Dalhousie University

About Us
History of the Department

1. The First Childrens Hospital - 1909
2. A Physician-in-Chief is Appointed
3. The Izaak Walton Killam Hospital is born
4. The IWK Health Centre Today

The Izaak Walton Killam Hospital is born

A major landmark in the evolution of the Department of Pediatrics resulted from the gift of $8 million by Mrs. Dorothy Johnson Killam toward the construction of a new pediatric hospital, dedicated to the memory of her late husband Izaak Walton Killam and to be known as the Izaak Walton Killam Hospital for Children.

Construction of this $20 million 325 bed structure began in 1967 at which time Dr. Richard B. Goldbloom became Professor and Head of the Department of Pediatrics and Physician-in-Chief and Director of Research at the Izaak Walton Killam Hospital for Children, which opened its doors in 1970. Concurrently, the old Halifax Children's Hospital was demolished.


The new facility included many features that had never existed previously in the Maritime Provinces, including:

  • A combined inpatient and outpatient psychiatric unit for children.
  • A 10 bed clinical investigation unit fully equipped for detailed metabolic and endocrine studies.
  • A specialized burn unit. Specially equipped neurosurgery unit for infants and children.
  • A large referral unit for sick newborns. Greatly expanded outpatient facilities, designed to eliminate the traditional clinic atmosphere and to provide greater privacy and comfort for individual patients.
  • A surgical recovery room and intensive care unit. Specialized wards for children with respiratory diseases and infectious diseases.
  • A 10 bed observation unit for patients requiring hospital-based care for less than 24 hrs.
  • A special inpatient area for adolescents.
  • A hearing and speech clinic.



Dalhousie University Faculty of Medicine Pediatrics Department