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Archives - Online Exhibition

Dr. George J. Strean - Founding Director of Obstetrics and Gynecology of the JGH

Dr. George J. Strean was born in Montreal in 1898, and attended Montreal High School and McGill University, where he obtained a B.A. in 1918 and M. D., C. M. in 1921. He interned at the Montreal
General Hospital and did residency in obstetrics and gynecology in Montreal as well as at the Chicago Lying-in Hospital under the direction of Dr. Joseph B. deLee. He was awarded a Rockefeller Fellowship in 1925 and a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1927.

Shortly after the opening of the Jewish General Hospital, Dr. Strean was offered a position as the Director of Obs-Gyne in 1936. He maintained in that position for over 25 years. Under his guidance, the department has set a record in Canada for 0 maternal deaths for 25,000 consecutive deliveries over a twenty-year span.  Statistics show in Canada between 1936 and 1946, the average was 46 maternal deaths per 10,000 deliveries. The lowest rate ever was 1955 when 8 out of 10,000 mothers died in Childbirth. 1 The record set by Dr. Strean shows the new standard of excellence and the significance of his work.

Besides his outstanding leadership in the Ob-Gyn specialty of the JGH, he was an Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at McGill University. He served in various local, national and international professional organizations by holding important positions, e.g. Past President of the Montreal Clinical Society, the Montreal Obstetrical and Gynecological Society and the Montreal Medico-Chirurgical Society, President of the Canadian Chapter of the International College of Surgeons, the Canadian delegate to the First World Congress in Geneva in 1954, and Chairman of the Canadian Regional Council of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists from 1966 until he passed away in 1971. He also held Chairmanships of the Montreal Campaign for the Albert Einstein College of Medicine 1953, Canadian Red Cross Society Campaign 1954, Jewish National Fund and Vice Chairmanship of the Campaign for Sir George Williams College in 1955. He had over 40 publications, including monographs and chapters in textbooks, and was editor of the two-volume proceedings of the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics in 1958. For his contributions to national and international medicine he was awarded the Canadian Centennial Medal in 1967.

Dr Strean distinguished himself in clinical and administrative medical activities but always maintained an active interest in community affairs. He was the Chairman of the Montreal Combined Jewish Appeal 1951-52, as well as a longstanding member of the Board of Trustees of the Montreal Federation of Jewish Community Services.

Mrs. Strean was also affiliated with the Jewish General Hospital as an active member of The Auxiliary which is a volunteer non-profit organization of the JGH. She chaired on various fund-raising committees and was also an Associate in Research for Memoirs of Mercy (1962), a publication by the Auxiliary to commemorate the devoted services of the organization.

Dr. Strean was survived by his daughters Joan (Fred Solomon) and Maxine (Harvey Sigman, MD), and his grandchildren Linda, Richard, Robert Solomon and Eric, Terry, and Karen Sigman.

Reference:
Obituaries, Canadian Medical Association Journal, June 5, 1971 Vol. 104.

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