Edward James O’Brien

Section C, Lot 1469
York Cemetery

Edward O’Brien Initiated the travelling chest x-ray clinics that for years were often seen parked in school yards around the province while students were tested for Tuberculosis. His interest in the field of tuberculosis control began in 1935 when he became a member of the Division of TB Prevention of the Ontario Department of Health. His primary preoccupation at this time was with travelling chest clinics which were responsible for conducting mass surveys on a community basis across the province. In 1945, at the time of the formation of the Ontario Tuberculosis Association, Mr. O’Brien became the executive director. For 24 years he steered the course of the Association, developing it into one of the strongest voluntary health movements in the world. He witnessed its growth from a fund-raising organisation, with the initial objectives of assisting the provincial government in the community organisation of mass surveys and reference clinics. These goals later change to the growth of 41 constituted county and district tuberculosis associations actively involved with the control of tuberculosis and other respiratory diseases. O’Brien was active in the International Union against Tuberculosis. He helped to host the IUAT meeting in Canada in 1961. At the request of the IUAT, he undertook several world tours to create interest in the voluntary TB movement and has addressed both the IUAT conferences and those of the Eastern Region. In addition, he was part of a travelling seminar which travelled the expanse of the Eastern Region from November 1965 to March 1966, and the criteria set by the seminar are now accepted by the IUAT as the pattern for TB control among the developing countries. Edward O’Brien died on September 3, 1995 at the age of 86.

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