BOSCOE, Madeline



Please note: Citations appear in the language in which they were delivered.


Today we pay tribute to a person who has dedicated her career to an issue that is both highly complex and vitally important to our society: women’s health.

In the course of that impressive career, Madeline Boscoe has also done more than almost anyone else to further the cause of women’s health, both in terms of public policy and, perhaps more importantly, at the ground level, helping individual women on a day-to-day basis.

Madeline Boscoe is recognized by her colleagues and her counterparts in government, academia, and the non-governmental organization community as the conscience of women’s health in Canada.

Through her work with both the Women’s Health Clinic in Winnipeg and the Canadian Women’s Health Network, she has set a new standard in her field.

Of course, thanks to people like Ms. Boscoe, the Canadian Women’s Health Network is able to play a role as a key partner in Health Canada’s Centres of Excellence for Women’s Health Program.

As such, the CWHN makes a vital contribution to Health Canada’s efforts on behalf of women’s health, translating research for policy audiences, and transferring its valuable knowledge.

Outre son travail exemplaire au Réseau canadien pour la santé des femmes, Madeline Boscoe oeuvre depuis plus de 20 ans à la clinique de santé des femmes (Women’s Health Clinic) à Winnipeg.

Là, elle s’occupe entre autres de coordonner le programme de promotion et de counseling en santé et de diriger le programme d’orientation stratégique des politiques et de défense des intérêts. Elle est aussi une participante active au comité de gestion de l’organisme.
La clinique de santé des femmes fournit des soins primaires, des conseils et d’autres services axés sur des problématiques comme les désordres alimentaires, la réduction du tabagisme, l’aide aux victimes d’endométriose, les conseils en santé de la reproduction, la profession de sage-femme et une foule d’autres sujets.

De toute évidence, Madeline Boscoe a toujours été sur la ligne de front pour fournir des services et des conseils en santé; toutefois, elle a accompli beaucoup plus.

In fact, I think it would be fair to say that she has played a role in women’s health from almost every possible angle – as a health care professional, as a project manager, through research and education, as an intervenor before the Supreme Court, as an author and editor, as an advocate who has appeared before various parliamentary committees examining health issues… the list goes on and on.

Madeline Boscoe has written numerous learned papers on a variety of topics. She has organized several conferences that looked at specific women’s health issues.

Madame Boscoe a contribué à mettre sur pied une foule de programmes visant à aider les femmes à relever des défis concernant leur santé. On l’a aussi vue mener des coalitions sur des questions comme les implants mammaires et la santé de la reproduction.
Devant ces phénoménales réalisations, il ne faut pas s’étonner que de nombreux conseils, comités, groupes de travail et autres, à l’échelle provinciale, nationale et internationale, aient fait appel à son expertise et à son savoir. C’est ainsi qu’elle s’est trouvée coprésidente du Comité consultatif national sur les techniques de reproduction et de génétique.
On lui a aussi demandé de participer à diverses conférences nationales et internationales, notamment, en 2004, la conférence de l’Organisation mondiale de la santé sur les centres d’excellence pour la santé des femmes, et, en 2000, le Colloque du Commonwealth sur l’élaboration d’outils d’analyse comparée selon le sexe, à l’intention des services de santé.

Chief among Ms. Boscoe’s contributions in women’s health are certainly the work she has done in the policy area, addressing such issues as: healthy living for women; health care reform and its impact on low income and marginalized women; and mobilizing communities to provide better access to health care.

The research conducted by the Canadian Women’s Health Network is promoted through the Centres of Excellence for Women’s Health Program, and is also published in the research bulletin supported by Health Canada.

That is certainly quite a catalogue of achievement, and I’d like to finish with a quote from Ms. Boscoe herself.

Speaking to the House of Commons Health Committee in 2003, Ms. Boscoe closed with this. She said: “The amount of energy I have to put into spending time helping the Canadian public understand some of these issues is enormous. There are very few of us out there, talking to the public about these issues.” Close quotes.
I think I speak for many Canadians – women and men – when I say…thank goodness that Madeline Boscoe is out there, talking about these issues, and making such an important difference in the world.

Chancellor, it is for these reasons that, in the name of the Senate of the University of Ottawa, I present to you, for the degree of Doctor of the University, Madeline Boscoe, a tireless champion who has dedicated her life to improving the quality of life of her fellow women.

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