Remembering Dr. Helen Mussallem VGH Sept’ 1937

January 7, 1915 – November 9, 2012

Many of you will remember Helen Mussallem when she a member of the School of Nursing faculty  during the 1940s and 1950s.  She graduated from VGH in 1937. Following graduation she was a staff nurse in the operating room at VGH and then attended the University of Washington where she obtained a diploma in teaching, supervision and administration in schools of nursing. In 1943, Helen enlisted in the R.C.A.M.C. as a lieutenant where she was in charge of operating rooms both in Canada and overseas. Following her discharge, she obtained a Bachelor of Nursing degree from McGill and a Master of Arts degree from Columbia University. She returned to VGH as a senior instructor in the School and then was promoted to Director of the School from 1953-1956. During this time she was very much loved and respected by the students.

She left VGH to take a position with the Canadian Nurses Association and later served as executive director from 1963-81.  During this time she earned a doctorate from Columbia. University. Early on in her career she became involved in the nursing profession and this would continue throughout her life. She received numerous prestigious awards, citations and honorary degrees. 

Helen Mussallem died on November 9, 2012 in Ottawa of congestive heart failure following a brief stay in hospital. Hallie Sloan, VGH Sept 1940, was with her when she died.

A service of “Remembrance and Celebration” will take place on Saturday January 12, 2013 at 1 PM West Point Grey United Church 4595 West 8th Ave, Vancouver.

A more complete account of Helen’s life and career will be published in the 2013 newsletter. 

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