It may seem hard to believe now, but it wasn’t that long ago that it was difficult for a women to attend medical school, or for women to receive treatment from female doctors. And while we’ve made many strides over the past century, there is still a need for a facility — and online resources — for women and women’s health care. That’s why we’re glad that the Women’s College Hospital has been around for a century and is still advocating for excellent health care for Canadian women.
Women’s College Hospital in downtown Toronto was founded in 1883 as the Women’s Medical College, the first medical school in the city to admit women; it became a hospital where women could practice medicine in 1911. It’s been in it’s current location in the city since 1935, and was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1995. The hospital became a University of Toronto-affiliated teaching hospital in 1961, but in 2006 it again became an independent facility but continues its association with the university today.
Today the Women’s College Hospital is a teaching hospital and an independent ambulatory care facility, with a focus on women’s health and research in women’s health. These ten milestones are just a few of the reasons we’re happy to see the hospital reach its 100th anniversary.
1. In 1911, they created a hospital where medically trained women could practice medicine at a time when that was very difficult.
2. In 1963, they were the first hospital in Ontario to use mammography to diagnose breast cancer.
3. In 1973, they opened the Bay Centre for Birth Control, the first hospital-supported walk-in clinic.
4. In 1984, they opened the first hospital-based program in Ontario to help victims of sexual assault and violence.
5. In 1996, they established North America’s first cardiac prevention and rehabilitation program designed exclusively for women.
6. In 2000, they created Women’s Health Matters, the first hospital-based consumer health information website for women.
7. In 2006, they became Ontario’s only academic ambulatory hospital with a primary focus on women’s health.
8. In 2010, they broke ground on a new state-of-the-art facility, which will be complete by 2015, to support an entirely new care model.
9. In 2010, they opened the After Cancer Treatment Transition Clinic to address the unique health-care needs of cancer survivors.
10. In 2011, they created the Online Mental Health Program so women can have mental health care wherever and whenever they need it.
The Being She photography exhibit, which celebrates 100 years of women’s health through the Women’s College Hospital with images from top Canadian artists, is running at the Gladstone Hotel in Toronto until August 1.