving at the Winnipeg Tuxedo Military Hospital. In 1920 she was worn out and went to Vancouver, British Columbia for 3 months. In 1926 she married U.S. Infantry officer Stirling Crim (1891-1980) in Hawaii. The couple settled in San Antonio, Texas, U.S.A.. After the death of her husband she returned to live in Winnipeg. Source: The Story behind the Statue, Saskatchewan Registered Nurses Association. Online (Accessed June 2014)

Cathy Crowe                                               SEE - Social Activists
Sarah Persis Johnson Darrach

Born February 8, 1886, Rosscarberry, Ireland. Died September 4, 1974, Brandon, Manitoba. Her family emigrated to Canada in September 1898 and settled at Beresford, Manitoba. In 1908, she was admitted to the nursing program at Brandon General Hospital and graduated as gold medalist in 1911. She did her postgraduate work at Chicago, Illinois and returned home to become Assistant Matron of Brandon General Hospital. She was  posted overseas in 1914.  Working as a nurse during the First World War she nursed in field hospitals in France, and war hospitals in England. She served Matron of No. 1 Canadian Casualty Clearing Station. She was awarded the Royal Red Cross, Second and First Class, the latter being awarded to her by the Prince of Wales in 1919. Returning home in 1919, she became Superintendent of Nurses at Brandon Hospital where she worked to improve the working conditions of nurses and establishing standardized nursing training programs. In 1920 she married Robert Darrach. The couple set up a fresh-air camp for disadvantaged kids at Lake Clementi, south of Brandon that accepted needy children for ten years.  In 1934, she was the recipient of the Order of the British Empire. In 1936 she became the Dean of Women at Brandon College where she retired in  1953. She received the Canada Centennial Medal in 196 . Darrach Hall at Brandon University was named in her honour as was Darrach Avenue in the City of Brandon. Source: Memorable Manitobans Online (Accessed February 2014)

Sybil Johnson-Dunfield

née Johnson. Born November 19, 1887, St. John’s, Newfoundland. Died December 14, 1973, St. John’s, Newfoundland. In 1920 Sybil traveled to Liverpool England to visit with family and attend Cheltenham Girls School for 2 years. At 16 she traveled to Germany and studied the violin at the Leipzig Music Academy. By 1909 she was back Newfoundland where she performed at various concerts and charity events. By December 1916 she was back in England where she joined and trained with VAD’s. She nursed at the Western Military Hospital Fozakerley in Liverpool until 1918. Her sister Jill also served at this hospital. Returning to Newfoundland Sybil married a lawyer, Brian Dunfield on August 8, 1918. The couple had 3 children. She continued to play violin at various charity events. In 1949 her husband was knighted and she became Lady Dunfield. Her wartime correspondence and description of wartime life in England is on Deposit with the Newfoundland Archives. Source: Bert Riggs. The Gazette November 13, 1997. Online Accessed March 2016. Suggestion submitted by Nora Phillips, Newfoundland.

Agnes Dennis

née Miller. Born April 11, 1859 Truro, Nova Scotia. Died April 21, 1947 Halifax, Nova Scotia. She attended Truro's Model and Normal Schools and taught at the Model School for two years prior to her marriage in 1878 to William Dennis (d 1920) publisher of the Halifax Herald newspaper. Agnes served as President of the Victoria Order of Nurses from 1901 through to 1946.  She was President of the  Halifax Council of Women from 1906 through 1920. Agnes mobilized women in World War I for the Red Cross for which she was also President at the provincial level from 1914 to 1920. She also actively participated include the Women's Auxiliary, YMCA 1910-1921, Halifax Relief Committee, Canadian Council of Immigration of Women, and Nova Scotia Provincial Girl Guides. She also helped co-ordinate relief efforts for the Halifax Explosion of 1917. In 1919 she was named to the Order of Queen Elizabeth of Belgium.  Even with all this work she found time to raise ten children of her own! After the death of her husband she became President of the Halifax Herald Ltd. In 1934 she became a Commander of the Order of the British Empire. The following year she received the King of England's Silver Jubilee Medal. (2019)

Beverly Witter Du Gas

Born June 29,1923 Vancouver, British Columbia. Died November 20, 2012 Vancouver, British Columbia. She studied nursing earning a BA in Nursing in 1945 and earned her masters in 1947 at the University of Washington in Seattle, U.S.A. Later in life she would return to school for her PhD in Adult Education in 1969. She began her nursing career at the Vancouver General Hospital and in 1957 she became acting director and director in 1960. Beverly was married and the mother of four children.She introduced students to real people as patients and wrote a 1st year nursing textbook, the 1st of many textbooks in the nursing education field. In 1965 through 1967 she worked for the World Health Organization (WHO) of the United Nations going to India. Back home in Canada she began working at Health and Welfare Canada and with World Health. In Barbados she established a program to prepare teachers for the Health Sciences. In 1982 she joined the faculty of nursing t the University of Ottawa and became director of the School of Nursing in 1987, retiring in 1989. She continued in nursing with WHO going to Fiji, China, Manila and India as well as producing more nursing textbooks. In 1999 she was presented with the Order of British Columbia and in 2001 the Order of Canada. Source: School of Nursing at the University of British Columbia, Online accessed November 2012. ; Obituary  (2019)

Wendy Duggleby

née Rennie. Born November 1953, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Wendy earned her BSc (Nursing) at the University of Saskatchewan in 1975. She married Tom Duggleby and the couple have two children. She furthered her education with a Master’s in Nursing at the University of Alberta before heading to The University of Texas Health Sciences Centre, Houston, Texas, U.S.A. to earn her PhD in 1999. She returned to Saskatoon in 2001to work at the College of Nursing. Her main efforts in research have been on eldercare. She is the founder of Living in Hope Program with the mandate to explore and foster hope in terminally ill health. In 2006 she earned the Distinguished Researcher Award from the University of Saskatchewan before moving to become Professor and acting Vice Dean, for the Endowed Nursing Research Chair in Aging and Quality of Life at the University of Alberta. She is a regular contributor to medical and scholarly journals on her area of expertise and she has contributed several chapters to books on this topic as well. In January 2013 she was presented with the Queen Elizabeth ll Diamond Jubilee Medal. Source: Herstory 2012: The Canadian Women’s Calendar (Coteau Books, 2011) 

Eunice Henrietta Dyke

Public Health pioneer

Born February 8, 1883 Toronto, Ontario. Died September 1, 1964 Toronto, Ontario. In 1905 she studied nursing at the John Hopkins School of Nursing in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A. Back home in Toronto she began working for the Toronto Department of health and worked her way up to Superintendant of Nurses in the department. In 1914 she established Public Health Nursing in the Toronto Department of Health. Her advocacy for Public Health Nursing got her fired at the peak of her career. This was an era when nurses were nothing more than hand maids for doctors. Eunice went on and  facilitated the education of public health nurses in a university setting. She developed a visiting housekeeper service which was the forerunner of the Visiting Homemakers Association. She would travel throughout North America and Europe lobbying and encouraging others in the field of Public Health Nursing. After her retirement she established the Second Mile Club for seniors in Toronto. This was the 1st senior citizens organization in Canada. In 1960 the Canadian Public Health Association honoured Eunice with a life membership. The book Eunice Dyke: Health Care Pioneer by Marion Royce from Dundurn Press tells the whole story. Suggestion submitted by Dave Ferguson.

Kathleen Wilhelmina Ellis

Born July 16, 1887 Penticton British Columbia. Died March 9, 1968 Penticton , British Columbia. As a child she professed that she always wanted to help people. In 1915 she graduated in nursing from the Johns Hopkins College, Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A. Returning to British Columbia she became Matron of the Vancouver Island Military Hospital in Victoria. She went on to work in Detroit Michigan, U.S.A. and Toronto, Ontario. In 1921 she became Superintendent of Nurses and Principal of the School of Vancouver General Hospital. During this time she was President of the Vancouver Graduate Nurses Association and went on to be President of the Graduate Nurses of British Columbia. In 1929 she enrolled ia a Public Health Course at Bedford College, London, England. Returning to Canada she worked as Director of Nursing at the Winnipeg General Hospital in Saskatchewan. In 1930 she had a major role in publishing the National Survey of Nursing in Canada which is a historical milestone in Canada’s nursing history. In 1938 she played a major role in opening the School of Nursing at the University of Saskatchewan and served as Director of the school until her retirement. She would serve as vice-president of the Canadian Nurses Association and during World War ll she was the national emergency advisor for the Canadian Nurses Association as well as holding the position of secretary treasurer. During her distinguished career she published numerous articles in the Canadian Nurse Journal. In 1966 she was presented with ‘the Freedom of the City’ from Penticton, British Columbia. (2019)

Alice M. Gerard

SEE - Academics

Jean Cuthand Goodwill

Aboriginal Nurse

Born 1928, Little Pine First Nation, Saskatchewan. Died August 25, 1997 Regina, Saskatchewan. Orphaned as a child she was adopted by the Cuthland family of Little Pine Reserve, Saskatchewan. Her adoptive mother and grandmother were community midwives and healers. Jean attended high school in Saskatoon. She had Tuberculosis when she was a student but new drugs helped her survive and while at a sanatorium she worked as a nurses aid. She studied nursing at Prince Albert Holy Family Hospital and began her career at Fort Qu’Appelle Indian Hospital. She was the 1st Aboriginal woman from Saskatchewan to complete a nursing program.  She married Ken Goodwill in 1965 and the young couple moved to Ottawa for Ken’s job with the Canadian Government. Jean soon was working as well. In 1973 she was co-ordinator with the Native Citizen’s Directorate with the Secretary of State. 1975 was the International year of the woman and she worked on a book on First Nation and Inuit women while working on a survey on Aboriginal nurses. Between 1983 and 1990 she was president of the organization Registered Nurses of Canadian Indian Ancestry (Now Aboriginal Nurses Association of Canada). While working with the Canadian government the travelled the country to identify health problems in Aboriginal communities. In the late 1980’s she was back in Saskatchewan heading the Indian Health Care Program at the Saskatchewan Indian Federated College a part of the University of Regina. (2019)

Irma Elizabeth Hacking

Born September 17, 1917 Aneroid, Saskatchewan. Died November 4, 2014 Victoria, British Columbia. After her nursing training Irma Served with the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps during the second World War. She served in field hospitals on the front lines in Europe where the nursing lieutenant met and served with Dr. Lawrence Hacking (d 1961) At one point he asked her to cut her long hair so that he could use the hair for stitching up wounded soldiers. Romance ensued and the couple were married. Returning from the war the couple 1st settled in Regina, Saskatchewan and then in 1955 with 3 children they moved to Nanaimo British Columbia. Widowed suddenly, Irma became a determined single parent. She refreshed her nursing skills and began working in the admitting department at the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. She retired from nursing in 1983 at 66 and began working at a jeweler store. She enjoyed buying jeweler for herself and her daughters. Source: ‘Lives Lived: Irma Elizabeth Hacking’, the Globe and Mail February 13, 2015. Suggestion submitted by June Coxon Ottawa, Ontario (2019)

Eliza Parks Hegan

Born 1861 Saint John, New Brunswick. Died February 18, 1917, St John, New Brunswick. In 1888 she was 1 of 10 women chosen to tale a trial in nursing training at the Saint John General Public Hospital. All the women remained for 2 years after their training. After graduation in 1890 she moved to Fredericton, New Brunswick were she took charge of the 20 bed Victoria Public Hospital. In 1892 she was back in Saint John as matron at the Saint John Public Hospital. Here she made changes dividing duties and appointed a head nurse. She was strict with student nurses as shown when she refused to sign graduation certificates for 4 students who had broken rules during training. When the Hospital turned against her decision she left in 1895 and spent the next 3 years as night supervisor at the New York Polyclinic Medical School and Hospital. After contracting typhoid fever she returned to Saint John and opened a private hospital. She played a role in forming in 1903 the 1st society for nurses in the Maritime Provinces. By 1909 the society admitted all nursing graduates in the city and was called the Saint John Graduate Nurses Association with Eliza serving as its 5th president. The group was incorporated in 1916 as the New Brunswick Association of Graduate Nurses and Eliza helped draw up the by-laws.  Source: Dictionary of Canadian Biography Accessed 2002.

Judy Hill

Born Kingsbridge, Devon, England. Died November 1972. She studied to be a nurse. She worked at the nursing station at Spence Bay in the Canadian North. In the seclusion and solitude of the far north, nurses were forces to also serve as dentists, Public health inspectors and take care of serious heath cases that had to be flown out to Yellowknife hospital. It was during such an attempt of evacuation that Judy Hill was killed in an airplane crash. The pilot survived the crash but spent a month in the wilderness before being located. The incident was surrounded by controversy as pilot Hartwell decided to use Judy’s body as nourishment to survive. The controversy forced action. The Spence Bay Nursing Station became a hospital, communications to the North were investigated and improved. Evacuation of the extremely ill was written into formal procedures. A foundation in Judy Hill’s name finances specialized northern nursing training. Source: Angel of the snow: the story of Judy Hill by Jim McDangall (London, Frederick Muller Ltd., 1977.

Lenna Mae Jenner

Born November 17, 1889, Brookfields, Nova Scotia. Died December 12, 1918, North Finchley, Great Britain. In 1901 Lenna and her family moved to Halifax when her father was hired on as minister at North Baptist Church. About 1910  she attended nursing school, perhaps at the Victoria General Hospital. Lenna joined the VAD – Volunteer Aid Detachment for service in World War l. These units were formed to provide medical assistance in time of war. By April 1917 Lenna was working at a military Hospital in Kentville, Nova Scotia where nurses were know to work 12 hour days. She went on to work at the West Cliff Canadian Eye and Ear Hospital in Folkstone, Great Britain. In October 1918 she complained of lack of strength and was diagnosed with tubercular peritonitis and she was sent to Clarence House, North Finchley for an operation where she died of septicemia. Source: Debbie Marshall, War Changes Everything. (Accessed July 2015)

Ethel Johns

Born 1879 England. Died September 2, 1968. Ethel's family emigrated to Canada and family friend, Cora Hind, encouraged the girl to graduate in 1902 from the Winnipeg General Hospital Training School for Nurses. After working in several provinces and in the U.S. she attended Teachers College at Columbia University in New York City before returning to Canada in 1915 as superintendent of the Children's Hospital, Winnipeg. In 1919 she was appointed to the dual position of director of nursing service and education of the Vancouver General Hospital and coordinator of the newly established  program in Nursing at the University of British Columbia.  In 1925 she left for Europe to work for the Rockefeller Foundation, establishing  training programs and schools of nursing. In 1933 to 1944 she worked as editor and business manager of the Canadian Nurse magazine. After retirement, she collaborated in writing a history of Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, a series of health pamphlet and the history of the Winnipeg General Hospital School of Nursing. 

Ruth Catherine MacAdams

Born July 21, 1880, Sarnia, Ontario. Died December 16, 1959, Calgary, Alberta. Roberta was a graduate from Macdonald Institute of the Ontario Agricultural College, Guelph, Ontario (Now University of Guelph.) In 1912 she was hired by the Alberta Government to offer “institute” courses for rural women across the province. As well the Alberta Department of Agriculture had her conduct a survey to determine the viability of a provincial Women’s Institute. Roberta was what was called a new woman participating in society out of the home in non-traditional ways through education, employment and civic engagement. In 1914-1916 she worked for the Edmonton Public School Board creating the 1st Department of Domestic Economy (Home economics) in Alberta. In 1916 she left her job to serve as a lieutenant during World War l. She served as a dietitian in the Canadian Military Hospital in Orpington, England. In 1917 the Alberta Military Representation Act allowed the 38,000 Alberta soldiers and 75 nurses overseas to elect 2 representative to the Provincial legislature. On September 17, 1917 Robert Pearson and Roberta MacAdams were elected. Roberta was the second woman in the Empire after fellow Albertan Louise McKinney to be elected to office. In 1918 she became the 1st woman in the British Empire to introduce legislation when she brought forward a bill to incorporate the War Veterans Next of Kin Association Bill. After the 1st legislative session she was back in Britain with the Khaki University which provided women’s staff for continuing education for overseas Canadian forces. Back in Alberta in 1919 she served as district Director of the Soldiers Land Settlement Board. After this position Roberts married lawyer Harvey Price and was less prominent in the public eye. Source: Our Future, Our Heritage. The Alberta Heritage Digitization Project. Online (Accessed May 2014) ; Roberta MacAdams and the New Woman. Alberta’s Women’s Institute. Online (Accessed May 2014).

Elizabeth 'Eliza' Margaret MacKenzie

SEE - Physicians

Isobel MacLeod

née Black. Born June 24, 1913, Sturgeon Falls, Ontario. She relocated with her family to Edmonton, Alberta in the 1920’s. After high school she courageously enrolled in a 5 year degree program at the University of Alberta. Isobel was one of just three graduates in 1936. For awhile she was assistant Supervisor for the Victorian Order of Nurses. From 1944 through 1949 she earned her Master’s degree in Nursing Administration from Columbia University in New York City, U.S.A. After graduating she took a position of Director of Nursing and Principal at the School of Nursing at the Montreal General Hospital in 1953 and remained until retirement in 1975. At 1st some were skeptical since she was not a graduate of the School of Nursing. She was the 1st director who was not a graduate. Sometime later she was presented with a nursing cap of the Montreal General Hospital and she wore it with pride. The School of Nursing now provides an annual Isobel MacLeod Award for nursing assistants. She would oversee 1, 852 graduates during her tenure.  In 1953 she also married. Alastair William Thompson MacLeod (d 2004) psychiatrist and after her retirement from the School of Nursing she worked with him as his Montreal practice. In the mid 1990’s the couple retired and moved to retirement living in Ottawa. In 2003 they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. In 2013 she celebrated her 100th birthday.  Source: Sonia Mendes, ‘Nursing Pioneer’s reflections at 101’. The Ottawa Citizen, June 21, 2014. Suggestion submitted by June Coxon, Ottawa, Ontario.(2019)

Mary Winnifred MacNutt MacRae

Born March 10. 1912 Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. Died August 1990, Prince Edward Island. In 1938 she graduated from the P.E.I. Hospital School of Nursing.  As a youth she had been part of the Girl Guides and she continued her services as an adult for over 50 years. In 1935 she received Their Majesties Silver Jubilee Medal for her work with the Girl Guides. In 1941 she served with the Royal Canadian Medical Corps and was sent overseas in 1943 to work in England and Italy. While working in Newfoundland she received the Royal Red Cross First Class for deeds during a dynamite explosion in Lewisport. She was the 1st Canadian nurse in World War ll to be so honoured. She also received the Italian Star for her services in that country. Returning to civilian life she worked in the North West Territories before taking additional nursing courses at McGill University, Montreal. In 1949 she married Norman MacRae of P.E.I. She would continue her nursing career through to 1969 also continuing community service with the Women’s Institute, her church and other community projects. Source: Outstanding women of Prince Edward Island Compiled by the Zonta Club of Charlottetown, 1981.

Dorothea Palmer

née Fergusson. Born 1908, England. Died 1992. Dorothea trained as a nurse in a British hospital. In Canada she was employed by the Parents’ Information Bureau, Organized by A. R. Kaufman in Kitchener, Ontario. On September 14, 1936 she was arrested and charged with distributing birth control literature in Eastview, (now Vanier), Ontario. The Kaufman Rubber Co. paid $25,000.00 for her year long defense in the trial Rex vs. Palmer, commonly known as The Eastview Birth Control Trial. Dorothea was acquitted on March 17, 1937 on the grounds that her actions were entirely in the interest of the public good. The Crown launched an appeal with the Court of Appeal for Ontario heard on June 1-2, 1937 but the appeal was dismissed. The six-month trial, the longest in Canadian history to that date,  was extremely hard on Palmer. She was vilified by members of the public, accosted, and her marriage suffered. After the trial, Dorothea Palmer severed her ties to Kaufman and Parent’s Information Bureau and faded into obscurity having been a reluctant heroine for women’s autonomy.  Source: Canadian Encyclopedia Online (accessed September 2015)

Anna Judson Rossborough Mair

Born 1889 Moosehead, Nova Scotia. Died April 10, 1963 Prince Edward Island. When she was a child her family moved to Prince Edward Island where Anna grew up. She attended Prince of Wales College and became a teacher. After several years teaching she switched careers and in 1923 she graduated from the P.E.I. School of Nursing. She took additional courses at the Royal Victoria Hospital, Montreal and in 1926 became Superintendent at the P.E.I. Hospital. This new position allowed her to use her teaching skills with student nurses. Later she took courses in Medical Records in Toronto, returning, as always, to P.E.I. she retired from nursing in 1952.  She held various positions in the Registered Nurses’ Association and in 1931 established and was the first president of the Nurse’s Alumnae. She received the King George V Medal at the Jubilee celebration in recognition of services, loyalty and professional nursing skills.   Source: Outstanding Women of Prince Edward Island Compiled by the Zonta Club of Charlottetown, 1981

Jeanne Mance

Baptised November 12, 1606 Langres, France. Died June 18, 1673 Montreal Lower Canada.. As a young reader she had enjoyed the Jesuit Relations, published reports of priests in the new world and thus she became interested in foreign missions. Jeanne joined the Société Notre-Dame de Montréal. She sailed as the 1st lay nurse for New France May 9, 1641 with financial support from some wealthy patronesses and and landed in Quebec in August. She founded Hôtel-Dieu hospital in Montreal in the fall of 1642 with construction taking place in1645. In 1651 Iroquois attacks on Ile de Montreal forced her to close the hospital and take refuge in the fort. in the Winter of 1657 she was inured as the result of a fall and lost the use of her right arm and she sailed to France in seek help to run the hospital. While in France she recovered the use of her arm and returned to New France within the year. Sources: Dictionary of Canadian Biography, Online; The Canadian Encyclopedia, Online. (2019)

Rena Maude McLean

Born June 14, 1879 Souris, Prince Edward Island.  Died June 27, 1918 at sea.  Her nickname was 'Bird'. She graduated Halifax Ladies College in 1896 and then studied nursing at Newport Hospital, Newport, Rhode Island, U.S.A. where she completed her training in 1908. She was hired as head nurse in charge of the operating room at the Henry Heywood Memorial Hospital, Gardner, Massacheutts, U.S.A.  She enlisted for service in World War l  and was assigned to the Canadian medical Corps in September 28,1914.  A month later she was serving in France. In 1915 she joined the Duchess of Connaught's Canadian Red Cross Hospital in Taplow, England. After transport duty to Canada in 1916 she she was posted to Thessaloniki Greece and the No. 1 Canadian Stationary Hospital. By 1917 she was serving in Orpington, London, England. In March 1918 she was posted tot he ship Llandovery Castle which carried Canadian wounded to Halifax, Nova Scotia. She died at sea off the coast of Ireland when the ship was torpedoed and sunk by the enemy while heading back to service. 14 nursing sisters died that day. Plaques in memory of Rena McLean are located in St James United Church in Souris, in Mount Allison’s Memorial Library, and in the X-ray laboratory at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Charlottetown. The FIVE SISTERS window in York Minister England, is dedicated to the 3,000 women of the Empire who sacrificed their lives in WW I.  Her name is included. The Canadian Forces Medical Services School at Canadian Forces Base Borden, Ont., gives the Llandovery Castle Award each year to the most deserving nursing officer.

