Shaughnessy Hospital : Shaughnessy Hospital, located in Vancouver, B.C., operated from 1917 to 1993, serving first as a convalescent home, then as a military hospital, and finally as a provincial hospital.
The hospital opened in 1917 as a convalescent home for the treatment of First World War veterans. At its inception, Shaughnessy was administered by the Military Hospitals Commission (MHC), a federal government agency that was created in 1915 to administer programs for the medical needs of First World War veterans. In 1917 the Commission leased Braemar School, a private residential school for girls at 28th Avenue and Willow Street in Vancouver, and Langara School, a private residential school for boys at 33rd Avenue and Heather Street in Vancouver. These buildings comprised the veterans' convalescent homes Shaughnessy and Fairmont. Fairmont Hospital later became an RCMP barracks in 1920. After increasing its range of medical services and capacity for patient care, Shaughnessy became a military hospital in 1919.
By 1918 by MHC was disbanded and the Department of Soldier's Civil Re-establishment (SCR) was created in its place. In 1928, the SCR merged with the Department of Health to form the Department of Pensions and National Health. A separate Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) was created in 1944. This department was created to deal exclusively with matter affecting veterans and their dependents, with its major functions being medical treatment and allowances, welfare work, rehabilitation of the disabled, and land settlement. Shaughnessy Hospital was administered by the DVA until 1974.
During its years under DVA administration, Shaughnessy was responsible for the treatment of veterans and for other individuals under federal responsibility, such as prisoners of the British Columbia Penitentiary, immigrants, and the merchant marine. Civilians were also treated at Shaughnessy, and by the 1960s, the number of civilians being treated was increasing as the number of veterans being treated decreased.
The hospital's major functions were to provide ambulatory care, general acute care, intermediate and extended care. Shaughnessy also provided rehabilitation services. The George Derby Health and Occupational Centre, named after the DVA Regional Administrator, opened in Burnaby in 1947, and provided intermediate care and rehabilitation services. Also, in 1943, Senator A.D. McRae donated his mansion "Hycroft" to serve as a veterans' home and rehabilitation centre.
Shaughnessy also served as a teaching hospital, and by the 1960s was one of the main teaching hospitals in British Columbia. Shaughnessy also became a research hospital in the 1940s, with early steroid research projects undertaken by Dr. Hamish McIntosh in the late 1940s and early 1950s. In 1950, the Clinical Investigation Unit was opened to facilitate research.
In 1974, the hospital was sold to the province of British Columbia for $1. This sale to the province severed the hospital's direct tie to the DVA, but an agreement between the federal and provincial governments gave the hospital ongoing responsibility for the care and treatment of veterans, federal prisoners, and other individuals who came under federal jurisdiction.
The province maintained Shaughnessy as a separate institution until 1988 when the hospital merged with UBC Health Sciences Centre and became known as University Hospital - Shaughnessy Site. Under this regime, Shaughnessy continued its role as a general hospital providing acute, intermediate and extended care, as well as referral programs in medical genetics, reproductive gynaecology, spinal injury and rehabilitation, women's health, corneal transplant/eye bank services, diabetes and psoriasis treatments. It also continued as a research centre, and as a teaching hospital acting as an academic centre for geriatric medicine, rehabilitation medicine, gynaecology and medical genetics.
On February 15, 1993, the provincial government announced the closure of Shaughnessy Hospital, and its functions were divided and transferred to other hospitals. The hospital was officially closed on December 3, 1993.
There are two hospitals remaining on the Shaughnessy site: British Columbia Women's Hospital (formerly Grace Hospital), and British Columbia Children's Hospital. The George Derby Centre remains open as an intermediate and long term care facility. Hycroft is now the home of the University Women's Club of Vancouver