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

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

Savannah’s Story

However, as many lessons as I have learned, I have enjoyed this process for what it was. I was blown away by the interest, contributions, and support of the community towards this project, and my heart was warmed by the willingness of people to help wherever they could. It has truly been incredible to watch the amalgamation of two such impactful aspects of my life to create, what I believe to be, such an important project. … More Savannah’s Story