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A History of the Sanatorium Board of Manitoba and the Manitoba Lung Association
Helping Manitobans Breathe 1904 - 2004

The Sanatorium Board of Manitoba has great historical significance to healthcare in both Manitoba and Canada. The Board was incorporated under Manitoba Legislation as the "Sanatorium Board of Manitoba Act" on February 8, 1904.

The Board operated seven sanatoria in Manitoba to house and care for those living with tuberculosis (TB). At that time, effective medications were not available to treat TB. Instead, patients with TB were isolated from the general public and prescribed rest and good nutrition. The Sanatorium in Ninette was the centre for TB treatment in Manitoba and in 1926 became the base for mobile x-ray clinics, the first preventative health program in Canada.


San at Ninette - a view from the lake -
the Sanatorium at Ninette circa 1916

In the late 1940's, advances in the development of medications for the treatment of TB reduced the need for patients to spend long periods in sanatoria. After obtaining approval from the Provincial Government, the Board began the gradual conversion to other uses of beds in the existing Sanatoria. In 1958, the treatment of TB was discontinued at the Brandon Sanatorium and the facility continued operation as the Assiniboine Hospital, treating patients with non-communicable, long-term illnesses.


TB Testing - Free tuberculin tests and chest x-rays
were given to thousands of Manitobans in the 1940's,
50's and 60's.

In 1959, the Board established the Manitoba Rehabilitation Hospital. This was the first hospital of its type in Canada devoted entirely to the treatment of patients with physical and related disabilities. With its primary emphasis on rehabilitation, the hospital became the focal point for health professionals across North America. The Clearwater Lake Hospital in The Pas closed in 1965 due to cost cutting measures, and the Provincial Government transferred the responsibility of the Assiniboine Hospital to the Brandon General Hospital.


       1927 Seal             1935 Seal

In 1972, the responsibility of the Manitoba Rehabilitation Hospital was transferred to the newly incorporated Health Sciences Centre along with the Winnipeg General and the Children's Hospital. This change was significant as it marked the move from a body administering health facilities to a community health organization.


    1953 Seal            1962 Seal

In 1975, the Manitoba Lung Association was founded as a division of the Sanatorium Board of Manitoba to carry out the tasks involved in running community health programs and education services. Today, the Manitoba Lung Association is a non-profit, registered health organization that relies on donations from the public to fund our activities. We are the premier source of lung health information and initiatives in Manitoba. We focus our efforts on lung disease education & management, tobacco cessation & prevention, improved air quality & environment, tuberculosis and occupational health services


   1972 Seal         2000 Seal

Today, operating as the Manitoba Lung Association, efforts are focused on asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (chronic bronchitis and emphysema), tobacco reduction, occupational health, the environment and continued tuberculosis control. The mission of the Manitoba Lung Association to improve lung health is achieved through research funding, community programs, educational services and resource distribution.

The Manitoba Lung Association
A Division of the Sanatorium Board of Manitoba
Charitable Registration Number
(BN) 107952798 RR0001
Canada Revenue Agency www.cra.gc.ca/charities
Toll Free: 1-888-566-5864
©2008-2014 The Manitoba Lung Association. All rights reserved.
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