Profiles in Public Health: Eunice Henrietta Dyke

Eunice Henrietta Dyke

Comprehensive System of Child and Family Health and Welfare Services

Ms. Eunice Henrietta Dyke was born in Toronto in 1883 and entered Johns Hopkins School for Nurses in Baltimore, Maryland in 1905. She the Department of Public Health of the City of Toronto in 1911 at a time when public health was extremely susceptible to the efforts of enthusiastic, energetic and pioneering individuals. A new Medical Officer of Health had been appointed the year before and the stage was set for radical changes and developments. Ms. Dyke took charge of the department’s tuberculosis services and maintained close relationships with the professional nursing associations while fostering action by other helping services when a need was discovered which was beyond the Department’s responsibility or capacity. In 1912, child welfare services became the nucleus of the Department’s child health centres and on Ms. Dyke’s recommendation in 1914, the Department’s nursing staff was organized to provide service on the basis of the family as a unit and decentralized on a district basis—a system that was the first of its kind and which received world-wide acclaim. The program attracted the attention of administrators the world over and was adopted in many other centres. Ms. Dyke’s established liaison between public health and associated community welfare and social services was also a system that received world-wide acclaim. Ms. Eunice Henrietta Dyke was awarded CPHA’s Honorary Life Membership in 1960.

(Canadian Journal of Public Health, Vol. 51, July 1960)