EMPU Director receives "high-flying" award

Sherri Ferguson (far right) receiving her award at the annual Scientific Meeting of the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society in Las Vegas.

June 20, 2016

Sherri Ferguson, is the first Canadian to be awarded the Paul C. Baker Award for Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Safety Excellence.

The award recognizes outstanding contributions to the advancement of safety in hyperbaric oxygen therapy and, specifically, those who have implemented outstanding hyperbaric safety programs, authored hyperbaric safety publications, developed or presented on hyperbaric safety related research.

As the director of SFU’s Environmental Medicine & Physiology Unit for the past six years Ferguson’s attention to safety is always foremost in her mind. “My work ethic has always centered around safety, and my motto has always been that if I am not comfortable for my child to be in the environment, be it underwater or in a chamber, then I will not allow any other to enter that environment.” 

The Environmental Medicine and Physiology Unit at Simon Fraser University is the only civilian research hyper/hypobaric facility in Canada. It is capable of pressurizing or, “diving,” to 305 meters of seawater as well as “flying” the unit, to 33.5km Above Sea Level, which is equivalent to the atmospheric pressure on Mars

Under Ferguson’s guidance, the hyper/hypobaric unit trains pilots, divers, military and rescue personnel from across Canada and the US.