Healthcare innovators among Order of Canada recipients
January 5, 2022
OTTAWA – Mary Simon, Governor General of Canada, announced 135 appointments to the Order of Canada at the end of December. The new appointees include several persons who have made outstanding contributions to healthcare and health technology.
1. Dr. Mehran Anvari (pictured on left), Hamilton, Ontario, for his exemplary leadership in the innovative field of telerobotic surgery.
Dr. Mehran Anvari is the founding director of the Centre for Minimal Access Surgery (CMAS) affiliated with McMaster University and based at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton. CMAS is the first Canadian centre of its kind, dedicated to the promotion of minimal access techniques in all surgical specialties. His body of work has been internationally recognized and acknowledged. Time Magazine has touted the Centre for Minimal Access Surgery (CMAS) as “sculpting the next frontier of medicine.”
Dr. Anvari is also the scientific director and CEO of the Centre for Surgical Invention and Innovation (CSii). In 2009, CSii won an award as part of the Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research competition to commercialize a new class of surgical robots based on Canadian space robotic expertise.
The NASA-International Space Station (ISS) Research and Development Award for Biology and Medicine was presented to Dr. Anvari for the development of IGAR – July 2015 – Boston. Under Dr. Anvari’s direction, CSii and MDA leveraged Canadian space technology to create a new line of Image Guided Automated Robotics (IGAR), which will be used in the early detection and treatment of diseases.
In 2016, CSii partnered with MDA to create Insight Medbotics Canada Corporation (IMCC) – a start up to commercialize a new generation of intelligent robotic systems.
Dr. Anvari was also the recipient of McMaster’s Innovator of the Year award in 2009 as well as receiving the ORION Leadership Award in 2010. In 2016, Dr. Anvari was appointed to the Order of Ontario for his support in the development of medical robotics for early detection and treatment of cancers.
Dr. Anvari completed his medical training in Britain at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne and his surgical residency training in Canada at McMaster University. He then spent three years in Adelaide, Australia obtaining his PhD degree before returning to Hamilton to establish his academic and clinical practice.
He was one of the first surgeons in Canada to use robotics in surgery, and in 2003 Dr. Anvari established the world’s first telerobotic surgical service linking St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton and a community hospital (North Bay General). He is past president of MIRA, the association representing all robotic surgeons in the world.
2. Sharon Elizabeth Straus (pictured in centre), C.M., Toronto, for her contributions to the field of knowledge translation and for her mentorship in the field of epidemiology.
Sharon E. Straus is a geriatrician and clinical epidemiologist who trained at the University of Toronto and the University of Oxford. She is the director of the Knowledge Translation Program and physician-in-chief, St. Michael’s Hospital, as well as a professor in the Department of Medicine, University of Toronto.
She holds a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Knowledge Translation and Quality of Care, and has authored more than 500 peer-reviewed publications and 3 textbooks in evidence-based medicine, knowledge translation and mentorship.
Since 2015, she has consistently been in the top 1% of highly cited clinical researchers as per Web of Science and has an H-index of 103. She has held more than $60 million in peer-reviewed research grants as a principal investigator, and has received national awards for mentorship, research and education.
3. Peter Vaughan (pictured on right), Halifax, for his contributions to Canada’s healthcare system, and for his pioneering leadership in the establishment and advancement of digital health.
Dr. Peter W. Vaughan, a Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School trained healthcare executive was the deputy minister of Health and Wellness, Government of Nova Scotia where he consolidated 9 health authorities to the Nova Scotia Health Authority and the IWK Health Center, redesigned and modernized the Health Ministry, introduced the first province-wide digital personal health record in Canada, and co-led with New Brunswick, the inception of the Atlantic Health Quality Council, while containing healthcare spending to near zero growth.
Peter is a well-recognized results-driven serial social entrepreneur in Canadian healthcare. He is considered one of the leading exponents for digital health innovation to improve access to health service, and quality improvement in Canada.
He was chair of Accreditation Canada board, and founding board member of Accreditation Canada International, he has been CEO and medical director of a regional health authority, CEO of the Canadian Medical Association, president of WebMD Canada, an RCAF special operation flight surgeon (SOFY 94), and Colonel Commandant of the Royal Canadian Medical Services during the war in Afghanistan (2001-2010).
He is an adjunct professor, Faculty of Computer Science, Dalhousie University where he taught Data Access and Flow – a foundation course in advanced analytics.
Peter has numerous publications including fiction, nonfiction, and broadcast media, and he has served on numerous healthcare organizations boards and committees.
The Order of Canada is one of our country’s highest civilian honours. Its Companions, Officers and Members take to heart the motto of the Order: DESIDERANTES MELIOREM PATRIAM (“They desire a better country”).
Created in 1967, the Order of Canada recognizes outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation. More than 7,000 people from all sectors of society have been invested into the Order. Those who bear the Order’s iconic snowflake insignia have changed our nation’s measure of success and, through the sum of their accomplishments, have helped us build a better Canada.
Appointments are made by the governor general on the recommendation of the Advisory Council for the Order of Canada.
For more information about the Order of Canada or to nominate someone, visit www.gg.ca/en/honours.