WE-SPARK Health Institute Releases First Impact Report
One-of-a-kind academic and healthcare partnership
posts strong results in first year
WINDSOR, ON, September 1, 2020 - WE-SPARK Health Institute released its first Impact Report, highlighting the collective successes of its four partner institutions - Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare, St. Clair College, University of Windsor and Windsor Regional Hospital - in driving health research and innovation.

The theme of the 2019-20 Impact Report - Uniting Strengths – showcases the unique strengths each of the partners brings to advancing health research, and demonstrates the power of collaboration. “We are building on these strengths and integrating expertise, infrastructure and capacity for a vibrant, healthy and resilient community” said Dr. Lisa Porter, Executive Director. “We have far exceeded our first year’s goals. It is remarkable what we have been to achieve together, and this is just the beginning.”

Highlights include:

  • $6,245,553 in health research funding,
  • grants program launched, 29 grants awarded totalling $408,000 for local research projects,
  • 18 research tools created,
  • 146 WE-SPARK members, and
  • a comprehensive community COVID-19 resource hub that provides up-to-date, evidence-based information.

The partnership had been gaining momentum for over a decade, and was officially launched in March 2020 with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the four institutions.

The institute is governed by a Board of Trustees made up of Janice Kaffer President & CEO of Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare, Patti France President of St. Clair College, Robert Gordon President & Vice-Chancellor of the University Windsor, and David Musyj President & CEO of Windsor Regional Hospital. 

“We are thrilled to see how the Windsor-Essex community has embraced our new WE-SPARK Health Institute” said the Board of Trustees in a joint statement. “From the beginning planning stages years ago, to the official launch earlier this year, all of our stakeholders have been involved every step of the way. Healthcare providers, researchers, students and staff at our four organizations continue to inspire, encourage and support the WE-SPARK vision to be a thriving and engaged research community.” 

“Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare is a proud partner of the WE-SPARK Health Institute” stated Janice Kaffer, President & CEO. “When I reflect on all that Dr. Porter and the team at WE-SPARK has accomplished in one year it is outstanding. Here at HDGH, we look forward to advancing health research leading to a better future for our Windsor-Essex Health System.”

“St. Clair College’s partnership in WE-SPARK was based on a desire to address regional health issues through research,” said St. Clair College President Patti France. “We are thrilled with the impact this partnership has had on our community in its first few months of existence. I believe this collaborative approach will result in a community that will be a model of health for others to emulate.”

“We are thrilled at how WE-SPARK is evolving and growing” said Robert Gordon. “It’s impressive what can be accomplished when partners work together. The University of Windsor looks forward to continued collaborations that will no doubt provide more training opportunities, research outcomes and health benefits for our community.”

“The Impact Report shows that through this innovative partnership, we are making incredible strides for our region,” said David Musyj, President and CEO of Windsor Regional Hospital. “By bringing together the brightest and best from the local academic and healthcare sectors and supporting them with the tools and infrastructure they need to thrive, we are enhancing the system of care for people living in Windsor-Essex and positioning the region as a leader in medical research.”

To read the full report visit:

Media Contact:

Cathy Mombourquette
WE-SPARK Health Institute
About WE-SPARK Health Institute
WE-SPARK Health Institute is a 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.