Home About TB TB History Human Impact Timeline People Profiles Sanatorium Age Preventing TB Finding TB Treating TB International TB Today Index

  People Profiles

 Dr. Charles Joseph Fagan

Dr. Charles Joseph Fagan was the original pioneer of anti-tuberculosis work in the province of British Columbia. Fagan began his TB crusade as a bureaucrat in 1899, when appointed as secretary of the provincial Board of Health.

"Fagan, therefore, was clearly the most influential medical practitioner in British Columbia. His position as medical health officer made him, practically speaking, solely responsible for public health of the non-Native population of a huge geographic area. His recommendations to the Provincial Board of Health were always seriously considered and his suggestions to local doctors were often interpreted as government directives. Provincial regulations covering sanitation in fish canneries, milk preparation and slaughterhouses in the first decade of this century all owe their origins to Fagan and all are suggestive of the growing involvement of government in matters of health."

-- Wayne Norton in A Whole Little City by Itself, 1999.

- Archibald
- Dalton
- Cook
- Fagan
- Ferguson
- Frappier
- Gage
- Grzybowski
- Jeanes
- O'Brien
- Porter
- Stewart
- Wherrett
- Wodehouse

His first major accomplishment was an amendment to the Health Act in 1901 prohibiting the use or sale of milk from tuberculous cows. The provincial legislature at this time also adopted regulations requiring all cases of tuberculosis in humans be reported to the board. Fagan wrote his own educational circular to accompany the new regulations, called "in the simplest way", of which forty thousand were distributed throughout BC. The circulars included information about the disease as well as instructions for TB sufferers and the general public to help in the fight against TB.

Dr. Fagan also included lay-leadership in his personal war against TB. He founded the BC Society for the Prevention and Treatment of Consumption and other forms of Tuberculosis in 1904, and was instrumental in the establishment of the Tranquille Sanatorium, which opened in 1907 and treated TB patients until 1957. When the Sixth International Tuberculosis Congress was held in Washington, DC, in 1908, Dr. Fagan attended the meetings with Drs. J.H. Elliott and George Porter, representing Canada.