Harriet Tremaine Meiklejohn

Born April 1, 1876, Quebec City, Quebec. Died April 9, 1952, Toronto, Ontario. In 1906 she graduated in nursing from the Presbyterian Hospital, New York, U.S.A. She worked as superintendent of Nurses in Montclair, New Jersey, U.S.A. During World War 1, when she was 40 years old, she travelled to England and on October 16, 1916 she enlisted in the Canadian Army Medical Corps as a Nursing Sister. On June 3, 1919, she was awarded the Royal Red Cross for her distinguished services for showing special devotion in performing her duties. After the war she returned home to Canada where she took a course in Public Health at the University of Toronto. Relocating to St. John, New Brunswick she established the health centre, public clinics and a branch of the Victorian Order of Nurses. IN 1925 she was Superintendent of Nursing at St. Catherines General Hospital in Ontario. In 1927 she took a position as Superintendent at Women’s College Hospital in Toronto, a position she retained until retirement in 1943. The Canadian Nurses Association established an annual scholarship in her memory. Source: Women’s College Hospital online (Accessed March 2014) ; Canadian Nurses Association Memorial Book, Online (Accessed March 2014)

Jessie Annie Middleton

née Lee. Born December 12, 1916, Murrayville, British Columbia. Jessie studied nursing at the Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster, British Columbia. After three years she graduated in September 1939 at the age of 22. She wanted to join the army to serve in the war but women could not join until they were 25 years old so she worked at the Vancouver General Hospital. She enlisted in 1942 as a Lieutenant in the Royal Canadian Army Nursing Corps. She 1st served at a military hospital in Prince Rupert, British Columbia and was sent overseas in March 1943 serving near London, England. In July 1944 she sailed to serve in Italy in field hospitals. By D-Day June 6, 1944 she was assigned to Nijmegen, Holland right on the front lines. Back in Canada after the war she attended nursing courses at McGill University. On December 26, 1947 she married Frederick Turner Middleton of British Columbia.  The couple would have 2 children settling in Abbottsford, British Columbia. In July 2012 she was presented with the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal for service to her country. Source: Eleanor Florence. Nursing Sisters Healed the Wounds of War. June 17, 2015 on Blog: Wartime Wednesdays (accessed June 2015)

Charlotte Edith Anderson Monture

née Anderson. Born April 10, 1890 Six Nations Reserve (near Brantford), Ontario. Died April 3, 1996 Ohseweken, Ontario. At high school Edith was described as a 'gifted student' After she graduated high school Edith want to pursue studies in nursing but at that time in Canada the Indian Act did not allow aboriginals to attend post high school education. Edith went on to graduate 1st in her class from the New Rochelle Nursing School in New York State, U.S.A. In 1914 she became the 1st Indigenous Canadian woman to be a registered Nurse. She worked in New York State until the United states entered World War l and then she volunteered for the United States Army Nursing Corps and served in France often working grueling 14 hour shifts. She was one of fourteen Native Canadian women to serve as a nurse during World War l. With the Canadian Military Service Act of 1917 Edith became the 1st status Indian and registered Band member to earn the right to vote in Canadian Federal elections. Returning to Canada after the war she married Clayban Monture in 1919 and the couple had four surviving children. In 1939 she was elected honourary President of the Osheweken Red Cross. She worked as a nurse and midwife on her reserve until retirement in 1955. Edith Monture Avenue in Brantford, Ontario in named in her honour.

Martha Morkin

Born January 7, 1886 Middlesex County, Ontario. Died 1975, California, U.S.A. She studies at the Saint Boniface Training school for Nurses in 1906. In 1915 with World War l raging on the European front she joined the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps and was posted to a Canadian Casualty Station No 3 near the front lines in Boulogne. The Station had 800 beds and was extremely busy. She watched her 1st patient die a horrible death from the effects of gas and she never forgot it. Another time serving in the operating room the surgeon was shot dead as he operated and she had to finish the operation. After the War she worked with refugees and Canadian soldiers. At home in Canada once again she became restless and relocated north to Dawson City to set up the 1st hospital in the Yukon Territory. She later worked at various executive positions for several tuberculosis societies in Canada and in the United States. She did not retire until she was 79 years old when she entered a retirement home in California. Susan Taylor Meehan penned an novel based on Martha’s life entitled Maggie’s Choice. Sources: Canada’s Great War Album. Canada’s History. Online (Accessed July 2015); Library and Archives Canada LAC RG 150 Accession 1992-3/166 Box 6376-75.

Helen Kathleen Mussallem

Born January 7, 1915 Prince Rupert, British Columbia. Died November 9, 2012 Ottawa, Ontario. Helen graduated from the School of Nursing, Vancouver General Hospital in 1937. She served as a Lieutenant nursing officer with the Royal Canadiandrhkm.P.Convention004 Army Medical Corps during World War ll. Her post war career began at the Vancouver Hospital and would take her on some 30 international assignments with the World Health Organization (WHO) of the United Nations and the International Council of Nurses. She was also  executive Director of the Canadian Nurse's Association and president of the Victoria Order of Nurses. She is author of numerous major publications relating to nursing and health and the library at the Canadian Nurse's Association is named in her honour. In 1969 she received the Order of Canada and in 1981 she received one of the highest awards of the International Red Cross, the Florence Nightingale Award. At that time she was referred to a "Canada's most distinguished nurse in her time and generation." (2019) Canadian Encyclopedia online; Dr. Helen K. Mussallem Biography Project online.

Mary Newton

Born 1860, England. Died Alberta. Mary arrived from England in 1886 to live with her Anglian Missionary Brother William. Mary had her nursing training through St John’s House which was affiliated with the Anglican Church of England. Her training predated the formal education that was established by Florence Nightingale. In fact St John’s House provided 6 nursing sisters for Nightingale when she left to serve in the Crimean War. Mary had been a professor at Queen Charlotte’s Maternity Hospital in London, prior to immigrating. She arrived at Hermitage, near Edmonton in the summer of 1886, is considered the 1st lay nurse in Edmonton. She had suffered ill health in England and she came to Hermitage to recuperate at her brother's mission. There was already a small log hospital there and Mary recovered her health and went quickly to work. In 1891, she put an advertisement in the paper saying that she would do nursing and midwifery in private homes--for ten dollars a week. She is also credited with introducing lilacs to Alberta. Source; Kay Saunderson, 200 Remarkable Alberta Women, (Famous Five Foundation, 1999);

Mona Parsons

Born February 17, 1901 Middleton, Nova Scotia. Died November 28, 1976 Wolfville, Nova Scotia. She pursued life on stage until her Image result for Mona Parsonsmother became ill. After taking care of her ill  mother she turned to nursing as a profession. In 1938 she married Willem Leonhardt, a Dutch businessman. During WW ll their home in The Netherlands was used as a refuge by escaping allied airmen. In 1941 they were arrested and imprisoned in separate prisons. Reunited after the liberation, Mona nursed Willem returning to Canada only after his death in 1956. Mona was presented with citations from General Eisenhower and Air Chief Marshal Tedder of the Royal Air Force for helping allied airmen evade enemy capture. (2019)


Evelyn Agnes Pepper

Born March 3, 1905 Ottawa, Ontario. Died April 2, 1998 Ottawa, Ontario. Evelyn studied nursing graduating from the Ottawa Civic Hospital in 1928. She continued her studies at McGill University. During World War ll she was a Nursing Sister with the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps serving in England, Italy, The Netherlands and France. She was made a Commander of the Order of St John and she received the Florence Nightingale Medal from the International Committee of the Red Cross. In 1996 she was made a Member of the Order of Canada. (2019)

Cecily Jane Georgina Fane Pope

Born January 1, 1862 Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. Died June 6, 1938 Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. The daughter of William Henry Pope, one of the Fathers of Confederation, Georgina graduated from the Bellevue Hospital School of Nursing, in New York in 1885 and served in various administrative positions at hospitals in the US. She was superintendent of the Columbia Hospital for Women in Washington where founded a new school of nursing. With the Canadian involvement in the South African War, she volunteered for nursing services with the British forces in October 1899. In fact she headed the first group of herself and three other Canadian nursing sisters.  In 1901 she received the Queen's South Africa Medal. In 1902 she returned to South Africa, leading a small nursing force, the third such group, but this time they were officially the Canadian Army Nursing Service, a part of the Canadian Army Medical Corp. In 1903 she was the 1st Canadian to receive the Royal Red Cross for conspicuous service in the field of battle and earned the Royal Red Cross Class 1 Medal.    By 1906 she was the 1st working Nursing Sister with the permanent forces at Halifax and in 1908 she became the 1st Matron of the Canadian Army Medical Corp. She served in World War I in in Taplow, England and then with No 2 Canadian Stationary Hospital in France. 1917 -1918. She was 55 years old in France when she suffered 'shell shock' or 'neurasthenis' (now called Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD) and returned home to Canada where she retired in March 1919. She earned the British World War l Meal. and the Victory Medal.  In 1983 Canada’s National Historical Sites and Monument Board declared her a National Historic Person of Canada. She is one of 14 heroes honored with a bronze bust at the Valiants Memorias at Confederation Square, Ottawa. The Canadian Mint issued a $5.00 coin bearing her image.

Georgea Powell- Bates

Born 1857 Bouctouche, New Brunswick. Died 1925. Georgea took her nursing training at the Waltham Training School for nurses in Massachusetts, graduating in 1895 In 1898 she headed a group of four nurses headed for Dawson, Yukon. Georgea was officially  the Lady Superintendant of the Victorian Order of Nurses for the territory of the Yukon. The women arrived in the midst of a severe outbreak of typhoid fever. Their work garnered national attention and the support of the Victorian Order of Nurses (VON). Georgea remained in nursing in Dawson until 1904 when she married North West Mounted Police Staff Sergeant, George Bates (1858-1908).  She remained in western Canada after the death of her husband and worked as Matron of the Children’s Shelter,  Edmonton, Alberta from 1912-1918.  Source: New Brunswick women’s History online accessed November 2012. ; The Canadian Association for the History of Nursing Newsletter Vol. 17 No. 2 Fall 2004) Online accessed November 2012. (2019)

Aileen Powers-Peel

Born 1894 Toronto, Ontario. Died December 31, 1918, Surry, United Kingdom. A trained nurse she worked with the Canadian Imperial Detachment during World War l. She not only worked at secretarial duties but as a trained chauffeuse she was a driver to help transfer wounded soldiers. In 1918 she took a brief break from the war to return to Canada and visit family in Ottawa. She returned to service in England where she died. Source: Finding the forty seven: Canadian nurses of the 1st world war. Online accessed August 2015.             

Dorothy "Dot" Pringle

Born Hamilton, Ontario. This inspirational nursing leader has followed a career that took her through nursing research, teaching nursing, being a senior nursing administrator, locally, provincially and nationally. She earned at various schools her RN, BScN, MS and finally her PhD in Nursing at the University of Illinois, U.S.A. Her honours include an outstanding teacher award form the Ontario Association of University Teachers, Honorary doctoral degrees, and the Jeanne Mance Award from the Canadian Nursing Association. As Dean of Nursing at the University of Toronto, she instrumental in launching the 1st doctoral program in Nursing in Ontario. She was appointed as an officer of the Order of Canada in 2008.

Bernice Carnegie Redmon

Black Nurse

Born Toronto, Ontario. As a young student wanting to study nursing Bernice was refused entry to Canadian nursing institutions because she was Black. At this time it was felt that Canadian patients would not like being cared for by Black nurses. Determined, Bernice attended St Philip Hospital School in Richmond, Virginia, U.S.A. graduating in 1945. Bernice returned to work in Canada finding a position with the Department of Public Health in Nova Scotia. She became the 1st Black woman to become a nurse in Canada. She went on to become the 1st Black nurse to be hired by the Victorian Order of Nurses (VON) in Canada.

Mary L. Richmond

Born 1920 Vancouver, British Columbia. Died November 29, 2002. She studied  the Vancouver General Hospital School of Nursing in 1943 and began her career as a teacher at the school upon graduation. Beginning in  the 1950's she was the Director of Nursing at the Royal Jubilee Hospital and the Vancouver General hospital. During her tenure as Director she helped initiate programs in public health, tuberculosis nursing and psychiatric nursing. She served on committees of the Canadian Nurses Association and with a budding interest in nursing history she was a founding member of the History of Nursing Professional Practice Group. She retired from nursing in 1992 having provided several generations of professional nurses with a solid definition of what it was to be a nursing citizen.

Rosemarie Riddell

née Marshall. Born November 14, 1946, Lindsay, Ontario. Died July 12, 2013, Vancouver British Columbia. She studied at St Joseph’s School of nursing, Peterborough, Ontario. After graduating in 1967 she continued her nursing studies at the University of Alberta. One of her early work postings was in Kingston, Ontario where she met a military Cadet. In 1968 she and Craig Riddell were married. The couple had one son. Eventually the family moved for Craig’s work to British Columbia.  In 1983 she began working at St Paul’s Hospital. Although she knew little of the gay lifestyle she soon became a hardworking advocate for people suffering with HIV/Aids. She worked from the early days of the advent of the virus for 30 years devoted to helping those who suffered. In 1993 her dedication was honoured by the British Columbia Persons with HIV/Aids with the AccolAids Award. In 1996 she was written up in the Globe and Mail highlighting her pragmatic approach with chaos of addicts. It was this same year that she completed her Master’s degree at the University of British Columbia having written her this on HIV/Aids patients. In 1997 she organized a special addiction team at St Paul’s Hospital caring for 30 patients a day. In 2008 she was named one of British Columbia’s outstanding nurses. In 2011 she was honoured with an advocacy award from the College of registered Nurses of British Columbia. Source: “Seeing beyond the stigma…” by Rod Mecklenburg in the Globe and Mail, September 11, 2013. Suggestion submitted by June Coxon.

Simone Eileen Roach

Born July 20, 1922 New Waterford, Nova Scotia. Died July 2, 2016, Antigonish, Nova Scotia. After studying nursing at the St Joseph’s Hospital School of Nursing, Glace Bay, Nova Scotia  in 1945 Eileen entered the Sisters of St Martha and took the name Sister Marie Simone. She took her final vows in 1950. Simone then went on to obtain a degree in nursing from St Francis Xavier University, Nova Scotia.. She also studied administration and clinical supervision at the University of Toronto and earned a Master’s in Nursing from Boston University, Massachusetts, U.S.A. In 1970 she earned her doctorate in education from the Catholic University of America, Washington D.C., U.S.A. She would also spend time as a post-doctoral scholar in ethics at Harvard Divinity School, U.S.A. She acted as a community leader and liaison between the Congregation of St Martha’s Corporation and the Corporation of St John’s Hospital in Lowell, Massachusetts, U.S.A.   From 1971 through 1979 she spent time building the nursing department at St Francis Xavier University. It was in 1971 that she established the 1st code of ethics for nurses in Canada. The code is composed of 6 c’s: compassion, competence, conscience, confidence and commitment. Simone. Over the years she was a welcome lecturer internationally. In 1993 she returned to Bethany, the Sisters’ of Martha’s House in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. Source: Allison Lauton, Obituary, Globe and Mail, July 15, 2016. Suggestion submitted by June Coxon Ottawa, Ontario.

Shirley M. Robinson

Born Lucknow, Ontario. In 1953 she graduated in nursing having trained at Owen Sound General and Marine Hospital. In 1954 she enrolled in the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) as a Pilot Officer. Her career in the military would span 30 years. She graduated from the Canadian Forces Command and Staff College course. With the rank of Lieutenant Colonel she retired in 1984 as Deputy Director of Women Personnel at National Defense Headquarters in Ottawa. She spent much of her time assuring equality for women serving in the armed services. In 1985 she was a founding member of the Association for Women’s Equality in the Canadian Armed Forces (AWECF). She was also active outside of her military duties serving a President of the Nursing Sisters Association of Canada and serving as a member of the Council for Canadians, The Human Rights Institute and the Ontario College of Nurses. In October 1992 she was presented with the Governor General Award in Commemoration of the Persons Case which honours work that improves the equality of life for Canadian Women.  Source: Lt. Col. Shirley M. Robinson, CD (Retired) – Nurse. By Carolyn Gossage, November 6, 2000 Online (Accessed March 2014)

Marisse Scott-Louisy

Black Nurse

Born Owen Sound, Ontario. Mariss was an honour student in high school and she had a desire to care for people. She applied to attend nursing school at her home town Owen Sound General and Marine Hospital but she was refused because she was Black. This racist event would haunt her the rest of her life but with the support of mayor Eddie Sergeant of Owen Sound and Rev. Allan Ferry her plight to find a nursing school to attend made national headlines. The Rev. J. A. O'Reilly of the Church of Our Lady in Guelph, Ontario asked the nursing sisters at the St Joseph Hospital in Guelph if they would accept Mariss as a student. She became one of their top notch and most caring students. Mariss graduated in 1950 as one of the 1st Black graduates in nursing in Ontario. having paved the way for other Black nursing students. She work as Head of the Nutrition Department at the St Lucia Health Ministry in the Caribbean. Here she settled, married and brought up a daughter. (2019)

Judith Shamian

Born May 1, 1950 Hungary. Her family relocated to Jerusalem and then to Montreal. While in Jerusalem, after caring for her ill mother, she took three years of training as a nurse. In Montreal she found a back injury prohibited her from doing bedside nursing care and found a way to stay in the profession as an administrator. Judith earned her Bachelor of Nursing from Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec and went on to earn her Master’s in Public Health from New York University.  She earned her PhD from Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.A. She has served as President of the Canadian Nurse’s Association and has helped set up the office of Nursing Policy in 1999 to advise Health Canada and served for five years as Executive Director 1999-2004.  She has also served as president and CEO of the Victorian Order of Nurses (VON). On October 4, 2012, an episode of Undercover Boss, the Canadian reality TV series, aired in which Dr. Shamian worked in disguise to witness the pressures faced by nurses employed by the VON. In 2013 she became the second Canadian woman to be President of the International Council of Nurses, a federation of over 130 national nurses’ associations representing more than 16 million nurses worldwide. Her international work had caused her to travel to numerous countries including to Hungary and Botswana for research and teaching. She has also helped Poland set up their national nursing association. She is also a professor at the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing at the University of Toronto. In 1995 she received the Ross Award for Nursing Leadership followed by the 2000 Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medial. In 2004 she received the Award of Merit from the Canadian Nurse’s Association and the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions. She has also received the Centennial Award from the Canadian Nurse’s Association which recognizes nursing leadership of the past 100 years. She has received Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top Ten Award from the Women’s Executive Network

Margaret Alexandra Shea 

née Rendell Born 1893 St John's, Newfoundland.  Died May 18, 1949. As a young woman of a family of means and an accomplished pianist, Margaret was in no doubt welcome in the social activities of the day in St John's. However, she wanted more. Her music teacher had attended the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A., and this may have influenced Miss Rendell to do the same in 1895. After her studies and a short apprenticeship in the United States she returned home to an appointment as matron of the General Hospital. She was the first Newfoundland-born woman to become a professional nurse. In 1901 she resigned her position to marry George Shea. Her husband was a prominent politician in the province and she was busy providing her support for his position. She was also one of the first women (maybe even the first) woman in Newfoundland to receive her drivers license and she was notorious for the speed at which she conducted her automobile through the streets of the city sending all in her path for safety.

Harriet 'Hallie' Jennie Todd Sloan

Born January 21, 1917 Winnipeg, Manitoba. Died January 21, 2016 on her 99th birthday.  In 1940 she graduated from the Vancouver General Hospital nursing programme. Joining the military she worked with the 8th Canadian General Hospital, Saskatchewan Unit. She was soon posted overseas to Normandy, France, Belgium and The Netherlands. For her services she received the 1939-1945 Star , the France and Germany Star, the NATO Medal as well as the 25th and 50th Anniversary Medals.  After World War ll she was one of 30 nurses invited to remain in the military where she was put in charge of basic training for medical assistance and later she was in charge of new nursing personnel. In 1964 she earned the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel and was appointed Matron in Chief of Canadian Medical Services, a position she maintained until she retired in 1968. Hallie also served with the Canadian Nursing Association as director of Nursing Abroad Program and the National Nursing Administration which in 1969 organized the International Council of Nursing congress in Montreal, Quebec. She was also an advocate and fund raiser for the Canadian Nurses Foundation. In 2004 Hallie was inducted into the Order of Canada for 50 years of outstanding leadership, advancing military nursing and patient care. She was a tireless volunteer at the Perley and Rideau Veterans’ Health Centre in Ottawa. She was a Dame in the Order of Saint John and in 2015 as a D-Day veteran she received the Legion of Honour from France.

Mary Agnes Snively Born  November 12, 1847 St Catherines, Ontario. Died September 26, 1933. After graduating from high school she taught public school in her hometown for over two decades. Her friends convinced her to study nursing at the Bellevue Training School in New York State, U.S.A. In 1884 she was appointed as Superintendent of the Training Schools for Nurses at the Toronto General Hospital, a position she retained until her retirement in 1910. The hospital had 400 beds with only seven nurses in charge of wards and 27 nurses in training living in unfavourable conditions when she arrived. She reorganized the curriculum, introducing regular lectures by physicians and courses on subjects such as nursing ethics, and implemented a written examination at the end of the two-year training period. she convinced the hospital board to erect a nurses’ residence. By 1894 the Toronto General Hospital Training School for Nurses was the largest in the country, and graduates were employed across Ontario and abroad. That year she helped establish the hospital’s Nurses’ Alumnae Association, the 1st of its kind in Canada, and was elected chair. In 1897 she was named president of the Society of Superintendents of Training Schools for Nurses of the United States and Canada. Mary would also be the main driving force behind the formation of the Canadian National Association of Trained Nurses (CNATN) in 1908 which would become the Canadian Nurses’ Association in 1924. She was elected 1st President of the association in 1911. She also served on the executive of the International Council of Nurses founded in 1899. After her retirement in 1909 she travelled abroad for 14 months, during which time she attended the 1911 International Council of Nurses meeting in Cologne, Germany. Maintaining ties with the CNATN, she served as archivist and honorary president, and she was made a life member in 1921. She financially supported aspiring medical students and missionaries in Formosa (Taiwan), India, and China, and also funded a children’s school in China. Upon her death the Canadian Nurse magazine called her the 'Mother of Nurses in Canada'. In 2011 Mary Agnes Snively was designated and National Historic Person Source: DCB
Verna Marie Huffman Splane

Born November 23, 1914 Peterborough, Ontario. Died January 10, 2015 Vancouver, British Columbia. Verna took a School of Nursing Diploma from the University of Toronto in 1939 as one of several educational steps she would take throughout her career. She also attended Teachers College in British Columbia and the University of Michigan in the U.S.A. Between 1947-1958 she was a Senior Nursing counselor for the Department of National Health and Welfare. She worked internationally with the World Health Organization (WHO) which took her to the Caribbean, South America and Africa. In 1973 she was the Vice President of the International Council of Nurses. Among her many awards was the the University of Michigan recognition as an Outstanding Public Health Nurse, the Queen's Jubilee Medal, the Canadian Red Cross Distinguished Service Award and in 1982 the National Award from the Canadian Nurses Association. In 1995 she was awarded the Order of Canada. (2019)

Eliza May Stewart

Born April 21,1887 Bathurst, New Brunswick. Died 1989. In May 1917 with World War l in full swing she enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force. She was part of the Canadian Medical Force serving as a nursing sister with the rank of Lieutenant. Her war service would take her just behind the front lines in France where she worked at clearing stations just a few kilometers from the fighting. By March 1919 she was in England waiting to sail home. She returned to the west coast of Canada where she would continue her nursing career at the Shaughnessy Veteran’s Hospital, Vancouver, British Columbia. According to her family she never talked about her work in the European war front. Source: Saskatoon Women’s Calendar Collective. Herstory 2007: the Canadian Women’s Calendar (Regina: Couteau Books, 2006)  pg. 38

Winnifred Mary Stewart

Born June 26, 1908 Fernie, British Columbia. Died October 26, 1990 Kelona, British Columbia. Her family moved to Edmonton Alberta in 1911 and it was here that she attended school. She studied nursing at Edmonton General Hospital and became a Registered Nurse (RN) in 1929. Winnifred married Duncan Stewart in 1932 and in 1934 they welcomed their son Parker. Parker was diagnosed with Down Syndrome and Winnifred refused to accept that the limits that were supposed to happen with developmentally disadvantaged children during this era. This led her on a journey to experimental research into new teaching methods. In 1953, along with other parents she formed the Winnifred Stewart Association for the Mentally Handicapped and established the 1st school of its kind to serve handicapped children. In 1954 she was the 1st woman to address the Alberta Legislature from the floor of the provincial House of Commons, The Alberta government in turn provide the 1st financial support for schools for mentally handicapped children. Between 1954 and 1970 Winnifred organized and funded 19 schools across western Canada. In 1956 her work was recognized when she became the Most Outstanding Person of the Year sponsored by the Canadian Mental Health Association. In 1966 she was named Edmonton’s Citizen of the Year. She als0 inspired the opening of the unique Western Industrial Research Training Centre in 1968. In 1972 she was presented with the Order of Canada. She was tireless in her continuing efforts and in 1979 Crewood Industries was opened as a vocational training sheltered workshop. In 1985 she was posthumously inducted into the Alberta Order of Excellence. Winnifred also is known as the Edmontonian of the Century. Source: Winnifred Mary Stewart (1908-1990) Naming Committee, Honouring People and Places in Our City. WWW. (Accessed May 2015) Submitted by Dr Kathleen L. Linaker, Centre for Life and Health Services, Mohawk Valley Community College, Utica, New York, U.S.A.

