WINDSOR, ON, April 19, 2022 - WE-SPARK Health Institute is hosting a fundraising event to support healthcare innovation in Windsor/Essex. It is the first event since the launch of the health institute.
“WE-SPARK officially launched in March 2020, just as a world-wide pandemic was at our doorstep” said Dr. Lisa Porter executive director. “Now we have an opportunity to gather in person to showcase the incredible research happening across our region, recognize the people behind all the great work, and focus our efforts on ensuring we can continue to support health research in the future.”
The “Cheers to Hope” event will raise funds for health research grants that bring together experts from its four partner institutions – Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare, St. Clair College, the University of Windsor and Windsor Regional Hospital – as well as collaborators across the Windsor/Essex region, Canada, and internationally.
“Our local research community went into overdrive to activate and operationalize a large number of critical projects,” continues Porter. “Within a month of the pandemic declaration, we launched our WE-SPARK COVID-19 Rapid Response Grants Program awarding funds for 21 projects with hundreds of collaborators. A number of initiatives had immediate impact, such as supplying evidence-based homemade facemasks for healthcare workers, and longer-term impact including wastewater monitoring and testing for COVID-19 and other emerging infectious outbreaks.
To date, WE-SPARK has awarded 52 grants totaling $776,725.00 with researchers across diverse disciplines and areas of expertise. Calls for grant proposals are issued every year and are evaluated and awarded using a rigorous review process with external reviewers as well as representatives across the four partner institutions.
“Each year, we are amazed and excited at the volume of grant applications, but unfortunately we can only fund a limited number. It is our hope that this event will enable us to support many more projects. Our donors have helped us tackle some of the greatest health challenges of our time, and our community’s support will fuel the type of change our publicly funded systems cannot support alone.
“Our research projects have already attracted national and international funding to our region, and are bringing cutting edge infrastructure. World class research helps to attract and retain the best and brightest, and improves health outcomes for everyone.”