The timeline of the Lung Association of Saskatchewan describes a very rich history of Canadian and world firsts.

1900 1900Several concerned citizens gathered at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on September 13 to form The Canadian Association for the Prevention of Consumption and other Forms of Tuberculosis to fight the deadly epidemic. Lord Minto, the Governor General of Canada at the time, agrees to be the honorary president.
1902 The Muskoka Free Hospital opens in Ontario. It is believed to be the first free sanatorium in the world.
1904 Provincial associations, and local associations, become affiliated with the national association, including: The Montreal League, the St. Francis District League, Toronto Anti-Consumption Association and the British Columbia Association for the Prevention and Treatment of Consumption.
1908 1908First Christmas Seal is issued in Canada by interested people in Toronto and Hamilton to raise funds to build sanatoria. Soon afterwards, other cities across Canada joined the Christmas Seal campaign as a means not only of raising money but of creating the awareness that tuberculosis could be controlled.
1910 Dr. M. M. Seymour, Commissioner for Health in Saskatchewan initiates meetings regarding tuberculosis treatment.
The Saskatchewan Anti-Tuberculosis League Logo
1911 Saskatchewan Anti-Tuberculosis League was organized on February 11, and incorporated on March 23. It was Saskatchewan’s first health charity. Peter McAra was the first President and Dr. William Hart was the first Medical Superintendent. Funds raised by voluntary subscription totaled $97,000. [Read more about tuberculosis and the history of TB.]
1913 Construction began on the Fort Qu’Appelle Sanatorium with the aid of provincial government grants. Andrew Cook was elected League President.
1914 Construction was suspended owing to the outbreak of World War I and resumed in 1916.
1917 The Saskatchewan Sanatorium (later re-named “Fort Qu’Appelle Sanatorium” in 1923 but generally known as Fort San) opened October 10. By December, 60 beds were filled. Dr. R. George Ferguson was appointed as Medical Superintendent.
1919 On October 30, the Children’s Pavilion opened; the Imperial Order of Daughters of the Empire (IODE) donated $45,000 and paid for treatment for those unable to pay. Everywoman’s Fund provided $50,000 towards cost of caring for indigent tuberculosis mothers. The Sanatorium facilities were enlarged. In March, the Red Cross Lodge was built. His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales (Edward VIII) visited Fort San in October. In December, the first Valley Echo, the sanatorium newsletter, was published. (The Valley Echo continued to be published until 1965.)
1921 The first school survey in Canada was conducted - 1346 Saskatchewan school students were tested for TB infection. The first schoolroom for children receiving treatment was opened in the sanatorium. League President Andrew B. Cook was appointed Managing Director.

The first diagnostic clinic in a general hospital was opened at Regina General Hospital.

The Canadian Association for the Prevention of Consumption and Other Forms of TB becomes the Canadian Tuberculosis Association.

1924 Municipal funding pools were initiated to finance care of indigent patients.
1925 The Saskatoon Sanatorium was opened April 15 with 135 beds and Dr. Harvey C. Boughton as the Medical Superintendent.

The Preventorium opened at Fort Qu’Appelle Sanatorium supported by IODE. Babies born of tuberculous mothers received care isolated from their mothers to prevent them from developing TB.

The first National Christmas Seal is issued. More than $91,000 is raised.

