Dr. Hastings’ professional activities are largely related to his interests in community medicine and often have close links to his work at the University of Toronto. The files are arranged alphabetically by the name of the organization or event with which they are most closely associated.
The series begins with a file on his participation in a round table discussion on “surveillance and the role of public health” for the Commission of Inquiry on the Blood System in Canada [Krever Commission] in 1995. This is followed by background material for and memoranda, statements and briefs, with which Dr. Hastings was involved, that were submitted to the Royal Commission on Health Services between 1961 and 1963, along with subsequent press coverage. He and Dr. William Mosley of the School of Hygiene submitted a massive report, “Organized community health services” in 1963, following a brief, drafts of which are preserved here, presented by the School’s director, Dr. Andrew Rhodes, the previous year.
Hastings was also a member of committees of the Canadian Public Health Association and the United Church of Canada that submitted briefs in 1962.
Other files document Dr. Hastings’ activities with Canadian College of Health Service Executives, for which he chaired the Extendicare Award Selection Committee for 1984-1986; in the mid-1980s, the Canadian Council on Social Development, for which he helped develop strategies for community health services, and the Canadian Hospital Association, for which he participated in a study on the future of hospitals in Canada.
Dr. Hastings was made an honorary life member of the Canadian Public Health Association for his many contributions. The files (boxes 036-038) document his activities as a president (1996-1997), as a member of its board of directors and several committees, including public health practices, archives, higher education and, especially, international health secretariat and review (1988-1992) and a planning committee for a national workshop on public health education (1991). There is a substantial file on the drafting of a national health plan for the Palestinian people (1993). Other files include the restructuring of Ontario health services (1997), the Canadian Institutes for Health Research, and the Association’s annual conferences for 1980 and from 1991 to 2000. There are also a number of briefs and reports.
The files on the Canadian Welfare Council document the activities of its special committee on health services’ submissions to the Royal Commission on Health Services. These are followed by files on health issues faced by the City of Toronto in 1992 and 2002; Dr. Hastings had been a member of the liaison committees of the University of Toronto with the teaching health units for East York, North York and the City of Toronto.
In 1971 Dr. Hastings went on full-time leave for a year from the University of Toronto to direct a major study of a community health centre project for the Conference of Health Ministers of Canada. His files (boxes 039-041) include correspondence, memoranda, notes, budgets, position papers, minutes of meetings, interim and progress reports, and working seminars, along with drafts of the final report and reactions to it. The report, instantly dubbed “The Hastings Report”, was widely praised and cemented Dr. Hastings’ reputation as a leading authority in his field.
Other activities documented in this series include two conferences on epidemiology, one in Cali, Columbia during his tour of public health services in South America in 1959 and the other a joint National Cancer Institute of Canada/U of T meeting in 1988. There are files for conferences on comparative health services at Ditchley, England (1972) and Dublin (1980), and for consulting on health administration for the Informatie en Communicatie Unie in the Netherlands (1981) and the Oakville-Trafalgar Memorial Hospital (1992). There is also a copy of an undated (ca. 1976) and unpublished report on an overview of the Canadian health system.
Dr. Hastings’ association with the Pan American Health Organization dates from the 1960s. Late in 1964 he was a participant in a special program on health planning sponsored by the World Health Organization, the PAHO and the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America, for which he visited Chile, Uruguay and Argentina, already referred to in Series 3. The files here date largely from 1974, when he critiqued a long-term planning report for the WHO, and his consultancy two years later for that organization on health services in Brazil and Chile. This and other work lead to him receiving the PAHO Administration Award for 1987. The majority of the PAHO files relate to the Canadian-Caribbean Health Initiative (boxes 042-044), a joint PAHO/University of Toronto/CPHA project for which, from its inception in 1988, Dr. Hastings served as chair of the steering committee. There are also files relating to the Caribbean Public Health Association and the Caribbean Regional Epidemiology Centre.
Dr. Hastings acted as a consultant and expert on many issues relating to community health, including two in Quebec -- programs in community health (1980) and the Quebec Commission de l’Enquéte sur les Services Santé (1987), and pediatric issues for the Thames Valley District Health Council (1988). One of his early research projects (1966-1970) was a joint Canada-WHO study of the delivery of health services in Sault Ste. Marie, due to the then unique program in Canada of Algoma Steel Corporation offering its employees a choice of health benefits through the local district health association or a private carrier. The findings were published in 1973, a follow-up study was carried out by the Ontario Ministry of Health in 1975, and a history of the Sault Ste. Marie and District Group Health Association followed in 1981.
In 1992 Dr. Hastings was invited to address a seminar on heath care systems organized by the Mexican Foundation for Health and the National Academy of Medicine, to be held the following March in Mexico City. He kept extensive files on the proceedings. In 1994 he was invited to be a consultant to the World Bank’s health project for the newly independent republic of Georgia. He visited the country on three occasions over the next two years and kept detailed files on his activities, including correspondence, notes, reports, and photographs.
The series ends with several activities related to Dr. Hastings’ travels in the 1950s and the early 1960s to Asia, and to his involvement with the World Health Organization both at the beginning and the end of his career. In 1953, on the way back to Canada from the his World University Service trip to India (see Series 3 and below), he stopped off in Britain to attend the first World Conference on Medical Education in London, to take in the Queen’s coronation, and to visit Scotland, especially Edinburgh and Iona. He kept a file on this conference and on the third world conference in New Delhi in 1966, after which he toured northern India, making a side trip to Madras and Ludhiana, and then going on to Hong Kong and Japan.
In 1960 a World Health Organization travel fellowship enabled Dr. Hastings to study medical care, public health and the teaching of social medicine in the United Kingdom, Scandinavia, the USSR, India, Ceylon [Sri Lanka], Singapore, and Japan. Again, he kept detailed records of his travels, including notes and accounts of his impressions, especially on the Soviet Union. Afterwards, he wrote a detailed report on what he saw. Later WHO –related activities include an employment offer as chief of WHO’s Organization of Medical Care Unit in Geneva (1969), which Dr. Hastings reluctantly turned down; and his work as member of WHO’s Expert Advisory Panel on Public Health Administration between 1974 and 1990.
In the summer of 1953, as the University of Toronto’s representative at the World University Service International Mysore Seminar, Dr. Hastings had an opportunity to gain first hand insights into and an understanding of the many problems facing developing countries. He visited India, Ceylon [Sri Lanka] and Pakistan, and carefully preserved his correspondence, notes, reports and photographs. Two years later, he was the University’s faculty member on the WUS International Japan Seminar, and spent a further month studying medical education and medical care in Japan through an arrangement with the World Health Organization. His correspondence, diaries, minutes of meetings, and notes served him well; he was much in demand on the lecture circuit afterwards, especially after his report on medical education in Japan and other articles reflecting on his experiences appeared in 1956 and 1957. The series ends with a 1962 report on the WUS student tuberculosis sanatorium in Japan and a file on the WUS Chile Seminar in 1964.