WINDSOR, ON, August 4, 2021 - WE-SPARK Health Institute and its funding partners have awarded 14 research grants totaling $287,000 to tackle local health challenges.

The grants provide funding to promote the development of early-stage, innovative health research and health education projects in Windsor-Essex and support other health research programs to increase their prospects for future funding. Projects include studies related to emerging topics in health, addressing gaps in healthcare needs, igniting new ideas, generating and disseminating knowledge, and sparking collaborations.

The grants involve collaborators across WE-SPARK’s four partner institutions — Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare, St. Clair College, the University of Windsor and Windsor Regional Hospital — along with numerous community members, students and volunteers across Windsor-Essex.

“Grants are the fuel that allows researchers to put together a team, to move their idea forward and tackle the biggest health problems that impact society” said Dr. Lisa Porter, Executive Director WE-SPARK Health Institute. “Our grants program depends on the generosity of our donors – individuals that give directly to WE-SPARK and local organizations that make supporting research a part of their mandate. These funders recognize the importance of supporting research ideas right here in Windsor-Essex.”

The 14 projects will involve over 100 researchers and trainees and thousands of participants. Some of the projects include: 

• improving the health and social support of LGBTQ+ people experiencing cancer;
• the role of partners in care of older adults with complex chronic health conditions;
• exploring the implementation of a Family Navigation Service in Windsor-Essex;
• preparing nursing students to provide empathetic care to patients experiencing poverty;
• understanding how technology has impacted children’s experience of the pandemic;
• finding new ways to treat Glioblastoma
• developing a machine vision eye-blink detection application for monitoring Zoom fatigue;
• helping uncover meaning and identify opportunities to increase meaningful activity among the homeless; and
• an AI-based platform to address social isolation and improve health for seniors and other vulnerable groups.

Details of all projects can be found here:  

Since the launch of the WE-SPARK Health Institute grants program in April 2020, at total of $776,725.00 has been awarded to local projects. 

Media Contact:

Cathy Mombourquette
WE-SPARK Health Institute
About WE-SPARK Health Institute
WE-SPARK Health Institute is a research partnership between Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare, St. Clair College, Windsor Regional Hospital and the University of Windsor that brings together health research strengths, expertise, and infrastructure from across the Windsor-Essex region. Its mission is to enhance the health, well-being and care of people through transformative research and knowledge translation.