In 1936, Missionary Health Institute (MHI) began to serve the special medical needs of Canadian Christians planning to work in remote regions of the world. Since return visits to Canada were rare, Missionary Health Institute trained overseas workers in basic medical, dental, nursing and hygiene procedures. Louise Kirby, RN, the Founding Director, developed a curriculum that fostered self-care over long periods of time, in primitive conditions.
In 1959, the work expanded significantly. Bethesda Hospital, located here in North York, was opened to treat returning Canadian expatriates suffering from tropical diseases and other disorders not usually encountered in Canada. The training program grew to include special instruction for registered nurses planning to work abroad. This unique curriculum was eventually incorporated into the academic program at Seneca College.
In 1968, the charter of Bethesda Hospital was assumed by North York General Hospital at its inception. This change in structure recognized that the hospital-based work of MHI could best be achieved through a partnership that allowed both institutions to pursue excellence in their respective specialties.
Missionary Health Institute continues to operate from facilities leased from North York General. Missionary Health Institute is known internationally as International Health Management. It serves Canadian expatriates working internationally in the non-profit sector. The vision of MHI is to "care for those who serve" providing remote access, evidenced-based medical, psychological and pastoral services via secure web-based technology. It seeks to be the forerunner in developing innovative structures for the long-term care of this unique group of Canadians who serve charitable causes worldwide.
North York General is grateful for the long history of collaboration with Missionary Health Institute and proud of the continuing relationship with this founding partner.