$143K in grants awarded to fight COVID-19

WRH CEO David Musyj, St. Clair College President Patti France, HDGH CEO Janice Kaffer and University of Windsor President Robert Gordon sign the memorandum of understanding for WE SPARK Health Institute, March 9, 2020. (Photo by Maureen Revait)

Over 100 people working on COVID-19 research will be the recipients of grants awarded by the WE-SPARK Health Institute, in partnership with the University of Windsor.

The Office of Research and Innovation at the University of Windsor has contributed a portion of $143,000 in grant money that will be handed out to researchers. The university of one of the partners of WE-SPARK, along with St. Clair College, Windsor Regional Hospital, and Hotel-Dieu Grace Healthcare.

The grant money will fund 21 projects, and all four partners are involved in more than one. The projects range from designing personal protective equipment (PPE) to examining the physical and mental impacts of the pandemic.

“The seed funding provided through this important initiative enables researchers, clinicians, healthcare professionals, and community members to collaborate in the fight against COVID-19 in our region by accelerating the innovation and implementation of crucial medical and social solutions to this global challenge,” said Dr. Michael Siu, vice-president of research and innovation at U of W.

One recipient is Dr. Jessica Summerfield, a family physician and member of the COVID-19 Assessment Team at Windsor Regional. The money is being used to develop a home-monitoring device.

“One of Windsor’s best attributes is its ‘small community feel’ and the support the medical community has felt from the citizens of Windsor and Essex County has been palpable. This grant is a clear demonstration of this support,” said Summerfield.

The WE-SPARK Health Institute was created last month as a collaboration between Windsor’s two health care systems and its two top secondary education entities. The institute was designed to enhance physical and mental well-being through research and knowledge translation.