Charles Hastings

Charles John Colwell Orr Hastings, obstetrician, medical officer of health (b in Markham Township, Canada W 23 Aug 1858; d at Toronto 17 Jan 1931).

Hastings, Charles John Colwell Orr

Charles John Colwell Orr Hastings, obstetrician, medical officer of health (b in Markham Township, Canada W 23 Aug 1858; d at Toronto 17 Jan 1931). Educated at Victoria Coll Medical School in Toronto with postgraduate training in Great Britain, Hastings was one of the first full-time obstetricians to practise in Toronto. As Toronto's MOH 1910-29, he purified the water supply and established an internationally recognized public-health nursing system. He was a leading pioneer of health education programs, medical and dental inspection in public schools, and neighbourhood baby clinics in Canada. These innovations lowered Toronto's death rate from communicable diseases (from 15.3 per 1000 in 1909 to 10.3 per 1000 in 1925) and made the city a cleaner and healthier place to live. Hastings's accomplishments were recognized with his election as president of the Canadian Public Health Assn in 1916 and the American Public Health Assn in 1918. Through his efforts, Toronto's health department became internationally renowned for its achievements in preventive medicine.