Parfrey, Davis named to Order of Canada

Dr. Patrick Parfrey

Dr. Patrick Parfrey, University Research Professor and director of the Patient Research Centre with the Health Care Corporation of St. John's, has been named an officer of the Order of Canada, the country's highest lifetime achievement honour. Dr. Parfrey is an internationally renowned scientist and clinical epidemiologist. In addition, he has provided outstanding leadership to the sport of rugby, coaching teams at the local, provincial and national levels and serving as president of Rugby Canada.

Dr. Parfey's previous honours include the 2002 Medal for Research Excellence from the Kidney Foundation of Canada. Described by his peers as “phenomenally productive,” he has been investigating the causes, risk factors and treatment of kidney disease for more than two decades. His early research was in the area of renal transplantation and his discovery of the adverse effect of certain anti-rejection treatments on patients with hepatitis B who had received a transplant has had direct clinical implication.

He has also made important contributions in the area of genetic renal disease and his research into a rare condition known as Bardet-Biedl syndrome has led to the identification of new genes and an understanding of the role of kidney disease in this syndrome. Acknowledged as a leading world expert on the subject of cardiac disease in dialysis patients, Dr. Parfrey has been instrumental in focusing the attention of the research community on discovering ways to prevent it and, ultimately, improve patient outcomes.

Dr. Parfrey's recognition of the potential benefit of multidisciplinary research has given rise to important collaborative studies. His latest project, Canadian Prevention of Renal and Cardiovascular Endpoints (CANPREVENT), involves specialists from across the country who will identify and treat individuals with early state chronic kidney disease using multiple risk factor intervention.

He is also the principal co-investigator at Memorial of a five-year interdisciplinary multi-site study of the causes and impact of colorectal cancer. This study has received major funding over five years from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

In the health care delivery area, Dr. Parfrey has established partnerships with the Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Health and Community Services to evaluate restructuring in acute care hospitals, needs for long-term care beds, needs for coronary revascularization, and utilization of new drugs.

Dr. Parfrey has served as president of the Canadian Society of Nephrology, is on the editorial board of the Journal of American Society of Nephrology and Nephrology Dialysis Transplantion, and has authored about 200 papers and multiple book chapters. Dr. Parfrey earned his M.B. at University College, Cork. He joined the Faculty of Medicine at Memorial in 1984.

Sister Elizabeth Davis was also named an officer of the Order of Canada. She received a honorary degree from Memorial in 2002. From 1994 to 2000 she was president and CEO of the Health Care Corporation of St. John 's (HCCSJ), overseeing a major reorganization of the health care system in the province. During her time with HCCSJ, a number of services were integrated, and the corporation was a partner in creating the Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Health Information and the Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Applied Health Research. Prior to her service with the HCCSJ, Sister Elizabeth was executive director of St. Clare's Mercy Hospital and a high school teacher. She served as one of three Commissioners on the Royal Commission on Renewing and Strengthening Newfoundland and Labrador's Place in Canada. She holds a B.A. and B.Ed. from Memorial University of Newfoundland, an MA (Theology) from the University of Notre Dame and an M.H.Sc. (Administration) from the University of Toronto.