Mary Margaret Street

Born May 30, 1907 Toronto, Ontario.  Died December 7, 1993. She took her original B.A. and teaching certificate in Manitoba but soon decided to enter nursing and studied at the Royal Victoria in Montreal. She also obtained a Certificate in teaching and Supervision for Graduate Nurses at McGill. During her long teaching career she would support her profession by being elected to posts in registered nurses association in several provinces where she lived and worked. She was interested in the history of nursing and published a book on pioneer nursing in western Canada called Watch fires on the mountain : life of Ethel Johns. (Toronto, 1973) She received the Order of Canada for her contributions to her country through her profession in 1982.

Shirley M Stinson

Born 1929 Arelee, Saskatchewan. She trained as a Registered Nurse, studied for a degree in education and has earned a Doctored in Science. She has been involved in nursing, research, administration and teaching. A faculty member at the University of Alberta, now Professor Emeritus, she had served as the President of the Canadian Nurses Association, 1st woman senior National Health Scientist, founding Chair of the Alberta Foundation for Nursing Research, chair of the 1986 International Nursing Research Conference and co-Chair of the 1993 First International Conference on Community Health Nursing Research. The list of the awards she has earned in long and impressive. The awards list includes; The Alberta Order of Excellence in 1999, the Order of Canada, The Jeanne Mance Award form the Canadian Nurse's Association, the Sir Frederick Haultain Prize in the Humanities, the Nursing Hall of Fame and the Ethel Johns Award for distinguished Services to Nursing Education in Canada. She is the author of over 100 publications and reports. She is an internationally sought after lecturer and consultant. She is busy in her support to raise funds for the Nursing Collection at the Museum of Civilization, promoting utilization of chronobiological research findings to prevent strokes and heart attacks in high risk populations, expanding dental services for needy adults and continuing her work on nursing history. (2019)

Madeleine Dion Stoat

Aboriginal Nurse

Born March 25, 1946, Keheiwin First Nation, Alberta. She was given the Cree name Kéréshwew, meaning “Ancient Woman” or “Child with ancient spirit”. She decided at a young age to become a nurse. She liked nurses from the first time she met one when she was rushed to the hospital after her appendix broke when she was seven. In 1968 she had become a registered Nurse., with a BSc in nursing from the University of Lethbridge in Alberta. She married Bob Stout and the couple had two daughters. In 1993 she had earned a masters degree in International Affairs from Carleton University in Ottawa and began working in public health. She also taught at university. She aligned herself with leadership and advisory roles on research and policy regarding health of First Nations, Inuit and Métis women and children. In 2008 she was listed as one of the top 100 nurses in Canada and was recipient of the Centennial Award from the Canadian Nurses Association. In 2012 she was honoured with the prestigious Aboriginal Achievement Foundation Award for Health. Source: Herstory 2012: The Canadian Women’s Calendar. Saskatoon Women’s Calendar Collective, 2011.

Ethel L. M. Thorp

She served as a nursing sister in World War ll and has served internationally in England, France, Iraq, India and China. While in Jamaica in the West Indies she established a training program for psychiatric nurses. Back home in Canada she is a founding member of the Canadian Tuberculosis and Respiratory Disease Association. During her career she has become a member of the Order of the British Empire and in 1981 she received the Florence Nightingale Award, one of the highest awards from the International Red Cross.

Mona Gordon Wilson

Born 1894, Toronto, Ontario. Died 1981. Mona attended Havergal Ladies College followed by St. Johns Hopkins University, School of Nursing. In 1918 she joined the Red Cross and served in Serbia and the Balkans. Back in Canada in 1922 she trained as a Public Health at the University of Toronto. That same year she began working as Chief Public Health Officer for the Red Cross in Prince Edward Island. In her second year she visited 110 schools and addressed 148 meetings! In 1931 when Public Health was taken over by the provincial government she became a superintendent. In 1940 she served in St. John’s , Newfoundland on loan to work with Canadian soldiers and merchant marines. She became known as the Florence Nightingale of St John’s. In 1946, back in PEI, she worked in Public Health until 1960. An outdoor enthusiast, she helped established Girl Guides in the province. She was also a founding member of the Zonta Club. There is a monument dedicated to her in PEI recognizing her as a person of National Historical Significance. Source: Herstory: The Canadian Women’s Calendar, 2008. Saskatoon Women’s Calendar Collective (Coteau Books, 2007) ; 100 more Canadian Heroines by Merna Forester. : Book; She answered every call: the life of Public Health Nurse Mona Gordon Wilson by Douglas Baldwin.

Helen Griffith Wylie-Watson

née McArthur Born July 11, 1911 Stettler, Alberta. Died December 15, 1974 Guelph, Ontario. Helen married Dr. William Watson in 1931. She attended the University of Alberta graduating in 1934 with a Bachelor of Science in public health nursing. She went on to earn a Master's degree from Columbia University, New York, U.S.A. She became Director of the School of Nursing at the University of Alberta.  Helen also served as the head of public health nursing for the province of Alberta for three years. She joined the Red Cross Society and worked her way to later became national director of nursing services.  She would also serve as president of the Canadian Nurses Association from 1950 through 1954. In 1957 she earned the Florence Nightingale Award for her work in Korea where she served to rebuild the infrastructure of public health. . It is the highest international nursing aware that the Red Cross bestows. She chaired a nursing advisory committee in Geneva, Switzerland and serving on an International Council of Nurses. Back in Canada, she was president of the Canadian Nurses' Association and the Ontario College of Nurses She was and officer of the Order of Canada in 1971.  She married Dr. William Watson. 

Dorothy Muriel Wylie

Born August 15, 1929 Toronto, Ontario. Died August 13, 2016. At 18 when she  was considered too young by most schools she enrolled in St Michael’s Hospital School of Nursing graduating in 1950. As a working nurse she was known for being blunt and practical, always to the point. She studied for her Bachelor of Nursing at New York University in the U.S.A. in 1964 and earned her Master’s degree at Cornell University in New York State, U.S.A. in 1969. She was an early proponent of patient-centered care. She favoured hand on training and projects. In the 1970’s she worked at various leadership roles at Scarborough Centenary Hospital, Sunnybrook and at the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario. In 1978 she served as Vice-president of Nursing at Toronto General, the largest Hospital in the country at that time. Hel helped to launch the Ontario Provincial Nurse Administrators Interest Group and also the Journal of Nursing Administration which eventually was renamed the Canadian Journal of Nursing. She was elected as the president of the College of Nurses of Ontario. In 1982 she became a Fellow at Ryerson University, Toronto and taught at the University of and in 1989 she was associate professor at the University of Toronto. She retired from teaching in 1994. In 1885 she earned a second master’s degree in human resources development at American University in Washington, D.C., U.S.A. In 2001 3 women she mentored founded the Dorothy Wylie Health Leaders Institute that offers leadership education for nurses. Source; Obituary Globe and Mail September 9, 2016. Suggestion submitted by June Coxon, Ottawa Ontario.

Coltilda Adessa Coward Douglas-Yakimchuk

née Coward. Born 1932 Whitney Pier, Nova Scotia. In 1954 Coltilda was the 1st Black woman to graduate from the Nova Scotia Hospital School of Nursing, Dartmouth. She went on  to earn a post graduate diploma in midwifery, Colony Hospital, Grenada, West Indies, where she lived for more than a decade. She also earned a post graduate certificate in psychiatric nursing from the Nova Scotia Hospital and a diploma in adult education from St Frances Xavier University, Nova Scotia. Coltilda began her career as Head Nurse of theClotilda Douglas-Yakimchuk is one of six people to be invested into the Order of Nova Scotia. The 86-year-old former nurse and community activist from Sydney’s Whitney Pier community is also a member of the Order of Canada and holds an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Cape Breton University. Admission/Discharge Unit of the Nova Scotia and would spent 50 years of service in her profession. After the death of her 1st husband she moved back from the West Indies with her five children.  In 1988 she became the 1st Black person elected president of the Registered Nursing Association of Nova Scotia. She also served on numerous national, provincial and local committees and working groups.  She was the founding President of the Black Community Development Organization, leading the movement to provide affordable housing in low-income communities. She is also committed to education for Black youth and is a determined fundraiser and mentor. In 1991 she received the National Harry Jerome Award acknowledging her cultural and community service.  Coltilda retired as Director of Education Services, Cape Breton Regional Hospital, Sydney, Nova Scotia in 1994. She was a recipient of the College of Registered Nurses Association of Nova Scotia Centennial Award of Distinction. In 2003, in recognition of the significant role she played in getting a nursing program up and running at the Cape Breton University and her being a role model for youth she was inducted into the Order of Canada. November 6, 2018 she was invested with the Order of Nova Scotia.(2019)

Nursing Administrators and founders   Return to categories
Lady Elsie Elizabeth Allardyce

Born London, England June 7, 1878. Died 1962. Lady Allardyce was the wife of the Governor of Newfoundland, who served in office from 1922-1928. She was however not satisfied to serve simply as chatelaine for the province. She is the founder of the Girl Guide movement in the province and was a moving force in provincial nursing. She expanded the Outport Nursing Scheme and organized Home Industrial Centres to teach Newfoundland women patterns of knitting and weaving. The crafts were sold to raise funds to pay nurses' salaries. Because of the self-supporting nature of the program rural Newfoundland was able to retain nurses during difficult economic times. In 1924 the ONS became the Newfoundland Outport Nursing and Industrial Association.

Dorothy Macham

Born 1910. Died July 12, 2002. Dorothy highly respected the nurse who often visited their country home to tend to herself and her brothers and sisters. In 1932 she graduated from Women’s College School of Nursing in Toronto. At the outbreak of WW ll she enlisted with the Royal Canadian Medical Corp, where by the end of the war in 1945 she had achieved the rank of Major. King George Vl presented her with the Royal Red Cross Medal for her war services. A skilled nurse, she also had proven herself to have exceptional administrative skills. In 1946 she began a 29 year appointment as Superintendent of Woman’s College Hospital. She would oversee the new construction of the school buildings and introduce a 2 year educator program. An ardent activist, she led the school to become fully accredited and part of the University of Toronto graduating program. She came out of retirement to serve as Executive Director at West Park Hospital for five years. In 1980 she was appointed to the Order of Canada. In 2001 Sunnybrook Hospital opened the Dorothy Macham Home, a 10 bed care and research Centre for veterans suffering from dementia. Source: Dorothy Macham: Nurse and war veteran by Eilis Quinn. Toronto Star July 31, 2002.

Medical Researchers        Return to categories
Nancy N. Berg

During her career she has been part of a research team investigating the machinery in cells that defends the body against foreign agents such as viruses and tumors. She has, through her studies at the University of Alberta and the University of Toronto, published and lectured extensively on her area of expertise. Her goal is to aid in the development of immunotherapy for medical application. Among the awards she has received is the Alice Wilson Award from the Royal Society of Canada.

Susan M. Bradley

At the beginning of her scientific career she was the 1992 recipient of the Alice Wilson Award presented by the Royal Society of Canada. Her doctoral research was on the synthesis and characterization of new types of porous, inorganic crystalline polymers. At he University of Calgary she synthesized several new materials at high temperatures and pressures in aqueous solutions and characterized them using a variety of sophisticated techniques including X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and nuclear magnetic resonance. She continued her post doctoral studies at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia.

Barbara Kathleen Buchner

Born June 1, 1927. Galt, Ontario (Now Cambridge)  Died October 17, 2011 Cambridge, Ontario. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Sciences from McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario in 1948. There were 8 women in her graduating class. She continued her studies for her Master’s degree in Virology, 1954. In the early years of her career she was often the only woman at a conference table. She had a successful career as a virologist and epidemiologist in Toronto and Ottawa retiring from the Red Cross in 1992. She authored numerous scientific papers in virology, hepatitis and radioimmunoassay. Her achievements were recognized when she received the YWCA Woman of Distinction Award in Science, 1998. She was an active volunteer in the Canadian Hearing Society of Cambridge and also served as an elder in her church for many years. Source: Lives lived: Barbara Kathleen Buchner by Ruth Manchee Kenins. The Globe and Mail December 20, 2011. Suggestion submitted by June Coxon, Ottawa

Donna Arlene Choe

Born March 9, 1940 Toronto, Ontario.  She carried out her studies for a Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Toronto and then moved to the University of Manitoba where she earned her PhD. Her professional pursuits are in the field of immunology. She is a professor in this subject at the University of Manitoba. A published expert on immunology she was the YMCA Woman of Distinction in 1992 and was also awarded the Canada 125 Medal in recognition of her accomplishments.

Sylvia Olga Fedoruk

Born May 5, 1927 Canora, Saskatchewan . Died September 26, 2012 Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. An excellent academic achiever she established her reputation for achievement in nuclear medical research early in her career. She was instrumental in the development of the 1st cobalt radiation unit which is now in side use as a chemotherapy treatment for cancer. She was the 1st woman named to the position of Chancellor at the University of Saskatchewan. She was also the 1st woman trustee of the Society of Nuclear Medicine and in 1973 she was the 1st woman appointed to the Atomic Energy Control Board of Canada. She was Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan from 1988 to 1994. A balanced achiever she enjoys sports and is a member of Canada’s Curling Hall of Fame. She was appointed to the Order of Canada in 1986. The City of Saskatoon named a road, Fedoruk Drive in her honour. On October 3, 2012 the name of the Canadian Centre for Nuclear Innovation (CCNI) was changed to the Sylvia Fedoruk Canadian Centre for Nuclear Innovation in honor of the pioneering work she did. In 2009 she was inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame.

Norma Ford Walker

Born St Thomas, Ontario September 3, 1893. Died August 9, 1968. In 1914 she entered the University of Toronto and by 1923 she had earned her PhD. She was an instructor at the University of Toronto and became a full professor of Human Genetics. After her marriage in 1943 to Dr. Edmond Merton Walker she she remained dedicated to her career.  In 1947 she was the founder and Director of the Department of Genetics a the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. She forged a research tradition that served as the basis for further developments in medical genetics in Toronto and educated a generation of students, many of whom were women, who  went on to populate and then institutionalize the growing science and practice of medical genetics in Canada. She was a charter member of both the Genetics Society of Canada and  the American Society of Human Genetics. She was trustee of the Queen Elizabeth Fund for Research in Children's Diseases. In 1958 she was elected Fellow, Royal Society of Canada. has  a biography of this great Canadian.

Elaine Gottschall

née Reichbaum . Born Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA Died September 5, 2005. A determined mother who “had” to ease her daughter’s pain she went back to school at 47 earning a bachelor’s and a masters degree in biology biochemistry, nutritional biochemistry and cellular biology. She became a hero to hundreds of thousands of people as she wrote Breaking the Vicious Cycle (1987). This book was the first to connect intestinal health with died. As a Mom, she could not allow her youngest child to suffer and through her work with diets, she healed her daughter’s intestinal problems. She then shared her findings to help others. The book ran for 10 editions and was translated into 7 different languages.

Julia Levy

née Coppens. Born May 15, 1934 Singapore. Julia's father sent the family to Vancouver, British Columbia in 1940 where he joined them after being released from a Japanese prisoner of war camp at the end of World War ll. Julia enjoyed mathematics in high schools and was inspired by her grade 11 biology teacher. Julia studied immunology and bacteriology earning a Bachelor Degree in 1955 at the University of British Columbia. By 1958 she had earned her doctorate (PhD) in experimental pathology from the University of London in England. Returning to British Columbia she took a position as an assistant professor and worked her way to become a full professor at the University of British Columbia. In 1980 she was elected a Fellow in the Royal Society of Canada.  Together with some university colleagues, she founded her own drug company, Quadra Logic Technologies (QLT), dealing with photodynamic therapy (PTD) which was used for treating cancer. It was also the 1st medical treatment of one of the leading causes of blindness, age-related macular degeneration (AMD). In 1993 the PTD drug Photofrin became a recognized treatment for bladder cancer. Julia served as Chief Scientific Officer for QLT and from 1995 through 2001 she served as Chief Executive Officer and President. Recognized for her contributions to cancer treatments she is also investigating treatment of diseases such as arthritis, psoriasis (a skin disease) and multiple sclerosis. In 2000 she was named Pacific Canada Entrepreneur of the Year and the following year she became an Officer in the Order of Canada. She has also received the Future of Vision Award from the Foundation Fighting Blindness, the Helen Keller Award for Contributions to Vision and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the British Columbia Biotechnology Association. The Chemical Institute of Canada presents the Julia Levy Award for successful commercialization of innovation in the field of biomedical science and engineering.  Julia is married to Edwin Levy and is proud of her two children and she is also very proud to have two grandchildren.

Phyllis Jean McAlpine

Born August 29, 1941**, southern Ontario. Died October 1, 1998. She graduated with a B.Sc. from the University of Western Ontario, receiving the Gold Medal in Zoology, an M.A. in Human Genetics , University of Toronto and a Ph.D. Galton Laboratory, University College, London, England. Phyllis was appointed as Research Associate in the Section of Genetics, Department of Pediatrics and Child Health, University of Manitoba in 1972.  In 1993 she was appointed head of the Department of Genetics. She carried out strong independent research in the mapping of human genes before the Human Genome Project existed. A successful and highly productive researcher she published 100 papers during her career. She was one of the founding members and co-chaired the Human Gene Nomenclature Committee from 1977-1991. 1992 to 1996, she chaired the committee on nomenclature for the Annual Human Gene Mapping Chromosome Coordinating Meetings. It was under her that human gene nomenclature became a single language and not a series of dialects. When she retired from the Nomenclature Committee in 1996 she was replaced with the equivalent of three full-time staff. She was particularly committed to helping women in science, where she felt it was often difficult to get recognition as a female. She served as President of the Canadian Association of Women in Science, Manitoba Chapter, 1993-94. She was presented with the Founders Award in 1998, given by the Canadian College of Medical Geneticists: Government of Manitoba. Status of Women. Women working for Healthy Communities by Ada Ducas et all October 2001. Online (Accessed December 2011) **Birthrate is recorded as 1942 in some resources.

Frances Gertrude McGill

Born 1877 Minnedosa, Manitoba. Died January 21, 1959 Winnipeg, Manitoba. She taught school to finance her education. She started to study law but eventually decided to study medicine. She won the Isbister First Year Scholarship, and when she graduated in 1915, at the age of thirty-seven, she won the Dean's Prize, the Hutchison Gold Medal, and the Surgical Case Report Prize. After graduation, she began her career in the Manitoba Provincial Laboratory and then accepted the position of Provincial Bacteriologist in the Saskatchewan Department of Health, later becoming Provincial Pathologist for Saskatchewan and Laboratory Director. She was appointed Honorary Surgeon at the RCMP Laboratory in Regina and was a lecturer in forensic medicine at the RCMP Training Academy. She became one of Canada's best known criminologists helping to solve hundreds of murder investigations. She was respected and admired by the male members of the RCMP who thought she was a "real lady" but also considered her "one of the boys" for the way she was able to endure the hardships and fatigue of her job. In some cases they traveled thousands of miles by dog team, snowmobile, and rickety floatplane in order to reach the most remote parts of the province. The Province of Saskatchewan decided to honour her memory by officially naming McGill Lake, north of Lake Athabasca, in her memory. She was inducted into the Science and Technology Hall of Fame. Government of Manitoba. Status of Women. Women working for Healthy Communities by Ada Ducas et all October 2001. Online (Accessed December 2011) ; Canada Science and Technology Museum. Hall of Fame. Online (Accessed December 2011)

Maud Leonora Menten

Born March 20, 1879 Port Lambton, Ontario.  Died July 17 1960 Leamington, Ontario.  Maud earned her Bachelor Degree in 1904, then her Master's in 1907. She then attended Medical School graduating with her medical degree in 1911. A dedicated and outstanding medical scientist she was the 1st Canadian woman to receive a medical doctorate in 1916 having completed her thesis work at the University of Chicago in the U.S.A. In this era women were Image result for images Maud Mentennot allowed to do medical research in Canada so in 1912 Maud relocated to Berlin, Germany. While working in Germany, she and a colleague Leonora Michaelis, developed the Michaelis-Menten equation which is a basic biochemical concept. She continued researching and publishing and made discoveries relating to blood sugar, hemoglobin and kidney functions. Unable to find a Canadian academic position from 1923 through 1950 Maud worked first as an assistant Professor, then an Associate Professor and finally a full professor  at the School of Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. She was also Head of Pathology at the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. During her tenure at the University of Pittsburg she managed time to play the clarinet, enjoy painting, climb mountains and even went on an Arctic expedition. She also studied several languages including Russian, French, German, Italian and at lease on Native-American Language.  From 1951-1954 she was a research fellow conducting cancer research at the British Columbia Medical Research Institute. In 1998 she was posthumously inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame. The University of Pittsburgh named a chair and memorial lectures in her honour. In 2015 Port Lambton, Ontario installed a commemorative bronze plaque The Ontario Heritage Trust erected an historical plaque about Maud Menten in from of the University of Toronto's Medical Sciences Building

Mona Nemer

Born 1957 Beirut, Lebanon. Mona immigrated to Kansas, U.S.A. during the Lebanese Civil War which began in 1975. In 1977 she graduated with her Bachelor Degree from Wichita State University in Kansas. Vile visiting friends in the summer after graduation she was convinced to study in Montreal. She completed her PhD in Bio-organic chemistry in 1982 from McGill University. She has published well over scientific research articles in medical journals. Her work has contributed to the development of diagnostic tests for heart failure and the genetics of cardiac birth defects. In 1994 she received the Marcel-Piche Prize in recognition of the contribution to the growth and outreach of the Institute de recherches cliniques de Montréal where she worked as Director of the Cardiac Development Research Unit. In 2001 she became a fellow in the Royal Society of Canada. In 2003 she earned the Leo-Pariseau Prize for her research.  From 2006 through 2017 she served as Vice President of Research at the University of Ottawa. In 2009 she was named a Knight of the National Order of Merit in France. She In 2014 she became a Member of the order of Canada. September 26, 2017 she was appointed as Canada's Chief Science Advisor providing impartial scientific advice to the Prime Minister and ensures scientists can special freely. She also promotes Canadian science nationally and internationally. (2019)

Elizabeth Stern

Born September 19, 1915 Cobalt, Ontario. Died August 18, 1980. She studied medicine at the University of Toronto and graduated in 1939. She moved to the United States where her research gained international attention. While working at UCLA she published the first case report linking a specific virus to a specific cancer. In her study of birth control pills and cervical cancer she later  showed that a normal cell goes through 250 distinct stages before reaching advanced cervical cancer. One of the first specialists in cytopathology, the study of diseased cell she helped lead to earlier detection techniques to help save women’s lives. The Encyclopedia Britannica, included her in their list of “300 women who changed the world” that was released in 2006.

Ayako "Irene" Uchida

Born April 4, 1917, Vancouver, British Columbia. Died July 30, 2013, Toronto, Ontario. Her childhood piano teacher could not pronounce her given name and called her Irene. The name stuck. She began her studies at the University of British Columbia. With the onslaught of World War ll and the war against Japan, Irene was swept up with 20,000 Japanese Canadians and placed in internment camps. Here she would become the principal of a grade school with 500 students. After the release from the camp and with the help of the United Church of Canada she studied at the University of Toronto. She had to work at such jobs as dishwasher to live.  She graduated in 1946 and pursued further studies of the human chromosomes. She graduated with a PhD in Zoology in 1951. She worked at the Toronto Hospital for Sick Children until 1959. After a short fellowship in Wisconsin, U.S.A. she started the 1st National Cytogenetics Lab in Canada at the Winnipeg Children’s Hospital. Here in the 1960’s she was the first person to link radiation exposure in women throughout their lives to Downs Syndrome births of the women’s children. The practice of medicine was forever changed. By 1970 she was in the international spotlight. She was awarded the Woman of the Century from the Manitoba National Council of Jewish Women and the Founder Award from the Canadian College of Medical Geneticists. She worked briefly as a visiting scientist at the University of London, England and returned to Canada in 1969 to work at McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario for the next twenty years. She was awarded the Order of Canada in 1993. She retired in 1995 from Oshawa General Hospital. Sources: Canadian Encyclopedia online; Obituary by Olesia Plokhii, The Globe and Mail, September 14, 2013:  Book, Seeing the invisible: the story of Dr. Uchida by Terry Watada. Suggestion submitted by June Coxon, Ottawa Ontario.

