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Fundraiser to Help Close Gaps in Women’s Health Research and Support the Next Generation of Young Researchers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Women make up more than half of the population in Canada. Health issues faced by women and gender-diverse people lack the financial support and additional research that improves care and health outcomes. The Women’s Health Research Foundation of Canada Inc. (WHRFC) is hosting a fundraiser to raise awareness and fund scholarships to support women’s health research that gives attention to the analysis of studies by gender and diversity.

After a four-year hiatus, WHRFC is excited to bring back its seventh Dance For Your Health fundraiser – Bollywood Fusion style. Hosted by TV personality Ainsley McPhail, the fundraising dinner helps to support scholarships focused on health research for women and gender-diverse people. The event will be held on Thursday, May 9, 2024 at 5:30 p.m. at Charisma of India restaurant in Winnipeg (83 Sherbrook Street).  Participants will enjoy a performance and dance lesson by a local Bollywood Fusion dance group, as well as greetings from previous scholarship winners.

“We are long past the days when “women’s health” was expected to mean simply “reproductive health,” says WHRFC president Sheri Fandrey. “It is critical to better understand how sex and gender can affect both specific diseases and overall health in women and gender-diverse people.”

Since 1992, the WHRFC has been awarding a scholarship to full-time graduate students at the University of Manitoba who demonstrate academic excellence and whose research concentration is in the area of women’s health. To date, over 50 scholarships have been awarded. This year, the fundraising goal is to endow a third full-time graduate student scholarship.

“These awards help to fill funding gaps in women’s health research and encourage students to develop a career in this much needed field,” says Fandrey. “By supporting our fundraising efforts, you can help to ensure that women’s health is no longer under-studied, under-diagnosed, and under-treated.”

Limited tickets are still available at $110 per person and can be purchased online at www.whrfcinc.com. Significant raffle prizes, 50/50 and a silent auction will be part of the evening. The website offers more details, as well as the opportunity to donate.
The event is being supported by the University of Manitoba – Faculty of Graduate Studies and Manitoba Liquor Marts.
 
About the Women’s Health Research Foundation of Canada Inc. https://whrfcinc.com/.
The WHRFC has been active since the early 1980s and is dedicated to the improvement of women and gender-diverse people’s health through research sponsorship, education and advocacy.
__________________________________________________
CONTACT:

Matea Tuhtar
Communications Officer
Women’s Health Research Foundation of Canada Inc.
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WHRFC Annual Report 2023

The Women’s Health Research Foundation of Canada Inc., (WHRFC), has had another very challenging year as have many charitable organizations in Manitoba. COVID-19 was identified in Canada in early 2020 and Manitoba was placed under lockdown shortly after our Dance For Your Health 2020 (DFYH 2020) fundraiser on March 5, 2020.

Despite the cancellation of in-person fundraising again this year, the WHRFC was able to raise $6,000 through its loyal Target Mail responders and continuing Corporate Supporters including Red River Cooperative Ltd.

With support from the provincial government, The Foundation provided five Scholarships again this year, four to full-time graduate students and one to a part-time graduate student, all researching women’s health projects in diverse units at the University of Manitoba.

  • Mimi Brown is an MSc student in Social Work, Supervisor Dr. Kendra Nixon and Project Title, The WHOLE Leader.
  • Kerri-Ann Bochen is an MSc Student in Nursing, Supervisor, Dr. Marnie Kramer, Project Title, Moving beyond barriers: Understanding the Experiences of Women Who Transitioned to Cardiac Rehabilitation and Subsequently Withdrew Prior to Completion.
  • Oludolapo Balogun is an MSc Student in Community Health Sciences, Supervisor, Dr. Nathan Nickel and Project Title, Prevalence of Mental Disorders Among Pregnant Women in Social Housing in Manitoba.
  • Amr Abostait is an MSc Student in Pharmacy, Supervisor, Dr. Hagar Labouta, Project Title, Safe Nanomedicines During Pregnancy: Targeted Lipid Nanoparticles to Specific Fetal Organs.

