McMaster University

McMaster University

Faculty of
Health Sciences

Safe childbirth advocate recognized for global efforts

Published: June 22, 2012
Hertzel Gerstein
Dr. Jean Chamberlain Froese and new mother Helen, who survived obstructed labour through an emergency c-section
— Photo courtesy of Save the Mothers

Dr. Jean Chamberlain Froese, an associate professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, is a champion for the cause of saving mothers who die from childbirth every year.

Her efforts have garnered the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada’s 2011 Prix d’Excellence, an award honouring significant contributions in providing outstanding care to patients and the community. She is being honoured Sunday at The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada’s 68th annual meeting in Ottawa.

"Dr Jean Chamberlain Froese is a Canadian icon in global health with her many years of tireless efforts to improve the care of mothers in Africa and other developing countries," said Dr. Nicholas Leyland, department chair of obstetrics and gynecology. "We are immensely proud of her many achievements."

Chamberlain Froese has worked as an obstetrician in various parts of the developing world, such as Zimbabwe, Zambia, Pakistan, Yemen and Uganda, where pregnancy and childbirth remains one of the leading killers of women. These women’s experiences moved her to find a way to save them.

In 2005, she founded Save the Mothers, an international non-profit organization that trains leaders to improve the standards and practices of maternal health.

The program offers a master’s degree in public health leadership at the Uganda Christian University. It was designed to provide professionals in Uganda with the leadership tools to advocate for safe motherhood and bring about change in their own communities.

In 2009, Chamberlain Froese also received the prestigious Teasdale-Corti Humanitarian Award by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons for her altruism, integrity, courage and perseverance in the alleviation of human suffering.

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