SickKids: The History of the Hospital for Sick Children

SickKids: The History of the Hospital for Sick Children

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David Wright
Foreword by Mary Jo Haddad
University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division © 2016
World Rights
480 Pages 56 Images
ISBN 9781442647237
Published Nov 2016
Online discount: 25%
 $39.95    $29.96
ebook (PDF format)
ISBN 9781442667563
Published Dec 2016
Online discount: 25%
Full purchase $39.95
ebook (EPUB format)
ISBN 9781442667570
Published Jan 2017
Online discount: 25%
Full purchase $39.95

Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children is the most famous medical institution in Canada. In addition to being the largest pediatric centre in North America, it has earned an international reputation for clinical care and research that has influenced generations of health care practitioners across the country and around the world. In a very real sense, hospital staff have touched the lives of tens of thousands of children and their families.

SickKids has an equally remarkable history - from its humble origins in rented houses in Victorian Toronto, the Hospital would flourish to become an influential paediatric institution, pioneering Pasteurization, the Iron Lung for Polio, Pablum, the Mustard Procedure for 'Blue Babies', and the discovery of the gene for Cystic Fibrosis. It would also be the site of two of most famous medical controversies in modern Canadian history -- the suspected murder of two dozen babies in the early 1980s and, more recently, the whistle-blowing controversy involving the research scientist, Nancy Olivieri. 

David Wright’s History of The Hospital for Sick Children chronicles this remarkable history of the SickKids, including its triumphs and tragedies, its discoveries and dead-ends.  In doing so, Wright has crafted a compelling and accessible history of SickKids that anchors Toronto's children's hospital within the broader changes affecting Canadian society and medical practice over the last century.

David Wright is Professor of History and Canada Research Chair in the History of Health Policy, McGill University

Mary Jo Haddad is a visionary and energetic health care executive. She is currently a Senior Associate and CEO Mentor with Kilberry Leadership Advisors and the former president and CEO of The Hospital for Sick Children.

List of Images and Tables

Chapter 1:  Between the Cradle and the Grave
Chapter 2:  The Sweetest of All the Charities
Chapter 3:  The Paper Tyrant 
Chapter 4:  Club Feet and Crooked Limbs 
Chapter 5:  Milk Sewage
Chapter 6:  Irradiation 
Chapter 7:  Iron Lungs
Chapter 8:  Visiting Hours
Chapter 9:  The Rabbit Warren
Chapter 10:  Blue Babies
Chapter 11:  A Sisterhood of Nursing
Chapter 12:  Tragedy and Transformation:
Chapter 13:  The Atrium
Chapter 14:  A Genetic Wilderness
Chapter 15:  A Hospital without Walls

Further Reading

"You can’t even begin to understand the history of medicine in Canada without knowing the scientific and social history of what is arguably its most significant medical institution, Toronto’s famous Hospital for Sick Children. To do that, you simply have to read SickKids, David Wright’s crisp, clear-eyed, and deliciously readable history. In Wright’s knowledgeable and unflinching hands, the great hospital becomes a civilization of its own."

Ian Brown, 'The Boy in the Moon: A Father’s Search for his Disabled Son'

"David Wright brings to life how The Hospital for Sick Children progressed from its humble beginnings in an eleven-room house to become a world-renowned leader in paediatric medicine. Wright crafts a captivating coming-of-age tale about not only an institution but also the communities that sustain it."

Jim Pitblado, former Chair of the Board, The Hospital for Sick Children

"Other histories of SickKids exist, but David Wright’s volume surpasses everything that has gone before. This book will take its rightful place within hospital historiography in Canada and beyond."

J.T.H. Connor, John Clinch Professor of Medical Humanities and History of Medicine, Memorial University

"David Wright has overcome the many challenges in writing an institutional history with its intertwined threads, and gives us a smoothly moving, well–researched, and well-written account of one of the world’s best known hospitals."

Jock Murray, Medical Humanities, Dalhousie University

‘Wright’s history combines splendid scholarship with compelling readability and wise judgement. SickKids becomes difficult to put down, which is highest praise I can give for an institutional history.’

Michael Bliss, Canadian Historical Review vol 98:02:2017

‘SickKids is an impressive work of scholarship that should interest clinicians, historians, parents, and anyone interested in children’s health and social welfare policy.’

Cynthia A. Connolly, Journal of History of Medicine and Allied Sciences, Online June 13 2017

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