Midwifery bursary named for first two assistant deans

A new bursary has been started in the names of Karyn Kaufman (left) and Eileen Hutton, both former assistant deans of McMaster’s midwifery education program.

Eileen Hutton retired as assistant dean of McMaster’s midwifery program in July, but the professor emeritus has left more than a legacy of research and education excellence.

Her family and friends have begun a bursary in the names of both Karyn Kaufman, the founding dean of the program, and Eileen Hutton. The bursary will provide grants for undergraduate students of the midwifery program in financial need.

In addition, donations to the bursary are being matched by the Hutton family and the Faculty of Health Sciences. The family will match further donations to the Hutton-Kaufman Midwifery Bursary on a ratio of 3:1, and the Faculty 1:1, meaning a $5,000 donation will snowball to $25,000 added to the fund.

Regarding the bursary, Hutton said: “Our students have excellent qualifications coming into the program and they aspire to become midwives who will provide the best care possible to expectant families and newborns. Although financial insecurity should not be an impediment to them succeeding in the program, many of our students face significant financial challenges. It is my hope that this bursary will ease the burden for at least some of our students. 

“I join my colleague and mentor, Karyn Kaufman, in thanking all those who take up the challenge to support our students in their quest for success. The named bursary is a great honour for both of us.”

Paul O’Byrne, dean and vice-president of the Faculty of Health Sciences, said the bursary is a tribute to both Karyn Kaufman who established Canada’s first midwifery program at McMaster in 1993 and directed it until late 2006, and Eileen Hutton, who led the program from 2007 until this year.

“There is high demand for midwifery care, and Karyn and Eileen have established a program here that’s become world-renowned for excellence in education and high-impact research. I’m pleased we are able to amplify the generosity of the Hutton family to further grow the bursary.”

The website regarding the bursary is at alumni.mcmaster.ca/mepbursary.