Series S6 - Diet Manuals

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Diet Manuals

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20cm textual material

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(1937; 1945, 1960-2004)

Administrative history

The Winnipeg General Hospital became incorporated on May 14, 1875 and at that time the Board of Trustees was put in charge of the purchasing and maintenance of the food for the patients. The doctors determined a patient’s meal as the hospital lacked a formalized training program for Dieticians. The Dietary Department of the Winnipeg General Hospital began informally with the creation of the diet kitchen. The diet kitchen was operated through the Winnipeg General Hospital School of Nursing and was staffed as a part of the nursing rotation. The ward kitchens were where the specialty food for the patients was prepared by the nursing students. The dieticians were strictly clinical as the main kitchens were run by the so called Chinese cooks, beginning with the first Chinese head cook of the Winnipeg General Hospital, Joe Mar (Yock Mah) who was hired in 1912. The diet kitchen and main kitchen were separate entities under the banner of the hospital’s food services. It was not until 1954 that the dieticians gradually began to integrate into the kitchens, bringing the departments together under one cohesive management. The Diet Kitchen was finally removed from the hospital in 1960 and in 1961 a new cafeteria was opened which changed the organization of the hospital’s food services.

With the opening of the new Cafeteria in 1961 and the change in the administrative structure throughout the 1950’s and 1960’s the dietary department began to encompass purchasing, staff feeding areas, catering, menu planning, budgeting, food research, patient diet as well as retained control of the kitchens. It was in this period that the dietetic internship program was revived.
The Winnipeg General Hospital Dietetic internship began an experimental program offered in 1928 to provide a work experience program for university graduates in home economics. The program was stopped in 1944 for reasons unknown and was not revived until 1967 under the leadership of Alva Gross. The program would grow to become the largest in Canada before its closure in 2004 to integrate with other regional programs in Manitoba. The student transcripts and records relating to the personal information of the Dietetic Interns were given to the new regional program under the authority of Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA).

The department of dietetics was formally created in 1918 with the director charged with the administration of patient diets, formula for newborns, tube feeding and other clinical tasks for patients. The student nurses prepared special diets set forth by the dieticians. The following people served as Dietary Department Directors between 1918-2004: Mary M. Bruce (1918-1928), Kathleen Cunningham (1928-31), Elizabeth Pickersgill (1931-1939), Anne Livingstone (1939-1941), Marion Hobbs (1941-1943), Alice Vasey (1943-1946), Erma Baldwin (1946-1948), Beth Seys (1948-1950), Mrs. Earl Dagg (spring 1950-fall 1950), J. Bennett (1950-1959), Betty King (1959-63), After the department was changed to Department of Dietetics Alva Gross (1963-1975), Marianne Schumacher (1976-1991), Lorraine Cook (1991-1994), Paul Brewer (1994-1997), Colleen Koch-Mcdonald (1997-2004)

Custodial history

Created by the Director of the Dietetic Department and Director of the Dietetic Internship program. Kept by Shirley Layne as Director of the Dietetic Internship program and appraised and arranged records before donation to the Nurses Alumni now HSC Archives/Museum by Colleen Koch-MacDonald, Director Food Retail Services.

Scope and content

Series documents the three editions of diet manuals produced by the Department of Dietetics of the Winnipeg General Hospital. The three editions produced by the department were 1960, 1966, and 1970 respectively. The manual was used by all arms of the dietetics department and was revised only by the department administration. The therapeutic dieticians of the Department of Dietetics created diet manuals intended to be used by the attending physicians, medical students, dietetic interns, nurses and nursing students for patient meals. The manuals are based in Canada’s food guide for proper nutrition and provide the menu plan for three meals a day. The manual covers standard hospital meals as well as the modifications made for specific patient diets such as a low sodium or diabetic meals. The diet manual provides a hospital wide standard for the meals and methodology of implementing the specific dietary requirements of the patients.

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Manuals have been taken out of their original binders for conservation reasons.

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