Dr. Ivar Mendez (photo by David Stobbe)
Dr. Ivar Mendez (photo by David Stobbe)

U of S researcher part of public service award

Dr. Ivar Mendez of the University of Saskatchewan earned national recognition for his work this week.

Mendez was part of a Health Canada team that was honoured with a Canadian Public Service Award of Excellence for its work with remote presence robot technology used to help diagnose patients in isolated areas of Newfoundland and Labrador. The team was one of 238 recipients honoured Thursday in Ottawa by Governor General David Johnston and Clerk of the Privy Council Michael Wernick.

The project employed Dr. Mendez’s techniques with the help of robot designer InTouch Health to deliver basic health care in Nain, N.L., where there are no doctors on site.

Nurse Debra Keays-White, who heads Health Canada’s Atlantic region programs for First Nations and Inuit health, was quick to praise Dr. Mendez, the unified head of the Department of Surgery at the U of S and Saskatoon Health Region.

“It saves lives and it will absolutely change the face of how health care is delivered in northern communities in Canada,” Keays-White told Megan Gillis of the Ottawa Citizen. “It’s nice to have that recognition. I think it’s difficult at times to think outside the box and to get that kind of support. Luckily Health Canada is embracing innovation and gave us an opportunity to take advantage of Dr. Mendez and InTouch’s generosity.”

You can read more about the national awards here.

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