Dr. Geoff Fernie Appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada
Created in 1967, the Order of Canada, one of our country’s highest civilian honours, recognizes outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation. Close to 7000 people from all sectors of society have been invested into the Order. Their contributions are varied, yet they have all enriched the lives of others and have taken to heart the motto of the Order: DESIDERANTES MELIOREM PATRIAM (“They desire a better country”). Appointments are made by the governor general on the recommendation of the Advisory Council for the Order of Canada.
Dr. Fernie was named an Officer of the Order for “his advancements in the field of rehabilitation engineering, notably in the development of therapies and products designed to assist individuals with limited mobility.”
With a cross appointment to the Rehabilitation Sciences Institute, Dr. Fernie develops technologies for two broad purposes: To prevent injury and disease; to help individuals and their family caregivers continue to live in their own homes as they age.
Dr. Fernie has maintained a focus on the reduction of falls through the development of innovative mobility products, non-slip winter footwear and improvements to accessibility and building codes. He has made significant advances in preventing hospital acquired infections by improving hand hygiene. His recent involvement in the development of a disposable instrument for home diagnosis of sleep apnea has the potential to significantly reduce the prevalence of cardiovascular complications resulting from untreated sleep apnea. Dr. Fernie has been responsible for many products that assist people's independence, including innovative wheelchairs and bathroom aids. Many of his inventions have reduced the physical burden of caring for people, including the prevention of back and shoulder injuries in professional nurses and family caregivers caused by lifting and moving people.