Year 3 - Succeeding Together, Q3 Highlights

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Year 3 – Succeeding Together

Q3 Highlights

November 1, 2021 – January 31, 2022

Year 3 2021-2022

SNAPSHOT quarter three highlights





















Quarter 3 Highlights A thriving and engaged research community, driving advancements in health

Executive Committee Nicole Sbrocca (Chair)

Windsor Regional Hospital

Caroline Hamm

Windsor Regional Hospital

Alison Murray

Hôtel Dieu Grace Healthcare

Heather Pratt

Year 3 – Succeeding Together Igniting Discovery, Living Better

In our first two years we established a strong common vision of a thriving and engaged community driving advancements in health and united our strengths

to develop programs and processes to drive advancements in health. During a global pandemic, we grew existing areas of strength, formed new collaborations, and supported novel ideas to enhance the health, well-being, and care of people in our region. We achieved more by working together. The details of our progress from year 2 can be found in our Impact Report.

University of Windsor

Chad Sutherland

University of Windsor

Jennifer Voth

Hôtel Dieu Grace Healthcare

Peter Wawrow

St. Clair College

Lisa Porter

WE-SPARK Health Institute

Karen Metcalfe

WE-SPARK Health Institute

As Year 3, we are focused on accelerating research ideas and elevating our excellence. We are enriching the cohesiveness, diversity and inclusion in our research community. WE-SPARK will continue to provide support as research programs grow and will find new opportunities to build critical mass and enhance health research capacity. We aim to ignite discovery and succeed together so our community lives better.

Lisa A. Porter, PhD, Executive Director Professor, University of Windsor

The WE-SPARK Team Lisa Porter, Executive Director Karen Metcalfe, Assistant Director Adriana Grande, Knowledge Translation Research Associate Kyle Lago, Translational Research Associate Devinder Moudgil, Medical Student Research Associate Christopher Ng Fletcher, Innovation Research Associate Ryan Palazzolo, Student Network Coordinator Linda Hudson-Chapman, Administrative Assistant Year 3 – Q3

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Organizational Effectiveness

Build the effective organizational structures and systems we need to achieve our mission


Year 3 Milestones

a) b) c) d) e) f)

Continue quarterly reporting and tracking Monitor and adapt budget reporting Implement a fundraising plan Develop MOUs between WE-SPARK institutions, as needed Review current policies and respond to changing needs Develop process and timelines for next strategic planning cycle

HIGHLIGHTS a) Continue quarterly reporting and tracking that leads to yearly impact report A health research ecosystem map is under review. This will provide a clear visual for how health research efforts are connected. WE-SPARK staff now meets every 2 weeks with research office staff from our partners. This new operational research team improves cross-institutional communication and keeps us connected.


A Core Principal Member meeting took place on January 28th as part of our ongoing strategic planning consultation process.

c) Implement a fundraising plan

A committee made up of fundraising leaders from the 4 partners have initiated a plan to host a Cheers to Hope, a health research fundraiser on April 27th 2022.

Driving Organizational Effectiveness – Governance Committee Next Meeting: April 7, 2022 (committee meets quarterly) Lisa Porter (Chair), WE-SPARK Alison Murray, HDGH Heather Pratt, UW Year 3 – Q3

Nicole Sbrocca, WRH Monica Tighe, SCC Karen Metcalfe, WE-SPARK

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Research Excellence Create a dynamic research environment that enables, supports and promotes excellence

Year 3 Milestones

a) b) c) d) e) f) g) h) i)

Host events that build collaboration, grow teams and support professional development Host a WE-SPARK Grant competition Profile and track successes of Core Members Consult and support WE-SPARK programs Provide a central hub for research processes and system navigation Monitor the progress toward a regional Research Ethics Board (REB) Provide support for external peer review Implement an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) action plan Bring together local experts to develop position papers that advocate for change in areas of interest to our partners

HIGHLIGHTS a) Host events that build collaboration, grow teams and support professional development Hosted a Think Tank WE-SPARK hosted our final virtual Think Tank of 2021 in Q3. This forum allows people to make connections, present research ideas at all different stages of development and mobilize next steps. New this quarter was highlighting past Think Tank presenters successes. A summary of the event speakers, topics and outcomes can now be found on the Think Tank landing page. This was the most well attended virtual Think Tank! The 2022 sessions are open to anyone who is interested and require registration.

