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Based in Kingston, ON, our mission at the Museum of Health Care is to connect learners of all ages with Canadian health care’s complex and intriguing history.

Explore our blog to learn about select pieces from our 40,000 artifact collection, discover lesser known history about the medical profession, or take a look at our at-home educational activities.

Museum hosts event celebrating the 125th anniversary of arrival of x-rays in Kingston

On Tuesday, November 16th the Museum of Health Care was pleased to host a virtual event celebrating the 125th anniversary of the arrival of x-ray technology in Kingston.

Presented by the Department of Diagnostic Radiology at Kingston Health Sciences Centre, the presentation included a history of x-ray technology from 1896 to present. … More Museum hosts event celebrating the 125th anniversary of arrival of x-rays in Kingston

The Story of Viola Allan Abrum and her military commission

Viola Allan Abrum, born on June 9th, 1911, graduated from the Brockville General Hospital Training School for Nurses in 1933. After graduating, she worked as a private duty nurse before enlisting in the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps. From 1941 to 1945, Captain (Matron) Viola Allan worked as a Nursing Sister in France and Belgium, as well as in England where she took care of Canadian prisoners of war at the No. 9 Unit in Horsham. As a Lieutenant, she received the military commission in 1943. After the war, in 1946, she was decorated as an Associate of the Royal Red Cross. … More The Story of Viola Allan Abrum and her military commission

The Lived Experience of COVID-19 in Canada presentation recording available

Savannah Sewell (MARF 2021) presented the results of her project, in which she endeavored to create a holistic and human narrative focused account of the lived experience of COVID-19. Savannah spoke to the hurdles and highlights of her experience in amassing a foundational COVID-19 Collection for the Museum of Health Care, and offered examples of the artifacts and narratives collected. … More The Lived Experience of COVID-19 in Canada presentation recording available

The History of Temporary Military Hospitals in Kingston

Kingston was especially hard-hit by these events compared to other towns. Even during a pandemic just over a hundred years ago, Kingston served the same role of regional health care centre as it did during the COVID pandemic. As the largest city between Ottawa and Toronto, Kingston’s healthcare facilities have always serviced a particularly large surrounding area. On top of this, Andrew Belyea, a previous Margaret Angus Research Fellow for the Museum, notes that Kingston was a military hub around the time of the First World War, with a very large number of soldiers stationed in or otherwise filtered through town (find his article here). This created a larger-than-expected need for hospital care when the war ended and soldiers began returning to Canada – a need that would be difficult to meet. … More The History of Temporary Military Hospitals in Kingston

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The Story of Dr. James Third and his x-ray innovations

He began working with x-rays in 1897, effectively picking up where John Cochrane, the first man to bring x-rays to Kingston, had left off. Dr. Third was responsible for the installation of x-rays in Kingston General Hospital, and he soon began discovering new ways they could be used for diagnosis, such as detecting pneumonia and tuberculosis, as well as using a fluorescent screen with the x-ray tube to observe real-time movement of the heart and lungs. … More The Story of Dr. James Third and his x-ray innovations

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Shaelyn Ryan
Collections Technician/Assistant
Savannah Sewell
Margaret Angus Research Fellow (MARF) 2021
Hannah Samuels
Public Programs Assistant
Victor Drazilov
Public Programs Assistant