Alumni Achievement Award 2013 - Patrick Harrison

An alumnus with a passion for enhancing the quality of life for those struggling with mobility

Photo of Patrick Harrison

An innovator and industry leader, kinesiology graduate Patrick Harrison has spent the last 30 years helping people get where they need to go.

After graduating from Waterloo in 1982, Patrick founded Special Health Systems Ltd., a company dedicated to the design, manufacture and distribution of commercialized seating solutions for individuals dependent on wheelchairs for mobility.

Patrick’s passion for enhancing the quality of life of those around him is embodied in his ample public service at the local, national and international level.  In 2007, he became a volunteer on the Board of Directors for Magic Wheels, a company focused on marketing a new geared wheelchair wheel. A member of the Board of Directors of CHATS, Community Home Assistance to Seniors, and the Allied Handicapped Association, Patrick also travelled with a team of Canadians on a mission to build an orphanage and farm for children with AIDS afflicted parents in Swaziland, Africa.

After graduation Patrick continued to stay connected to Waterloo by mentoring graduate students and supporting various research initiatives in the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences and Faculty of Engineering.

In 2008, Harrison partnered with industrial and mechanical engineers, health professionals and the biomechanics lab at the University of Waterloo to form CoreChair Inc., a company with the technology to reduce back pain from chronic static sitting and increase an individuals’ core strength. Harrison has recently launched a CoreChair Inc., kickstarter campaign which is already over 70 percent funded with 13 days left on the clock.

Patrick is a game-changer in his profession and continues to exemplify the leadership characteristics that the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences is proud to celebrate.