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Memorable Manitobans: Patricia Alice Leyland Kaufert (1935-2019)

University professor.

Born near Liverpool, England on 19 January 1935, the youngest of three children of Alice and Robert Leyland, she completed a secondary education at a Roman Catholic boarding school in rural Cheshire. In the 1950s, she worked in inner-city children in Paris and Normandy, after which she returned to England and completed training to work as a social worker for the blind in Manchester. After her mother’s death in 1961, she enrolled at Leeds University, specializing in sociology with social theory and African studies, and received a BA degree in 1965. She then enrolled in a graduate program in West African Studies at the University of Birmingham and went to Ghana where she taught at the university in Legon and did doctoral research on migration, health, and local development. She met her future husband Joe Kaufert in 1968, at the University of Ghana, and they moved to the United States where her husband did medical work at Tacoma, Washington and San Antonio, Texas. She was active in the peace movement and taught early courses in African-American Studies and Urban Sociology at the Universities of Puget Sound and Trinity College in Texas. They returned to England in 1973 and did postdoctoral work at the Centre of West African Studies at the University of Birmingham. She transitioned to women’s health research in 1974-1976 while her husband Senior Lecturer at St. Thomas’ Hospital Medical School in London.

In 1976, they came to Winnipeg to participate in the development of the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine at the University of Manitoba where she was appointed as a postdoctoral fellow. She studied then taught epidemiology and medical sociology before becoming a National Health Research Scholar where she developed a program in women’s health. She was a researcher and advocate in the field of women’s health involving menopause, childbirth, screening, ethics, midwifery, and women’s use of health care services. She worked with the Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada on implications of reintroducing community birthing in northern communities and recording the traditional culture of birthing through women’s own narratives. She also worked with the World Health Organization developing its policy on women’s health in mid-life, and served on the UK Wellcome Trust Advisory Board on Social Science and Ethics. She developed and directed the PhD and MSc graduate programs in Community Health Sciences at the University of Manitoba and introduced feminist issues into the undergraduate medical curriculum.

She died at Winnipeg on 9 August 2019, survived by her husband and a daughter.

Sources:

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 17 August 2019.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 9 September 2019

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

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