Research Centre
Research Excellence
Research Excellence

Dr. Laurie Hiemstra Wins YWCA Banff

Woman of Distinction Award for Innovation


This award honors a woman who boldly embraces new, original ideas and pursues creative ways of making a difference in the business or non-profit sector, or through volunteerism. She is a leader who challenges and motivates others to think outside of the box and explore cutting-edge solutions to improving their surroundings, facilitating change, and creating opportunities whenever possible. She may be a founder, owner, leader or other innovator, creating and implementing innovative programs, practices, partnerships, policies or activities that influence social good and positive change for our community.

Dr. Hiemstra is a renowned leader and advocate for women in sports and medicine. Her dedication and outgoing nature as an Orthopedic surgeon have earned her recognition both locally and internationally. She specializes in Sports Medicine, with a focus on pediatric patellar injuries, and is Western Canada's key referral surgeon. Dr. Hiemstra inspires many women to pursue careers in medicine by providing job shadowing opportunities, research collaborations, and observing clinic and surgery work.

Dr. Hiemstra's passion for improvement continually leads to better techniques, equipment, and patient outcomes. She excels in teaching and leadership and is currently working with a company developing software for ocular goggles to help surgeons to practice surgery using virtual reality. Additionally, she has introduced a new product, a synthetic knee implant called BioBrace, to Mineral Springs Hospital, making her the first Canadian surgeon outside of the U.S. to trial this product with special approval from Health Canada. Dr. Hiemstra has received a grant to conduct a research study using BioBrace starting in September.