1928 The first Christmas Seal Campaign in Saskatchewan was held. Bobby Roberts was appointed Secretary of the League and served until 1952. [View Christmas Seals from years past in our Christmas Seals Gallery and read about the history of Christmas Seals].
1929 Saskatchewan became the first jurisdiction in the Americas to provide free treatment for all TB patients. Legislation provided for treatment of all Saskatchewan residents to be covered by government grants and municipal taxes. This laid the groundwork for the introduction of Medicare by Premier Tommy Douglas, paving the way for Canada's universal health care system.
1930 The Prince Albert Sanatorium opened on January 7 with Dr. Robert W. Kirkby as the Medical Superintendent. Peter McAra began a second term as League President.
1931 Dr. RG Ferguson conducted the first scientific study of BCG vaccination of North American aboriginal babies in the world, which led to a vaccination program that substantially reduced TB deaths in infants and children.
1934 Association Canadian Travellers (ACT) adopted TB prevention as their humanitarian effort. The ACT would eventually contribute over $2 million to the League/Lung Association.
1938 The first program in the world for BCG vaccination of student nurses began at Fort San. Rural municipal secretary-treasurers pledged to raise funds for the Christmas Seal Fund.
1939 In January, the First ACT Radio Amateur Hour Show at Parkside (P.A. Club & CKBI) started. Rural Municipal Secretary-Treasurers gave support to Christmas Seal Campaign and the first Pohlmann Trophy awarded for 1941-1942 Campaign.
1941 Using innovative x-ray and photographic technology, Fort San staff designed and built a photofluorograph unit that could be used for mass surveys. The first mass x-ray survey for TB in the Americas was held at Melville.
1942 Moose Jaw became the first city in the Americas to have chest x-rays of virtually all residents for detection of TB.
1943 Two more survey vans were serving the province and Saskatchewan led the world in mass surveys of communities. Saskatchewan was the first jurisdiction in Canada to achieve the ideal of 3 sanatorium beds for every death in the province (270 deaths, 822 beds).
1944 The Bill Shultz Memorial Fund, sponsored by Radio Station CHAB and with the assistance of the Moose Jaw ACT Club, contributed $83,000 to the Preventive Fund for the purchase of new x-ray survey equipment.
1945 The Nurses Affiliation Course began. It continued to 1959 and trained 311 nurses in TB management. Fort San was further enlarged to accommodate returning ex-servicemen with tuberculosis. E. G. Hingley became League President.
1946 A medical section of the Canadian Tuberculosis Association was established for TB doctors. This group later became known as the Canadian Thoracic Society in 1958.
1947 The Canadian Tuberculosis Association officially endorsed the BCG vaccine as a tool to fight TB.

Dr. R. G. Ferguson, Director of Medical Services and General Superintendent, retired and was succeeded by Dr. John Orr. Hospital admission x-rays were initiated with the co-operation of general hospitals and federal tuberculosis control grants.

A nurses' section of the Canadian Tuberculosis Association is formed.

1952 Drugs became an important part of tuberculosis treatment. Field nurses began tuberculin testing and vaccinating in the far north. Frank Froh became the Secretary of the League and later his position was changed to Executive Director where he served until 1984.
1954 Community tuberculin tests began in conjunction with community x-ray surveys.
1955 Studies in Tuberculosis by Dr. R.G. Ferguson was published by the University of Toronto Press and quickly became an important textbook.

Dr. John Orr retired, succeeded by Dr. G. Dudley Barnett as Director of Medical Services and General Superintendent. Ken More became League President.

The Canadian Thoracic Society, the medical section of the Canadian Tuberculosis Association, is founded. The society consisted of a group of doctors especially interested in the field of chest medicine. Dr. Bill C. W .L. Jeanes was recruited from Britain to be medical director.

1959 The Research Grants and Fellowship program was established, with funds raised from Christmas Seals, to promote research into any field of lung disease.

Steadily decreasing numbers of patients and new TB cases being found gave rise to consideration of the future of TB in Saskatchewan by a joint committee appointed by the government and the League.

With the advent of antibiotic drugs, the rates of TB declined in Canada. The Canadian Tuberculosis Association began sharing its hard-won TB knowledge with the world, participating in projects in Africa and Asia.

1961 The fiftieth Anniversary of the Saskatchewan Anti-Tuberculosis League was celebrated. The Prince Albert Sanatorium was closed on July 27.
1966 The Wherrett-Grzybowski report provided long-term plans for the transition from sanatorium-based to community-based TB care and the transition of the Anti-Tuberculosis League to the Lung Association. The plan included a TB professorship at the University of Saskatchewan which 9 years later became the Ferguson Professorship in honour of Dr. R.G. Ferguson. William Howes became League President.
1967 The League began supporting international TB programs through the CLA Mutual Assistance program. The Saskatchewan Arts Board program began at Fort San.
1968 The government grant for TB patients was $5 per patient per day compared to the initial 50¢/day.
1969 Recognizing the need to fight other respiratory diseases, the Canadian Tuberculosis Association changes its name to the Canadian Tuberculosis and Respiratory Disease Association. Education programs are established on asthma, the effects of smoking and lung cancer.

All TB beds at Fort San were closed in March. The school spot check tuberculin surveys began and continued to 1982.

The Canadian Tuberculosis Association Nurses' Advisory Committee is formed. This group later becomes the Canadian Nurses Respiratory Society in 1977.

