Jan 4, 2022

Dr. Helene Polatajko Appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada

By Jessica Boafo

Congratulations to Professor Emeritus, Dr. Helene Polatajko on being appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada!

Announced by Her Excellency the Right Honourable Mary Simon, Governor General of Canada on December 29, the former interim RSI Director was recognized for, "significantly advancing the understanding of developmental coordination disorder in children".

Dr. Polatajko is an internationally acclaimed researcher, educator, and practitioner. Her clinical experience is primarily in the area of pediatrics, most especially with children with learning based performance problems.

Her research is focused on intervention and outcome measurement. She has held over $10,000,000 in research funding, given over 400 presentations in over 20 countries, and has over 200 publications including the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure, Enabling Occupation: An Occupational Therapy Perspective, and Enabling Occupation II: Advancing an Occupational Therapy Vision for Health, Well-being, & Justice through Occupation on all of which she is a co-author. Her primary research interest is the role of cognition in motor-based performance. Her work with colleagues and graduate students in this area has led to the development of the Cognitive Orientation to daily Occupational Performance approach.

She was also instrumental in establishing the Rehabilitation Sciences Institute, formally known as the Graduate Department of Rehabilitation Sciences.

Dr. Polatajko has received numerous national and international honors and awards during her illustrious career and it now includes one of the country’s highest honours.

Created in 1967, the Order of Canada recognizes outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation. Those who bear the Order’s iconic snowflake insignia have, "changed our nation’s measure of success and, through the sum of their accomplishments, have helped us build a better Canada".

And at RSI, we couldn't agree more!

Dr. Polatajko is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, in Rehabilitation Sciences Institute and in the School of Graduate Studies all at the University of Toronto.