Joann MacMorran

(1934 - 2021)

Joann MacMorran’s trailblazing work as a provincial nurse consultant in Tuberculosis and Chronic Pulmonary Disease for 30 years allowed Manitoba to get the disease under control. She demonstrated leadership in her work as a nurse and was an outstanding role model and mentor in her position as instructor at the University of Manitoba Faculty of Nursing. Her numerous roles as a volunteer took her around the world, providing important program work internationally.

The third nurse to hold the position of nurse consultant in Tuberculosis and Chronic Pulmonary Disease in 1971, MacMorran policed the tuberculosis control program and “in all matters concerning tuberculosis and chronic obstructive lung disease” coolly resolved problems that arose between government and voluntary organizations – and between these agencies and the physician and patients in the community.

At the time, tuberculosis was a scourge in Manitoba and was especially common in the Indigenous population. She visited Wabowden for a number of years, coordinating the treatment program and ensuring compliance. She was a tireless worker and her patients appreciated her good humour, care and support in those trying times. She visited many reserves in those years finding active cases, administering treatment and bringing help and support to those afflicted.

MacMorran was also involved with TB case finding in the immigrant population and was involved in teaching nurses and medical students the basics of case finding and treatment and supports within medical and government programs. With Arlene Draffin Jones, she developed a teaching manual for nurses regarding management of the TB patient used in the nursing program for many years.
MacMorran also served as chair of the Advisory Committee that developed a number of health-related educational tools, facilitating the introduction of nursing responsibilities related to the DNA tracing of TB contacts.

She made significant contributions to health care in Manitoba, throughout North America and in the Caribbean, Europe and Taiwan. As well she influenced care of persons in Russia, South Africa, and Central America through tuberculosis nursing programs. She has also given workshops throughout the world as well as seminars for Manitoba Association of Registered Nurses (MARN) members. She nominated the Main Street Project for a 2000 MARN Community Caring Award for its participation in a Directly Observed Therapy (DOT) Program.

She was active with the Canadian Public Health Association, The Women’s Health Clinic and the Canadian Club. She was a founding member of the Canadian Respiratory Society and belonged to the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease. MacMorran retired from her long and distinguished nursing career on April 30th, 2001, but her many accomplishments will continue to have a lasting impact on tuberculosis care.

After retirement, she joined the Canadian International Development Agency in a project in Guyana. While working there, an electronic TB registry was created, the Guyana Chest Society was reactivated and a TB manual for workers was developed. MacMorran was instrumental in suggesting, organizing, implementing and providing follow-up and evaluation from this important visit.

MacMorran died in 2021.

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