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Cathy Mombourquette, Marla Rivard, Kyle Lago, Robert Gordon, Lisa Porter, Patti France, Janice Kaffer, Karen Metcalfe holding sparklersA signing ceremony Monday formally launched the WE-Spark Health Institute. Celebrating are: Cathy Mombourquette, WE-Spark communications and events co-ordinator; Marla Rivard, WE-Spark administrative assistant; Kyle Lago, WE-Spark translational research associate; UWindsor president Robert Gordon; WE-Spark executive director Lisa Porter; St. Clair College president Patti France; Janice Kaffer, president of Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare; Karen Metcalfe, WE-Spark assistant director.

Institutions join forces to further community health

An agreement between four institutions will help make Windsor-Essex a healthier place, UWindsor president Robert Gordon said Monday.

He was celebrating the signing of a memorandum of understanding among the University, Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare, Windsor Regional Hospital, and St. Clair College to create the WE-Spark Health Institute.

The institute will integrate research strengths, expertise, infrastructure, and capacity in a number or areas, including cancer, brain health and neuroscience, sexual health, rehabilitation, and population health.

“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,” Dr. Gordon said. “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.”

Biomedical sciences professor Lisa Porter, the institute’s executive director, said the project 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,” she said.

The University of Windsor is contributing some of its share of the Government of Canada’s Research Support Fund to the project. The funding helps offset the indirect costs of research, such as utilities and batteries and materials used to operate laboratory equipment.

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