Dr. John HirdesDr. John Hirdes, a professor in the School of Public Health Sciences, has been appointed a member of the Order of Canada for his “contributions to evidence-based health care practice and policy, notably through the research and development of standardized assessments and decision support tools.

A fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, Hirdes is known for his research in geriatric assessment, mental health, health care and service delivery and health information management. He is the senior Canadian Fellow and a board member of interRAI, an international consortium of researchers from more than 40 countries. He chairs interRAI's International Network in Mental Health, and he chaired the University’s Committee on Student Mental Health (CoSMH). In addition, he recently received a 2022 University Professor designation. Hirdes earned his BSc, MA and PhD from Waterloo.

“It is wonderful and humbling to be recognized with this honour,” Hirdes said. “It has been a privilege to contribute to making things better in a country that welcomed my family and me many years ago.”

Dr. Ian Burton, who received an honorary doctor of environmental studies from Waterloo in 2013, was named an officer of the Order of Canada. Burton, a policy advisor and influential scholar, was recognized for the scientific contributions to climate change adaptation. 

"I wish to congratulate each and every person invested into the Order of Canada," said Dr. Vivek Goel, president and vice-chancellor of Waterloo. "Dr. Hirdes has spent his career working to make the provision of geriatric services and mental healthcare evidence-informed, more efficient and effective in Canada and around the world. He is also passionate about mentoring graduate students so that they can continue this important work. This is a tremendous honour and I’m proud to see that the University of Waterloo continues to be affiliated with individuals who are working to make a difference to our country."

Her Excellency the Right Honourable Mary Simon, Governor General of Canada, announced 78 new appointments to the Order of Canada, which has three levels: companion, officer and member. Officers of the Order of Canada are recognized specifically for service to Canada or to humanity at large, and members of the Order of Canada are honoured for distinguished service in or to a community, group or field of activity.