1973 On June 14, an Agreement for TB control services and education was signed by the League, the University of Saskatchewan and the University Hospital. The Sanatorium Act was amended expand the mandate of the League to prevention of other respiratory diseases. In October, the League became a charter member of Saskatchewan Interagency Council on Smoking & Health.
1975 Dr. Jim Dosman, the first Ferguson Professor and the first respirologist in Saskatchewan, arrived and initiated the Pulmonary Division in the Department of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan.
1976 Dr. David Cotton was recruited to the Pulmonary Division.

The league provided funding to recruit two more respirologists, Dr.’s Donald Cockcroft and Vernon Hoeppner, to the Pulmonary Division. The League also funded a community survey of lung function in Humboldt and an International Grain Dust Symposium. J. Wilf Churchman became League President.

To reflect its new work, The Canadian Tuberculosis Association changes its name to The Canadian Lung Association.


On June 26, the last patient was discharged from the Saskatoon Sanatorium completing 10.5 million treatment days for TB in the 3 sanatoria. This was the last year that the League received levies from rural and urban municipalities for TB care. The League began lung disease surveillance of all grain handlers in the province with lung function tests and chest x-rays, which were repeated every 3-years. The Pink Panthers Better Breathing Association was formed in Saskatoon.

A physiotherapy section of The Canadian Lung Association is formed.

1979 The last mass community x-ray and tuberculin test surveys were conducted. The Moorhead Foundation was formed for research on asthma.
1981 The 70th Anniversary of the League was marked by a film by Sask Media. On April 1, the League ceased to operate the Saskatoon San and administration was transferred to Frank Eliason Centre. On September 2, a second 5-year agreement with the University of Saskatchewan was signed. In December the Prince Albert Outpatient Tuberculosis Clinic at Victoria Union Hospital was closed.
1982 In May, the Saskatoon tuberculosis outpatient clinic moved to Ellis Hall, University Hospital.

The Spring Seals campaign for lung disease research was launched in Saskatchewan and adopted by other provincial Lung Associations in the following years.

World’s first successful single lung transplant
Dr. Joel Cooper performs the first successful single lung transplant in the world at Toronto General Hospital.

1985 On April 1 the Tuberculosis Laboratory was transferred from Saskatoon to the University of Saskatchewan. A new Lung Association office in Saskatoon opened with Brian Graham as Executive Director.

Dr. Vern Hoeppner was appointed Director of TB Control and the Ferguson Professor. The League became a founder of the Centre for Health in Agriculture at the University of Saskatchewan with a grant of $125,000 over 5 years. The 75th anniversary of the League was celebrated with a re-enactment of the ACT Amateur Hour and the production of a history book by Jean Larmour entitled A Matter of Life and Breath: The 75 year history of the Saskatchewan Anti-Tuberculosis League and the Saskatchewan Lung Association.

World’s first successful double lung transplant
Dr. Joel Cooper performs the first successful double lung transplant at Toronto General Hospital.

The Saskatchewan Lung Association Logo
1987 On June 27, the Saskatchewan Anti-Tuberculosis League changed its official name to the Saskatchewan Lung Association. On July 31, 76 years of being responsible for the diagnosis, treatment, care and prevention of tuberculosis in Saskatchewan came to an end with the transfer of the TB Control program to Saskatchewan Health. The office at Fort San was closed and moved to Saskatoon. Dr. David Cotton was appointed Ferguson Professor.

The first Asthma Camp was held in Saskatchewan with major support from the ACT. Asthma Camps continued until 2007. Jim A. Burnett became President of the Saskatchewan Lung Association.

The Non-smokers' Health Act (Bill C-204) restricting smoking in federal workplaces and on common carriers (planes, trains, boats and intercity buses), and the Tobacco Products Control Act (Bill C-51) were passed by Parliament. Bill C-51 provided the authority to ban all tobacco advertising, impose restrictions on and gradually phase out promotional activities and sponsorship of events or persons by tobacco manufacturers, and require more explicit health warnings on tobacco product packages. (source: Canadian Public Health Association).

The Environmental Protection Act was passed to reduce the contribution of vehicles and engines to air pollution in Canada.


The Smoke-Free Grads of 2000 project was launched and continued with 12 years of school programs aimed at smoking prevention. Better Breathers Chapters for patients with lung disease were formed and spread across the province in subsequent years.

The federal government required cigarette manufacturers to list the additives and amounts for each brand. A ban on smoking was imposed in domestic airlines.

Victoria, BC was the first city to ban smoking in all workplaces and public spaces with no allowance for designated smoking rooms.

