Cass, Elizabeth

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Cass, Elizabeth

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        Dr. Emily Elizabeth Cass was born on August 21, 1903 in England. She was educated at Nottingham High School and Cheltenham Ladies College. In 1932, she married William Morley, a bacteriologist but they separated in 1937 and were divorced in 1947. In 1940, Dr. Cass joined the British Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC) as a senior ophthalmologist. In 1943, she was transferred to Gibraltar where she worked as an ophthalmic surgeon in a military hospital. In 1947, she left the RAMC but continued to work for them in her professional capacity until 1955. In December 1956, Dr. Cass immigrated to Canada. She joined the Department of Health and Welfare, working as an ophthalmologist in northern Ontario. In 1958, she moved to Fort Smith, where she became the first resident ophthalmologist. In 1968, she began lobbying the territorial government to establish specialized facilities for the treatment of eye diseases, which lead to the establishment of the Elizabeth Cass Foundation Society. In 1970, as part of the NWT Centennial Celebrations, she organized an international congress on eye diseases that was held in Yellowknife. Because of this meeting, the International Society of Geographical Ophthalmology was created. Dr. Cass was elected President of this organization in 1970, a position she retained until 1977. In 1970, Dr. Cass retired from the territorial government and established a private practice in Fort Smith. In 1970, she received the Order of Canada, Medal of Service. She died in Fort Smith in January 1980.


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