 The Foundation’s Scholarship to a part-time graduate student researching women’s health went to Liz Harvey who is a PhD student in Applied Health Sciences, Co-Advisors, Dr. Pattie Thille and Dr. Sandra Webber, Project Title, On Becoming a ‘Good’ Physiotherapist: Exploring Professional Identity Formation in Physiotherapy Students in Historically Under-Represented Groups.

Nineteen applications were submitted from different departments including Applied Health Sciences, Community Health Sciences, Kinesiology and Recreation Management, Pharmacy, Biochemistry and Medical Genetics, Psychology, Social Work, Physics and Astronomy, Immunology and Nursing, showing the diversity of women’s health research needed.

Other awards provided by the WHRFC in 2022 included an award in the Elementary category at the MSSS for the project entitled “Are we eating right?”. In the Senior category two projects were awarded which were entitled “Young extracellular vesicles as a revitalizing agent for age-associated disorders” and “Using deep-learning neural network to predict Alzheimer’s disease”.

Chantal Rytz, a PhD student in medical sciences from the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary won the WHRFC Silver Award for women’s health research at the Canadian National Medical Student Research Symposium, a national poster competition held annually at the Max Rady College of Medicine at the University of Manitoba. Her Project Title was “Serum Estradiol Levels and Cardiovascular Risk Associated with Gender-Affirming Hormone use in Transgender Women: A Systemic Review and Meta-Analysis.  She was nominated by Drs. Tara Beattie, Celina Villaruz and Sabrina Adams.

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

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CIHR National Research Poster Competition 2022

Chantal Rytz, a PhD student in medical sciences from the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary won the WHRFC Silver Award for women’s health research at the competition held in June. The Title of her project was “Serum Estradiol Levels and Cardiovascular Risk Associated with Gender-Affirming Hormone use in Transgender Women: A Systemic Review and Meta-Anlysis”. Nominated by Drs. Tara Beattie, Celina Villaruz, and Sabrina Adams.

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Annual Report 2022

The Women’s Health Research Foundation of Canada Inc., (WHRFC), has had a second very challenging year as have many charitable organizations in Manitoba. COVID-19 was identified in Canada in early 2020 and Manitoba was placed under lockdown shortly after our Dance For Your Health 2020 (DFYH 2020) fundraiser on March 5, 2020.
Despite the cancellation of in-person fundraising again this year, the WHRFC was able to raise $7,500 through its loyal Target Mail responders and continuing Corporate Supporters including Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries  and Red River Cooperative Ltd.

With support from the provincial government, The Foundation provided five Scholarships to full-time graduate students researching women’s health projects in diverse units at the University of Manitoba.

  • Daniel Gussakovsky is a PhD student in Chemistry, Supervisor Dr. Sean McKenna and Project Title, Elucidating the transcriptional initiation of a non-coding RNA implicated in breast, ovarian, and lung cancer pathogenesis.
  • Nicole Herpai is a PhD Student in Community Health Sciences, Supervisor, Dr. Evelyn Forget, Project Title, A mixed methods analysis of economic empowerment measurements and the effects on sexual and reproductive health outcomes for adolescent girls and young women.
  • Cynthia Yamamoto is a PhD Student in Sociology and Criminology, Supervisor, Dr. Laura Funk and Project Title, An institutional ethnography of occupational therapists’ work in publicly funded home-care in Canada.
  • Kayla Joyce is a PhD Student in Psychology, Supervisor, Dr. Leslie Roos, Project Title, Developing a substance use intervention targeting mothers in the perinatal period: Addressing unmet needs using a patient-oriented research approach.
  • Moustafa Ali is a PhD student in Pharmacy, Supervisor, Dr. Hagar Labouta, Project Title, Towards safe medicines during pregnancy: Placenta non-crossing nanoparticles.

Other awards provided by the WHRFC in 2021 included a prize to one project at the Elementary Level at the annual Manitoba School Science Symposium (MSSS) which was held virtually the last weekend of April.

The WHRFC also provided a Silver Award on June 15, 2021 to Rebecca Metcalfe of the University of British Columbia at the Canadian National Medical Student Research Symposium, a national poster competition held annually at the Max Rady College of Medicine at the University of Manitoba. Her Project Title was: Integrating patient values into clinical trials using composite endpoints: A case study using the control of hypertension in pregnancy study.

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

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