CADTH Honours 2 Leaders for Outstanding Contributions to Health Technology Assessment in Canada

CADTH presents its top awards for career achievement to Dr. Brian O’Rourke and Dr. Kednapa Thavorn during the 2023 CADTH Symposium.

Ottawa, May 16, 2023 — Today, CADTH, Canada’s drug and health technology agency, announced the recipients of its 2023 Recognition Awards. These prizes honour individuals who are pushing the science of health technology assessment (HTA) forward, mentoring the next generation of leaders, and helping to grow Canada’s reputation for excellence in the field.

“It is an honour to celebrate this year’s Recognition Award winners, who have both dedicated so much to the pursuit of excellence,” said Suzanne McGurn, CADTH’s President and CEO. “Brian has spent much of his career advancing HTA through pan-Canadian and global cooperation, and we are all better for it. And Kednapa’s leadership and creativity are exactly what Canada needs to continue propelling HTA forward. I can’t wait to see what she does next.”

Dr. Brian O’Rourke
Dr. Jill M. Sanders Award of Excellence in Health Technology Assessment for Career Achievement

Brian O'Rourke smiling at audienceThroughout his distinguished career, Brian O’Rourke has helped to advance the science of HTA on a national and global scale. Among his achievements during his decade-long tenure as the President and CEO of CADTH, Dr. O’Rourke increased transparency and stakeholder engagement, oversaw the integration of the pan-Canadian Oncology Drug Review into CADTH, and established the first-ever Patient and Community Advisory Committee.

Dr. O’Rourke remains an active contributor to many organizations that foster global collaboration on priority issues in HTA. He chairs the HTA Steering Committee at the Centre for Innovation in Regulatory Science and is President-Elect of the Board of Directors of ISPOR, the professional society for health economics and outcomes research.

Among his many achievements, 1 has been particularly transformational for the international HTA community: the publication of a new, foundational definition of HTA. Brian was a key member of the international joint task group convened by the International Network of Agencies for Health Technology Assessment to lead this work. The definition that is now globally cited is a modern explanation of HTA that describes central concepts in language that can be understood by anyone.

Dr. Kednapa Thavorn
Dr. Maurice McGregor Award for Rising Stars

Kednapa Thavorn looking out smilingAs health technologies become more advanced and complex, the research methods that underpin HTA must continually adapt and keep pace. Dr. Kednapa Thavorn is at the forefront of this advancement in Canada, as both a methodologist and health economist.

As a Senior Scientist and the Scientific Lead of Health Economics at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, her contributions to research design and economic modelling have been instrumental. She provides pivotal support as a methodologist and health economist to Rethinking Clinical Trials (ReaCT), Canada’s largest pragmatic clinical trials program in oncology. Dr. Thavorn is also currently in the early stages of a new research focus, which involves engaging patients in economic evaluations and demonstrating the unique perspectives that patients bring to the patient journey and key outcomes.

In addition to her work at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Dr. Thavorn is an Associate Professor with the School of Epidemiology and Public Health at the University of Ottawa, an Adjunct Scientist at ICES, and a Visiting Professor at the Faculty of Pharmacy, Chiang Mai University, Thailand.


CADTH is a not-for-profit organization responsible for providing Canada’s health care decision-makers with objective evidence to help make informed decisions about the optimal use of drugs and medical devices in our health care system. CADTH receives funding from Canada’s federal, provincial, and territorial governments, with the exception of Quebec.

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