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The Beginning of The Institute of Public Health

Dr. Hugh A. McCallum

Dr. Hugh A. McCallum

In December 1902, Dr. Hugh A. McCallum had dinner with Mr. John Miller, the Deputy Minister of Education for Ontario. Mr. Miller discussed how provincial funding was used to create the School of Mines, the Applied Science Faculty at Queen's University. Dr. McCallum, interested in expanding the medical program in London, inquired about the possibility of government funding for an institute at Western University. This began a ten year process for the development of the Institute of Public Health in London.

Dr. McCallum, enlisting the help of Dr. Ferguson from the Faculty of Medicine, met in February, 1903 with the Liberal Premier G. W. Ross to discuss possible funding for the institute. Although Premier Ross was supportive of the idea, a letter later sent to Dr. McCallum stated that the Cabinet thought it unwise to proceed with the venture due to the approaching election year. The Liberal government was defeated and Dr. McCallum had to state his case for the newly elected Conservative party.

Dr. McCallum arranged a meeting before London's legislative representatives to discuss the institute and with the support of Sir Adam Beck, the Conservative member of Parliament for London, Dr. McCallum met with the Whitney government in Toronto in 1905 with a large delegation from the Faculty of Medicine. Sir James Whitney, Premier of Ontario, agreed to the project, believing that the government needed to support medical education and in 1907, $50,000 was allotted to build a facility for The Institute of Public Health.

The Institute of Public Health

The Institute of Public Health - 1912

The Formation of The Institute of Public Health

Construction for The Institute of Public Health began in 1908 and was completed in 1910. The two-storey building had offices, laboratories, and two lecture rooms. Upon its completion, problems arose over who would fund the operating costs of the Institute. The Faculty of Medicine at Western was in no position financially to take on the responsibility and the Municipality did not want the burden. Due to this, the building remained empty for two years. However, through the persistence of Sir Adam Beck, in 1911 the Legislature of London decided to allot funding to the Institute. The Legislature voted $10,000 be allotted for equipment and an additional $15,000 for annual maintenance. The Board of Governors at Western were to manage the finances of the Institute.

In May 1912, a meeting was held to discuss the appointment of Director of the Institute. Dr. H. W. Hill's reputation made him a perfect candidate and on July 1, 1912 his appointment was effective.

Rules of The Institute of Public Health and Preventive Management Booklet
Copy of an Order in Council Regarding the Building Lease to Western University for the Institute