Margaret 'Peggy' Ann Wilson Thompson

née Wilson. Born  January 7, 1920, Isle of Man, United Kingdom, DIED November 3, 2014, Toronto, Ontario When she was 6 her family immigrated to Saskatchewan. She completed Normal School (Teacher’s College) and taught in rural prairie schools prior to earning her biology degree at the University of Saskatchewan in 1943. By 1948 she had earned her PhD from the University of Toronto in zoology specializing in metabolic genetics. She Married James Jimmy’ Thompson and taught 1st at the University of Western Ontario before moving to the University of Alberta. While in Alberta she served on the Alberta Eugenics Board 1960 to 1962, a fact little known even by closest colleagues. The family with 2 sons relocated Toronto I 1963 where Peggy worked at the University of Toronto and the Hospital for Sick Children. She and James wrote the 1st textbook on human genetics which would become a standard throughout North America. She was a founding member of the Genetics Society of Canada and the Canadian College of Medical Genetics where she served as President in 1983 through 1985. This society and the Canadian Society for Molecular Biosciences offer annual trainee awards in Peggy’s hour. In 1988 she was presented with the Order of Canada. She was also a member of the American Society of Human Genetics where she served on the Board of Directors in 1977-78. In 1995 the ASHG presented her with the 1st award for excellence in Human Genetics Education. Peggy had a passion for research in Muscular Dystrophy and inspired many students and researchers in this field. Sources: Ron Csillag, “Gifted Scientist Margaret Thompson had a lasting impact on Health Care’, Globe and Mail, December 14, 2014; Lou Siminovitch and Ron Worton, ‘A tribute to Margaret W. Thompson …1920-2014’, Globe and Mail November 26, 2014; The Canadian Encyclopedia Online (Accessed December 2014)

Occupational Therapist      Return to categories
Stella W. Tate

Born 1922. Died 1999. Stella graduated from the University of Toronto with a diploma in occupational therapy in 1943. Hired as a typist in the Canadian Navy she was shortly promoted and commissioned as a lieutenant and became the Canadian Navy’s 1st occupational Therapist. In the 1960’s she established the Occupational Therapy Program at Toronto’s Hugh MacMillan Rehabilitation Center. In the 1970’s she helped develop the province of Ontario’s 1st home care programme which allowed patients to be at home while having therapy. Source: “Builders and Pioneers : Individuals who helped ideas prosper” by Steve Brearton, University of Toronto Magazine. Spring 2000.

Pharmacists                           Return to categories
Louise Beaulac-Baillargeon

Born Shawinigan, Quebec February 21, 1944. She studied for her B.A. at Laval University and continued on to earn her B. Pharm. and her PhD. She began teaching as an assistant professor at Laval in 1974. She would go on to study and research in the estimation of milk to plasma ratios by an in vitro methodological approach and then the use of pharmacokinetics during pregnancy and post-partum and also looked at caffeine, cigarettes and drugs interaction on post natal development. She became Director m Master Degree Program in Hospital Pharmacy form 1980-1988 and in continued to be a professor and chair of the Pharmacology, School of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Laval University. She has written numerous papers and report in her area of expertise as well as having co-authored several books and chapters in various specific textbooks. She is author and editor of Medicaments pendant la grossesse et la lactation.

Marie McIntyre

née Negricz Winnipeg, Manitoba 1900. Died 1938. Marie’s family believed all their children should have a strong education at a time when women did not always have a chance for education. After high school she worked for three years as a pharmacist’s apprentice before att4ending the University of Manitoba. When she acquired her degree she was the 1st Ukrainian-Canadian woman to become a pharmacist. She became a true role model for young immigrants. Her proud father built the Ideal Drug Store for his daughter in 1926. Shortly after the store opened Marie married Donald Matheson. Marie was busy at work but she also found time to be active in the Women’s Auxiliary in the Druggists of Manitoba organized in 1931 and served as the organizations secretary from 1935-1936. Source: Saskatoon Women’s Calendar Collective. Herstory 2007: the Canadian Women’s Calendar (Regina: Couteau  Books, 2006)  pg. 72..

Physiotherapist                 Return to categories
Enid Finley Gordon

Born December 17, 1896, Montreal, Quebec. Died January 24, 1974, Toronto, Ontario. Enid studied, for the beginning of her medical training, Medical Gymnastics in Heidelberg, Germany. She followed this with studies in physiotherapy at the Pennsylvania Orthopaedic Institute and School of Mechanotherapy. She returned to Montreal to work at the Belmont Convalescent Home for war veterans and taught massage at McGill University. When it opened in 1918 Enid worked at the Military School of Orthopedic Surgery at Hart House, University of Toronto. Shortly after it opened, the government, which saw no need for such a centre, closed it down. By February 1, 1919 Enid was working at the Dominion Orthopedic Hospital for Veterans as supervisor. In January 1918, Dr. Lawrence Bruce Robertson (1885-1924) was sent home from the European front to rest and recuperate. He began working at the same hospital as Enid. On April 17, 1940 the couple were married. They would have two children. After her marriage Enid  returned to efforts towards the formation of what would become the Canadian Physiotherapy Association. As a widow by 1924, Enid took the children to Europe, returning only when they were old enough for school. She worked to establish a two year diploma program in physiotherapy at the University of Toronto which opened in 1920. In 1930 she married Dr. Duncan Graham. At the beginning of World War ll she convinced the Canadian Military to formerly acknowledge the need for physiotherapists. 138 physiotherapists volunteered for overseas service with pay and privileges equal to male volunteers of the same rank.

Psychiatrist                    Return to categories
Arlette Marie-Laure Lefebvre

Dr Froggie

Born July 26, 1947 Montreal, Quebec. Arlette earned her BA from Université de Caen, France in 1964. In 1970 Arlette graduated in medicine from the University of Toronto. In 1974 she earned a diploma in Child Psychology and the following year she joined the staff of the Hospital for Sick Children where is is known as 'Dr. Froggie'. In 1983 she became an Associate Professor in Psychiatry at the Univeristy of Toronto. She is the founding President of Ability OnLine. which she founded in 1991. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Easter Seal Society of Ontario, Star Tracks Talent Agency for Disabled Children.  and the AIDS Committee of Toronto Collection with York University. She is a member of the Joint Centre for Bioethics at the University of Toronto and  the Advisory Panel of Hasbro International. In 1993 the Toronto Sun newspaper names her as a "Woman on the Move.' and that same year she was listed as a "woman Who Make a Difference' In 1996 she was inducted into the Terry Fox Hall of Fame, received the Variety Club Diamond Award and was inducted into the Order of Ontario. She is the author or co-author of numerous articles, book chapters, reviews and manuals. Arlette is a Member of the Order of Canada. (2019)

Mary V. Seeman

In 1960 she attended McGill medical school in Montreal specializing in schizophrenia. She has written over 200 scientific articles and in 1995 she published Gender and Psychopathology. She served as Psychiatrist in Chief at Mount Sinai Hospital and Vice Chair of the University of Toronto Department of Psychiatry. She was the inaugural Tapscott Professor and was chair of Schizophrenia Studies. In 2001 she received the Gold Award for Advancement of Psychiatric Research from the Canadian Psychiatric Society. In 2002 she received the Queen Elizabeth Golden Jubilee Medal. She is Professor Emerita at the University of Toronto’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. In 2006 she was awarded the Order of Canada. Source: Order of Canada. Online. Accessed 2007

Cornelia Wieman

Aboriginal Woman

Born Fort William, (now Thunder Bay) Ontario, 1964. She was raised on the Little Grand Rapids Reserve in Northern Manitoba. She studied for her Bachelor in Science and Masters in Science at the University of Waterloo, Ontario. She earned her Medical Degree at McMaster University in 1993 becoming Canada’s 1st female Aboriginal psychiatrist. May 25, 2006 she married Timothy Joseph. She was previously a Co-Director of the Indigenous Health Research Development Program and Assistant Professor in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. She provides psychiatric and consulting services to various mental health and social service agencies in downtown Toronto, including the new YWCA Elm Centre, a supportive housing complex for women living with mental health and addictions issues. She also serves on an advisory group to the Chief Public Health Officer of the Public Health Agency of Canada. Dr. Wieman received a National Aboriginal Achievement Award in 1998 for her work in improving the physical and mental health of Aboriginal Peoples. Source: Canadian Who’s Who, Toronto, University of Toronto Press, 2003)

Psychologists                          Return to categories
Mary Ainsworth

née Salter. Born 1913, Glendale, Ohio, U.S.A. Died 1999. Mary and her family settled in Toronto in 1918 and became Canadian citizens. In 1935 she earned her BA from the University of Toronto and continued her studies there earning both a MA and then her PhD in 1939. Originally she worked on staff at the University but from 1943-1946 she was in the Canadian Women’s Army Corps. After the war Queen’s University in Kingston Ontario wanted her to work in the Psychology Department but the university’s Senate would not ratify the position since they had a policy of not hiring women for such positions. In 1950 Mary married Leonard Ainsworth and the couple sailed to England where she worked at the Tavistock Clinic. In 1953 she was working for the East African Institute of Social Research in Kampala, Uganda. By 1955 she was back in North America working at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore Maryland, U.S.A. She also established her own private practice devoted to working with children. Her salary at John Hopkins was not equal to male lecturers and this was not rectified for many years. She became a full professor at Hopkins in 1963. Her specialty was childhood relationships with family and care givers. At one point she recommended that babies would be healthier if they were fed when they were hungry and not according to a rigorous schedule. This recommendation would radically change advice to young families. In 1975 she moved to the University of Virginia until retirement in 1984. The American Psychological Foundation presented her with the Gold Medal for Life Achievement in the Science of Psychology. Source: Lise Held.(2010)  Mary Ainsworth . In A. Rutherford (Ed.), Psychology's Feminist Voices Multimedia Internet Archive. Retrieved from Online (Accessed August 2014)

Magda Arnold

Born December 22, 1903. Died October 2, 2002, Tucson, Arizona, U.S.A. Her parents were travelling performers and Magda was brought up in the home of family friend. She took commercial courses to help with her spoken English and became a bank clerk. In 1939 she earned her B.A. at the University of Toronto followed in 1940 by her M.A. She married Robert Arnold, a student of Slavic Languages. The couple would have 3 daughters. While Magda was working on her post graduate studies her husband left with the children. Magda had no legal recourse to get her children back so she continued her studies while suffering the loss of her family. Once she had earned her PhD she became a lecturer at the University of Toronto, an affiliation that lasted until the soldiers returning from the war took over the job market. In 1946 through 1947 she worked with Psychological Services at the Canadian Veterans Affairs. Here she developed scoring for thematic appreciation test (TAT. Her work became the basis for a book on the subject published in 1962.  In 1947 she moved to the U.S.A. working at Wellesley College and then Bryn Mawr College. By the 1950’s she was working at Barat College at Lake Forest, Illinois, U.S.A. In 1952 she earned the Helen Putnam Advances Research Fellowship and worked towards publishing her work: Emotion and Personality in 1960.  in1970 she lectured at Loyola College and then on to Spring Hill College in Chicago. From 1972 through 1975 she was in Mobile Alabama. A few years after her retirement she moved to Tucson, Arizona to be closer to one of her daughters. Source: Lisa Held. Magda Arnold (2010) in Psychology’s Feminist Voices. Online (Accessed August 2014)

Emma Sophia Baker

Born 1856, Milton, (Upper Canada (now Ontario) Died October 26, 1943. She graduated Albert College, Belleville Ontario and worked there for three years. Moving to Williamsport Pennsylvania she worked 4 years at what is now Lycoming College. Returning to Canada she worked at the Presbyterian Ladies College in Toronto for 6 years. She also spent time learning the French language at the Sorbonne in Paris and then she took courses at Nottingham College at Cambridge, England.  Just at the turn of the century in 1899 she was an early female student to graduate with a B.A. from the University of Toronto. By 1903 she had earned her PhD from the university where she was the 1st woman to receive a PhD in Philosophy (Psychology was covered by Philosophy at this time.) From 1901, while still working on her PhD through to 1914 she served at Lady Principal at Mount Allison Ladies College in Sackville, New Brunswick. She did take a year off from Mount Allison in 1911 to visit the Holy lands and came back to share her knowledge with her students. In 1914 she moved to the Maryland College for Women in Lutherville, Maryland, U.S.A.. Retiring in 1928 she moved back to Toronto. Source: Connie SmirleL2012)  Emma Sophia Baker In A. Rutherford (Ed.), Psychology's Feminist Voices Multimedia Internet Archive. Retrieved from Online (Accessed August 2014)

Katherine Banham

Born 1897, Sheffield, England. Died 1995. Katherine earned her Bachelor of Sciences at the University of Manchester, England. She was the 1st student to register for the honours programme in psychology. She attended Cambridge University in England but did not receive a degree as women were not granted degrees at Cambridge at this time. Moving to Canada she lectured at the University of Toronto in 1921. In 1924 she married J.W. Bridges and the couple settled in Montreal where she worked at McGill University. Her specialty was researching juvenile delinquency. In 1930 she moved over to the University of Montreal. In 1934 she became the 1st woman to earn a PhD from the University of Montreal. She became well published in her field including two books one of which was titled: Pre-school Child Emotional Development in Early Infancy. In 1946 she relocated to North Carolina working at Duke University. She developed several rating scales still used today to measure social and motor skills in children and adults. Source: Amanda Jenkins: Katherine Banham. Online (Accessed August 2014) 

Thérèse Gouin-Décarie

née Gouin. Born September 30, 1923, Montréal Québec. In 1945 she earned her B.A. from the Université d Montréal from private instruction. She continued at the Université to earn her M.A., 1947 and her PhD, 1960. She moved to Paris in 1949 and married Vianney Décarie. In 1956 the couple moved back to Montréal where they had and raised 4 children. In the 1960’s Thérèse worked on a project that concluded children of mother’s who had taken the drug, Thalidomide, during pregnancy often experienced cognitive deficits. She continued to excel in her work on early childhood education. In 1969 she became a member of the Royal Society. In 1977 she was inducted into the Order of Canada and in 1994 the Order of Québec. She was the 1st woman to earn the Léon-Gérin Prize from Quebec for outstanding research in the Social Sciences. She is a professor Emerita at the Université de Montréal. Source: Jacy L. Young & Zahra Nakhjiri: Thérèse Gouin-Décarie. In A. Rutherford (Ed.), Psychology's Feminist Voices Multimedia Internet Archive. Retrieved from Online (Accessed August 2014)

Doreen Kimura

née Goebel. Born 1933 Winnipeg, Manitoba. Died February 27, 2013 Vancouver, British Columbia. Doreen holds a PhD in psychology from McGill University. Her interests were in the relationship between sex and cognition and promoting academic freedom. In the early 1960s Doreen was a Fellow at the Neurochirurgische Klinik, Kantonsspital, in Zurich Switzerland, where she set up the Human Brain Function Laboratory and a postdoctoral researcher in brain and behavior at the UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles. Returning to Canada she worked at McMaster University, Hamilton Ontario before being offered a position as professor at the University of Western Ontario, (UWO) London, Ontario. She was one of the founders and main pillars of the field of neuropsychology in Canada. In 1993 she published Neuromotor Mechanisms in Human Communication. She retired from UWO in 1998 and held a professorship at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia. She published Sex and Cognition in 1999. She was internationally known for her research into the biological bases of human cognitive abilities such as language, complex motor function, and spatial abilities.

Arlett Marie-Laure Lefebvre

Born July 26, 1947. She earned her medical degree as a doctor of psychology at the University of Toronto in 1970. She married Yvon Bedard on May 25, 1970.  She has worked as a child psychiatrist at the Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario since 1974 where her patients call her ‘Dr Froggie’. She teaches at the University of Toronto. She has served on the Board of Directors for the Easter Seals Society of Ontario, , Ability OnLine Alliance for Children and TV, the Star Tracks Talent Agency for the Disabled, Concerned Kids, CANFAR, In 1993 she was listed by the Toronto Sun newspaper as a Woman on the Move. And she earned that same year the Community Action Award. In 1994 She earned the Easter Gold Seal Award followed in 1996 with the Variety Club Diamond Award.  She had been inducted into the Terry Fox Hall of Fame, the  Order of Ontario and the Order of Canada.

Brenda Milner

 née Langford. Born July 15, 1918 Manchester, England  Brenda studied at Newham College but World War ll changed the focus of her work to helping select aircrews and later in the War she worked with radar operators. In 1941 she met her husband, Peter Milner, who worked on radar research. The married in 1944 and immigrated to Canada and she began teaching at the University of Montreal from 1944 through 1951. In 1949 she earned her Master’s degree in experimental psychology and went on to McGill University to earn her PhD by1952. In 1984 she was inducted into the Order of Canada. In 2009 she was promoted to Grand Officer of the National Order of Quebec. In 2014 she was presented with the Kavli Prize in neuroscience and the Dan David Prize. In 2016 she earned the Norman A. Aderson Lifetime Achievement Award and became a Fellow in the Royal Society of London (England) as well as the Royal Society of Canada. She has received recognition from more than 20 universities in Canada, U.S.A. and Europe.

Leola Ellen Neal

Born 1911, Merlin, Ontario. Died 1995. She completed her B.A. at the University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario in 1933 and went on to earn her M.A. in 1935 and a PhD in 1942. During the time she worked on her post Graduate studies she worked at the University. She interned at the London Mental Hospital. In 1946 she was appointed Dean of Women at the University of Western Ontario as well as holding a position of professor with the Psychology Department. In 1949 she served as the 1st female President of the Ontario Psychological Association and in 1951 she was the second woman to serve on the Board of the Canadian Psychological Association. Source:: Perlin Gull & Jacy L. Young: Leola Ellen Neal. In A. Rutherford (Ed.), Psychology's Feminist Voices Multimedia Internet Archive. Retrieved from Online (Accessed August 2014)

Mary Louise Northway

Born May 28, 1909, Toronto, Ontario. Died 1987. After starting at the University of Toronto in Ontario in 1927 she was forced to take 1 ½ years from her studies due to poor health. She returned to the University of Toronto and earned her B.A. in 1933 and her M.A. the following year. From Toronto she studied at Cambridge University in England where were allowed to study but not allowed to receive degrees at this time. She returned once again to the University of Toronto earning her PhD in 1938. From 1934 through to 1968 she worked her way up to the position of Assistant Professor and from 1951 to 1968 she was supervisor of research at the Department of Psychology. She also worked as a counselor and programme director at Glen Bernard Camp from 1931-1939 and served as Director of Research and Education for the Ontario Camping association in the 1930’s and 1940’s. She served as Directory of Northway Co., the family business founded by her father, from 1948-1960, and President from 1960-1963 when the company was dissolved. Finances from the company were used to create the Neathem Trust which financed welfare related initiatives. In 1969 she co-founded Brora Centre, a nonprofit organization for child development research. Upon her death she left the largest private contribution ever received, in her father’s name, to Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario. Source: Jacy L. Young. Mary Northway In Psychology’s Feminist Voices. 2011. Online (Accessed August 2014)

Reva Potashin

Born September 13, 1921, Toronto, Ontario. Died September 15, 2013, Vancouver. She excelled at school recalling receiving 2 jellybeans for her reading in grade 1. She earned her B.A. from the University of Toronto in 1943 followed by her M.A. in 1944 and a PhD in 1951. In 1951 she taught for a year at the University of Saskatchewan. From 1952 through to retirement in 1986 she taught at the University of British Columbia. She was a pioneer in the area of Children’s group dynamics. She found that children with friends were more readily accepted at school than those without friends. She published a book Personality and Sociometric Status while working on her PhD. She was outspoken on the inequality between women and men who were professors and waited many years to see the pay become equal. Upon retirement in 1986 she became Professor Emerita at UBC. Source: Laurin Joly , Obituary Vancouver Sun, September 18, 2013.

Beatrice  Enid Wickett-Nesbitt

Born Alberta 1917. Died Calgary, Alberta September 10, 2010 She studied at Acadia University with graduate studies at Brown University and a PhD at McGill University, Montreal. She married John Cameron Wickett and the couple had three children. During his service in World War ll John was thought to have been killed but was actually at a German prisoner of war camp. During the War Bea raised her family as a single mother only to have her husband home in 1945. She became executive director of the Canadian Mental Association in 1961 and 1962-63 she was chief psychologist at the Ottawa Public School Board. A pioneer woman in psychology she forged  a mentoring career path for women. She developed innovative programs for emotionally disturbed and autistic children. The models of care she established while working for the Ottawa Board of Education were emulated across Canada. She was awarded the outstanding professional achievement and the Canadian Rehabilitation Council’s most innovative program Award. A widow in 1976 she would marry a second time to H.H.J. Cameron. In 1986 she was inducted into the Order of Canada. After her retirement she helped establish the Ottawa Carleton Regional Palliative Care Association. In 2007 the Canadian Psychological Association awarder her a distinguished lifetime achievement award. Source: “A legend in her own time” by Mohammed Adam. Ottawa Citizen September 29, 2012 ; Obituary. Calgary Herald September 13, 2012.

Blossom Temkin Wigdor

née Temkin. Born June 13, 1924. In 1945 she earned her B.A. and on May 30 that same year she married Leon Wigdor. She had applied to medical school at McGill but was refused entry as she was engaged to be married and there were returning soldiers needing classroom space over a women who would marry. She studied for her M.A. at the University of Toronto and then back to McGill for her PhD in 1952. From 1946 through 1979 she worked with the Canadian Department of Veterans Affairs. From 1952 through 1979 she was a professor at McGill University. From 1979 to 2010 she taught at the University of Toronto where she is now a professor Emerita. 1973-1979 she worked with the Science Council of Canada.  In 1989 she became a member of the Order of Canada. She was a founding director of the Programme in Gerontology from 1979 through 1989. In 1990 through 1993 she was Chair of the National Advisory Council on Aging and also the Chair of the Canadian Coalition on Medication use in the Elderly. She is the author of numerous article, book chapters and books on aging and gerontology. Source: A. Rutherford (Ed.), Psychology's Feminist Voices Multimedia Internet Archive. Retrieved from Online (Accessed August 2014)  ; International Who’s Who of Women 2002. Online (Accessed August 2014)

Mary Jane Wright

Born 1915, Strathroy, Ontario. Died April 23, 2014. In 1939 Mary earned her B.A. from the University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario. By 1949 she had receiver her PhD in Child Psychology from the University of Toronto. During World War ll  she served in the United Kingdom developing care for evacuated British children. In 1946 she was a professor of Child Psychology at the University of Western Ontario. In 1959 she was the 1st woman director with the Canadian Psychological Association and in 1960 at UWO she became the 1st woman in Canada to chair a major psychology Department. In 1968 she served as President of the Canadian Psychological Association and would earn the Gold Medal for Lifetime contributions to the profession. She also served as President of the Ontario Psychological Society where she earned the Award for distinguished contributions to her profession. She was one of the few distinguished international persons to be elected a fellow of the American Psychological Association. She is well published in academic psychology. The UWO named the University laboratory I her honour. She has also been presented with the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Medal. Locally she was on the Board of the London Meals on Wheels, and the United Way. In 2007 she was the London YMCA Woman of Excellence. The Town of Strathroy has named a public School in her honour when she was 98 years of age. Source: Obituaries. Globe and Mail April 26, 2014; Laura Bell,(2010)  Mary Jean Wright In A. Rutherford (Ed.), Psychology's Feminist Voices Multimedia Internet Archive. Retrieved from Online (Accessed August 2014)  Suggestion submitted by June Coxon.

Physicians                                     Return to categories
Maude Elizabeth Seymour Abbott

née Babin. Born March 18, 1869 St. André Est, Quebec. Died September 2, 1940, Montreal, Quebec. Her father abandoned Maude after the death of her mother and the child was legally adopted and raised by her maternal grandmother, Mrs. William Abbott. Maude was one of the 1st women to receive a BA from McGill University, Montreal, Quebec in 1890.Four years later she earned Medical Degree with honours from Bishop's University, Lennoxville, Quebec as the only woman in her class. She opened her own medical practice in Montreal where she also worked with the Royal Victoria Hospital and was elected as the 1st woman to be a member of the Montreal Medico-Chirugical Society. She went on to post graduate medical studies in Vienna, Austria. In 1906 she co-founded the International Association of Medical Museums with fellow Canadian, Dr. William Osler. In 1907 she served as the secretary and spent years editing the institution's articles.  This doctor wrote a successful medical paper on heart murmurs, but a male friend had to present her paper since women were not admitted to the hall where the paper was presented! In 1910 she became a lecturer in pathology at McGill University even though the university did not accept female students. Leaving McGill she worked at the Women's Medical College of Pennsylvania, U.S.A. in 1923. In 1924 she founded the Federation of Medical Women of Canada. By 1925 she was once again at McGill working as an Assistant professor.  Later she would specialize on heart disease and eventually published the “Atlas of Congenital Cardiac Disease" in 1936  for which she gained a good deal of respect. She also wrote a history of nursing, a basic text for Canadian nursing schools. She was even made an honorary member of the all-male Osler Society. In 1958 the International Academy of Pathology created the Maude Abbott Lecture. In 1993 she was declared a f National Historic Person of Canada and the following year she was inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame. In 2000, a bronze plaque was erected in her honour on the McIntyre Medical Building at McGill University. In the same year, Canada Post issued a forty-six cent postage stamp entitled The Heart of the Matter in her honour.

