Women's History Month 2001

Women Working for Healthy Communities

By Ada Ducas & Janice Linton,
Neil John Maclean Health Sciences Library

Produced by the Manitoba Women's Directorate in recognition of Women's History Month, October 2001

Essay Contents


Part 1

Acknowledgements

Each year, Women's History Month is celebrated across Canada as an opportunity to acknowledge publicly the contributions of women as a vital part of our Canadian heritage. It is also a means of raising awareness of women's contributions to our society, which have frequently gone unrecognized.

For 2001, the Manitoba Women's Directorate focused on women's health and the historic contributions that women have made to the development and delivery of health care services in our province between 1840 and 1975. Called WOMEN WORKING FOR HEALTHY COMMUNITIES, the Directorate partnered with Ada Ducas and Janice Linton of the Neil John Maclean Health Sciences Library of the University of Manitoba, for the initiative. Ada and Janice researched and wrote an essay - a historical overview of Manitoba women in healthcare - and presented it at an Opening Reception in October 2001 at the Manitoba Legislative Building. They also produced a complementary display, featuring selected photos and personal artifacts from the featured women. The display was open for public viewing in the Legislative Building, for the month of October 2001.

Ada Ducas, is the Head at the Neil John Maclean Health Sciences Library and is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Medicine, University of Manitoba. She has published extensively and has been involved with a variety of professional library organizations. Janice Linton, MLS, is the Aboriginal Health Librarian, Neil John Maclean Health Sciences Library. She has also specialized in other areas such as HIV/AIDS, medicine and allied health.

Ada and Janice wish to thank the following individuals for their contributions to the essay and the display:

  • Shelley Sweeney, University Archivist, the staff of Archives & Special Collections, University of Manitoba
  • Anne Thornton-Trump, Assistant Librarian, Neil John Maclean Health Sciences Library, University of Manitoba
  • Carol Cooke, Assistant Librarian, Neil John Maclean Health Sciences Library, University of Manitoba
  • Susan Bethune, Faculty of Medicine Archives, University of Manitoba
  • Mark Rabnett, Section Head, St. Boniface General Hospital Library
  • Dee Dee Rizzo
  • Staff from Mount Carmel Clinic
  • Janet Easter & Nora Easter
  • Dr. Ina Bramadat, Senior Scholar and The Faculty of Nursing, University of Manitoba
  • Carole Boily, Archiviste, and The Grey Nuns, Manitoba

The Directorate acknowledges the valuable contributions of these individuals and organizations that helped to make this initiative a success. Thank you to everyone!

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Introduction

Women have worked to create healthy communities in many ways. As formal and informal caregivers, physicians, midwives, nurses, and other allied health professionals, many women have made significant contributions to the health of their families, their patients, and the greater community. There have been many women who have contributed to health care in Manitoba, as well as many Manitoba women who have been recognized beyond our province's borders for innovation, leadership, and excellence. While many of the women featured in this essay chose a career path in either medicine or nursing, others contributed to healthy communities as educators, religious women, scientists, or social activists. In celebration of Women's History Month 2001, several women are profiled here to illustrate the diverse ways local women have contributed to creating healthy communities.

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