“You wake up soaked”: Mist Tents and Cystic Fibrosis

For those living with cystic fibrosis (CF) from the 1960s to mid-1970s, nights called for fog. People with CF would tuck into bed under a plastic canopy filled with a medicated mist, accompanied by one or more whirring compressors nebulizing solution all night long. These “mist tents,” as the devices were known, were considered a mainstay of CF treatment—until, abruptly (and perhaps mercifully), they weren’t. … More “You wake up soaked”: Mist Tents and Cystic Fibrosis

2022 Margaret Angus Research Lecture

Anna’s project examines the lived experience of cystic fibrosis (CF) in the latter half of the 20th century as expressed through the healthcare objects associated with its treatment. By tracing the material histories of two fundamental categories of CF-related objects, inhalation therapies and parenteral antibiotics, she evokes the changing routines of everyday life with the illness from the 1940s to 1990s. … More 2022 Margaret Angus Research Lecture

Globe and Mail: How lessons from the past can help shape future health outcomes

That’s where the Museum of Health Care aims to make a contribution. “Our objects can tell a million stories, not just about vaccines but also about vaccine hesitancy,” says Ms. McGowan. “A lot of the discussion that was the backlash against the smallpox vaccine, for example, is not that different from what you hear today. It is really interesting to see this continuity.” The question then becomes what lessons we are willing to learn, and Ms. McGowan believes that seeing an iron lung, a smallpox vaccination certificate or a poster about wearing a mask during the 1918-19 influenza epidemic can provide an extra incentive for seeking out valid evidence. … More Globe and Mail: How lessons from the past can help shape future health outcomes

(IV) Hook-ups: Cystic fibrosis and intravenous antibiotics

Antibiotics have been a mainstay of CF treatment throughout the decades. This simple statement, however, obscures their various manifestations in the lives of people with CF. The principles may have been similar in 1950 and 1990, but the experiences were vastly different. Material culture illuminates the changes that textual references can obscure, as exemplified here by the objects of intravenous (IV) antibiotic treatment for CF lung infections. … More (IV) Hook-ups: Cystic fibrosis and intravenous antibiotics

The “Stuff” of Cystic Fibrosis

Since cystic fibrosis (CF) was identified in 1938, tens of thousands have lived with the severe genetic disease. Each experience has been individual, yet common threads run through, most notably experiences of healthcare. People with CF become well-acquainted with the clinic, the hospital, the pharmacy; the need to accommodate at home piles of pill bottles, physio devices, nebulizer set-ups, perhaps home IVs, feeding tubes, oxygen compressors, insulin. The lived experience of everyday life with CF in a large part resides in these objects and their environments. … More The “Stuff” of Cystic Fibrosis

Welcome MARF 2022: Anna Krentz

The Museum of Health Care is pleased to welcome Anna Krentz, this year’s Margaret Angus Research Fellow!⁠ ⁠ Anna Krentz is an archivist, historical researcher, and writer with cystic fibrosis. Her interdisciplinary background includes an MA from Toronto Metropolitan University and Honours BA from St. Francis Xavier University, as well as, graduate coursework in the … More Welcome MARF 2022: Anna Krentz

Indigenous History Month: Dr. Cornelia Wieman

Dr. Wieman is an Anishinaabe woman from Manitoba, Little Grand Rapids First Nation. She grew up very poor with her adoptive non-Indigenous family as a victim of the Sixties Scoop. She had very little exposure to medicine prior to her entrance into McMaster University.  After graduating from McMaster in 1993 with a medical degree and training in psychiatry, she became laser focused on improving the health and mental health of Indigenous Peoples and fighting Indigenous racism. … More Indigenous History Month: Dr. Cornelia Wieman

Indigenous History Month: Dr. Nadine Caron

Today we are celebrating Dr. Nadine Caron who is making medical history! Her story is one of many firsts; she became the first Indigenous woman to graduate from the University of British Columbia’s (UBC) medical school and then, in 2005, became the first female Indigenous general surgeon in Canada. Most recently, Dr. Caron was named the UBC’s founding First Nations Health Authority Chair in Cancer and Wellness.⁠ … More Indigenous History Month: Dr. Nadine Caron