early 1900s there were three hospitals located in
Alberta, Onoway's hospital being one of them. The
St. Barnabas Mission Hospital was built and operated
mainly by funds raised in England through the
Archbishop's Western Canada Fund. It was staffed
mostly by nurses (Anglican sisters) with an
occasional visit of a doctor from Edmonton. (Miss
Storrar, Sister in
Charge, noted that she had a doctor out four times
in 1916.) Patients were charged $1 per
day, with maternity-related services charged out at
50¢ a day. Many people who
reside in Onoway and district are proud of the
fact that they were born in the Onoway Hospital.
In 1919 the M.D.
of Woodford took over the hospital and St.
Barnabas Mission Hospital became the Onoway
Municipal Hospital #7 and in 1920 Dr. Little
moved to Onoway (he died in November 1921.) Over
the years, Doctors Wolochow, McClennan, Hicks
and Goldberg worked at the Onoway Hospital. The
story is told that Dr. Goldberg and his wife
lived in a two-story building in the 1930s where
the old community hall once stood and would care
for patients in the upstairs bedrooms.
Very little "hard" data is
available so a good deal of information comes
from word-of-mouth or letters from nursing
staff, e.g. Dr. Standish arrived in 1913 but
once WWI began, there were no more doctors. And
Dr. Wm Honey moved to Onoway and lived in the
a shortage of staff, the prohibitive cost of
operating the facility and the coming of better
roads and faster transportation, the Onoway
Hospital closed its doors in 1937 after 24 years
of services. Locals had to travel to St. Albert
or Edmonton (often by bus) for medical services.
Woodford Municipality hired a district nurse for
$100 per month; she was kept on until 1944.
In 1980 Onoway signed
up for a provincial recruitment campaign to
entice doctors to come to rural areas in
Alberta. Success! Dr. Louis O'Carroll from
Ireland provided services for three years, in
partnership with Dr. Cussen for a while, and was
replaced by Dr. Andrew Ness, a New Zealander.
Numerous other doctors provided medical service
to Onoway area residents over the years that
followed. They practised out of the Onoway
Medical Centre located in newly built buildings
housing a pharmacy.
list of doctors who provided service in Onoway
is long, many of them part-time working in Stony
Plain, Spruce Grove or Edmonton. Today three
doctors practise at the Onoway Medical Centre:
Dr. Richard Kozakiewicz, Dr. Azeez Salami and
Dr. Keli Burdek. Dr. Richard has served this
area for 10 years and is retiring at the end of
June after 57 years as medical practitioner. We
thank Dr. Richard for his devoted service – he
will truly be missed.
We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to
all the doctors and nurses who have served this
area. Visit the Onoway Museum to see more of
Onoway's medical history.
1) The St. Barnabas Mission
Hospital operated from 1913 to 1937 just north
of Onoway. It was an amazingly up-to-date
facility considering that it was built in
homesteading days when oxen were used to clear
2) Dr. O'Carroll's ad in the
Onoway Tribune November 17, 1981 was greeted
with joy. Notice that he even gave his home
phone number! (His house was provided rent-free
by Onoway/Lac Ste. Anne.) Tragically, Dr.
O'Carroll was killed in a car accident in
Ireland a few years ago.