interRAI Treasurer, Board Member Dr. John Hirdes Named to the Order of Canada


Dr. Hirdes recognized for his work advancing health care practice and policy

interRAI, a global consortium of researchers committed to improving care for vulnerable persons with complex needs, has appointed Board member and Treasurer Dr. John Hirdes to the esteemed 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.”

Dr. Hirdes is interRAI’s senior Canadian fellow, a Board member, Treasurer, and the chair of both its International Network for Mental Health and the interRAI Network of Canada. He also serves as a Professor in the University of Waterloo School of Public Health Sciences and is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. Having chaired the University’s Committee on Student Mental Health (CoSMH), Dr. Hirdes is known for his research in geriatric assessment, mental health, health care and service delivery and health information management. Dr. Hirdes recently has pioneered translation, adoption and use of interRAI instruments in India and Africa. He received a 2022 University Professor designation at the University of Waterloo.

“Dr. Hirdes’ career has been dedicated to making mental healthcare and geriatric services evidence-informed, more efficient and effective in his home of Canada and worldwide,” said Dr. Brant E. Fries, president of interRAI. “He is also passionate about sharing his knowledge through collaborative research. We are proud of the work Dr. Hirdes has accomplished and to see it recognized by one of Canada’s highest honors.”

interRAI assessment systems are utilized by researchers and health professionals in over 40 countries for care planning, outcome measurement, resource allocation, quality improvement, and policy development. These systems are used across the continuum of care and with persons of all ages from newborns to centenarians.

“It’s a privilege to contribute to making the quality of lives better for vulnerable populations in a country that welcomed my family and me many years ago,” Hirdes said. “Collaborating and doing our best to make health care better either through direct hands-on clinical practice or through population and system level interventions has been incredibly fulfilling. I’m excited and humbled to be appointed as a Member of the Order of Canada.”

Hirdes is among 78 new appointments to the Order of Canada made by Her Excellency the Right Honourable Mary Simon, Governor General of Canada. Every year since 1967, the ranks of the Order of Canada have been enriched by the appointment of new members whose contributions reverberate in communities across the country and beyond. Members’ “contributions reverberate in communities across the country and beyond. Through their exemplary commitment, they inspire and challenge us to join them in making Canada a better country.”