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WHRFC Annual Report 2020

The Women’s Health Research Foundation of Canada Inc., (WHRFC), has had another very successful year. A healthy activity fundraiser, Dance For Your Health 2020 (DFYH 2020) was held at the Masonic Centre 420 Corydon Avenue on Thursday March 5, 2020. Fortunately, we were able to hold the event on March 5 shortly before the country was closed down in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The evening was a Hawaiian Luau featuring Polynesian Dancing by the Island Breeze Dancers and a Hawaiian Buffet provided by WOW Catering. Chrissy Troy of 103.1 Virgin Radio brought her lively sense of fun to the evening as our MC. Our Past-President Dr. Lynn Scruby welcomed everyone and moderated our award winners’ 3-minute presentations. Four of our five 2019-2020 full-time graduate student scholarship winners Alanna Johnson, Sarah Petty, Claire Mordon and Jordanna Sommer impressed everyone with their presentations of their research projects. The Island Breeze Dancers and their band, all from Selkirk, wowed everyone with their lively music, and wide range of exotic dances followed by an instruction session where guests joined them to try some island dancing. Over fifteen guests took home door or raffle prizes. DFYH 2020 together with our Target Mail Campaign and Corporate Campaign brought in over $12,000 to support women’s health research.

Alanna Johnson an MA student in Psychology, her supervisor Dr. Diane Hiebert-Murphy, told us about her project ‘The impact of a shelter stay on relationship values for victims of partner violence’. Sarah Petty, a PhD student in Psychology, her supervisors Dr. Kristin Reynolds and Dr. Patricia Furer, spoke about her project “Women’s anxiety symptoms and psychological treatment-seeking during the perinatal period”. Claire Morden an MSc student in Biochemistry and Medical Genetics, her supervisors Dr. Kirk McManus and Dr. Mark Nachtigal, spoke about “Characterizing chromosome instability in chemonaive and chemoresistant high-grade serous ovarian cancer”. Jordana Sommer, a PhD student in Psychology, her supervisors Dr. Renée El-Gabalawy and Dr. Kristin Reynolds spoke about “A preoperative virtual reality simulation surgery to reduce perioperative psychiatric sequelae in breast cancer patients”. The awards to the latter two students were made from a specified bequest from Lovie Patterson. Maria Garces Isabel Davila a PhD Student in Community Health Sciences, her project “The effect of maternal stress on adverse childhood experiences, mental health and justice involvement of the offspring: And intergenerational analysis of stress” her Supervisor: Dr. Tracie O. Afifi, was unable to attend.

The annual Manitoba School Science Symposium (MSSS) was held in the last weekend of April 2019 at the University of Manitoba. The WHRFC provided awards at three of the four grade levels, all to commend and encourage young scientists in Manitoba whose projects related to women’s health.

This year there were two awardees deemed worthy of the Women’s Health Research Foundation Silver Medal Award at the Canadian National Medical Student Research Symposium, a national poster competition held annually at the Max Rady College of Medicine, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Manitoba. On June 13, 2019, Jessica Miller a PhD student from Queen’s University. Won for her research on “Understanding the Mechanistic Role of Interleukin-33 in Endometriosis Associated Inflammation and Pathology”. Eric Filice a PhD student from the University of Waterloo won for his research on “The influence of Grindr, a Geosocial Networking application, on Image in Gay, Bisexual and other Men Who Have Sex with Men: An Exploratory Study.

Please check out our web site for current and future activities of the WHRFC www.whrfcinc.com.

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