Maria Louisa Angwin

Born Sept 21, 1849, Blackhead, Conception Bay, Newfoundland. Died April 25, 1898, Ashland Massachusetts. Her family resettled in Nova Scotia in the 1850’s finally settling in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia in 1865. She attended the Mount Allison Wesleyan Academy in Sackville, New Brunswick graduating in 1866.  She knew that her family could not afford to send her to study medicine like she wanted so she earned her teacher’s certificate at Normal School in Truro, Nova Scotia> She taught in Dartmouth for 5 years saving to attend medical studies in the U.S.A. In June 1882 she graduated from the Women’s Medical College of the New York Infirmary for Women and Children. She did one year of internship at the New England Hospital, Boston Massachusetts. She also did some post graduate courses at the Royal Free Hospital in London, England. On September 20, 1884 she became the 1st woman licensed medical doctor in Nova Scotia. She was ahead of her times in many ways not only in medical studies but in her appearance. She wore her hair cut short. She was an avid member of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) and lectured on the problems of alcohol and tobacco consumption. She also advocated for advanced education for women and no doubt votes for women. During a trip to the U.S.A. for ill health, she died unexpectedly from surgery.   Sources:  The Indomitable Women Doctors by Carlotta Hacker (Toronto: Clarke & Irwin, 1974) ; The Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online (Accessed April 2014)

Margaret Smith Arkinstall

née Smith. Born February 2, 1906 Glasgow Lanarkshire, Scotland. Died 2001 Newmarket, Ontario.  Margaret studied medicine at the University of Toronto while her boyfriend and later husband William Campbell Arkinstall (1899-1978) studied medicine at Queen's University, Kingston Ontario. They both graduated in 1930 with Margaret doing her internship in Moose Jaw Saskatchewan and he in  and Bill took up a practice in Hurst, Ontario and on September 24, 1931 he and Margaret were married. The couple would have four children. Margaret became one of the 1st women doctors in Northeastern Ontario. They practiced at the mission hospital called St Paul's which was maintained by the Women's Missionary Society of St Paul's United Church, Hurst. In 1936 the couple went to England to further their medical studies and she took courses in obstetrics and anesthesia. In 1945 the couple resettled in the company town of Kapuskasing in Northern Ontario in 1945. After some years in the couple became unsettled with the company run town and they moved south to settle in Newmarket, Ontario. In 1983, along with with nurse Elizabeth, Margaret co-wrote the book;  Pioneer Partners of St. Paul's

Ida Manning Armstrong

Born 1905 Gladstone, Manitoba. Died 1982. She moved with her family to Winnipeg in 1915. She earned her Bachelor in Sciences from the University of Manitoba in 1926. She completed her medical degree at the University of Manitoba in 1936, studied in England in 1937-38, and entered private practice in Winnipeg as an obstetrician and gynecologist. She gave radio lectures for women on medical emergencies during World War Two. She was active in golf, curling, and bowling. Sources: Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by J.M. Bumsted (University of Manitoba, 1999. : Memorable Manitobans by Gordon Goldsborough. Manitoba Historical Society Online (Accessed December 2011)

Elaine Joy Arpin

Born 1949 Winnipeg, Manitoba. Joy received BSc and Medical degrees from the University of Manitoba in 1969 and 1972, She did her internship in 1972-1973
and trained in Neurosurgery at the University of Manitoba from 1973-1975 and at McGill University from 1975 -1978. Joy become a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in Neurosurgery in 1978 and is the 1st woman neurosurgeon in Canada. She completed a post  Fellowship year in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A. and returned to the Montreal Neurological Institute as assistant professor in Neurosurgery in 1979. Joy remained on clinical staff there till 1983. She then relocated to Dallas, Texas, U.S.A. for a neurosurgical position and continued to practice in the USA till retirement in 2001.

Mira Ashby

Born 1922 Zagreb, Croatia. Died July 16, 2005 Toronto, Ontario. Mira studied medicine at the University of Zagreb. She left her home in January 1945 finally settling in Canada in 1959.  She became a doctor and during World War ll she served with the Red Cross. After the War she worked with her husband, Lord Ashby, in the United Nations to establish hospitals for refugees. She spoke 8 languages fluently. Mira was the founder of Ashby House, which opened in 1978. Ashby House was the 1st transitional living program for adults with brain injuries in North America. This served as a model for Europe, Australia and Japan. She was the 1st to organize an international symposium for head injuries, under the name, “New Beginnings” which were held each year in Canada.   She developed the Ashby Memory Method (AMM) focusing upon those who suffered traumatic brain injury where a portion of the brain is instantly affected and no longer functions properly. In 1978 she received the Distress Center Award .She received the Order of Canada in 1984 for her work on brain injury rehabilitation. She also found time to volunteer working with young people as a counsellor and group leader at the YMCA and the Toronto General Hospital Social Services Department. At the International Institute of Metropolitan Toronto, she was busy teaching English to new immigrants, and participating in various festivals celebrating cultural diversity such as the 'Old World Bazaar', the Garden Party, Folk Festivals and concerts with exhibits of Croatian art, paintings and handworks. In 2003 she received the Queen’s Jubilee Medal.

Elizabeth Catherine Bagshaw

Born October 18, 1881 Cannington, Ontario Born Cannington, Ontario October 18, 1881. Died January 5, 1982. One of Canada's first women doctors, she had a successful 60-year practice. She attended Women’s Medical College in Toronto and graduated in 1905. She interned in Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A. but gave it up for an unpaid preceptorship with a female doctor near her home and closer to her widowed mother.  She settled in Hamilton Ontario in the 1920’s.For 30 years she was the medical director of the Hamilton Ontario Birth Control Clinic. Keep in mind that it was illegal to provide birth control until 1969 in Canada! She signed more birth certificates than any other doctor in the area. She became a single parent raising an adopted son, John. In 1954 mother and son had medical practices in the same building. You can just imagine the forces that this courageous woman had to face while attempting to present women of her era with information on Birth control. She reluctantly retired at the age of 95. In 1978 the National Film Board of Canada released a movie on her life: Doctor Women; The life and times of Dr. Elizabeth Bagshaw. She earned the Order of Canada and the Governor’s General Persons Award. In 1970 she Citizen of the year in Hamilton. An elementary School  was named in her honour and in 2007 she was inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame.   Sources: Canadian Medical Hall of Fame : 100 more Canadian Heroines by Merna Forster Dundurn Press, 2011.

James Miranda Stuart Barry

née Bulkeley [?] Born England 1795. Died 1865. In the day when medicine only accepted men as students one woman disguised herself as a men and entered the Edinburgh University in 1809. As a doctor in the British army she served in the far corners of the British Empire and gained a reputation as an outstanding surgeon. In 157 Dr. Barry was posted to Canada where he was well respected for his fight to provide cleaner hospital facilities and better food for the working soldiers. An odd small “man” with little or no facial hair Dr. Barry was considered an eccentric. It would not be until death, when the body was being prepared for burial that it would be discovered that the renowned doctor was indeed a woman! It must have cause a stir in the Victorian society to have had the first “woman” doctor in the British Army!!!

Sheela Bassur

Died June 2, 2008 Toronto, Ontario. In 1982 she earned her medical degree from the University of Toronto and the following year she took time off to travel the world. In 1998 she was the 1st Canadian woman of colour to be named Toronto’s Chief Medical Office of Health.  In 2001 she led the campaign called ‘DineSafe’  which was the 1st program of its kind in Canada that required restaurants to display health inspection reports in their windows. By 2004 she was Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health. At 5 foot tall she was described as a ‘diminutive dynamo’. She was calm by nature and that lead Toronto to survive the SARS epidemic calmly in 2003. Source; Tanya Talaga & Prithi Yelaya. Obituary. The Toronto Star, June 3, 2008.

Elizabeth Robb Beatty

Although she married at 18 this did not deter her from seeking an education. In 1800 she was one of the women taking summer medical courses for women at Queen’s University. In the fall 1881 these courageous women joined in the men’s courses at Queen’s. Both men and women in the same classes proved to be too much for the students and the Women’s Medical College was formed. Elizabeth graduated in 1884 and sailed to India as a medical missionary for the Presbyterian Church of Canada as the 1st woman medical missionary in what would turn out to be a long list of dedicated individual women. In Indore, India she lived in a mud house that also served as a dispensary and hospital. She learned Hindi, the local language to help tend the people and even trained Indian women in nursing. She went on to build the 1st Woman’s Hospital in Central India. Ill health forced her to return to Canada by the end of the decade. She left behind the strong foundations of medical missions in India. Source: The Indomitable Women Doctors, by Carlotta Hacker. (Toronto: Clarke & Irwin, 1974)

Anna Afanasyevna Bhatjakin

née Afanaiyevna. Born Korsunka, Russia. Died September 4, 1999. The daughter of a once upper class Russian family she found herself in Stalin's Russian rule of the 1930's working on collective farms and in coal mines. She earned scholarships to the State University in the Ukraine where she led her graduating class at the Institute of Medicine.  Caught up in the German invasions of World War ll the family retreated across eastern Europe while Dr Bratjakin continued to provide care in refugee camps.  By 1950, she opted to bring her young family, including her wounded husband to Montreal. She worked as a domestic servant supporting her family and learning the working languages of Canada.  She became a specialist in internal medicine and would earn a reputation as a cardiologist. She had a practice at Ste-Anne's de Bellevue open late afternoons and evenings and worked at the hospital during the day. A widow, in 1988 she moved to Ottawa, working with National Defense Medical Centre and a family clinic in Gatineau. She had bee a physician of the western world. Although a disinherited Cossack heiress, she did not want to remain a coal mine worker in Communist Russia. She had determination to provide a service to humanity.

Elinor Francis Elizabeth Black

Born 1905 Nelson, British Columbia. Died Winnipeg, Manitoba January 30, 1982.  At 12 years old she moved to Winnipeg with her family. She was educated at the University of Manitoba Medical School, graduating Cum Laude in 1930. After a year in Britain she set up practice in Winnipeg in 1931. In 1937 she received a six-month appointment as house surgeon at the South London Hospital for Women, following which she took the examination to become, in 1938, the 1st Canadian woman member of the British Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. In 1950, she opened  the Women’s Pavilion at the Winnipeg General Hospital  and in  1951 she was appointed professor of obstetrics and gynecology and chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Manitoba. That same year she was declared Winnipeg’s Woman of the Year. In 1961, she was elected the first woman president of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada. She retired from the University in 1964, although she continued to teach for many years thereafter.  Her research papers are at the University of Manitoba Archives and Special Collections. Sources: Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by J. M. Bumsted University of Manitoba Press, 1999: Memorable Manitobans Profile by Gordon Goldsborough. Online (accessed December 2011) :; Government of Manitoba. Status of Women. Women working for Healthy Communities by Ada Ducas et all October 2001. Online (Accessed December 2011)  Further Reading: Tell the Driver: A Biography of Elinor F. E. Black, M.D. by Julie Vandervoort (1992).  Her birthrate is recorded as 1907 in some sources.

Joan M. Boggs

Born August 18, 1946. When she relaxes she goes hiking and canoeing or can be found gardening. When she goes to work she is a Senior Scientist at the hospital for Sick Children, Toronto and a professor at the University of Toronto. Dr. Boggs is the author/co-author of more than 85 papers which have appeared in various scientific journals. You will find her listed in the Canadian Who's Who at your local library.

Helen Chan

Born June 19, 1947. Helen graduated from the University of Hong Kong in 1971. Dr. Chan had a general practice in Hong Kong prior to immigrating to Canada in the mid 1970's.  This physician has been a main stay as pediatric oncologist at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto from 1979. She also serves as a professor of pediatrics at the University of Toronto. She is renowned internationally for her treatment of retinoblastoma, a rare eye cancer. Because of her research more than 90% of diagnosed children can be cured with chemotherapy.   In 2018 she was inducted into the Order of Ontario. (2018)

Lillian Alice Chase

Born Cornwallis, Nova Scotia. Died 1987, Ottawa, Ontario. She attended Acadia University where she established herself as a capable athlete from 1912-1916. She was active in student government and in literary societies and was editor of the Aftenaeum , the student newsletter. She attempted to teach at Port William, Nova Scotia but said she would rather scrub floors than teach! Her mother encouraged her to study medicine and she attended the University of Toronto after which she worked at the Banting Institute for Insulin Research. From 1924 through 1942 she practiced medicine in Regina and was known for her  expertise with Diabetics. During World War ll she served in the Royal Canadian Medical Corps. After the war she practiced medicine in Toronto and became affiliated with Women’s College Hospital. She founded the Canadian Diabetic Association and in 1967 she became a “senior member” of the Canadian Medical Association. After she retired she moved to Ottawa to be closer to her family. Sources: Turn out and Cheer! Sports in Wolfville 1970-1950 Acadia University website Accessed April 2013: Herstory: The Canadian Women’s Calendar 2006. Saskatoon: Coteau Books, 2005.

Nancy Rodger Chenoweth

Nancy earned her medical degree at Trinity College in Toronto, Ontario in 1892. She moved with her Methodist minister husband to the Canadian North-West Territory (Now Alberta) and practiced medicine where ever they settled. She was for awhile in Walsh, near Medicine Hat, then Pincher Creek and finally they moved further west to Michel, British Columbia. After she was widowed in 1911 she studies X-ray technology at the University of Chicago in the U.S.A.. She settled in Michigan, in the U.S. and it is said the patients were sent to her from miles around to have special benefits of her machine. Source :The indomitable Lady Doctors by Carlotta Hacker (Toronto: Clarke Irwin, 1974)

Victoria Chung

Born Victoria British Columbia, 1897. Died South Guangzhou Province, China May 1966. As a child growing up she taught Sunday School at her Church , joined girls groups and took music lessons in Chinatown. Her mother was a working nurse with irregular hours so Victoria boarded at the school where she proclaimed that she wanted to be a missionary in China. In 1917 the Women’s Missionary Society offered Victoria a university scholarship. Since British Columbia prohibited Chinese people from entering any profession, Victoria studied medicine at the University or Toronto, the only Canadian school to accept female medical students in Canada, at that time. Graduating in 1922, she was the first woman of Chinese descent to become a doctor in Canada. The WMS sent her to Marion Barclay Hospital for women and children in China, fulfilling her childhood dream of becoming a missionary. Her family would also join her in China. Not only was she a doctor making house calls for the sick but she also taught at the local nursing school She modernized medical facilities and even bought an ambulance in 1932. In all she would work 43 years in China. She remained during the Japanese invasion in the 1930 and later when Communism was introduced into China she again remained to serve the sick. Her funeral was attended by some 2000 people. There is a three meter high statue of Victoria in the lobby of Jiangnen Central Hospital in South Guangzhou Province where she served. On December 8, 2012 the City of Victoria, British Columbia declared Victoria Chung Day while in China, her accomplishments were recognized on the 100th anniversary of the Jiangnen Central Hospital. Sources: From the pages of three ladies: Canadian women missionaries in Republican China. By Deborah Shulman (MA Thesis, Concordia University, 1996) ; Victoria Chung: a Legacy of unselfish service by Xiao Kaigang. accessed January 2012 ; 100 more Canadian Heroines by Merna Forester (Dundurn, 2011)

Pearl Smith Chute

née Smith. Born 1872 St. Catherines, Ontario. In 1895 she graduated in medical studies at the Women’s Hospital, University of Toronto. She became the 1st woman doctor to intern in Canada when she was at St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto. In 1896 she left to begin a career to join her brother Everette Chute and her finance in India. She married a medical doctor the Rev. Jesse Chute (1861-   )in India where they would raise the five children. Jesse built his wife the Akidu’s Star of hope Hospital in 1898. It consisted of three rooms, one room for women, a room for men and an office and dispensary in the middle. Pearl sent promising students to Vellore to stud medicine and she soon had qualified Indian staff working with her. She served as the 1st woman doctor in the Baptist Mission, in a career that covered 40 years of service. Her small hospital was replaced by a sturdy stone building staffed by qualified Indian staff. She was awarded the Kaisar-i-Hind medal for outstanding service to India. Source: The Indomitable Lady Doctors by Carlotta Hacker, Clarke Irwin, 1974.

Harriet Faxton Clarke

née Faxton. Born Brockville, Ontario. She began her medical studies at the Toronto Women’s Medical College but after two years she relocated to Winnipeg, Manitoba. In 1892 she was the 1st woman to graduate from the Manitoba Medical College. After graduation she married Dr Andrew Clarke of Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A. In June 1899 she was advertising her medical practice in Billings, Montana, U.S.A. Sources: The Indomitable Lady Doctors by Carlotta Hacker, Clark Irwin, 1974.

Annie MacKenzie Cleland

née Chambers. Born Port Elgin, Canada West (Now Ontario) 1859.Died 1919, Vancouver, British Columbia. Annie graduated medical studies from Trinity College, Toronto in 1892. She did her post graduate work in London, England, Edinburgh, Scotland and Vienna, Austria. She settled in British Columbia in 1898 where in1899 she married a lawyer , Hugh Mackenzie Cleland (1859-1903). She was one of the 1st women doctors to be licensed in British Columbia. In 1906 she travelled around the world and took a position at Lady Kinnaird’s Memorial Hospital, Lucknow, India. Back in Canada she settled in Victoria. British Columbia where she opened her own practice. Source: The Indomitable Lady Doctors by Carlotta Hacker. (Toronto: Clarke, Irwin Co. Ltd, 1974) : Obituary, Medical Association Journal Vol. 61 December 1919.

May Cohen

Born 1931, Montreal, Quebec.  She relocated with her family to grow up in Toronto. In 1955 May earned her medical degree from the University of Toronto where she earned a gold medal for academic excellence. May 1st practiced family medicine in Toronto and then in 1977 joined McMaster University's Faculty of Health Sciences, Hamilton, Ontario. May Married Dr. Gary Cohen and the couple had 3 children.  May co-founded the Women's Health Office at McMaster, the 1st of its kind in Canada and also the Women's Health InterSchool Curriculum Committee for Ontario's medical schools. From 1991 to 1996 she served the Faculty of Health Sciences as associate dean of Health Services. Her work has garnered her numerous awards including: the Federation of Medical Women of Canada Ortho Award for the Promotion of Women's Health, the Governor General's Award in Commemoration of the Person's Case, the Leadership Development Award from the American Association of Medical Colleges, the Hamilton Academy of Medicine Distinguished Service Award and the Hamilton Woman of the Year award in the field of health, sports and fitness. She has also had a research chair named after her at the Faculty of Health Sciences. McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario. The May Cohen Award for Women Mentors is presented to a woman physician who had demonstrated outstanding mentoring. The Federation of Medical Women of Canada offers the May Cohen Award annually to the full member who best personifies the legacy of Dr. May Cohen. In 2014 she was inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame.

Mary Elizabeth Crawford

Born June 2, 1876,Lancashire, England. Died June 6, 1953, Invermere, British Columbia. After the death of her father she emigrated to Ottawa with her mother who at one time was the principal of the Presbyterian Ladies College. Mary originally followed her mother’s footsteps and the accepted career path of the day and attended the Ottawa Normal School (Teacher’s College). She attended the University of Toronto and taught school in Ottawa. After the death of her mother Mary followed her desire to attend medical school in Toronto. She did her post graduate medical studies in the West Philadelphia Hospital for Women and Children in Pennsylvania, U.S.A. She relocated to Winnipeg, Manitoba and practiced medicine for eight years privately. She was appointed Chief Medical Inspector for the public schools of Winnipeg in 1909. The position of  Medical inspector for schools was one of the few medical positions deemed acceptable for women at this time. Mary was the only doctor giving medical examinations to school children a job she did until she was 75 years old retiring only in 1941.  Through her interest in mental retardation she introduced metal testing into the schools and organized special classes for the mentally handicapped.  She was a member of the Manitoba Medical Association, Alpine Club of Canada, and Women’s Canadian Club; a founding member and first president of the University Women’s Club, and President of the International Association Women Physicians. In 1930-31 she was President of the Federation of Medical Women of Canada. She took an active part in the interest of women’s suffrage, and was president of Women’s Equality League. Presbyterian. Source: The Indomitable Lady Doctors by Carlotta Hacker. (Toronto: Clark Irwin, 1974)

Jean Flatt Davey

Born March 16, 1909,Hamilton, Ontario. Died March 31, 1980. After graduation in Medicine she interned at the Toronto General Hospital and Women’s College Hospital. Wanting to serve in World War ll in August 1941 she became the second woman and 1st woman doctor  to in enlist in the Royal Canadian Air Force, Women’s Division. She held the position of Squadron Leader of the Women’s Division, RCAF, and was the 1st woman to be granted a commission in the Medical Branch of any Canadian Armed Forces.  May 28, 1943 she was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in recognition of her service.  In 1950 she was appointed Chief of Medicine at the Women’s College Hospital. 1956 through to 1973 she taught at the University of Toronto where she became Professor in the Faculty of Medicine. In 1973 she was inducted into the Order of Canada. Source: The Indomitable Lady Doctors by Carlotta Hacker (Toronto: Clarke, Irwin & Co Ltd, 1974) ; Order of Canada, (Accessed February 2014)

Margaret Ellen Douglass

Born January 12, 1878,Stanley,  New Brunswick  Died July 11, 1950, Winnipeg, Manitoba.  She studied medicine at the University of Toronto, and some postgraduate training in England and the U.S.A. She practiced medicine in Saint John, N.B. prior to moving to Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1909. In 1914 she organized the Winnipeg Women's Volunteer Reserve. During WW l she became an officer in the Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC) and served with the Women's Auxiliary Army Corps, holding the rank of major.  She was awarded the Allies Medal and the British War Medal for her service. In 1927, she travelled around the world visiting medical centres in India and China to teach better methods for caring for women. During her lifetime, she held a number of executive positions in women's organizations including being president of both the Canadian Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs and the Winnipeg Women's Canadian Club. She received a life membership in the University Women's Club in 1950, and was elected Honorary President of the Federation of Medical Women in 1946. In 1948, she was given the title of Commander Sister of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem by the St. John's Ambulance Brigade in recognition of her services. Sources :Government of Manitoba. Status of Women. Women working for Healthy Communities by Ada Ducas et all October 2001. Online (Accessed December 2011) ; Memorable Manitobans. Online Accessed December 2011.

Jean 'Jennie' Isabelle Dow

(Baptized Jane Dow) Born June 25, 1870, Fergus, Ontario. Died January 16, 1927, Peking, China (Now Beijing). By 15 she had earned her teaching certificate. By 1895 she had graduated in medical studies from Trinity College, University of Toronto. She became a medical missionary with the Canadian Presbyterian Mission in chine. She quickly learned the local Chinese language and in 1897 she opened the 1st women’s hospital in Honan, China treating 400 patients in her 1st month of service. In 1900 she was forced to take furlough during the Boxer Rebellion and used her time away from China to take updating medical courses in New York City in the U.S.A. She was back in China in April 1902 opening a women’s hospital in Changte. She was the only woman doctor practicing medicine in the area for almost 20 years. In 1918 she was joined by Dr. Isabelle McTavish (1881-1953)  and both women worked through the 1920-21 famine. The Chinese government honoured Jean with a medal for her work during the famine. Jeannie was among the 1st to isolate the organism which caused a local disease Kola Azar. In 1925 she took another force furlough during civil unrest but by 1926 she was back in China to open her hospital. Sources: The Indomitable Lady Doctors by Carlotta Hacker (Clarke Irwin, 1974) : The Dictionary of Canadian Biography Vol. XV (1921-1930. Online (Accessed April 2014)

Elizabeth Cordelia 'Corrie' Eaton

Born 1910 South Wales, United Kingdom. Died January 31, 2015, Moncton, New Brunswick. Corrie studied medicine at London University at the Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine for Women in 1934. In 1938 she married Dr. Robert Burnell Eaton. Shortly after their marriage the couple immigrated to Canada opening their medical practice in Amherst, Nova Scotia. The couple would have six children. After WW ll they relocated to Sackville, New Brunswick and then finally settled in Moncton. Corrie served with the St. John Ambulance and with the St. John Cadets for many years. She was honoured as a Serving Sister in the Order of St. John in 1963, followed in 1974 with becoming an Officer in the Order and was awarded the Victoria Medal and Bar. She also served on the Board for the Victoria Order of Nurses (VON) in Moncton. In 1970 she wrote licensing exams for the Medical Council of Canada and at the age of 60 she and her husband shut up their practice once again. She ran the 1st Well Woman Clinic at Moncton City Hospital. The couple retired in 1978. An active member of the Canadian Federation of University Women, Elizabeth was made her Club's Honorary President for life. In 2006 Elizabeth donated funds to the Atlantic Baptist University for a new entrance scholarship.

