Sylvia Olga Fedoruk | The Canadian Encyclopedia


Sylvia Olga Fedoruk

Sylvia Olga Fedoruk, OC, physicist, educator, 17th lieutenant-governor of Saskatchewan (1988-94) (born 5 May 1927 in Canora, SK; died 26 September 2012 in Saskatoon). Fedoruk was a medical physicist who helped advance cancer treatment (see Physics; Contemporary Medicine).

Portrait of Sylvia Olga Fedoruk, date unknown.


Sylvia Olga Fedoruk joined the Saskatoon Cancer Clinic in 1951 after completing her education at the University of Saskatchewan, winning the Governor General's Gold Medal for her academic achievements. While at the clinic she established her reputation in nuclear medicine, pioneering research into the medical uses of radioactive isotopes. (See also Contemporary Medicine.) She was instrumental in helping to develop the first cobalt-60 therapy unit, which became widely used as a chemotherapy treatment for cancer. (See also Harold Elford Johns; Canadian Contributions to Medicine.) She became a full-time professor at the University of Saskatchewan in 1973 and was the first woman to be named chancellor of the university in 1986.

Throughout her career Fedoruk was deeply involved in the international nuclear medicine community and served as a consultant in nuclear medicine to the International Atomic Energy Agency. In Canada she was the first female trustee of the Society of Nuclear Medicine and in 1973 she was the first woman appointed to the Atomic Energy Control Board, a post she held until 1988.

Lieutenant-Governor of Saskatchewan

Sylvia Olga Fedoruk’s contributions to Saskatchewan and Canada were recognized with her appointment as lieutenant-governor of Saskatchewan in 1988. She was the first woman to woman to hold the post in the province and she served as lieutenant-governor of Saskatchewan until 1994. (See also Lieutenant-Governors of Saskatchewan.)

Personal Life

Sylvia Olga Fedoruk, an active sportswoman and avid fisherman, excelled in baseball, track and field, and curling. She was the president of the Canadian Ladies Curling Association and was inducted into Canada's Curling Hall of Fame in 1986.

Honours and Awards

Further Reading

External Links

 Dr. Halina Hoffman, staff member of Ste. Justine's Hospital in the anaesthesia department
Women in STEM