History of Pediatrics and Child Health
"[M]ost paediatricians in Canada and the United States wore bow ties. There were said to be two reasons which justified its use by paediatricians - (1) it prevented strangulation of the paediatrician by an aggressive 2 1/2 year old who caught hold of the four-in-hand [tie] and pulled with all his might and main; and (2) it kept the tie out of the diaper area."

In 1909, Winnipeg’s first Children’s Hospital opened on Beaconsfield St. in Winnipeg due to the efforts of Annie Bond and the Local Council of Women. The Hospital moved to Aberdeen Avenue in 1911; however, it was not until 1920 that the Department of Pediatrics was officially formed, led by Dr. C.S. Field.

Following Field in 1922 was Dr. R.F. Rorke, who was instrumental in the establishment of the Children’s Hospital. After serving for almost 10 years, Dr. Rorke’s position was taken over by Gordon Chown, who served until 1946. At this time, pathologist and clinician Dr. Bruce Chown became Department Head and a year later the Department of Pediatrics was recognized as its own section within the Faculty of Medicine.

In 1949, Dr. Chown became the first full-time Head of a Department of Pediatrics in Canada, serving until 1954. It was then that Dr. Harry Medovy, a well-known, innovative physician and researcher, took Dr. Chown’s place. As Department Head, Dr. Medovy firmly established academic pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital while continuing to play an influential role in the field of preventative pediatrics.

During this time, the Children’s Hospital moved to a new location on Bannatyne Ave. After Dr. Medovy’s retirement in 1970, Dr. Victor Chernick was appointed as Department Head and continued to develop the research and education aspects of the Children’s Hospital until 1979, when Dr. James Haworth took over.

Originally from England, Dr. Haworth is attributed with starting the province wide comprehensive newborn screening programm for metabolic diseases in 1966. In 1985, Dr. Agnes Bishop became the first woman to hold to position of Department Head and served until Dr. Brian Postl took her place in 1994, followed by Dr. Michael Moffat in 1998.

Dr. Cheryl Rockman-Greenberg served as Department Head and Medical Director for the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority between 2004 - 2014. As of August 2014, Dr. Terry Klassen now holds the position, which is a cross appointment between the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority and University of Manitoba. Dr. Klassen also serves as CEO and Scientific Director for the Children's Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba and Academic Director of the George and Fay Yee Centre for Healthcare Innovation since September 2010.

For more information, please see the following references. (Available at the NEIL JOHN MACLEAN HEALTH SCIENCES LIBRARY)

  • Gerrard, Jon M., Barbara Doan and Orville Woodford. Child health research in Manitoba. Headingley, Manitoba: White Horse Plains Publishers, 1993.
  • McKendry, J.B.J. and J.D. Bailey. Paediatrics in Canada. Ottawa: Canadian Paediatric Society, 1990.
  • Medovy, Harry. A Vision Fulfilled: The Story of the Children's Hospital of Winnipeg, 1909-1973. Winnipeg : Peguis Publishers, 1979.
  • Medovy, Harry. Harry Medovy Pediatric Papers: 1933-1985

(Children's Hospital in 1956)

(Children's Hospital today)

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