1990 The founding meeting of the Saskatchewan Thoracic Society was held on June 11 and Dr. Donald Cockcroft became its first president. The Lung Association became an accredited placement for students in various Health Sciences programs at the University of Saskatchewan.
1992 The Saskatchewan Lung Association and Saskatchewan Thoracic Society were key members of the Home Respiratory Therapy committee which enhanced home oxygen therapy provided by SAIL and began advocating for the establishment of a sleep apnea testing in the province.
1993 A sample bylaw to establish smoke-free places including restaurants was sent to Saskatchewan mayors.
1994 Dr. Charles Gallagher was appointed Ferguson Professor.
1995 Sleep Disorders Centres were opened in Regina and Saskatoon.
1996 The Saskatchewan Lung Association launched the www.lung.ca website and developed content with information about lung health and lung diseases - one of the first such websites in the world. Saskatchewan Lung Association continued to operate the site on behalf of all provincial Lung Associations until 2004. Dr. Donald Cockcroft was appointed Ferguson Professor.

The Saskatchewan Lung Association, in collaboration with the Manitoba Lung Association, developed the ASTHMATrec program to train health care professionals to be asthma educators. It quickly became and continues be the pre-eminent program of its type in Canada. Robert Ferguson (son of Dr. R.G. Ferguson) became President of the Saskatchewan Lung Association.

ASTHMATrec logo

1999 The Saskatchewan Lung Association home oxygen program began, contracted by Saskatchewan Health to provide training for home-oxygen personnel in health regions across the province and an overnight oxygen testing service for people with lung disease.

2000Saskatchewan Lung Association directed a $5 million international development program funded by CIDA to strengthen TB control in Ecuador. The program continued for 8 years.

The Canadian Lung Association Respiratory Therapy Society was formed to provide awareness of the knowledge and expertise of respiratory therapists regarding management of cardio-respiratory diseases, and to act as an advisory body and a resource to CLA.

2000 A series of lung health webpages was developed for school students and teachers which, over the next 10 years, attracted over 15 million page views.
The Lung Association of Saskatchewan Logo
2002 The Saskatchewan Lung Association was restructured with the formation of the Lung Association of Saskatchewan and the Lung Foundation of Saskatchewan. The first edition of the Sleep Apnea Handbook was produced and was quickly adopted by other provincial Lung Associations. This handbook is updated regularly and continues to be used across Canada and around the world. The BreathWorks program for COPD patients was established and The Lung Association of Saskatchewan managed the program for the four western provinces.

The Lung Association of Saskatchewan developed COPDTrec to train health care professionals to become COPD educators - the first such program in Canada.

COPDTrec logo

The Canadian Respiratory Health Professionals (CRHP) is formed as the multidisciplinary successor to the Canadian Nurses Respiratory Society, Canadian Physiotherapy Cardio-Respiratory Society and The Respiratory Therapy Society.

2005 Provincial legislation for smoke-free places came into effect.
2006 Dr. Darcy Marciniuk was appointed Ferguson Professor. The Lung Association of Saskatchewan developed and operated a home-testing program for sleep apnea in collaboration with the Saskatoon Sleep Disorders Centre. The success of the program led to the provincially funded SleepWell program for home testing. Marilyn S. Reddy became Chair of the Lung Association of Saskatchewan Volunteer Board.
2007 For the first time in the history of the province there were no deaths due to TB in Saskatchewan.

The Lung Association of Saskatchewan developed SPIROTrec to teach individuals to conduct a breathing test called spirometry. ASTHMATrec, COPDTrec and SPIROTrec comprise the RESPTrec program which The Lung Association of Saskatchewan administers across Canada and trained over 1600 health care professionals. Dr. Frank Scott became Chair of the Lung Association of Saskatchewan Volunteer Board.

RESPTrec logo

2009 The COPD Toolkit was launched to provide resources for COPD management programs across Canada at copdtoolkit.org.
2010 Paul Van Loon was presented with the Heather Crowe Award in recognition of his 27 years of service to the Lung Association of Saskatchewan, much of that spent in tobacco control and smoking prevention.
The Lung Association of Saskatchewan, 100th Anniversary. A hundred years... a million lives.

The association celebrated its 100th anniversary. It is one of the oldest health charities in the country.

Developed curriculum for teachers to use in the classroom. Project Smart (KNOW Tobacco) was a partnership with the Ministries of Health & Education to develop a new Tobacco website showcasing tobacco resources for teachers.

