Over the last century, West Park has welcomed many amazing women with prestigious clinical backgrounds, including one operating nurse who came out of retirement to work her last years at West Park Hospital.
Dorothy Macham was a decorated military nurse with a career spanning more than four decades before sidelining her retirement to work at West Park.
After graduating from Women’s College Hospital School of Nursing, Macham worked in the hospital’s operating room as an assistant supervisor, gaining years of valuable experience before enlisting as an army nurse in the Second World War, working in Canadian Medical Units around the world.
Macham served in the war for seven years, during which time she received several military awards as she rose to the rank of Major. She was also invited to Buckingham Palace where she was honoured with a medal from King George VI.
Before leaving her military post, Macham was offered the position of Hospital Superintendent with Women’s College Hospital, to which she responded, “Can’t be relieved at present time.” The hospital held the position until she could accept it in 1946.
During her later years at Women’s College Hospital, Macham lead the hospital through a huge transition as it expanded to nearly triple its size. She also advocated for the acceptance of male physicians into their all-female staff when the hospital found itself needing them.
After a 43-year career, working around the globe in varying capacities, Macham left Women’s College hospital for a well-deserved, but short-lived, retirement. After only four months, Macham came back to the healthcare industry to work as Executive Director of what was then West Park Hospital.
During her five years at West Park, Macham guided the hospital through its most recent restructuring, ending her career having ushered in a new era for the campus. Upon her arrival back into retirement, Macham was named to the Order of Canada before taking up a life as a traveler and genealogist.
As the hospital moves through redevelopment, West Park can look to incredible women like Macham, remembering the values and work ethic she brought with her and left for the future.