Mary Lee Edward

Born September 14, 1885, Petrolia, Ontario. Died September 1980 , New York U.S.A. In 1902 Mary entered medical school at the University of Toronto. She was the only woman in her class and was pelted with chalk and assaulted with cat calls. She persevered graduating in 1908. Although she was offered a study position at U of T she soon found her mentor had no interest in her work. Mary set out to work at the New York Infirmary for Women and Children. Here she was granted a $1,000.00 study program in Vienna, Austria. Unpin her return to New York she became the chief resident doctor. When the American male doctors signed up for service in World War l in 1917 Mary became a surgeon at New York’s Hospital for Ruptured and Crippled. Shortly after she had gain some surgical experience she also joined an American Medical Unit overseas. She was in the 1st unit to go overseas. In France many of the unit returned home when offered to serve with a French unit at the front lines. Mary and an American colleague Caroline Finley served on the front lines often accepting patients by the 100’s at a time and often working 60 hour stretches. The two women were awarded the Croix de Guerre by the Government of France right on the front lines for their services. Back at the University of Toronto her name was added to the Role of Service, a rare honour for someone enrolled in an American Unit and serving on front lines with a French Unit. Although Mary served at the level of a Lieutenant, women doctors in WW1 were not accorded any rank. Mary returned to New York after the war and continued to practiced medicine until she was 85 years old! She retired to Sudbury, Ontario to be close to family. She is buried in Petrolia, Ontario. Sources: Carlotta Hacker; The Indomitable Lady Doctors (Toronto: Clark Irwin Co., 1974) ;  Suggestion submitted by Mary’s great niece Brenda Edington.

Octavia Grace England

née Ritchie. Born January 16, 1868, Montreal, Quebec. Died February 1,1948. She would be in 1888, the 1st woman valedictorian at McGill University. She was refused at medical school at McGill because she was a woman. She attended Kingston Women's Medical collage in Ontario and then transferred to Bishop's College in Lennoxville, Quebec. Graduating in 1891 she was the 1st woman to graduate from a medical school in Quebec. While at medical school she and Maude Abbott (1869-1940) formed the Association for the Professional Education of Women. Octavia worked as a Demonstrator in Anatomy at Bishop's and as an assistant gynaecologist at Western Hospital. In 1897 she married Dr. Frank Richardson England and the couple had one daughter. After her marriage she became President of the local Council of Women from 1911 through 1917. She would also serve as President of the Montreal Women's Liberal Club and Vice-President of the National Council of Women. In 1914 she represented Canada at the 1914 International Council of Women held in Rome, Italy and in 1922 she again represented her country at the Pan-American Conference of Women, Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A.  In 1979 McGill University Alumnae established the Octavia Grace Ritchie England scholarship

Angela Enright

Born 1887, Saint John, New Brunswick. Died July 21, Saint John, New Brunswick. It was not common for all girls to graduate from high school let along a Black girl. After High School, Anna attended Norman School in Halifax to earn her teaching certificate. She was only allowed to teach in the Black community. She returned to school to study at business College. She then tried the Civil Service examinations and placed third over all those writing the exam. In 1912 she became the 1st Black Canadian appointed the permanent federal civil Service. She began with working at the Dominion Lands Branch of the Department of the Interior. In 1938 she was the principal clerk in the Immigration Branch of the Department of Mines and Resources. She enjoyed writing poetry in her time off work. She had her verse published in various Canadian magazines and she also  had an occasional column in the Ottawa Journal called Citadel which was dedicated to poetry. She retired from the federal Civil Service in 1945 and returned from Ottawa to Saint John, New Brunswick where she worked as a stenographer in a law firm and for awhile worked in Washington D.C. In 1967 she published a chapbook of her Citadel Columns from the newspaper and this may indeed be the 1st collection of poems published by an Afro-Canadian woman. She continued her formal learning after her retirement by taking creative writing courses at the University of New Brunswick.  Source: Herstory: The Canadian Women's calendar. 2008  (Saskatoon Women's Calendar Collective / Coteau Books, 2007)

Jean Chamberlain Froese

Born March 27, 1965, St. Thomas, Ontario. Jean received a BSc in biochemistry and her Medical degree in 1991 from the University of Toronto. In 1992 she had a Rotating internship at Toronto East General Hospital. She completed a Royal College Fellowship in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Western Ontario, London in 1996. In 2000 she worked with neglected mothers and children in Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Pakistan for 5 years. Since 2005, Dr. Jean became the founding director of Save the Mothers, a Canadian-based charity in Uganda that trains East African leaders to improve maternal and child health across that region. An obstetrician and professor at McMaster University, she is also the founder of McMaster’s International Women’s Health Program. Dr. Jean married journalist Thomas Froese and they have 3 children of their own and an adopted an Ugandan daughter. Together, family lives for 8 months a year in Uganda and from May to August they return to Hamilton, Ontario. In 2009 she was awarded the Teasdale-Corti Humanitarian Award from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada for her work in improving maternal health around the world. In 2012 she was awarded the Prix d’excellence for going beyond the call of duty again from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. In 2012 Dr. Jean also joined Serving in MissionCanada, a Christian mission, as a medical missionary and that same year she was presented with the Queen Elizabeth ll Diamond Jubilee Medal. She was inducted into the Hamilton Gallery of Distinction in 2013 and has received the Order of Canada in 2014. She was an invited panelist at the Canadian government’s Summit on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health in 2014 (Toronto, ON). Her book Where have All The Mother’s Gone? was updated in a 4th printing in 2016.

Eva Jeannett Fisher

née Ryan. Born 1862, Halton, Canada West (now Ontario) Originally she taught school but this was just a means to earn funds to attend and in 1893 graduate from the Toronto Women’s Medical College. She married Arthur William Fisher and the couple settled in Arthur, Ontario where Eva maintained a medical practice for 35 years. She was in charge of the Red Cross Hospital in Tobermory, Ontario for 4 years. Source: The Indomitable Lady Doctors by Carlotta Hacker (Toronto: Clarke, Irwin & Co Ltd, 1974)

Ruth Galbraith

née Witrofsky. Born January 15, 1932, Lethbridge, Alberta. Died October 23, 2013, Kingston, Ontario. As a young child she went with her mother to live in Austria. The returned to Canada after a few years and eventually the family settled in Ottawa after Worlds War ll. Ruth attended Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, on scholarship to study medicine. She was one of 6 women in her class which would graduate in 1957. In 1954 she married medical student Peter Galbraith and the couple had 3 children. During her internship she gave birth but unlike most women of her era who would stay home to care for her family, Ruth was asked to return to work. The baby would sleep in the linen closet while she did her medical rounds. In the 1960’s she and other medical women set up their own rotational babysitting system so that each would spend one day a week babysitting children and therefore be able to work 4 days a week. Since the women were married they were paid less than the men doing the same medical research. It was felt that they were married, after all, and their husbands were bringing money into the home. The women worked for less and the university saved on its budget. When her children where in school Ruth started a special infant clinic at Hotel Dieu Hospital in Kingston and as well she worked at various medical jobs in research and teaching. She was mentor to many women when she pioneered the possibility of working with a family. She never considered herself a pioneer, rather Ruth felt privileged to be able to work within her profession even though she had a family. After retirement Ruth continued to use her energies for her growing family, loving grandchildren, golfing and gardening. At one point, upon a dare, she wrote a murder mystery which became published. Source: “Fumbling toward equity” by Sarah Leonard, Queen’s Medical Review. 1/17/2 Online (Accessed April 2014) ; Obituary Online (Accessed April 2014)

Mabel Greene

Born September 22, 1945 Fogo Island, Newfoundland. The family relocated to St John's, Newfoundland when Mabel was still a child. In 1970 Mabel completed her medical studies at the Dalhousie School of Medicine in Nova Scotia. Unable to find any male doctors who would hire a woman doctor Dr. Greene opened her own general practice becoming the 1st woman in Newfoundland to do so.  Although not an OB-GYN, Dr. Greene has delivered more than 2,000 babies in Newfoundland . She married James Thomas Cavanaugh (originally of London, Ontario) on August 15, 1970 and the couple has three children. By 2018 Dr. Greene is no longer delivering babies but still sees patients, many of whom were babies she delivered who are now parents, and their parents and grandparents. Suggestion received with thanks from Dr. Greene’s granddaughter, Tessa Green.

Margaret Blair Gordon

Born January 14, 1861, London, Canada West (Now Ontario) Died 1928.. She was an active supporter of the suffrage movement and worked with Dr. Emily Howard Stowe (1831-1903) and her daughter Dr. Ann Augusta Stowe-Gullen (1857-1943) to further the movement. She served as Vice President of the Canadian Suffrage Association and President of the Toronto Suffrage Association. She was also a member of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU). On September 30, 1885 she married George A. Gordon. In 1889 she became a member of the College of Physicians and Surgeons and finished her medical training at Trinity College, Toronto in 1898. She was an executive member of the Peace and Arbitration Society and in 1912 served as Treasurer of the Local Council of Women.  Source: Men and Women of the Time: A handbook of Canadian Biography…by Henry James Morgan. (Toronto: Briggs, 1912.) ; The Indomitable Lady Doctors by Carlotta Hacker (Toronto: Clarke, Irwin & Co Ltd, 1974)

Jessie Catherine Gray

Born August 26, 1910, Augusta, Georgia, U.S.A. Died October 16, 1978. A distinguished and internationally recognized surgeon, lecturer and researcher, Dr. Gray has so many “1sts” that “The Canadian Encyclopedia” calls her Canada’s 1st lady of surgery. From 1941 until retirement in 1965 she worked with the Women’s College Hospital in Toronto, as associate and as surgeon-in-chief. Here is the list of 1sts: 1934, 1st woman gold medalist in medicine at the University of Toronto; 1939 first woman to hold a master of surgery degree; 1941 first woman resident surgeon a the Toronto General Hospital; 1941 first Canadian woman to become a “fellow” in the Royal College of Surgeons; first woman member of the Central Surgical Society of North America; 1966 1st woman elected to the Science Council of Canada.

Mabel Louise Hannington

Born 1875 (?) Saint John, New Brunswick. Died 1966. In 1900 she completed her medical studies at the University of Toronto. In 1904 she was serving as a medical missionary in China under the Missionary Society of London, England. Back in New Brunswick by 1919 she  served through to 1935 as medical inspector of Schools. In 1920 alone she had 8,000 children under her supervision. In 1927 she organized and served as the corresponding secretary for the Mental Hygiene Council of New Brunswick. In 1933-1934 she was the President of the Federation of Medical Women of Canada. Source: The indomitable Lady Doctors by Carlotta Hacker. Clark Irwin, 1974.

Annie Isabella Hamilton

Born 1866 Brookfield, Nova Scotia. Died December 21, 1941 Shanghai, China. Annie too training at the Truro Normal School to receive her teacher's certificate and then studied at Pictou Academy graduating with a gold medal in 1884. Working as a teacher she saved to enter studies as a doctor. Annie applied to Halifax Medical College (later Dalhousie Medical College) in 1888, seven years after the College had advertised that it would accept female students. Both her parents died just weeks apart during her second year of studies and she took a two year relief from her medical studies to earn monies to continue her medical studies. She graduated  in 1894 as the 1st woman graduate from Dalhousie Medical College. Annie was also a social activist supporting temperance and anti smoking campaigns at the university and during her medical career. She was unique in her personal appearance and did not succumb to modern fashion such as the bustle. Annie made house calls riding a bicycle wearing a divided skirt. In 1903, after learning Chinese she sailed to serve as a medical missionary in Shanghai China working with poor and abused women. In 1985 the Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire (IODE) opened a Brookfield, Nova Scotia chapter in her name and in 1990 they established the Dr Annie Hamilton Scholarship.

Marie Daria Haust

Born  1921, Poland. She earned her first medical degree at the university of Heidelberg, Germany, 1951. Since it was not acceptable for foreigners to practice medicine in Germany, Daria and her new husband Heinz L. Haust emigrated to Canada and she began the process of earning the right to practice in Canada. In the early 1950’s she enjoyed being at home with her tow sons born in 1953 and 1955, while working part time towards her goals of practicing medicine. In 1959-1960 she worked as a post doctoral Fellow in Cincinnati, returning to Kingston in 1960 to become the first woman on the Medical Faculty at Queen’s University, Kingston Ontario. In 1965 the family moved to the University of Western Ontario , London, Ontario. She became a welcome lecturer internationally and as well as a multitude of medical committees she was soon on the boards of five prestigious medical journals. Of all her positions she enjoyed working with her students and is perhaps proudest of her award as best teacher at UWO. Her list of awards is impressive and long: The Canada Council Killam prize in Medicine; the Gold Medal Award from the International Atherosclerosis Society; the Andreas Versalis award, University of Padua; Distinguished Pathologist Award, US/Canadian Academy of Pathology(2004) to name a few. In 2007 she received the Order of Canada. She is still involved with teaching as Professor emeritus at UWO. Sources: Science.caProfile (Accessed June 2011); Canadian Who’s Who 2006 Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2005.

Annie Ella Higbee

née Carveth. Born October 11,1864 Port Hope, Canada West) (Ontario).  Died April 23, 1965. Graduating in 1893 from the Toronto Women’s Medical College she practiced in Windsor Ontario for a short time. On January 19, 1897 she married a teacher, Charles E. Higbee and the couple had one son. They moved to California, U.S.A. but in 1912 they were back in Canada in the Peace River District of Alberta. Annie had a shack that served as an office in Grande Prairie but more often than not she was on the trail to serve her clients. In summer she rode on horseback and in winter covered the vast area where clients lived in a one horse sleigh driven by her son. In 1919 the family moved to Toronto. Her brother, George Carveth (1858-   ?) was one of the founders of Toronto Western Hospital where she served as an anesthetist on staff for 10 years. At 65 she retired from the Hospital and opened her own practice in Newcastle, Ontario until 1939.  Sources: The Indomitable Lady Doctors by Carlotta Hacker (Toronto: Clarke, Irwin Co. Ltd., 1974) ; “Annie Higbee: Pioneer doctor “ by Dorthea Calverley, History is where we stand: A history of the Peace Online (Accessed March 2014) ; “Founding Family supports 100 years of Women’s health” in Heart and Soul, Fall 2011 Online (Accessed March 2014)

F. Marguerite " Peggy" Hill

Born May 24, 1919 Toronto, Ontario Died January 15, 2012 Toronto Ontario. While still in high school she declared that she wanted to be a medical doctor. Her family however, did not feel that this was a profession for a woman. She attended the University of Toronto and obtained a Masters Degree in Psychology. 1941-1946 she served in the Canadian Women’s Army Corps as a Captain and as one of the few women in the field of psychology. She returned to university to earn her medical degree in 1952, standing at the top of her class. In 1957 she became the first female chief medical resident at the Toronto General Hospital. She joined the Department of Medicine at Women’s College Hospital and for 26 years she practiced as a teacher, clinician and researcher becoming Physician-in-chief of Medicine, the second woman to achieve  this distinction. She was a founding member of the Canadian Society for Nephrologists and member of the Federation of Medical Women of Canada. In 1968 she was promoted to full professor at the University of Toronto and became the first woman ever to be appointed to the Board of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. On July 1, 1994 she became a Member of the Order of Canada. Upon her retirement in 1984 an endowment was established at Women’s hospital in her name. Source: Obituary Globe and Mail January 18, 2012. Suggestion submitted by June Coxon, Ottawa, Ontario.

Rowena Grace Douglas Hume

Born 1877, Galt, Ontario. Died 1966. Rowena studied medicine at Trinity College in Toronto. She did her postgraduate studies in the U.S.A. and in England. She returned to Canada to work at the Ontario Medical College from 1902-1906.  She  became the 1st woman Chief of Obstetrics at Women’s College Hospital. She held this position for 20 years. After retiring from the hospital she opened a private practice. She was a pioneer of planned parenthood programs and opened Canada’s 1st birth control clinic in Hamilton, Ontario on March 3, 1932. She was an ardent supporter of the works of the Salvation Army, Harbour Light Centre and the Fred Victor Mission in Toronto. At 89 she was murdered by a transient worker. These were just the people she would take in to do odd jobs about her home. A small historic plaque dedicated to her is located at her form home 226 Carleton St. in Cabbagetown, an inner neighborhood of the city of Toronto. Source: Cabbagetown People: the social history of a Canadian inner city neighborhood. Online (Accessed March 2014)  The indomitable Lady Doctors by Carlotta Hacker (Toronto: Clarke Irwin, 1974)

Anna Marion Hilliard

Born June 17, 1902 Morrisburg, Ontario. Died July 15, 1958 Toronto, Ontario. Marion studied for her Bachelor and Master degrees at the University of Toronto. She completed her post graduate studied in Great Britain and returned to Toronto to work at Women's College Hospital in 1928. In 1947 this medical doctor helped develop a simplified Pap test, which is used to detect cancer in adult women. She specialized in a commonsense approach to childbirth problems and authored a book A Woman Doctor Looks at Love and Life in 1957. After her death a second book “Women and Fatique” was published in 1960. In 1964 her biography, Give my Heart; the Dr. Marion Hilliard Story by Marion O. Robinson was published. (2018)

Helen Isabel Huston

Born September 20, 1927, Innisfail, Alberta. Helen was part of a family of 4 with a father who was a United Church Minister. At 12 she decided to become a medical doctor and be a missionary in China. At a Canadian Girls in Training (CGIT) summer camp in 1945 she was captivated by the stories of Korea from a visiting missionary Elda Daniels.  By 1953 she had completed medical studies at the University of Alberta and sailed to India where she spent 5 years working through the United Church of Canada. She took her 1st year at language school and then was posted to a 35 bed hospital in Dhar as the only doctor. She also worked at a larger medical center in Indore. In 1955 she found herself in Kathmandu, Nepal. From 1960 through 1992, the year of her retirement, she worked for the people of remote villages of Nepal. In 1969, thanks to her efforts the small dispensary was replaced with a hospital. Helen is the 1st foreign doctor to receive an honorary life membership in the Nepal Medical Association. In 1978 the University of Alberta Medical Alumnae Association honored her with the Outstanding Achievement Award and in 1984 an Honorary Doctorate. In 1991 she was the 1st recipient of the Hillary Foundation’s Award for Humanitarian Service. In 1992 Dr Gerald Hankins wrote Helen’s story in A Heart for Nepal: the Dr Helen Huston Story (Windflower Communications). In 1994 Helen was inducted into the Alberta Order of Excellence and the Order of Canada. Source: Lisa Wejna, Great Canadian Women: Nineteen Portraits of Extraordinary Women. (Folklore Publications, 2005)

Mary Evangeline Jackson

née Percy. Born December 27,1904 Dudley England. Died May 6 2000.  From the time she was 11 she had wanted to study medicine. Graduating from Birmingham University in 1927, as best all round student, she answered a Canadian advertisement for women doctors for the Prairies. Her practice would cover 560 square kilometers and patients would be reached on horseback. In spring 1929 her trip to settle in Battle River required a 24 hour train trip,18 hours by boat and an 11 hour 28 kilometers wagon ride to work in a small cabin with no electricity and no phone. March 10, 1931 she would marry a persistent suitor, Frank Jackson and move north to Keg River. Here she settled into home life with two step sons and opened a medical practice for the local Métis, unsupported financially by the government. She and Frank would add two children to the family farm. In 1953 the family was given the Master Farm Award by the province. In 1965 a school was named in Mary’s honour. More acknowledgements of her work would come in the form of the Centennial Medal in 1967, The Woman of the year Award from the Voce of Native Women in 1975.In 1983 she received the Alberta Order of Excellence followed in 1990 with an Order of Canada.  Mary always found her work to be a gift not a chore and this was felt by her appreciative clients. Source  Rebel Women: Achievements beyond the ordinary by Linda Kupecek. (Canmore, AB : Altitude Publishing, 2003) pg 83-94. :  Http://

June James

Black physician

Born Trinidad. June immigrated to Canada in 1960. She attended the University of Manitoba where she earned her Bachelor in Medicine in 1963 and her in 1967 her Medical degree. In 1976 she was a consultant with the Department of Allergy and Immunology at the Winnipeg Clinic. In 1981 she received the YWCA Woman of the Year Award. In 1993 she earned a Citation for Citizenship from the government of Canada. She is an Assistant Professor with the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Manitoba and a consultant with the Children's Centre at the Health Sciences Centre, Winnipeg. In 2002 June received the Queen Elizabeth ll Golden Jubilee Award.  In 2003-2004 she served as President of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba. She has been named a Fellow of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. She has served on numerous boards including,  the Board of the Canadian Scholarship Trust Foundation, the Board of the Winnipeg Foundation, the Board of the congress of Black Women's Federation, and The Harambee Housing Coop, an affordable housing project. From 1998 to 200 she was President of the Manitoba Museum and 2000 to 2002 she was President of the Manitoba Museum Foundation. June 15, 2004 she ws invested with the Order of Manitoba. (2019)

Faustina Adelaide Kelly-Cook

Born September 1895, Sudbury, Ontario. Died May 1979. In 1916 she attended Queens University, Kingston, Ontario to earn her B.A. and then went on to the University of Toronto School of Medicine to earn her Medical Degree in 1920. She interned at Hamilton General Hospital prior to opening her own general practice and working at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Sudbury. In the 20’s being a doctor meant long days and nights and visits to patients travelling by horse and buggy. In July 1935 she married Dr. William John Cook , a pioneer surgeon in Sudbury. After her husband’s death she became the 1st president of the Business and Professional Women’s Club and was also a regent in the Elizabeth Fry Chapter of the Independent Order of the Daughters of the Empire. She also was President of the St Joseph’s Hospital Women’s Auxiliary. In 1951 she was elected for a term on Sudbury City Council along with Grace Hartman>She served on the Board of Governors of the Laurentian University from 1960-1969 and also earned a Honourary Life Membership with the University Women’s Club. Working with the board of the District Red Cross she was recipient of the Distinguished Services Award. Her personal Canada Centennial Project was to serve as Chair of the Beautification Section of the Sudbury Centennial Committee. She s served on the Library Board and was a member of La Federation des femmes Canadiennes française. Source Business and Professional Women of Greater Sudbury Accessed January 2012.

Frances Kathleen Oldman Kelsey

née  Oldman. Born July 24, 1914 Cobble Hill, British Columbia. Died August 7, 2015, London, Ontario. Frances attended Victoria College (Now Victoria University) in British Columbia foa a year prior to attending McGill University, Montreal where she earned her Bachelor and Master's Degrees in pharmacology in 1935. In 1936 she was hired by the University of Chicago who thought that Frances was a man's name when they first hired her. In 1937 she worked with the Federal Drug Administration of the United states researching unusual deaths. In 1938, the year she earned her Doctorate in pharmacology from the University of Chicago the US government used part of her research to pass the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act concerned with the use of drugs using diethylene glycol as a solvent.  In 1943 Frances married Dr. Fremont Ellis Kelsey and the couple had two daughters. By 1950 Frances had earned her medical doctor's degree from the University of Chicago. She took out dual citizenship in order to practice medicine in the U.S.A. In 1954 she was teaching pharmacology at the university of South Dakota. By 1960 th family had relocated to Washington D.C. and Frances was working with the Federal Drug Administration. She wanted to investigate a drug, Tradename Kevadon and asked the company for more information and tested followed. The drug, better known as Thalidomide, was found to cause deformities in new born babies. From this point on drug companies were forced to test drugs prior to having approval from the FDA in the U.S.A. Frances received the Presidential Award for Distinguished Federal Civilian Service. She was only the second woman to have received this award. Frances was hailed as a hero. She continued working at the FDA until 2005 when she was 90 years old. In 2010 the FDA presented Frances with the 1st annual Kelsey Award. In 2014 Frances returned to Canada to live in London, Ontario. She was presenting with the Order of Canada in her home a few weeks prior to her death.

