Dr. J. Breanne Everett (Loran Scholar ’02) was named one of six recipients of the Governor General’s Innovation Award. This award, in its inaugural year, celebrates outstanding Canadian trailblazers and creators who contribute to our country’s success.
Breanne is the CEO of Orpyx, a Calgary-based company developing sensor technologies to address diabetic patients’ foot complications. Orpyx’s flagship device, the SurroSense Rx, helps prevent foot ulcers by collecting and monitoring pressure data.
Breanne started combining her creative and entrepreneurial talents at an early age. She started a jewellery-making business in elementary school that generated regular profits. Her jewellery appeared regularly on the television show North of 60 and in three motion pictures.
Breanne says that being selected as a Loran Scholar was a critical moment in her life: “It removed any limitations and gave me the financial and moral support to pursue what I really wanted to do. By selecting scholars based on personal characteristics and drive rather than a specific career path, scholars are supported to pursue their own goals and interests.”
Breanne elected to leave her home in Bragg Creek, AB to enroll in the biochemistry program at McGill University. She returned to Alberta to complete medical school and her residency in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the University of Calgary. Struck by the number of diabetic patients she was meeting and the severe complications they experience, Breanne began to imagine combining diabetic foot care and neuroplasticity to address these problems.
In 2011 she took a leave of absence from her residency in order to focus on leading her new venture. “Orpyx is not only about meeting the needs of diabetic patients; it is also about taking a preventative approach to patient care and inspiring innovation in the medical profession,” says Breanne. While running Orpyx, she also completed her MBA through the Haskayne School of Business.
Recognizing the importance that the Loran Scholars Foundation played in her own life, Breanne is committed to giving back. She is a volunteer, a donor and an active member of the alumni network.