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Mindel Cherniack Sheps

(1913 - 1973)


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Born to Russian immigrants in Winnepeg, Manitoba, Canada, Sheps grew up surrounded by the socialist Zionist ideal of her parents.  She was one of the few Jewish women admitted under strict quotas to medical school at the University of Manitoba and graduated in 1936.  Sheps traveled to learn about the effect of poverty on maternal and child health.  In 1944, she became the secretary to the Health Commission as a member of the socialist Cooperative Commonwealth Federation party.  In this position, she helped to enact a hospital insurance scheme, the first in North America. She continued to study epidemiology and the impact of social factors on public health. As an expert in statistics and demography, she served as an academic instructor at several institutions and put her knowledge to work for social justice campaigns as a school board member and for Planned Parenthood.


Sources: Jewish Women's Archive

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