Mary Alfretta "Retta" Gifford Kilborn.

née Gifford. Born 1864 Meford, Upper Canada (Now Ontario) Died December1, 1942, Toronto, Ontario. She studied medicine at the Women’s Medical College, Toronto, Ontario graduating 1891. She opened a private practice in Owen Sound Ontario but soon was called by the Methodist Women’s Missionary Society to go to China as a medical missionary. She was the 1st medical woman to serve in the West China Mission. On May 24, 1894 she became the second wife of Dr. Omar Kilborn. She opened and run a hospital for women and children in Chingtu, China. She served on the staff of the West China Union University founded by her husband. She campaigned openly again the Chinese tradition of binding the feet of infant daughters. And she also campaigned to have women become medical students as the West China Union University. She retired back to Canada in 1933. Source: The Indomitable Lady Doctors, by Carlotta Hacker ,Clarke Irwin, 1974

Lenora King

Born Farmersville (Athens), Upper Canada (now Ontario).  In order to study medicine she had to leave Canada to study at the University of Michigan Women's Medical College. With the support of the Women's Foreign Missionary Society she sailed to Shanghai in 1877, the first Canadian doctor to practice medicine in China. She was 60 years ahead of Dr. Norman Bethune. Dr King obtained the patronage of Lady Li, wife of the viceroy of Chilhli province in Tientsin. It was after she had attended Lady Li that she opened the first Chinese hospital for women and children. In 1884 she married a widowed Scottish missionary, the Reverend Alexander King. As a married woman she was expected to support the work of her husband, not work on her own. Lady Li opened a new hospital for Dr King in 1885, a hospital totally funded by the Chinese. In 1889 the Government of China recognized the distinguished doctor with the Imperial Chinese Order of the Double Dragon making her a Mandarin which is a similar to being a knight in England. In 1909 she organized the Government Medical School for Women so that Chinese doctors and nurses could be trained.  She is a member of the Canadian Medicine Hall of Fame.

Elizabeth Joan Latimer

Born January 25, 1945. Died April 28, 2012, Hamilton, Ontario. Elizabeth trained and worked as a nurse prior to becoming a medical doctor. She began her medical career at McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario in 1975 and retired in March 2011 as professor emeritus of the Department of Family Medicine of the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine. In her 39 years as a palliative care physician, Latimer published extensively on control of chronic cancer pain, delivery of health care to the terminally ill, and the ethical basis of practice and decision-making while caring for thousands of patients at Hamilton Health Sciences. She was also a consultant and lecturer in several countries in South America, Africa, Europe and Australia. In 1999, Latimer received Canada's highest palliative care award, the Award of Excellence in Palliative Care from the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association. The Dr. Elizabeth J. Latimer Prize is Palliative Care is awarded annually in recognition of excellence and innovation in palliative care in Hamilton and surrounding area. She was married to Willem Kamphorst.

Irma LeVasseur


1st woman doctor in Quebec

Born January 18, 1878. Died January 22, 1964. Young Irma wanted to study medicine but no schools in Canada would accept women, so Irma headed to New York in the U.S.A. to earn her medical education. She returned to Quebec in 1900 but it would take three years before a private members bill would pass the legislature allowing her to join the College of Physicians and Surgeons of the Province of Quebec as the first woman doctor. She found a lack of knowledge about childhood medical practices and traveled to Europe to gain more knowledge in 1908. She and Mme De Gaspé-Beaubien founded Hôpital Sainte-Justine for the care of children. In 1915 she responded to the request of doctors to serve in World War l returning to New York to work for the Red Cross in the USA. In 1922, using her won savings, she founded Hôpital de L’Enfant-Jésus. By 1927 she had her own clinic for handicapped children and also opened a school for disabled youth. In order to relax from the rigueur of medicine and hospital administration she worked with her other passion of painting and took classes at Ecole des Beaux-Arts in the 1920’s becoming an accomplished artist. In the 1950’s she was celebrated for her 50 years of medical service by the Circle des femmes universitaires, however, she would die in poverty largely and unknown pioneer in pediatric medical care. Sources: Irma LeVasseur June 30, 2008) ; Celebrating women’s achievements: Canadian women in science: Irma LeVasseur   also available in French. (Accessed June 30, 2008)  This entry suggested by Pat Land.

Ida Lynd

Born 1857, Bondhead, Canada West  (now Ontario).  Died February 18, 1943, Toronto, Ontario. Ida attended Hamilton Ladies College prior to attending and in 1890 graduating the Toronto Medical College. She worked at the Women’s Medical College and became one of the 1st staff members of the Women’s College Hospital. Source: The Indomitable Lady Doctors by Carlotta Hacker (Toronto: Clarke, Irwin & Co Ltd, 1974)

Margaret MacKeller

Born October 23, 1861, Mull, Scotland. Died 1941, Toronto, Ontario. While still a toddler Margaret immigrated with her family to Canada, settling in western Ontario. Her father had been a sea faring man and beguiled his children with stories of far off lands such as India. In Canada he sailed the great lakes. She worked as a skilled milliner in Hamilton, Paris, London and Ingersoll Ontario. However she could not settle and desired to serve as a missionary. At 22 she realized she need to be educated and returned to grade school to learn. She worked her way through high school and by 1886 she took exams to enter Queen’s University. In 1890 she graduated from the Women’s Medical Collage at Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario. She left Canada to be a missionary doctor in India. She worked first at Indore and later at Neemuch in Central India. Here this pioneer doctor set up the 1st area hospital. When the Christian Medical College for Women was established in Ludhiana in the Punjab Margaret served as secretary then as Chairman. During World War l she was with the Royal Army Medical Corps at the Freeman Thomas Hospital, Bombay . She was honoured with the Kaiser-i-hind medal for her years of service in India. Sources: The Indomitable Lady Doctors by Carlotta Hacker (Toronto: Clarke & Irwin, 1974) ; Dr Margaret MacKellar: the story of her early years by Belle Choné Oliver. (Women’s Missionary Society of the Presbyterian Church of Canada, 1920) Online (Accessed April 2014)

Ann C. Macaulay

Ann graduated medical school in Scotland at the age of 22! From 1993 through to 2008 she was an Associate Professor for the Department of Family Medicine at McGill University. In 1995 she joined as a fellow, the College of Family Physicians. In 2008 the College named Macaulay Family Medicine Researcher of the Year. She has made significant contributions to the study of prevention of type 2 diabetes in the aboriginal population in Canada as well as being an Advisory Board Member for the Institute of Aboriginal People’s Health. She also served 35 years as a family physician in the Mohawk Community of Kahnawake. In 2006 she was awarded the Order of Canada. Source: Order of Canada Online accessed June 2011.

Elizabeth 'Eliza' Margaret MacKenzie

Born July 10, 1879 Flat River, Prince Edward Island. Died February 17, 1937 Flat River, Prince Edward Island. In 1875 she graduated from Prince of Wales College in Charlottetown, P.E.I. The following year she began teaching in Surry, P.E.I. and four the next few years she taught in small towns in the province. In 1900 she entered Dalhousie Medical School. By spring 1904 she had become the 1st P.E.I. woman to graduate from Dalhousie in Medicine. She opened her practice in the fall of 1904 advertising to serve women and children. Competition was fierce and acceptance was not always welcoming. In 1906 she received her license from the provincial medical board.  By 1911 she had moved back to Flat River. She was soon beginning studies in nursing as St Luke's Hospital Training School for Nurses in New York City, U.S.A. graduating in 1913.  She joined the call to serve as a nursing sister during World War l and worked in England and France. She transferred to the Canadian Army Medical Corp February 25, 1918 and served in England. By 1919 she had sailed back to Halifax, Nova Scotia in Ill health with Tuberculoses. After convalescing she returned to work on staff of St Luke's in New York City for a short time. Ill health forced her to return to Flat River. DCB (2019)

Helen MacMurchy

Born January 7, 1862. Died October 8, 1953. In 1901 Helen graduated with a medical degree from the University of Toronto and interned as the 1st woman doctor with the Toronto General Hospital. She went on to be the 1st woman doctor to do post graduate studies at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A. In 1909 she conducted a survey of the high infant death rated experienced in cities at the turn of the century.  In 1914 she wrote a popular book, A little Talk About Baby. In 1915 she was appointed the inspector of the feeble minded in Ontario. Sadly her actions to persuade the government that eugenics was the answer to preventing degenerate babies led to the wrongful sterilization of many immigrants. Helen was the 1st editor of the Canadian Nurses Journal. In 1920 she was placed in charge of the federal government’s new Division of Child Welfare and was responsible for the contents of some of the government published Blue Books with advice on caring for children. These little books were published in multiple languages including Cree. It was in the 1920’s that she made a special study of medical inspection of schools, child welfare and public health in England and the United States.  In 1934 she was inducted as Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE). In 1949 she was named one of the leading women doctors in the western world. In 1997 she was declared a Person of National Historic Significance.

Elizabeth "Betty" MacRae

1st woman neurosurgeon in Canada

Born 1941, Montreal, Quebec. She originally did her undergraduate studies in physical education and then switched to continue her studies in medicine at the University of Toronto In 1982 the young medical doctor moved to Calgary to practice as Canada’s first woman neurosurgeon. She is know for being straightforward and “tells it like it is” with all her patients. She is also an examiner with the Royal College of Physicians. She is married with two stepchildren and is discovering the joys of being a new grandmother. She works with the Canadian National Ski Team and enjoys mountain climbing. Retirement is perhaps on the horizon but for now she is dedicated to the profession that she says was where she was meant to be even if some men did not think so!  Source: Herstory: the Canadian Women’s Calendar 2007.

Jane Sproule Manson

Born August 29, 1878, Britton, Ontario. She graduated from the University of Toronto and did post graduate studies in London, Vienna and Berlin. She was the first Canadian woman to sit for primary examinations for the Royal College of Physicians in London England. In 1911 she became a licentiate of the Royal College of Physicians, London England and by 1912 she was appointed to the staff at the University of Toronto. Dr. Manson was appointed Chief, Nose, Throat and Ear Department, Women's College Hospital in Toronto in 1924.

Elizabeth Scott Matheson

nee Becket. Born January 6, 1866 Burnbrae Upper Canada. (Now Ontario) Died January 15,1958, San Antonio, Texas, U.S.A. . In 1878 The Family moved to a farm in Morris, Manitoba  She took teacher's training in Winnipeg and taught school in Cook's Creek until 1886. In 1887, she volunteered to assist at the Marchmont home for orphans in Belleville, Ontario. Ellen Bilbrough of Marchmont, sponsored Elizabeth for a year of studies at the Women's Medical College at Kingston in 1887-88. She returned to teaching in Manitoba in order to finance her studies. But found herself  on a trip to India as a missionary from 1888 until 1891when she became ill with malaria.  She returned to Manitoba after contracting malaria and  married the Anglican Reverend John Richard Matheson. The couple settled in Onion Lake, a remote Cree reserve. They built a school for their nine children, their adopted Aboriginal and Métis children, and the eighty other children . At her husband's insistence Elizabeth began her second year at the Manitoba Medical College in September 1895, and she graduated from the Toronto Women's College in 1898. Dr. Matheson practiced at Onion Lake until 1903 when she applied to the University of Manitoba Medical School to take her last year as a refresher course before attempting the licensure examination. In 1904 and became the 1st registered woman doctor in Saskatchewan.  In 1908, her husband built a three-story log hospital , including four wards and an operating room. There were also trips to aboriginal homes over muskeg; winter camping or in the summer heat; She dealt with accident cases, murders and suicides, handling epidemics, and delivering babies in remote locations. Unlicensed she was never prosecuted because she practiced in an area outside the mainstream where deeds were more important than credentials. In 1918, a year after her husband died,  she moved to Winnipeg  working as a Public School  medical inspector until retirement in 1948. In 1948, she received a honourary medical degree from the University of Toronto where they acknowledged her fifty years of practice since her 1st degree. Government of Manitoba. Status of Women. Women working for Healthy Communities by Ada Ducas et all October 2001. Online (Accessed December 2011) : The Indomitable Lady Doctors by Carlotta Hacker, 1974  : The Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan Online (Accessed May 2014)

Alice Skimmen McGillivray

She was one of the original women students who took summer medical courses at Queen’s University. In October 1881 the women were allowed to take courses in the regular stream with the men. This did not work out to well . There was a lot of discrimination towards the women so the Women’s Medical College was established at Queen’s Upon graduation Alice, a gold medal student, was immediately appointed to College staff in 1884She earned a promotion to professor of Obstetrics and Diseases of Women and Children. In 1889 she and her husband moved to Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. While in the U.S. her husband studied medicine. By 1899 the couple were back in Canada, settling in the Hamilton area where they opened a joint practice. Their relationship deteriorated and Alice moved into a home of her own but the two still maintained their joint medical practice. Source: The Indomitable Women Doctors, by Carlotta Hacker, Clarke & Irwin, 1974

Margaret Isabelle (Isabel) "Belle" McTavish

Born December 19, 1881, Minnedosa, Manitoba. Died January 26, 1953, Winnipeg, Manitoba. In 1915 she graduated from the Manitoba Medical College and left for China as a medical missionary with the Presbyterian Church of Canada. She worked at the Presbyterian mission in Honan working with Dr. Jean Dow (1870-1927) She returned home to Canada on furlough during a civil war and lectured to raise funds to return to China in 1931. During World War ll she was interred as a prisoner of war until a prisoner of war exchange in 1942. Back in Canada from 1942-1946 she worked in Alberta at the Bonnyville General Hospital. After the war she went back to China to re-open the hospital at Changte. Sources: The Indomitable Lady Doctors by Carlotta Hacker, Clarke Irwin, 1974 ; Isabelle McTavish Canadian Missionary Doctor 1881-1953 by M. Diane Rogers on Canadian Genealogy and Women’s History canadiangenealogyblogspot. Accessed April 2014)

Elizabeth Beckett Scott Matheson

née Scot. Born January 6, 1866 Burnbrae , Upper Canada (now Ontario). Died January 15, 1958, San Antonio, Texas, U.S.A. In 1883 her family relocated from Ontario to Morrison, Red River, Manitoba. In 1883 she earned her teacher’s Certificate in Winnipeg, Manitoba. After teaching for awhile, she became assistant to Ellen Bilborough at the Marchmount Home for Orphans in Belleville, Ontario in 1887. Here she was encouraged and supported to enroll in the Women’s Medical College at Queen’s University. In 1888 she returned to teaching in Manitoba hoping to earn funding to continue her medical studies. From 1889 through 1991 she served as a missionary in central India with the Presbyterian Board of Missions. Returning home to the North-West Territories in 1891 she married John Matheson (1848-1916), an adventurer and later ordained minister with the Anglican Church. The couple would raise nine children. In 1895, while a mother with two toddlers and pregnant with her third child Elizabeth studied at the Manitoba Medical College for her second year of medical courses.  For the next 2 years she studied at the Ontario Medical College for Women in Toronto. Since no Canadian hospitals would accept women as interns she simply returned home and set up her practice in Onion Lake First Nation where in 1898 she was the 1st woman doctor in the North-West Territories. She would care for the peoples of the area often riding alone for long periods to treat patients. In 1901 she was appointed a sanitary inspector during a small pox epidemic. She still had not been recognized by the North – West Territories College of Physicians and Surgeons so she re-registered in 4th year medicine at the Manitoba Medical School earning her second medical degree. After a couple of additional attempts she was finally licensed in the North-West Territories. In 1908 she opened a 3 storey hospital at Onion Lake. After the death of her husband in 1916 she relocated to Winnipeg and served Assistant Medical Supervisor for Winnipeg Public Schools. She worked 25 years with inner city children retiring in 1941. In 1948, in recognition of her 50 years of medical service the University of Toronto granted Elizabeth an honourary medical degree. Source: The Doctor Road Side Saddle by Ruth Matheson Buck (Canadian Plains Research Center, University of Regina, 2003)

Maud Leonora Menten

Born march 20, 1879, Port Lambton, Ontario. Died July 20,1960 Leamington, Ontario. She earned her B.A. in 1904 and a master’s degree in 1907. It was in 1907 that she was appointed a fellow at the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research in New York City, U.S.A. In 1908 she worked as an intern at the New York Infirmary for women and Children before returning to Canada.  A dedicated and outstanding medical scientist was the 1st Canadian woman to receive a medical doctorate in 1911 at the University of Toronto. In 1913, while working in Germany, she and a colleague Leonora Michaelis developed the Michaelis-Menten equation which is a basic biochemical concept. In 1918 she joined the School of Medicine at the University of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. as an instructor and remained there until she retired in 1950. She had only become a full professor in 1948. After her retirement she returned to Canada where she continued working on cancer research at the British Columbia Medical Research institute for five years until ill health forced her to retire once again. She continued researching and publishing and made discoveries relating to blood sugar, hemoglobin and kidney functions. From 1951-1954 she conducted cancer research in British Columbia. During her life she enjoyed learning foreign languages and mastered several languages including Russian, French, German, Italian and one Native-American language. She also enjoyed music and was an accomplished artist. An Ontario Historical plaque stands near the Medical Sciences Building at the University of Toronto. Sources: Canadian Medical Hall of Fame. Online. Accessed 2008

Brenda Langford Milner

née Langford.  Born July 15,1918, Manchester, England. She took her undergraduate studies at the famous Cambridge University, 1939 in England. By 1952 she had completed her PhD at McGill University, Montreal. She had immigrated to Canada in 1944 to join the Institut de Psychologie at the Université de Montréal. She continued her work at the Montreal Neurological Institute where she became one of the pioneers in neurophysiology. Her published studies, particularly in epilepsy cases, have added substantially to the specific understanding of the structure and functioning of the brain. She was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1984  and was promoted to Companion in 2004. As well she is a member of Canada's Medical Hall of Fame. In 1985 she became an Officer in the National Order of Quebec and was promoted to Grand Officer in 2009.  in 2005 she was presented with the prestigious Gairdner  Award. She is also a member of the Royal Society, the Royal Society of Canada and the National Academy of Sciences in the U.S.A. She was elected a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2007. She was awarded the Balzan Prize for her contributions to Cognitive Neurosciences in a ceremony held in the Swiss Parliament in 2009.

Florence Jessie Murray

Born 1894, Pictou Landing, Nova Scotia. Died 1975. Florence graduated in medical studies from Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia in 1919. With the Canadian Presbyterian Church in Canada she became a medical missionary serving in Manchuria and then Korea from 1921-1969. She set up hospitals, acted as Public Health Officer, taught at medical school, trained nurses and inters and worked among lepers. She was also a writer and left numerous published articles about her medical work and about World War ll when she was interred as a prisoner of war. During the time she served at Severance Hospital she began the Medical Records Department. After an exchange of prisoners with the Japanese she returned to Canada in 1942 and practiced medicine in Halifax until the end of the war. After World War ll she served at a leper hospital in Seoul Korea until the Korean War broke out. She returned again to Korea in the early 1950’s until her retirement in 1962. She was decorated by the King of Denmark for her Korean Service. Source: The Indomitable Lady Doctors by Carlotta Hacke, Clarke Irwin, 1974

Joyce Nsubuga

SEE - Social Activists

Samantha Nutt

Born October 1969 Scarborough, Ontario. Samantha grew up in Durban, South Africa, Toronto, Ontario, and as a teenager for six months in Brazil. She earned her Bachelor Degree McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario. She studied for her Masters in Science at  at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in England prior to returning to McMaster earning her Medical Degree. Samantha and her husband Eric Hoskins are the co-founders of War Child Canada for which she serves as Executive Director. It is a non government organization that works with local international partners to help children in war torn countries to have access to education. Samantha has written widely to raise awareness of the plight of these children.   She also studied as a Woman's Health Scholar at the University of Toronto. In 2000 she earned the McMaster University Alumnae Award and in 2003 she was on the Maclean's magazine list of the top 40 under 40. In 2010 she was inducted into the Order of Ontario. In 2011 she published Damned Nations: Greed, guns, Armies and Aid which detailed her work in the world's war zones. That same year she became a Member of the Order of Canada. The following year she received the Queen Elizabeth ll Diamond Jubilee Medal. Dr Samantha works on staff at the Women's College Hospital, Toronto and teaches at the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto. (2019)

Geraldine Oakley

Born Stratford, Ontario. Died 1948, Calgary, Alberta. In 1912 she earned her medical degree from the University of Toronto. In 1915 she was appointed medical superintendent of the new 21 bed hospital, The Woman’s College Hospital and Dispensary, in Toronto. In 1918 she relocated to Calgary , Alberta where she was appointed as Medical Inspector with the Calgary Public Schools. She held regular clinics in all the area schools and at the same time ran a baby clinic at the Calgary City hall. Little did she know that by doing her job in visiting school children that she would be a mentor to future women doctors in the province. In 1935 the School and City Health Services were combined and Geraldine was appointed Calgary’s Assistant Medical Health Officer. The Independent Order of the Daughters of the Empire in the Province took to naming their local chapters after prominent Calgary medical doctors. In 1951 the Dr. Geraldine Oakley Chapter was formed. On October 6, 1960 the Dr. Oakley School was named in her honour. Source: The Indomitable Lady Doctors by Carlotta Hacker, Clark Irwin,1974.

Belle Choné Oliver

Born 1875. Died May 21, 1947, Fort William (Thunder Bay) Ontario. Bell studied medicine in Toronto graduating in 1900. She sailed to India as a medical Missionary with the Presbyterian Church of Canada. She worked at the Women’s Hospital in Indore, Dhar and Neemuch, India. In 1915 she was appointed as the 1st medical missionary to Banswara. She worked to assure that there was medical education in India. In 1933 she was appointed Secretary of the Christian Medical Association of India. Some of her papers are preserved in the United Church of Canada Archives. Source: The Indomitable Women Doctors by Carlotta Hacker (Toronto: Clarke, Irwin, 1974).

Marion Oliver

Born 1855 Avonbank, Ontario. Died 1913. She earned a teaching certificate and taught school in Perth County, Ontario. Deciding to enter into mission work she was accepted as a candidate with the Women’s Mission Society to be sent to India. In 1883 she graduated from the Women’s Medical College in Kingston, Ontario and was valedictorian for her class. In 1886 she became one of the 1st women to go to India as a medical missionary sailing for India on October 7, 1886. She was stationed at the mission at Indore where the missionaries had rooms to live right beside the medical dispensary. It was not long before she was taking weekly trips to Ujjain one of India’s oldest and most sacred cities. In 1888 she took charge of the Girl’s School in Indore. In 1892 she was also working at the new Women’s Hospital that was set up in Indore. She returned home to Canada on furlough and at that time cared for her ill mother. By 1894 she was once again back working in India retiring in 1913 and returning home to Canada.

Marion Powell

Died December 21, 1997. After Marion earned her medical degree she went on to earn her  Diploma in Public Health at the University of Toronto. In the 1970’s she assisted in establishing the Bay Centre for Birth Control which was the first hospital supported street centre to make information about contraception widely available. From 1980-1990 the Woman’s College Hospital appointed her as Director of the Bay Centre. By the time of her retirement in 1990 her efforts had been recognized by the YWCA with the Woman of Distinction in Health and Education in 1984. She received the 1988 Persons Award from the Canadian Government and in 1990 she was inducted into the Order of Canada. In 1994 the City of Toronto presented her the Gardina Award in recognition of her contributions to the development of the well-being of the city. In 1998, Women’s College Hospital created the Marion Powell Award in her honour.

