NeuroDevNet board member recognized as an Officer of the Order of Canada

January 6, 2014

Patrick D. Lafferty was appointed to the Order of Canada Dec. 31, among 90 artists, scientists and educators honoured for their contributions to the nation.

Honoured for his contributions to the advancement of Canada’s medical research infrastructure, Mr. Lafferty has provided strategic planning support to the Medical Research Council, The Canadian Medical Discovery Fund, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, most branches of Health Canada, the Ontario Cancer Research Network, Rick Hansen Foundation, the Canada West Health Innovation Council, and several universities and research institutes.

Contacted by the Governeor General's office a few days before Christmas via email, Mr. Lafferty was surprised and pleased to find out that he wasn't being tapped for a reference or an invitation to a reception for one of the many health researchers he knows who have received the Order of Canada. "Instead, I was asked if I would accept an appointment to the Order," said Mr. Lafferty.

The appointment is "an absolute honour, and one that is really very humbling," he said, "considering how many Canadians are deserving -- scientists, doctors, clergy, volunteers...people who devote their whole lives to helping others."

According to the CBC, the honour, established in 1967 by the Queen, recognizes Canadians who "desire a better country."  Appointees to the Order of Canada are made on the recommendation of an independent advisory council headed by Canada’s Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Beverley McLachlin.

"Over the years I have met with over a thousand health researchers, and learned a lot about their opportunities and challenges and different models for cooperation and competition," said Mr. Lafferty. Strategic consultation and business planning with these researchers and their institutions helped attract significant new federal and provincial funding.

"I hope that my award may encourage other professionals and business leaders to get deeply involved in supporting health researchers across Canada," added Mr. Lafferty. "It is a chance to meet and work with the brightest, most dedicated people I have encountered in any environment. Yet the way we publicly fund and manage health research resources is filled with opportunities for improvement. Professionals and business leaders have much to offer and the rewards are great."