WINDSOR, ON, March 9, 2020 - Four Windsor-Essex institutions have formally entered into an agreement today, officially launching a regional health institute.
The newly branded WE-SPARK Health Institute will bring together and elevate health research strengths from across the Windsor-Essex region and beyond to establish research pipelines that address regional health issues, advance innovation and technology, and drive outcomes that support healthier communities.
Lisa Porter, Executive Director of WE-SPARK Health Institute and Professor, Biomedical Sciences, University of Windsor expressed her excitement with moving forward with an initiative that has been in the works for a decade: “We are in a unique position in Windsor to come together and raise the bar for innovation, training and healthcare delivery that directly impacts the health of our community.”
“The college is looking forward to very extensive participation in this valuable new endeavour,” said St. Clair College President Patti France. “It is the most far-reaching and far-sighted collaboration we’ve had in the health field during our decades-long partnerships with the university, the hospitals, and a number of local clinics, agencies and medical practitioners. Our professors are looking forward to their expanded research role, and it opens up a whole new vista of knowledge and experience for our students.”
Robert Gordon, President and Vice-Chancellor at the University of Windsor adds: “We are thrilled to be part of this innovative health initiative that will support our regional commitment to vibrant, healthy and resilient communities throughout Windsor-Essex. I truly believe that the training opportunities, research outcomes and health benefits of WE-SPARK will demonstrate the impact and need for partnerships throughout our region”.
“Today, patients live longer because of advancements stemming from research” adds Janice Kaffer, President and CEO, Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare. “Partnerships are key to driving quality improvement and ensuring we are responsive to the needs of our patients. We are excited to build and strengthen our current research program by working in collaboration with the University of Windsor, St. Clair College and Windsor Regional Hospital to better serve the patients in our region.”
“Research and Education are among the main drivers of the new Windsor-Essex Hospitals System. Through this unique partnership we have a chance to think big, build collaboration into the new system and position the region as a leader in medical research. This will have a huge impact on our patients and improve our ability to recruit and retain top physicians, professional healthcare staff and medical leaders”, states David Musyj, President and CEO, Windsor Regional Hospital.
Research areas will include cancer, brain health and neuroscience, sexual health, rehabilitation, population health, and more.
Officials from Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare, University of Windsor, Windsor Regional Hospital and St. Clair College signed the Memorandum of Understanding during a launch celebration at the Windsor Club on March 9, 2020.