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Chapman, Sylvia (1896–1995)

Chapman, Sylvia (1896–1995)

New Zealand physician, medical superintendent, and welfare worker. Born Sylvia Gytha de Lancey Chapman, Nov 27, 1896, in Dunedin, New Zealand; died Sept 1, 1995, at Bexhill-on-Sea, England; dau. of Frederick Revans Chapman (barrister) and Clara Jane (Cook) Chapman; Victoria University College, 1915; University of Otago, MB, ChB, 1921; University of New Zealand, MD, 1934.

Active in organizations concerned with health, women's issues, and humanitarian work, including Lepers' Trust Board and South Pacific Health Service; provided foundation for discovery of Rh factor from research for her doctoral thesis into perinatal toxaemia; gained practical experience in obstetrics and gynecology at Dublin and Vienna; appointed medical superintendent at St. Helens Hospital, Wellington (1936); advocated educating poor about safe contraception and establishment of free birth-control clinics; was the 1st woman appointed as government nominee to Senate of University of New Zealand; represented Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) as member and medical adviser of Polish Children's Hospitality Committee during WWII; participated in organization of New Zealand Council of Organisations for Relief Service Overseas (CORSO, 1944); headed medical team sent to Greece when CORSO joined UN's Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA, 1945); worked at Dulwich hospital in England and worked with College of General Practitioners before becoming 1st medical supervisor at home for elderly at Bexhill-on-Sea.

See also Dictionary of New Zealand Biography (Vol. 4).

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