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Information

Richard Splane and Verna Huffman Splane fonds

Media Type: 
Textual record
Call Number / Archival Reference Number: 
STEM Field: 
Nursing
Description: 
Fonds contains records pertaining to the separate careers and personal lives of both Verna Huffman Splane and Richard Splane, and their life together as a couple. Work records reflect Richard’s work in Alberta, his time in the RCAF, and his lengthy career in the federal government as well as Verna’s work for WHO, the federal government, and as a faculty member at UBC and the University of Victoria. These records include government reports, meeting minutes and agenda, correspondence, articles, course outlines and notes. Personal records reflect both Richard and Verna’s social lives and interest in social welfare outside of their careers. These records include correspondence, curriculum vitae, photographs (print and digital), notes, articles and publications, meeting minutes and agenda, and certificates. The records reflecting Richard and Verna’s joint life has been arranged into eight series: Chief Nursing Officers Study, Home and Social Life, Personal Correspondence, University Hill Congregation, Social Welfare Work, Honours and Awards, Photographs, and Audio-visual. The fonds also includes two sous-fonds: the Richard Beverly Splane sous-fonds and the Verna Huffman Splane sous-fonds.
Biography/Administrative History: 
Verna Huffman Splane was born in 1914 in Peterborough, Ontario. She became a nurse after high school. In 1939 received a diploma in Public Health from the University of Toronto School of Nursing, and worked from the Victorian Order of Nurses until she entered Columbia University where she graduated with a Bachelor in Science in 1957 and then went on to earn a master’s degree in public health from the University of Michigan. After she graduated she worked for the World Health Organization as a nurse advisory in the health ministries of Guyana, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, and the Windward and Leeward Islands. Upon her return to Canada she joined the federal Department of National Health and Welfare as a public health nursing consultant from 1963-1966, though she returned to the WHO to work on a national health planning project in Libya in 1966. In 1967 she once again returned to Canada, becoming Canada’s first Chief Nursing Officer, a position that she held until 1972. After her marriage to Richard Splane in 1971 the couple moved to Vancouver in 1973 where Verna joined the UBC School of Nursing from 1975 to 1984, and in 1985 she joined the University of Victoria School of Nursing faculty until 1991. She was made an Officer of the Order of Canada, and was granted the Queen’s Silver and Golden Jubilee medals (1977 and 2002). She held several honorary degrees and won awards such as the Jeanne Mance Award and the Lillian Carter Centre for International Nursing Award from Emory University. She died in January 2015. Verna and Richard were married in 1971 following the death of Richard’s first wife Marion. After their move to Vancouver they were active members of the University Hill congregation of the United Church of Canada, and together undertook a study on Chief Nursing Officer positions around the Globe, which resulted in the 1994 publication Chief Nursing Officers in National Ministries of Health: Focal Points for Nursing Leadership. In 1996 they were awarded UBC’s first ever-joint honorary degree.
Date(s): 
1936-2013
Extent: 
7.12 m of textual records and other materials
Province: 
BC
Hosting Institution: 
University of British Columbia
Collection Contact: 
chris.hives@ubc.ca
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