Join Us for History Week at the Royal Alex

Register below for our free talk and tour

Take a step back in time and learn about the Royal Alexandra Hospital's storied history. Learn about the people, the site and the care through the years from guest speakers, and end your evening with a short walking tour highlighting some key historical spots along the way. 

Guest Speaker - Royal Alexandra Hospital Women's Auxiliary

Learn from the group that started it all...literally! The Royal Alexandra Hospital Women's Auxiliary are the reason the Royal Alex Hospital exists today. Learn how this incredible group of activated women came to be and the integral role they have played throughout the years since the hospital's inception. 

Keynote Address - The Royal Alexandra Hospital and the Polio Outbreak, Dr. Mark Joffe, Vice President & Medical Director for Northern, Alberta Health Services.

For many people today, polio is a thing of the past, not something they have to worry about because of a very effective public campaign that promoted vaccination.  However, it was a very real health concern in Alberta in the post-war era.  In 1953, Canada experienced its worst polio epidemic on record. An estimated 11,000 people in Canada were left paralyzed by polio between 1949 and 1954. The disease peaked in 1953 with nearly 9,000 cases and 500 deaths. In Alberta, the number of cases shot up from 82 annually to 1,472.

Guest speaker, Dr. Mark Joffe, Vice President & Medical Director for Northern Alberta for Alberta Health Services will provide an overview of the Polio outbreak in Alberta that occurred in the 1940’s and peaked in 1953.  Dr. Joffe will also highlight the unique role of the Royal Alexandra Hospital during the epidemic and how it helped to shape healthcare history in our city and our province.

Optional Tour will be available after the formal program.

Join Andrew Otway, President of the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation for a short walking tour of the hospital site.  Andrew will identify key points of interest like the underground tunnels, the nursing residence, and the Children’s Pavilion.   Learn more about the physical site and how its evolution reflects the evolution of healthcare within Edmonton and the province.

  • Please note this is a walking tour.  Participants must be able to walk and comfortably manage stairs.  Participants should be dressed appropriately for the weather and wear comfortable footwear.