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Women’s College Research Institute launches $15K Challenge to improve health of women and girls

September 18, 2013

Women’s College Hospital’s Research Institute recently announced the launch of an innovative $15K health initiative that will provide funding of $15,000 or more to individuals or organizations to support projects that address women’s health issues.

“Women’s health is important to all of us and the health of women is fundamental to the health of families,” said Dr. Paula Rochon, vice-president of research at Women’s College Hospital. “We know that women’s health is influenced by many factors outside of traditional healthcare and this challenge now gives us the chance to tackle some of these factors in communities across the province and beyond.”

The $15K Challenge encourages individuals to partner with organizations and academics to develop projects and research ideas to benefit women and girls in communities across the province.

“We want individuals or groups of individuals in our communities to work with academics and other organizations to make positive change happen in our communities,” she added.  “Our hope is that these projects will advance our knowledge of women’s health issues and help us put into place practices to remove barriers to care and improve the well-being of all Ontarians.”

Individuals or groups of individuals associated with a registered charity or foundation, a not-for-profit organization, a community agency, a branch or chapter of a charitable organization, or a collaborate of two organizations, are eligible to apply.

Projects under the $15K Challenge will focus on identifying unmet needs within a community, exploring or testing solutions to problems or better understanding factors that influence women’s health. Projects must also demonstrate strong community ties and a commitment to community involvement.

The $15K Challenge was announced at a panel discussion on Sept.16 at the YWCA Toronto. Six prominent women, including former Canadian broadcaster Valerie Pringle, lawyer Jane Pepino, executive director of the F.R.E.S.H. Collective Esther Linares, Women’s College Hospital researcher Ophira Ginsburg, Heart and Stroke Foundation’s Tanya Rumble and city councillor Karen Stintz were on hand to discuss their personal leadership experiences and their impact on women’s health. The women challenged the audience to consider their own career path and how it can make a difference in women’s health both at home and abroad.

The event also marked the launch of Women’s College Research Institute’s new research program known as Women’s Xchange.

Women’s Xchange, funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, will improve the health and well-being of all women in Ontario by supporting women’s health research and helping to disseminate research findings across the province. The program will engage diverse stakeholders and communities, including care providers, scientists, policy-makers and community leaders to ensure that research addresses issues facing all women, including underserved groups. The $15K Challenge is one of the program’s new initiatives.

To learn more about the $15K Challenge and Women’s Xchange visit www.womensxchange.ca


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