Driving Research Excellence – Research Development Committee Next Meeting: February 18, 2022 (committee meets every 6 weeks) Caroline Hamm (co-chair), WRH Chris Abeare, UW Jessica Bennett, WRH Jody Ralph, UW Simon Rondeau-Gagne, UW Balraj Jhawar, WRH Year 3 – Q3

Ingrid Qemo (co-chair), UW Jennifer Voth, HDGH (new co-chair for 2022) Peter Wawrow, SCC Lisa Porter, WE-SPARK Karen Metcalfe, WE-SPARK

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Research Excellence Hosted a Networking Event On January 28th, we officially launched the WE-SPARK app by hosting a hands-on, interactive event. Attendees were given an app demonstration and WESPARK staff worked with participants to set up their accounts. Members were encouraged to practice using the app by playing an interactive, virtual bingo. The more members that use the app, the more powerful the tool will be. Sign up now.


b) Host a WE-SPARK grant competition The 2022 grant competition is ready to launch. Guidelines and application can be found on the WE-SPARK website. Reviewers have been confirmed with their on-boarding session scheduled for May 9, 2022. Applications will be reviewed by the Grant Panel on June 13 and 14. The Grant Administration Manual and Reviewer Manual have been finalized and shared with panel members in preparation for adjudication.

c) Profile and track successes of Core Members We continue to add new members to our research ecosystem with a total of 806 members.

Our research activities are driven by our Principal and Associate Core Members who are actively engaged in the research field on a daily basis. Local physicians and healthcare providers need academic appointments to build their research programs. In Q3, WE-SPARK facilitated 7 Adjunct Appointments in the Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Windsor for the following members: Clinical Assistant Professor Appointments: Dr. Amit Bagga, Dr. Telford Yeuong, Dr. Mason Leschyna, Dr. Patricia Valcke, Dr. Jennifer Bondy and Dr. Andrea Cervi. Professor of Practice: David Musyj, LLB, JD

Highlighting Member Successes Publishing Dates June, 2021 December, 2021 August, 2021 February, 2022 April, 2022 October, 2021

Year 3 – Q3

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Research Excellence Highlighting Member Profiles and Projects Members profiles and projects continue to be added to the WE-SPARK website. Thanks to WE-SPARK student volunteer Mackenzie Burnett, the Faces of Health Research social media campaign continues to be shared weekly. Newly added in Q3 is the option to filter members and projects by institution, creating a useful and powerful search tool.

e) Provide a central hub for research processes and system navigation Complementing and connecting directly to our website is our newly launched WE-SPARK app which provides a central hub for navigating the WE-SPARK website and connecting members. The app is a one stop shop to spark collaborations, facilitate group conversations, provide quick and easy access to tools, house a central message board and lets you share ideas and stay connected. To see the app in action, check out the promo video and contact us to get started!

i) Bring together local experts to develop position papers that advocate for change in areas of interest to our partners Three position papers are currently in development. One focuses on improving cancer care for transgender and gender diverse individuals, led by student Natalie Hazineh in collaboration with the trans community, including Stefanie Pest and Trans Wellness Ontario. It is scheduled to be released on the WE-SPARK website in Q4. The second position paper focuses on English proficiency tests as a barrier to accessible education opportunities for international students, led by student Kaviya Selvaperumal. And the third is outlining the importance of embedding research in the new hospital system.

Year 3 – Q3

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Community Engagement Enhance understanding and build trust with the community

Year 3 Milestones


a) Create workshops, series and/or events that engage the community and build the profile of WE-SPARK b) Increase engagement on all social media platforms c) Broaden community understanding of WE-SPARK through media relations, community engagements, locally, regionally and provincially d) Continue to evolve our website capabilities and reach e) Develop and Implement a ‘Citizens Science’ program that involves students and focuses on the health concerns of our community

HIGHLIGHTS a) Create workshops, series and/or events that engage the community and build the profile of WE-SPARK We continue to grow the ‘Ask the Expert’ program to serve as a trusted resource for our community and showcase the expertise we have in Windsor-Essex. In Quarter 3, 1 local expert, Ken Schneider, Radiation Oncologist, Windsor Regional Hospital, was added to the series.

Ken Schneider, MD

b) Increase engagement on all social media platforms

@wesparkhealth continued to increase content and reach during Q3. Thank you to our volunteer network for continuing to create new campaigns to support on-going community engagement efforts.


