Dr. Albert Ernest Archer, 1878-1949

Dr. Albert Ernest Archer, Lamont, AB ca. 1940s. Source: Dr. R. Lampard Collection

Building the first hospital in Lamont

Dr. Albert Ernest Archer was the driving force behind the first hospital in Lamont.

A gold medalist from the University of Toronto, Dr. Archer arrived in Star, about 72 km northwest of Edmonton, as a United Church missionary physician to the Ukrainian community in 1903. When the railway went through Lamont (8 km away) in 1906, the Archers moved their home there — moving the house on skids.

As the town lacked a hospital for the next six years, Dr. Archer saw patients in his home. During the typhoid outbreak of 1907, he and his wife set up a tent in their backyard to treat patients, with Mrs. Archer, serving as the 24-hour nurse.

This episode spurred Dr. Archer to press for a hospital in Lamont. He had been on the committee that fundraised and built the Lamont Union (Methodist and Presbyterian) church in 1906. So he turned to his father, a Methodist minister, and persuaded the church board to sponsor a hospital.

The community raised $13,000 in 15 months. The Lamont Public Hospital (managed by the United Church) opened on Sept. 12, 1912, with 15 beds and five bassinets.

Dr. Archer became the first Medical Superintendent, a position he occupied for the next 37 years. His regular fundraising campaigns ensured that the hospital was never in debt and could serve all the patients sent to it, especially for surgery.

By 1948, the year Dr. Archer died, the hospital had 90 beds and was the largest general hospital in Alberta outside Calgary or Edmonton. Its reputation for excellent and compassionate care was so well known that patients were referred to it from Edmonton and from as far away as western Saskatchewan.

Get the whole story!

Read the full profile of Dr. Archer in Dr. Robert Lampard's "Alberta's Medical History"
Dr. Archer >> 

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