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Public Health and Pandemic Caring in Context

November 8, 2022 @ 9:30 am - 12:00 pm


2022 Nursing History Symposium

with Dr. Esyllt Jones, University of Manitoba, who will deliver the keynote address:

Pandemic Caring: public health nursing and community in the history of infectious disease

The 1918-19 influenza pandemic demonstrated the power of nursing in a disease crisis. At the time, and later in the eyes of historians, nursing interventions were valued because they alleviated suffering and meant an increased chance of survival when there were few medical treatment options. Much of this nursing care was delivered outside formal hospital settings, in locales that blurred the boundaries between institution, community, and home. In local neighbourhoods, public health nursing and private nursing organizations had for decades served those with virtually no access to health care, in places where infectious disease was a constant risk and a leading cause of mortality and disability. This form of nursing – in homes, at mission houses, for private agencies such as the VON – played a role historically that we barely recognize today, when the face of pandemic nursing is critical care.

Historical resonances nonetheless abound. Public health leaders are now calling for a return to community and neighbourhood-level engagement and healthcare investment, partly in response to pandemic inequality and vaccine access. This paper will draw from historical analyses of community-level nursing in the past and suggest ways in which nursing might engage with those successes and failures.


9.30      Registration and refreshments
10.00    Welcome and Opening Remarks – Dr. Elizabeth Saewyc, Professor and Director, School of Nursing
Reflecting on the Legacy of Helen Shore – Dr. Geertje Boschma, Professor
10.20    Keynote with Dr. Esyllt Jones | discussion
11.15    Break
11.45    Panel discussion with:
Dr. Helen Vandenberg, Associate Professor, College of Nursing, University of Saskatchewan
Dr. Sonya Grypma, Adjunct Professor, School of Nursing, University of British Columbia
Dr. Alison Phinney, Professor, School of Nursing, University of British Columbia
Dr. Mariko Sakamoto, Alzheimer Society of Canada Postdoctoral Fellow, School of Social Work, UBC
12.45    Closing remarks
12.50    Lunch ($10 Registration fee is required for in-person participants)

If you registered “in person” but find you are not able to attend at Cecil Green Park on November 8, you are welcome to attend online. The event will be recorded for those unable to attend at all.