Helped pass Bill 133: The Tobacco Control Amendment Act - The final amendment (Prohibiting tobacco sales in pharmacies) which took effect April 1, 2011.

The Community Youth Challenge engaged the Roughriders in school lung health education.


First edition of the on-line “BREATHE” newsletter was published.

Our Be the Change Presentation that is designed for educators and health care providers discusses 9 key areas and provides suggestions as to how we can respectfully communicate our lung health messages and empower the people we are trying to reach.

The Community Youth Challenge engaged the Roughriders in school lung health education.

Three youth ambassadors from Saskatchewan won a Canadian Lung Association national youth award.

RESPTrec trains 75 health care professionals from across the US in COPD

Worked with Saskatoon Blades to provide lung health messages to schools

Bill 604: The Right To Know about Asbestos, also known as “Howard’s Law” was passed making reporting of asbestos in public buildings mandatory in Saskatchewan.

The COPD Awareness campaign: Coast2Coast Challenge saw its highest participation to date – challenging people to virtually walk across Canada. 

Dr. Brian Graham co-authored national guidelines for use of spirometry in primary care.

The RESPTREC brand was refreshed, and a new course “Education for Chronic Disease Management” was launched.


Performed a five-month analysis with the Saskatoon Heath Region (SHR) to develop recommendations for improving the care of COPD patients in the Emergency Department (ED).

Worked with municipalities to advocate for tobacco free outdoor spaces.

An asthma awareness video was developed with the University of Saskatchewan.

Touchdown 4 Lungs – Truth or Dare was a campaign driven by social media to raise awareness about lung disease and to raise funds for The Lung Association of Saskatchewan. The campaign featured Don Narcisse, well-loved former Saskatchewan Roughrider and CFL hall of fame inductee.

Inhaler devices teaching videos were released for the public.

Presented to the Human Services All-party Committee at the Saskatchewan Legislature on flavoured tobacco.

Launched the Asthma in Children, Take Action campaign included a new webpage with Emerson Olain’s (Asthma Ambassador) story, the warning signs of an asthma emergency, an asthma research video which discusses new asthma research from the University of Saskatchewan, tips as to how to prevent an asthma attack and ways to control asthma.

Worked with the Canadian Cancer Society, the Heart and Stroke Foundation, and a consultant based out of Ontario on a Provincial Tobacco Report Card. There were 10 recommendations made to the government on tobacco control since 2009.

The Lung Association of Saskatchewan partners with the WHL for lung health! Theme: Focus. Breathe. Play Hard.

The Lung Association formed The Take Action on Radon Saskatchewan Coalition. A number of events were developed to raise awareness of the health effects of radon.

The new Respiratory Medications Website drug database was launched.


BREATHE: the lung association logo


Lung Associations across the country adopted the new BREATHE logo and refresh the brand of the Lung Association to focus on breathing.

The Lung Association leads the province in radon awareness with numerous public events and projects. Radon home detectors available from the LAS reach the highest number of kits sold to date

Partnered with Battle River Treaty 6 Health Centre to run a smoke-free housing project/competition between the various reserves in their treaty zone.  

Provided direction regarding the health impact the smoke had on the province.

Formed the Take Action on Radon 10,000 Homes project. The goal of this project is to test 10,000 targeted family homes.

Inhaler device instructions were translated into Cree & Dene.

RESPTREC’s COPD Course was completely revised and launched across the country. The total number of health care professionals trained by RESPTREC surpassed the 5000 mark.

Started the Little Lungs school project in partnership with The Take Action on Radon Saskatchewan Coalition, the Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools, and the Saskatoon Public Schools. The goal is to create healthier homes in Saskatoon where little lungs are present by testing 2,017 homes for radon in 2017!


The Lung Association focuses on all issues that affect the ability of Canadians to breathe easier every day. Our mission is to prevent all lung disease, help people manage their lung diseases and promote lung health. We work to help the 1 in 5 Canadians who have breathing problems.

Together with the Canadian Lung Association, the Canadian Thoracic Society (including the Canadian Respiratory Health Professionals assembly), we help doctors and health-care professionals set the highest standards in patient care, and continue to expand their knowledge about lung diseases and treatment. We fund world-class medical research in Canada to find treatments, and ultimately cures, for lung diseases. We work to prevent smoking and help people who smoke to break their addiction to nicotine.

Our work is made possible through the generous donations of all Canadians.

Page Last Updated: 21/07/2020