Great Canadian Catholic Hospital Project

Sister of Providence Monica Laton and Dr. R J Barr visit a young patient in a pediatric room at St. Francis de Sales General Hospital, Smiths Falls in 1954.

Archivists Sr. Gayle Desarmia and Danielle Hughes undertook a major research project this year when they participated in the Great Canadian Catholic Hospital Project.

Mr. Greg Humbert of the Catholic Health Association of Canada is compiling information which documents the legacy and contribution of Catholic hospitals to healthcare in Canada. He hopes to publish an English and a French book of the gathered material, and to create a CD-ROM version of the material.

His goals include:

  • Document the history of existing Catholic hospitals in Canada as well as all those hospitals that existed in the past.
  • Pay tribute to the people who have envisioned, built, administered and maintained these institutions.
  • Document innovative programs initiated within Catholic hospitals in Canada.
  • Record the histories of Nursing and Nursing Assistant Training Schools that operated in conjunction with these Catholic hospitals.

Sister Gayle and Danielle researched the history and foundations of the hospitals operated by the Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul and prepared a package of materials for Mr. Humbert which included, in addition to historical facts, anecdotes, photographs, souvenir books, pamphlets and lists of administrators of the hospitals and the dates they served.

This is the second such project by Mr. Humbert in which Sr. Gayle has participated. In 2003 Mr. Humbert produced A Compendium of the Catholic Health Association of Canada on CD-ROM. This compendium provides up-to-date statistical information on all Catholic hospitals and nursing homes. A copy of this compendium is on file in the Archives.