Alberta is known for its pioneering attitude, and
the realm of health and wellness is no exception.
As Colleen Seto reports, Albertans have performed
groundbreaking medical research, devised inventive
wellness approaches, and generally made life healthier.
Here’s a rundown of 15 of the province’s finest
innovators and innovations from the past and present.
Dr. Raymond Rajotte
A pioneer in diabetes research, Dr. Raymond Rajotte
and his team carried out Canada’s first islet transplant
in 1989, using technology he developed. (The islets of
Langerhans are groups of specialized cells in the pancreas
that produce insulin.) By 1999, his Islet Transplantation
Group demonstrated a 100 per cent success rate making
patients insulin independent. The process, known as the
Edmonton Protocol, sets the global standard for
L to r: Dr. Garth Warnock , Dr. Raymond Rajotte, Dr. Norman Kneteman
Canadian health insurance has Alberta
roots. The Cardston medical contract
was the first, longest, continuous,
voluntary, prepaid medical insurance
program in the country, running from
1932 to 1969. Alberta’s Hoadley
Commission (1932 to 1934) also
proposed for the first time that
all citizens be insured and that
the provincial government should
pay for those who couldn’t afford
coverage. These principles were
incorporated into the Canadian Medical
Association’s health insurance plan
of 1934/35 and stimulated the first
Blue Cross plan in Canada in 1934.
In 1935, the Alberta government
agreed to subsidize a province-wide
prepayment insurance program.