Celebrate Canada 150

Celebrate Canada 150

A Sampling of Milestones in the History of Alberta Health Care

Dr. Richard Nevitt arrives in Fort Macleod and helps fellow North-West Mounted Police surgeon Dr. John Kitson build Alberta’s first hospital.

Dr. Robert Brett becomes’ Calgary’s first physician.

Calgary General Hospital opens.

The Grey Nuns Hospital and General Hospital open in Edmonton. Dr. Etta Denovan, Alberta’s first female physician, starts her practice in Red Deer.

Alberta becomes a province.

Alberta’s first mental hospital opens in Ponoka. The Royal Alexandra Hospital opens in Edmonton.

Alberta becomes the second Canadian province to establish a Department of Public Health.

Dr. H. Orr opens Canada’s first free venereal disease clinic in Alberta.

The Sexual Sterilization Act is passed which allows for the sterilization of people with mental challenges (Alberta Premier Peter Lougheed repealed this act in 1972).

Alberta introduces legislation to provide free Tuberculosis diagnosis and treatment.

Alberta establishes the first free cancer services program in Canada.

Edmonton’s Dr. Eardley Allin performs Canada’s first Siamese twin operation at the Royal Alexandra Hospital.

Dr. John Callaghan performs Canada’s first open-heart surgery on 10-year-old Suzanne Beattie at the University of Alberta Hospital.

More people are inoculated with the measles vaccine in Alberta than the rest of Canada combined.

The University of Calgary establishes a Faculty of Medicine.

Canada’s Health Care Insurance Act is passed introducing mandatory federal Medicare to the provinces.

Dr. Howard Gimbel makes history as the first Canadian surgeon to remove cataracts with an ultrasonic probe.

The Lougheed government establishes the $300 million Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research, the first fully-funded provincial medical research fund in Canada.

Dr. Helen Hays founds the palliative care unit at the Edmonton General Hospital.

The Lions Air Service is created in Calgary to provide helicopter ambulance services. The name is later changed to Alberta’s Shock Trauma Air Rescue Society (STARS).

STARS opens a base in Edmonton.

Dr. Lorne Tyrell and a team of U of A researchers develop a successful antiviral therapy to treat chronic hepatitis B.

Dr. Brian Sproule founds the Alberta Asthma Centre in Edmonton.

Dr. James Shapiro leads a team of researchers at the University Hospital in developing the Edmonton Protocol, which transplants pancreatic islets into people with Type-1 diabetes.

A third STARS base opens in Grande Prairie.

Alberta Minister of Health and Wellness Ron Liepert announces the creation of Canada’s first province-wide, fully integrated health system.

Alberta Health Services is born, bringing together 12 formerly separate health entities in the province including three geographically based health authorities, the Alberta Alcohol and the Drug Abuse Commission (AADAC), the Alberta Mental Health Board and the Alberta Cancer Board.

AHS takes responsibility for providing ambulance service to Albertans.

More than a million Albertans are immunized in just six weeks during the H1N1 pandemic.

Health Link, the provincewide AHS health service available by phone, turns 10 having fielded more than eight million calls from Albertans.

All patients (29) and staff are safely evacuated from the Slave Lake General Hospital when a devastating wild fire burns through Slave Lake.

AHS launches the first six Strategic Clinical Networks (SCNs), setting the stage for a fundamental change in healthcare innovation in Alberta.

Calgary’s South Health Campus opens.

Heavy rainfall triggers catastrophic flooding in Southern Alberta. Forty-seven acute-care patients and 75 long-term care residents in High River are evacuated to other facilities. Residents of Calgary’s Agape Hospice and two continuing care sites, Bowview Manor and Bowcrest Centre, are also relocated.

Alberta Hospital Edmonton marks 90 years of serving Albertans.

Medicine Hat Hospital celebrates its 125th anniversary.

AHS launches Patient First Strategy.

New AHS board is established with Linda Hughes as chair.

AHS names Dr. Verna Yiu President and CEO.

Nearly 90,000 Albertans are forced to leave their homes when a wild fire sweeps through Fort McMurray and the surrounding area. Within two hours, AHS staff members evacuate 73 acute care patients and 32 continuing care patients out of the Northern Lights Regional health Centre, even saving the hospital’s cat and bird. In the weeks that follow, AHS teams work around the clock for weeks to restore services.

Edson Health Care Centre opens.

Chinook Regional Hospital in Lethbridge celebrates $135-million redevelopment that adds a new five-storey wing to the facility and expansions to several departments including Day Surgery and Neonatal Intensive Care.

AHS launches a new vision and new set of values.

High Prairie Health Care Complex opens.

Alberta Health Services Archives & Historic Collections Photo Gallery