Heather Heritage Society AGM


Sunday, April 7th 2019, Hycroft Manor, 1489 MacRae Avenue, Vancouver

Heather Heritage Society AGM: 2pm  Refreshments and Public Lecture: 2:30

Come and hear about the history of Vancouver General Hospital’s “hidden gem”. Obscured by later additions, many have forgotten that the once magnificent Heather Pavilion is even there.  Donald Luxton, Heritage Consultant, Historian and Author of Vancouver General Hospital, 100 Years of Care and Service will tell the story of one of Vancouver’s first major institutions and architectural landmarks.

Parking is available on McRae Avenue and The Crescent.  Disabled parking is available on site

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Scholarship Opportunities

Two Scholarships available to Students through CAHN/ACHN

    1. The Vera Roberts Endowment, which funds research and publication on the history of outpost nursing in Canada with priority to the Canadian circumpolar regions (north of 60 degrees parallel).

    Here is a link to it: https://cahn-achn.ca/vera-roberts-endowment-le-fonds-vera-roberts/

    1. The Dr. Margaret Allemang Scholarship in Nursing History, which seeks to promote the study of Canadian nursing history among students.

    Here is the link to that application/information:


    A New Grant:

    New Bjoring Center Grant for Historical Research on Nurse Practitioners
    The Eleanor Crowder Bjoring Center for Nursing Historical Inquiry (ECBCNHI) is announcing the Advance Practice History Research Scholar Award. The goal of this research award is to disseminate scholarship regarding advance practice nursing to an international audience. By strengthening relationships and collaborations to increase access to historical scholarship, the ECBCNHI hopes to advance historical scholarship to practitioners.  A donor has made a gift of $5,000. This will be a one-time award with the potential for continuation. The due date is June 1, 2019 with the intention of the recipient using the award the following academic year.

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Call for Submissions

QANE : Quality Advancement in Nursing Education Inviting Articles to be submitted.


This special issue seeks contributions on the history of nursing education, on pedagogy and curriculum that focus on the history of nursing and healthcare, and on the history of accreditation of nursing schools. We welcome submissions related to the history of nursing education that examine a wide range of curricula foci, such as mental health, public health, advanced practice, and home care, or the historical analysis of all aspects of professional education, including undergraduate, graduate, and continuing education, as well as leadership in nursing education. We also encourage submissions on the history of nursing education and pedagogy from a global perspective and invite papers from all regions and jurisdictions.

Submission Deadline : April 30, 2020

Publication : September 2020

Celebrating 100 years at the UBC School of Nursing

Under the gorgeous sunny sky the long awaited event of the Ethel Johns’ plaque being unveiled in the garden adjacent to the UBC hospital brought to an end the long 12 years  process of her being recognized as a Person of Interest by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada. Ethel Johns was the first Director of the UBC School of Nursing and so fitting that the unveiling would be the first event of the UBC School of Nursing’s events celebrating it’s 100 years.   Elizabeth Saewyc, the present Director of Nursing performed the unveiling of the plaque.  For more information you can scroll down to page 11 of this blog to read more, as well, there will be more photos & information in the upcoming newsletter.


NEW WEBSITE for the Victoria General Hospital in HALIFAX Nova Scotia

Former BCHNS member Gloria Stephens, who now resides in Nova Scotia, announced the Victoria General Hospital School of Nursing Alumni’s brand- new website: www.halifaxvghnursesalumni.ca.

Of interest is an impressive richly illustrated account of the history of the Victoria General Hospital and the role of nursing within its walls over the years. The story of the Halifax Explosion (1917) is also found on the website.

The school of nursing graduated approximately 5000 nurses from 1892-1995 when the school closed.

The VGH School of Nursing Archives is dedicated to the preservation of the history of nursing. Their mandate is “to acquire and preserve memorabilia pertaining to the Victoria General Hospital, the School of Nursing and its graduates”.

The Alumni remains vibrant with plans to celebrate 100 years in 20/20 with a three- day event.

The Forgotten Flu


In 1918 the Spanish Flu swept around the globe and Nanaimo was not immune. Local business, industries and schools closed and an emergency hospital opened. To coincide with the 100th anniversary of the Spanish Flu Epidemic, Vancouver Island University history students, supervised by Katharine Rollwagen, have developed an exhibit in the Community Gallery in the Nanaimo Museum.that looks at how the Spanish Flu affected Nanaimo. The exhibit closes on February 15th.

(From the BCHF Buzz, January 2019)

Remembering DR. HELEN NISKALA 1929-2018

We are saddened to hear of the passing of Helen Niskala, one of the founding members of the BC History of Nursing Society, and a supporter of the group for many years. A tribute to Helen can be found on the UBC School of Nursing website at:
At Helen’s request, there will not be a service. Her ashes will be taken home to Ontario, where they will be placed in with those of her mother in South Porcupine. At that time, there will be a small family gathering to say farewell.


Dr. Susan Armstrong-Reid

Associate member DR. SUSAN ARMSTRONG-REID received the 2018 Lavinia M. Dock award for her recent book China Gadabouts: New Frontiers of Humanitarian Nursing, 1941-51. The book, published by UBC Press, examines previously unexplored and undervalued roles of Western and Chinese nurses in the famous China Convoy’s humanitarian efforts from 1941 to 1951.
The American Association for the History of Nursing gives the Dock award to the author of a book noted for its outstanding research and writing. Susan writes “it was exciting to win the award. It would be lovely to share the news with BC colleagues. Your organization and Glennis Zilm have been extremely supportive of my work.”
For more information about the book, see https://www.ubcpress.ca/china-gadabouts.


Jennifer Stephens
Lydia Wytenbroek PhD



Member LYDIA WYTENBROEK successfully defended her doctoral dissertation for a PhD in the Graduate Program in History at York University in September. Her dissertation title is “American Mission Nurses in Iran, 1907-1947: Faith, Gender and Profession.” Lydia writes “I am very grateful for BCHNS support of my work over the years. I am currently the Rice Interdisciplinary Postdoctoral Fellow in Nursing and Health Care History at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia, where I am working on transforming my dissertation into a book!”
For more information about Lydia’s dissertation and her current challenges, check out the Fall Issue of the BC History of Nursing Society Newsletter, page 10.



Jennifer Stephens PhD
Dr. Sally Thorne,, Jennifer Stephens & her children

Member JENNIFER STEPHENS received her PhD from UBC in May 2018. Her dissertation titled “Exploring issues of identity for Adult Hematology Patients” won the best dissertation award. She received the 2018 Kristine Griffith Memorial Graduate Scholarship in Nursing for Outstanding Dissertation. Dr. Sally Thorne was her advisor.
Jennifer is a member of the BCHNS website committee and manages our Facebook and Twitter accounts. She is also on the Archives Committee and responsible for oral histories.