By Janet Greidanus

It was a grand occasion at the Shaw Conference Centre in Edmonton on December 8, 2016. The Royal Canadian Artillery Band played as family members and other guests entered the room. You could feel the excitement and anticipation in the air. The Governor General of Canada, His Excellency the Right Honorable David Johnston, had come to town to present honours and awards to a number of individuals from across the four Western provinces. Among them was one of our EMAS team leaders, orthopaedic surgeon, Dr. Thomas (Tom) Greidanus.

Tom was one of six recipients presented with the Meritorious Service Cross (Civil Division) that “recognizes remarkable contributions in many different fields of endeavour -from advocacy initiatives and health care services, to research and humanitarian efforts. The contributions can be innovative, set an example for others to follow, or improve the quality of life of a community.”

The reason for each person receiving an award was read out to the audience. For Tom they said:

“Orthopaedic surgeon, Thomas Greidanus, leads, organizes and raises funds for Operation Esperanza. He and his team travel to Ecuador yearly to perform corrective surgery on children with club feet, and hip and knee replacements on adults, all free of charge. The team also provides training to local doctors. This life changing medical care allows patient who were previously unemployable, able to find work and support their families.” (

We do not know who nominated Tom for this award. When the organizers were asked about this, they said it is top secret information!

 Congratulations to Dr. Tom Greidanus from all of us at EMAS Canada. 

During a ceremony on Thursday, December 8, 2016, at Shaw Conference Centre, in Edmonton, Alberta. His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada presented recipients with this honour. The Meritorious Service Decorations were established to recognize the extraordinary people who make Canada proud.  


For more information: Operation Esperanza