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Our UHN programs and services are among the most advanced in the world. We have grouped our physicians,
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University Health Network has grown to be one of the largest research and teaching hospital networks in Canada - pioneers in improving the lives of patients. Our long history of health professions education at Toronto General, Toronto Western, Princess Margaret and Toronto Rehab hospitals has consistently advanced the science of education.
University Health Network is a health care and medical research organization in
Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The scope of research and complexity of cases at UHN has made us a national and international
source for discovery, education and patient care.
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In 1896, what was to be known as the RC Laird Library began as a small collection of books donated by the six founding doctors of
Toronto Western Hospital. It was put in charge of Dr. Leha A. Davis, one of Canada's first women doctors, who proved to be a distinguished curator.
At first, housed in the Medical Records Department, the collection was taken over in 1946 by Dr. WR Feasby, Medical Superintendent of the hospital, who developed and organized it further. It was kept in Dr. Feasby's office until 1953 when medical staff decided to allot it a room of its own. In addition to departmental texts it now included the hospital's subscriptions to journals. A few years later, in 1961, the library moved to an independent location, and its first librarian was appointed.
In April 1979, the library was named the RC Laird Library in honour of Dr. Robert Laird, former surgeon-in-chief at Toronto Western Hospital from 1946-1966. It was a popular choice. Dr. Laird was much respected and admired for his great dedication to medicine, and his genuine care and concern for his patients. The hospital's Department of Surgery gave $10,000 to the library at the time of its dedication to him.
Born in Brockville, ON, and a graduate of the University of Toronto, Dr. Laird served in the Royal Canadian Air Force during World War II, treating many of the pilots who were injured overseas. After twenty years of service to Toronto Western Hospital, he continued his work as chief-of-staff at York-Finch Hospital until his retirement in 1972, then devoted the rest of his life to developing medical care in Nigeria, where he established a medical school. Dr. Laird died in December 1990.