Canada Health Day: Legacies of Women in Health

If today's your birthday, you probably already knew you share a famous birthday with Florence Nightingale. Nightingale was the founder of modern nursing, and a model for health professionals around the world. While her legacy crosses borders, here in Canada we celebrate this icon's birth with Canada Health Day.

To mark both events, I want to turn the spotlight on several Canadian women. This Health Day, take a look at these amazing trailblazers for health:

Lucille Teasdale-Corti (January 30, 1929 – August 1, 1996)

As a medical doctor and surgeon, Lucille Teasdale-Corti established a legacy of giving back in the field of medicine. In her lifetime, she worked to provide health care and education in impoverished communities in Uganda. Today her work inspires many of our country's most notable and altruistic physicians working at home and abroad.

Irene Uchida (April 8, 1917 – July 30, 2013)

Irene Uchida broke barriers as a renowned genetics researcher in the 1960s. Through her pioneering studies at the University of Toronto, Uchida identified the link between radiation and birth abnormalities in pregnant women. She was later made an Officer of the Order of Canada for her life-saving research in this area.  

Jennie Kidd Trout (April 21, 1841 - November 10, 1921)      

As the first woman to practice medicine in Canada, Jennie Kidd Trout paved the way for women across the country to enter the field of medical care. She founded Canada’s first women’s college for medicine – Queen’s College in Ontario. She also contributed to developing treatments for rheumatoid arthritis and other degenerative diseases.

Sylvia Fedoruk (May 5, 1927 – September 26, 2012)

Famed medical innovator Sylvia Fedoruk was the first woman biophysicist in Canada. During her incredible career, she pioneered the therapeutic treatment of cancer through radiation. This led to increased access to effective medicines, and a renewed hope for recovery for people with cancer around the world.

In honour of Canada Health Day, I am thankful for the incredible contributions made in the field of healthcare by fellow Canadians! For more information about healthcare in Canada, check out the Canadian Healthcare Association and the Canadian Public Health Association