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Stevenson Memorial Hospital Foundation

Stevenson Memorial Hospital and the Global Impact of Insulin

On a crisp spring day, April 14, 1854, Margaret Grant entered the world as the first baby born to modest farming parents in the newly established Township of Essa, Ontario. She later married William Banting, and their union welcomed their son, Frederick Banting, into the world. Frederick Banting would emerge as a pivotal figure in the development of insulin, spearheading research efforts at the University of Western Ontario and the University of Toronto. In the summer of 1921, Banting played a central role in co-developing the insulin treatment for diabetes.

The significance of this breakthrough was underscored on January 11, 1922, when a team of researchers at the University of Toronto, led by Banting, administered a pancreatic extract crafted by Banting himself, to 13-year-old Leonard Thompson, who was teetering on the brink of death due to diabetes at Toronto General Hospital. Although the initial trial faltered, successive administrations of the extract over 12 days stabilized Thompson’s blood and urinary sugar levels.

By the close of 1923, insulin had transformed the lives of millions of diabetics worldwide. Banting’s contributions were recognized with a Nobel Prize and a knighthood. Today, over 537 million individuals globally rely on this life-saving medication, with projections suggesting that by 2045, one-eighth of the world’s population will grapple with diabetes.

In 1926, Sir Dr. Frederick Banting accepted a position on the inaugural Stevenson Memorial Hospital Board of Directors, courtesy of T.P. Loblaw, the founder of the Loblaw grocery chain. This fledgling hospital owed its existence primarily to a generous grant from Theodore (T.P.) Loblaw, bestowed in honor of his Essa Township grandparents, William and Elizabeth Stevenson, who played a pivotal role in his upbringing.

Initially established in 1928 and rebuilt in 1964, Stevenson Memorial Hospital is one of Ontario’s longstanding healthcare institutions. Currently navigating its third stage of redevelopment approvals, the hospital has initiated site preparations for a new hospital building that will wrap around the current facility. Given that government funding covers only 90% of construction costs, the local community is tasked with funding the remaining 10% and covering expenses for equipment and furnishings. Projections suggest that these expenses will exceed $43 million.

In acknowledgment of Banting’s groundbreaking discovery, we invite you to consider supporting Stevenson Memorial Hospital as a tribute to the legacy of Sir Dr. Frederick Banting and the far-reaching impact of his life-saving insulin. Your contribution can make a tangible difference in advancing healthcare for our community and beyond.

Show your support by donating today:

By: Dr. Ted Vandevis – Board Director, Stevenson Memorial Hospital Foundation


For more information:

Kara Harris-Row

Communications Coordinator

Stevenson Memorial Hospital Foundation 705-434-8289