Annie Powers

Born March 3, 1907, Rockland, Ontario. Died December 8, 1989, Rockland, Ontario. Annie earned the BA from the University of Ottawa in 1930. She started teaching and until 1941 she served at Hawkesbury, Ontario. She decided that the wanted to follow the career paths of her father and brothers and become a doctor. In 2945 she had received her medical diploma from the University Laval making her one of the 1st Francophone women in Ontario to become a doctor. She worked as a rural doctor and often provided free services for those in need who could not pay. She soon took over her father’s clients and became the doctor in residence Saint Joseph in Rockland. Here she established connections with L’hopital Montfort in Ottawa. At her own expense she often had patients in the hospital and even made certain that they had TV’s to watch. In 1971 she was Citizen of the year in Rockland and same year she received the Order of Canada. The medical library at the Montfort hospital was named in her honour and the town of Rockland named Le Centre Powers, supported by the Chevaliers de Colomb as a tribute. Source: Dr Annie Powers Biographies des Médecins Hôpital Montfort Online (accessed August 2015. )

Kathleen I. Prichard

Kathleen earned her Bachelor Degree in 1968 from Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario and went on to earne her medical degree there in 1971. In 1973 she researched melanoma ant tumor immunology at the University of Toronto. By 1977 she had began researching Breast cancer. In 1978 through 1984 she conducted clinical trials at Women's College Hospital, Toronto. In 1978 she was a founding member of the Canadian Oncology Society and a founding member of the Canadian Association of Medical Oncology. In 1984, she was appointed head of Medical Oncology and Haematology at Women's College Hospital. She was also Chair of the Breast Cancer Site Group with National Cancer Institute of Canada. Beginning in 1987 she spent ten years at Sunnybrook Regional Cancer Centre, Toronto. In 1990 to 1992 she was President of the Canadian Association of Medical Oncology. In 1997 she became Head of Clinical Trials and Epidemiology at the Odette Cancer Centre at Sunnybrook. She is well known for researching chemotherapy verses hormone therapy and the effects of aging and menopause and the risk of breast cancer. In 2005 she earned the O. Harold Warwick Prize from the Canadian Cancer Society. In 2006 she served on the Board of Directors for the American Society of Clinical Oncology. In 2015 she was honoured at the Women of Action Awards by the Israel Cancer Research Fund in Toronto. In 2018 she was inducted at a Member of the Order of Canada.  (2019)

Bessie T. Pullen-Singer

née Pullan. Born November 23, 1896 ? York County, Ontario. Bessie graduated from the Ontario Medical College in 1909. For the next two years she did post graduate studies at the New England Hospital for Women and Children, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A. She returned to Toronto where she married Louis M. Singer (1885-1959) a lawyer and the second Jewish member elected to the Toronto City Council where he served during World War 1. Bessie is considered the 1st Jewish woman doctor in Canada. .(2018)

Minerva Ellen Reid

Born 1872, Orangeville, Ontario. Died May 28, 1957, Toronto, Ontario. A bright student in Public School and High School  she obtained a teaching certificate and moved to be with her brother Dr. John Buchanan  Reid (1861-1931) in Tilsonburg, Ontario. It while living with her brother that she became interested in medicine. In 1905 she and her sister Hannah Emily Reid (1876-1955) both graduated from medical school in Toronto, Ontario. Minerva completed her surgical training in London, England and Dublin, Ireland. Both Minerva and Hannah served on the 1st Board of Directors of the Toronto Women’s College Hospital. In 1915 Minerva became the 1st woman to be chief of Surgery in North America. Minerva also campaigned to the establishment of Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto to care for wounded soldiers. She was also active in her community as a member of the Toronto Women’s Committee. She ran for provincial parliament in 1929 and in 1935 she ran in the federal election. In 1996 Rose Anthony wrote a one woman play, The League of Notions, based on Minerva’s life. (updated 8/2014)

Maureen Lorimer Roberts

née McWilliams Born January 26, 1915, Peterhead, Scotland. Died 2004, Ottawa, Ontario. She graduated in medical studies from the University of Edinborough, Scotland in 1937. In 1939 she earned a diploma in child health from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons. In 1940 she married Dr. Richard Roberts. In 1944 she left her son in England and served in the Indian Medical Service. After the World War ll, back in England, the couple established a medical practice near Canterbury. By 1948  they were in Halifax, Nova Scotia where Richard joined the Canadian Navy to earn money and continue in depth medical training while Maureen taught Pediatrics at Dalhousie University. Reading about Medic Alert bracelets and their success in the U.S.A., on June 18, 1961 they put up $1,000.00 to begin the Canadian Medic Alert Foundation which flourished with her efforts and dedication.  In 1964 the couple joined a medical expedition and sailed to Easter Island. In 1966, posted to Ottawa, Maureen set up a genetic counseling service. In 1980 the retired Dr. Maureen worked with an Ottawa day care center. Sources: Charlotte Grey, ‘Maureen Roberts’ in the Canadian Medical Journal Vol. 131 November 15, 1984: Valerie Knowles, Capital Lives, Volume 2, 2010.

Jane "Jennie" Smillie Robertson

née Smillie. Born February 10, 1878, Hansall, Ontario. Died February 26, 1981. Jane became a teacher so that she could earn money to attend the Ontario Medical College, Kingston, Ontario (merged with University of Toronto, 1906). Once she had earned her medical certificate in 1909 she could not find a Toronto hospital that would accept her for residency. She took off the U.S.A. to intern at Philadelphia’s Women’s Medical Collage. She returned to Toronto to practice medicine and became , perhaps, the 1st woman in Canada to perform surgery. She operated in a private home because she was still having problems finding a position in any local hospital which were still reluctant to accept woman doctors. She was also the 1st woman doctor in Canada to perform major gynecological surgery. Jennie worked to establish Women’s College Hospital as well as the Federation of Medical Women in Canada.  At 70 she married her childhood sweetheart, Alex Robertson. Sources: “Dr Jennie Smillie Robertson, woman surgeon, was 1st to enter practice in Canada”, Globe and Mail, March 3, 1981 : Builders and Pioneers: Individuals who helped ideas prosper by Steve Brearton, University of Toronto Magazine, Spring 2000.

Charlotte Whithead Ross

Born 1843,Darlington, England  Died February 16, 1916 Winnipeg, Manitoba. . She immigrated to Canada with her family when she was five years old. Charlotte received her schooling in Clinton, Ontario, and went to finishing school at the Sacred Heart Convent in Montreal. At eighteen, she married David Ross, her father's associate in the railway construction business. In 1870 women were not allowed entry into Canadian medical schools. She enrolled in an U.S. medical school, the Women’s Medical College, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,  with her husband's encouragement. She was forced to take 2 absences because of a miscarriage and the birth of a daughter. She graduated in 1875 and set up a successful practice in Montreal, Quebec, the first woman doctor in the city.  In 1878 left  Montreal to join her husband and father who were building the Canadian Pacific Railway, in Whitemouth, Manitoba Charlotte was the 1st woman to practice medicine in that province. There are many stories attesting to the fact that after delivering a  baby, she would scrub the floor, do the washing, and cook enough food for several days so that the new mother would get a couple of days' rest. She was also known to bring new mothers a bouquet of white roses that she grew in her garden. She was strict about antiseptic methods and sterilization which meant she was far ahead of some of her contemporaries in her practice of medicine. Dr. Ross practiced medicine for twenty-seven years without a license. She applied for licenses in both Montreal and Winnipeg, but she was denied because she refused to go to medical school in Canada and pass the exam by the all-male admissions board of the Manitoba College of Physicians and Surgeons. She continued to practice medicine, despite the fact that she knew she could be prosecuted and jailed. She avoided prosecution in Montreal because she worked under the patronage of Dr. Hingston, her original mentor, who later became the mayor of Montreal. She avoided prosecution in Manitoba because her practice was rural and she was the only physician in Whitemouth. The Charlotte W. Ross Gold Medal for highest honours in obstetrics is given annually in the Manitoba Medical College. Dr. Ross finally did get her license posthumously in November 1993 when Liberal MLA Sharon Carstairs introduced a resolution to that effect in the Manitoba Legislature. Government of Manitoba. Status of Women. Women working for Healthy Communities by Ada Ducas et all October 2001. Online (Accessed December 2011)

Mary Helen Irwin Rutnam

née Irwin. Born 1873, Elora, Ontario. Died 1962. In 1896 she graduated with a medical degree from the Women’s Medical College, Trinity College, University of Toronto. While doing post graduate work in New York, U.S. she met and married Samuel Christmas Kanaga Rutnam, a Christian Tamil from Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). The couple would settle in Ceylon and raise 5 children. She was shunned by the missionaries in Ceylon because of her marriage. She was denied a permanent position with the Ceylonese government because she only held a Canadian Medical degree not British credentials. Not deterred she simply opened her own successful medical practice. On a trip to Canada in 1907 she became interested in the information regarding the founding of the Women’s Institutes. She returned to Ceylon where she challenged herself with attempting to install similar institute training for women. After another visit to Canada in 1931 she returned to Ceylon and successfully established the Women’s institutes which by 1950 had some 150,000 members. She would go on to found the Lanka Mahila Samiti training program for rural women in Ceylon. Active in the political scene through the Women’s Political Union and the All Ceylon Womens Conference. She authored health textbooks and taught about women’s bodies and childbirth long before these were accepted topics for conversation. In 1934-35 she served during a massive malaria outbreak in the country. In 1958 she was honoured as the only woman to receive the 1st Ramon Magsaysay Award for her dedication public service.  Source: The Indomitable Lady Doctors by Carlotta Hacker (Clarke Irwin, 1974) ; Dr. Mary Rutnam (1873-1962) a Canadian Pioneer for Sri Lanka Women. Online (Accessed April 2014)

Helen Elizabeth Ryan

née Reynolds. Born June 7, 1860, Mount Forest, Ontario. Died July 9, 1947, Victoria British Columbia. She attended Queen’s University in the second class that allowed women students in 1881.  Helen would have to withstand abuse from some of the male students and faculty but she still graduated at the top of her class in 1885. She opened her first practice in Toronto. While struggling to establish herself she met and married Thomas John Ryan. The couple settled in Sudbury, Ontario  where he would become elected mayor (1899 to 1901). She was the first woman doctor to practice in Northern Ontario. Together they raised a family of five children.  In 1907 the family relocated to British Columbia where Helen, unable to practice medicine in the province, became active in public life. She worked for women’s franchise. (right to vote). She was the 1st woman member of the Canadian Medical Association. Sources: Greater Sudbury 125 1883-2008 the story of our times (Bilingual) ; South Side Story, January 2005. Additional information provided by Queen’s University Archives. ; The indomitable Lady Doctors by Carlotta Hacker (Toronto: Clarke Irwin, 1974)

Ricky Kanee Schachter

Born December 23, 1918, Melville, Saskatchewan. After earning her BA at the University of Saskatchewan she headed to the University of Toronto to her her medical degree in 1943. She then did some post graduate work at Columbia University in New York in dermatology. She returned to her husband in Toronto where they would raise their three children. In 1946 she joined the staff  of the Woman's College Hospital in Toronto. She has served as Chief of Dermatology and Director of the Psoriases Education and Research Centre where she pioneered the idea of treating psoriases patients on an out-patient basis. it is considered a Centre of Excellence in North America. In 1978-9 she became the first woman to lead specialists in her field when she served as President of the Canadian Dermatology association. She has published numerous papers, reports and articles in her field and is is demand internationally for seminars and scientific exhibitions. She has received numerous honours including the Queens Golden Jubilee Medal

Elizabeth Caroline Secord

née Smith. Born October 26, 1841, Blissville, New Brunswick. Died July 4, 1916.After here early schooling Elizabeth earned her teaching Certificate at Normal School. After teaching for awhile she met and in 1869 married John Secord (Died 1874). The couple had one son in 1872. Elizabeth attended medical school in Keeokuk, Michigan and spent her internship at the Women’s Medical College in Chicago in 1882. Returning home she registered in June 1883 as the 1st woman doctor in New Brunswick before leaving for Dublin and London, England for post graduate studies. At first she opened a practice in Frederick, New Brunswick but moved on to Norton and finally settled in Farmerston (now Jacksonville) for her 33 years of practicing medicine. In 1908 at the age of 67 she took in 2 British Home Children, Herbert Morris and Elsie May Morris. The children were sent to Canada by caring organizations in England. Elizabeth signed a contract to care for and educate the children. Sources: The Indomitable Women Doctors by Carlotta Hacker, (Toronto: Clarke, Irwin, 1974) : Elizabeth Caroline (Smith) Secord by John Wood, Online (Accessed March 2014)

Alice Mary Sidgwick

née Sibly. Born December 27, 1922, Gloucestershire, England. Died June 11, 2014, Toronto, Ontario. Mary was educated at Cheltenham Ladies College and studied medicine at Cambridge University in England. When she graduated women were ‘not invited’ to graduation ceremonies! In 1947 she married John R.L. Sidgwick (d. 1973) a musician. The couple immigrated to the Toronto area of Ontario and had three children. By 1960 Mary had met the qualifications of study to practice medicine in Canada. In 1964 she and her husband John founded the Orpheous Choir of Toronto. Mary herself was an accomplished pianist and choral singer. Mary had her medical practice in North York and also worked at North York General Hospital until her official retirement in 1977. Source: Obituaries, Globe and Mail June 27, 2014. Suggestion submitted by June Coxon.

Bette Stephenson

Born July 31, 1924, Aurora, Ontario. In 1945/6 she earned her medical degree at the University of Toronto. She was one of then women in a class of 142 students. She and her husband opened a general medical practice that would span 40 years. She helped create the College of Family Physicians in order to promote more interest in family medicine. Bette was a staff member of Women’s College Hospital, Toronto, with her section becoming the Outpatient Department and she also served a Chief of the Department of General Practice. She would be the 1st woman to serve on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Medical Association and the 1st woman president of the organization. She was also the 1st woman president of the Ontario Medical Association. In 1975 she was elected to the Ontario legislature where on August 18, 1978 she served as the 1st woman Minister of Education and the 1st woman Minister of Colleges and Universities. On May 17, 1985 she became Minister of Finance/treasurer and the 1st woman to serve as Deputy Premier. She was also a founding member of the Canadian Institute of Advanced Research. In 1992 she received the Order of Canada and in 1999 the Order of Ontario. The Dr Bette Stephenson Recognition of Achievement was named in her honour. Source: Canadian Medical Hall of Fame Online. (Accessed January 2014)

Emily Howard Stowe

née Jennings. Born May 1, 1831, Norwich, Upper Canada (now Ontario). Died April 30,1903. A life long champion of women’s rights. With no Canadian institution allowing women to study medicine she studied in the United States and in 1868 became the first Canadian woman to practice medicine in Canada. It was she who organized the Women’s Medical College in Toronto in 1883. She was also founder and first president of the Dominion Women’s Enfranchisement Association in 1889.

Anne Augusta Stowe-Gullen

née Stowe. Born  July 27, 1857, Mount Pleasant, Toronto, Canada West (Now Ontario) . Died September 25, 1943, Toronto, Ontario. Augusta’s mother and mentor was Dr. Emily Stowe(1831-1903). Augusta was the 1st woman to earn a medical degree in Canada. She graduated from Victoria College, (an affiliate of the University of Toronto) Cobourg, Ontario in 1883. Upon graduation she married Dr. John B. Gullen, a future founder in 1896 of Toronto Western Hospital. After their marriage the couple did post graduate coursed in children’s medicine in New York, U.S.A. Augusta taught at the Ontario Medical College for Women (known 1883-94 as the Woman's Medical College, Toronto) and was on U of T Senate 1910-22. Both she and her mother were leading figures in the suffrage movement. Augusta succeeded her mother as president of the Dominion Women's Enfranchisement Assn in 1903. She was also a founder of the National Council of women. In 1935 she received the Order of the British Empire. Sources: Carla Hacker. The Indomitable Women Doctors. (1974) ; K. Smith. Dr. Augusta Stowe-Gullen; a pioneer of social conscience in The Canadian Medical Association Journal, January 15, 1982 ; The Canadian Encyclopedia. Online (Accessed June 2003) (2018)

Lucille Teasdale-Corti

Born January 30, 1929, Montreal, Quebec.  Died August 1, 1996, Lombardy, Italy. From the age of 12 she knew just what she wanted to do, she wanted to be a doctor. She studies at the University of Montreal and in 1955 was the 1st woman in Quebec to receive a diploma as a surgeon. She attempted to obtain training abroad but was turned down by American hospitals because she was a women. During her internship in Montréal Lucille met Piero Corti, a young Italian doctor studying pediatrics. His dream to establish a world-class teaching hospital in Africa. He had already heard about a small clinic near Lacor, a town not far from Gulu, a city in northern Uganda. It was little more than a dispensary with a few dozen beds, but he saw it as a starting point.  In 1961, she joined forces with Corti, her future husband, and they worked in Uganda for more than thirty years. Dr. Teasdale would tend to as many as 300 outpatients each morning and perform surgeries in the afternoon.  Dr. Teasdale performed more the 13,000 surgeries working through Idi Admin’s dictatorship, civil wars, epidemics and massacres. She received many awards for her life work including being an Officer of the Order of the Merit of the Republic of Italy in 1981, inducted as a member of the Order of Canada 1991, named a Grand Officer of the National Order of Québec 1995, and awarded the Saskawa Prize with her husband in 1996. This is the most prestigious distinction awarded by the World Health Organization of the United Nations. She died from aids which she contracted while operating on an infected soldier. Canada Post issued a commemorative stamp in her honour as part of the Millennium series, January 17, 2000. In 2001 she was inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame. Sources: Dr. Lucille Teasdale. Canadian Medical Hall of Fame Online (Accessed 2005) ; Lucille Teasdale. The Canadian Encyclopedia Online (Accessed 2005) ; Dawson, Joanna and Beverly Tallon. “Helping Heroes: Canadians who made a difference in the world.’ In Canada’s History February- March 2013

Ethlyn Trapp

Born July 18, 1891, New Westminster, British Columbia. Died July 31, 1972, West Vancouver, British Columbia . She graduated with her B.A. from McGill University, Montreal in 1913. During World War l she worked in military hospitals and earned her  MD at McGill in 1927. She  also studied in Europe, before she practiced in Vancouver. Using her own money, set up a centre to prove the benefits of radiotherapy in 1937. From 1939-1944 she served as Director, B.C. Cancer Institute.  She was the  1st woman president of the B.C. Medical Association in 1946/7 and in 1952 she was the 1st  woman president of the  National Cancer Institute of Canada. She was also president of the Federation of Canadian Medical Women. In 1963 she was awarded a citation from the Canadian Medical Association for her cancer research. She was inducted into the  Order of Canada in 1968. An art collector, she deeded her home, Klee Wyck, named for her artist friend Emily Carr, to West Vancouver as an arts centre. Source: Vancouver Hall of Fame (Accessed December 2012)

Jenny (Jennie) Kidd Trout

née Gowanlock. Born April 21, 1841 Kelso, Scotland. Died November 10, 1921 Los Angeles, California, U.S.A. Jenny came with her parents to Canada in 1847. The family settled near Stratford, Ontario. Like many young girls of her generation she earned a teaching certificate from the Toronto Normal School and taught school. marriage. In 1865 She married  Edward Trout the couple settled in Toronto. The couple did not have any children of their own but after a family tragedy they adopted the Great-nephew and great niece.  While in Toronto Jenny decided to become a medical doctor. She studied Medicine at the University of Toronto as one of the 1st women admitted to the Toronto School of Medicine.  She completed her medical studies at the Women's Medical College in Pennsylvania, U.S.A.  March 11,1875, on passing the Ontario registration exam, she became the 1st Canadian woman licensed to practice medicine in Canada. Dr. Jenny opened the Therapeutic and Electrical Institute in Toronto and also ran a free dispensary for the poor from her offices. The Institute would expand with branches in Brantford and Hamilton, Ontario. Poor health forced her to retire in 1882 to Palma Sola, Florida, U.S.A. and by 1908 she was living in California. She was instrumental in establishing the medical school for women at Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario. Prior to her death she relocated to California. In 1991 Canada Post issued a postage stamp to commemorate her as the 1st licensed woman doctor to practice Medicine in Canada. The Jenny Trout Center in Stratford is a private medical company.

Agnes Maria Turnbull

Born August 29, 1866, Melrose, Upper Canada (now Ontario) Died January 5, 1907, Neemuch, India. In the 1880’s her family relocated to Quebec. In 1885 Agnes earned her teacher’s certificated from the McGill Normal School. By 1887 she was contacting the Women’s Foreign Mission Society of the Presbyterian Church of Canada. She was encouraged by the Society to complete medical studies before becoming a missionary. From 1888 to 1982 she studied at the Women’s Medical College at Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario. Upon graduation she took a couple of months post graduate studies in New Your State, U.S.A. In November 1882 she arrived in India to serve as a medical missionary. She would serve first at the Women’s Medical Hospital in Indore and by 1895 she was in Neemuch. Her she also pioneered medical work at an outstation in Jawad, At the turn of the century she took some leave back in Canada and returned in 1903 in the midst of an outbreak of the plague. For her service during the plague she was awarded the Kaisar-i-Hind medal from the Imperial Government which acknowledged service in the advancement of public interest in India. A local Anglican Church in Indore, India has a brass plaque tribute to Agnes and her work. Sources: The Indomitable Women Doctors by Carlotta Hacker (Toronto: Clarke & Irwin, 1974) : The Dictionary of Canadian Biography vol. Xii Online (Accessed April 2014)

Gene Anne 'Jan' Turner

née Stewart. Born April 29, 1926, Croydon, England. Died March 11, 2012. Jan earned her medical degree from the University of Toronto  in 1952. She had interned at St. Paul’s hospital in Vancouver returning to Toronto to marry Ed Turner. The couple had three children. Jan held a variety of medical positions, including being Hamilton’s 1st District Health Officer, physician for the Borough of East York and doctor at the students’ heath clinic at the University of Toronto. In later career years, after training at the Institute for Human Relations she turned to administering to her patients’ emotional and mental health needs through psychotherapy.  Source: Obituary Globe and Mail March 15, 2012. Suggestion submitted by June Coxon, Ottawa, Ontario.

Jennie Wildman

née Gray. Born 1863, Dundas, Canada West (Ontario). Died December 11, 1953, Barrie, Ontario. She studied at the Ontario Medical College for Women in Toronto in 1892. From 1892 through 1906 she took charge with Dr. Ida Lynd of the 1st clinics run by the College for women. The clinics were a dispensary for poor women which led into the establishment of the Women’s Dispensary which in turn became Women’s College Hospital by 1911. On May 14, 1909 she married James Frank Wildman. For most of the 1920’s Jennie was involved with the free clinics and from 1920 through 1926 she established the Department of Gynecology at the Women’s College Hospital. In 1928 the couple was settled in Barrie, Ontario. Source: The Indomitable Lady Doctors by Carlotta Hacker (Toronto: Clarke, Irwin & Co Ltd, 1974)

Amelia Yeomans

née Le Sueur. Born March 29,1842. Died April 11, 1913. In 1878, after the death of her medical doctor husband, Amelia and her daughter Lillian decided to study medicine. Since there were no schools in Canada accepting women as students the two women studied in the U.S. Both specialized in midwifery ( birth of children) and diseases affecting women and children in the Canadian Midwest. Soon they were joined by another daughter Charlotte who was a nurse. The medical trio became champions of woman's suffrage ( votes for women), temperance ( stopping excess drinking of alcohol) and crusaded against prostitution and the diseases of prostitution. Amelia had a great speaking presence and lectured successfully for social equality and improvement of life. Modern Canadian women owe a lot to these social pioneering women.

Veterinarians                        Return to categories
Candace Grier-Lowe

Born Norway House, Manitoba. In high school her guidance teacher told her not to consider being a veterinarian as university studies were just too hard. Never underestimate the determination of a person with dreams. Candace worked for a couple of years as a dental assistant for a family friend in Thompson, Manitoba. She became restless and decided to try university. In 2005 she earned her veterinary degree from Western College of Veterinary (WCVM) at the University of Saskatchewan. Following graduation she worked as a clinical associate in radiation oncology at WCVM Veterinary Medical Centre. In 2008 she became a combined resident in veterinary dentistry and Master of Science Degree program. In 2009 she was one of the recipients of the National Aboriginal Achievement Award. Graduating in 2011 Candace is the 1st Aboriginal woman veterinarian dentist in the world and the ist Indigenous Canadian woman to graduate in this specialty. In September 2011 she joined the WDVM's Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences as an assistant Professor. She is a board certified specialist with the American Veterinary Dental College. She is the author of articles in veterinary dentistry for the Canadian Veterinary Journal and the Journal of Veterinary Dentistry. (2019)

Lenka J. Husa

Born Czechoslovak February 21, 1942. She studied for her degree in veterinary medicine in the Czechoslovak Republic. She and her family emigrated and settled in Newfoundland where she worked as a research Assistant , at the Animal Care Facility at Memorial University. She has authored and c-authored numerous articles and reports in her field. In 1989 she was appointed Director of Animal Care Services at Memorial University. She won the Award of Excellence from the Canadian Council of Animal Care and in the President's Award for Exemplary Service from Memorial University in 1995.

Miscellaneous                Return to categories
Carol Trotman

Pioneer Transplant patient

Born Trinidad 1954. Died June 30, 2006. Immigrating to Canada she worked with Employment Canada. Carol was told by her doctors that she needed a lung transplant. Since she was going through a divorce the hospital but off listing her the needed operation. When told she needed a stress free support system for after the operation and that a divorce and having teen children at home was not what was required.  Carol established a strong support team of women and she got her operation in the spring of 1991. She was one of Ontario’s first recipients of a single lung transplant. Usually patients can expect an addition five years but remarkably Carol had 15 years! She wanted to see her children graduate and she lived long enough to see her first grandchild. A year or two after her operation she began to speak to groups about the importance of organ donation in support of the Trillium Gift of Life network. She counted each day as a blessing and never forgot to be thankful to her creator on a daily basis.  Source: ‘Carol Trotman, 52: Transplant pioneer’ by Catherine Dunphy. The Toronto Star, August 21, 2006. Online (accessed September 2006)

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