Alberta Medical Association

Alberta Medical Association

January 10, 2007 16:08 ET

Celebrating 70 Years of Improving the Health of Mothers and Babies: Alberta Medical Association Launches On-Line History Book

EDMONTON, ALBERTA--(CCNMatthews - Jan. 10, 2007) - Alberta Medical Association:

"There was a time our grandmothers remember when pregnancy could trigger alarm and worse for the woman awaiting the birth of her baby. Any complication - and there might be many - could lead to illness and death for the mother and the child. To the physician who saw too many deaths that could have been prevented, to the loved ones who watched in vain, the thoughts were obvious - there must be solutions."

The Alberta Medical Association (AMA) released today its on-line history book of the AMA's Committee on Reproductive Care (RCC), A Celebration of 70 Years of Vision and Action, now available at www.albertadoctors.org/rcc.

The AMA is proud to celebrate the committee's achievements, which have improved the health of mothers and babies, not just in Alberta, but across Canada. The excerpts above and below express why 70 years of vision and action by these dedicated people should be celebrated.

"Nearly 70 years ago, dedicated Alberta doctors, nurses and other caregivers began a unique experiment to improve the health and safety of pregnant women and newborn babies in the province.

"For several decades there was nothing else like them (it) in the country; and when other provinces began their own programs, the Alberta Medical Association's (AMA's) model was frequently the one they followed. At conferences in the US and Europe, physicians often said that Alberta's work ranked with the best in the world."

Although the Committee on Reproductive Care originated with the AMA and Alberta doctors, "the RCC became a multidisciplinary team and not just a doctor's organization. There's no way it could have accomplished what it did without teamwork and respect for all members of the team," according to Dr. Carolyn A. Lane, the last chair of the RCC.

Sydney Sharpe, well-known journalist and best-selling author, compiled and wrote A Celebration of 70 Years of Vision and Action. Ms Sharpe comments: "Personally, I was deeply moved by the selfless devotion of doctors who worked to raise the cloud of ignorance that blanketed pregnancy, leading to many lonely deaths and shattered families. Because of them, Alberta women and babies are safer and healthier today."

Throughout its 70-year history, the RCC confronted every issue involving reproductive health, regardless of controversy, such as the Alberta hereditary disease program, female genital mutilation, birth weight, contraceptives and teenage sexuality.

The on-line history book shows how this small and diverse Alberta group fought for better care of mothers and babies through improvements in transportation, sanitation and education - especially in remote areas of the province.

To view the on-line history book, simply log on to www.albertadoctors.org/rcc, select a chapter and start your journey through the history of the RCC.

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