Eileen Hutton, assistant dean of midwifery at McMaster University, is the first midwife to be inducted as a Fellow into the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences (CAHS).

Considered to be one of the highest honours for members of the Canadian health sciences community, she and 51 other new Fellows were formally celebrated at a ceremony on Sept. 14 in Ottawa.

In addition to her role as assistant dean, Hutton is a professor of obstetrics and gynecology as well as health research, evidence and impact at McMaster.

"Being nominated by McMaster University to the CAHS is a great honour," said Hutton.

"Midwifery is a relatively new and small profession in Canada but our research has made significant contributions to the well-being of women and infants. To be included in this prestigious organization is another important step forward for the profession and provides an opportunity to be included in important national discussions on health of Canadians."

Hutton was assistant clinical professor in the Department of Family Medicine at McMaster from 1993 to 2003. After working in Western Canada for four years, she returned to McMaster in 2007 to serve as assistant dean of the midwifery education program and associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology.

"Dr. Hutton is highly respected for her groundbreaking work in midwifery that has had an international impact, and she has demonstrated the highest level of leadership in education and research in her field," said Paul O'Byrne, dean and vice-president of the Faculty of Health Sciences.

"She is committed to advancing academic health sciences and passionate about educating tomorrow's midwives."

Hutton also helped develop the University of British Columbia's first midwifery program before taking up her current position at McMaster.

"Eileen has been a pioneer in Canada in academic midwifery, playing roles in advancing the science associated with such obstetrical and midwifery practice challenges as mode of delivery, breech presentation, multiple births and impacts of practice on newborns," said Sally Thorne, professor of nursing at the University of British Columbia and a CAHS Fellow.

"In addition, she has been actively engaged in advancing both the professional practice and education of midwives. This induction brings honour to the profession of midwifery."