A History of Looking Forward

As Women’s College Hospital (WCH) marks its 140th anniversary this year, it is a prime opportunity to reflect back on the hospital’s rich history of trailblazing firsts and the significant advancements in research and care that took shape within its walls.    

2023 marks the 60th anniversary of a major milestone in the care of patients with breast cancer. In 1963, WCH became the first hospital in Ontario to use mammography as a routine diagnostic tool for detecting breast cancer. It was part of a research study at WCH by Dr. Henrietta Banting (Director of the Cancer Detection Clinic) and Dr. Elizabeth Forbes (Head of Radiology), which went on to become one of the first published studies on mammography in Canada.   

This milestone was just one of many at WCH – including the launch of one of Canada’s earliest long-term breast cancer studies in 1945, and the opening of Ontario’s first cancer-detection clinic for women in 1948. 

In 2023, WCH celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Bay Centre for Birth Control, Toronto’s first hospital-supported walk-in centre to offer comprehensive sexual healthcare services. Since 1973, the Centre offers patients from across Ontario access to a multi-disciplinary healthcare team and a variety of confidential services, including physical examination, counselling, information and referrals. 

This year also marks the 25th anniversary of WCH’s Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Care Centre (SA/DVCC), which acted as the first regional space of its kind in Ontario. Originally devoted solely to sexual assault victims, the SA/DVCC has since expanded to include victims of domestic violence and has mobilized its delivery of care. 

With the support of donors and community partners, Women’s College Hospital Foundation looks forward to continuing its work in helping the teams at WCH achieve remarkable new milestones for years to come. 

Next: Women’s Now Spring 2023 »

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