Driving Community Understanding - Community Engagement Committee Next Meeting: February 23, 2022 (committee meets every 6 weeks) Marla Jackson (Co-Chair), HDGH Dora Cavallo-Medved, UW Allison Johnson, WRH Year 3 – Q3

Chad Sutherland (Co-Chair), UW Roseann Danese, SCC Karen Metcalfe, WE-SPARK

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Community Engagement c) Broaden community understanding of WE-SPARK through media relations and community engagements locally, provincially and nationally Select Featured Media Stories In Q3, WE-SPARK was part of 16 local mainstream news stories, 40 stories in partner newsletters/communications and 4 in national/other media. Indigenous Health Today: Local grant to fund study on cancer support for LGBTQ2+ community AM800: Upcoming event focused on addressing vaccine hesitancy among youth CTV News: UWindsor scientists lead team battling prostate cancer CBC Radio Morning: Accommodating cancer patients and survivors in the workplace Windsor Star: Local research offers best options to scarce N95 masks Reddit: COVID wastewater levels in Windsor trending down CBC TV: Vaccination coverage low in Windsor's COVID hot spots and among young adults

Community Newsletter In Q3, we re-launched our community newsletter with a new design and focus. We now alternate between providing a quarterly highlight (November 2021) and spotlighting the impact of research (January 2022) (1,978 engagements)

Community Connections and Outreach

WE-SPARK supports the efforts of others by speaking at events, providing sponsorship and collaborating on initiatives locally, regionally, provincially and nationally. Some connections made in Q3:

d) Continue to evolve our website capabilities and reach Website Analytics


Total Q3 Visits: 22,365 (unique visits: 13,162) Most Visited Pages in Q3: Cancer Program, COVID Screening Platform, Events, Researcher Tools

Top Site Visitors CANADA (42%)

USA (28%)

OTHER (30%) including Turkey, Russia, France, Germany

e) Develop and implement a ‘citizen science’ program In Q3, we launched our Engage Program which provides community pathways into health research. Our committee finalized the logo with a tag line and have started to develop streams that will allow community members to be involved in research efforts in ways that interest them. Year 3 – Q3

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Knowledge Translation Translate research information to inspire and drive change


Year 3 Milestones

a) Support and grow a student research network b) Expand, promote, and update our Health Research Resource Hub c) Expand the Knowledge Translation Toolkit, including tools for commercialization, and increase awareness to our research community d) Support student experiential learning and novel training opportunities in health research e) Develop a plan for increasing engagement with industry and community partners

HIGHLIGHTS a) Support and grow a student research network In Q3, our student network logged over 900 hours in support of our health research ecosystem. Testimonials from the students can be found on our website. We expanded opportunities for students by offering leadership positions that provide compensation through grant funding or course credit and launched a professional development resource hub to share health research training opportunities.

Driving Knowledge Translation – Knowledge Translation Committee Next Meeting: February 24, 2022 (committee meets every 6 weeks) Pete Wawrow (Co-Chair), SCC Dave Andrews, UW Martin Crozier, UW Linda DiRosa, HDGH Jody Ralph, UW Year 3 – Q3

Dora Cavallo-Medved (Co-Chair), UW Indryas Woldie, WRH Lisa Porter, WE-SPARK Karen Metcalfe, WE-SPARK

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Knowledge Translation c) Expand the knowledge translation toolkit, including tools for commercialization, and increase awareness to our research community Host Knowledge Translation workshops and events In Q3 WE-SPARK supported the Students Igniting Vaccine Confidence Program’s webinar that featured 5 panelists including a science expert, frontline workers and students, who answered questions on their experience with COVID-19 vaccine hesitancies. The event recording can be found on the WE-SPARK YouTube channel. The KT Water Cooler series continued, with topics including getting started with Twitter and things to consider when planning a webinar. Join WE-SPARK’s Knowledge Translation Coordinator, Adriana Grande, on the first Wednesday of every month for a casual conversation on KT.

d) Support student experiential learning and novel training opportunities in health research Devinder Moudgil, Medical Student Research Associate hosted 2 events to support the 2022 SWORP Competition, a “mixer” event to pair up medical students with researchers and a workshop to outline the steps involved in the application process. In collaboration with the Office of Research at Windsor Regional Hospital, a research process map for medical students conducting research at the hospital was created. Devinder contributed to the December edition of the Windsor Campus newsletter.

e) Develop a plan for increasing engagement with industry and community partners Chris Ng-Fletcher, Commercialization and Innovation Research Associate, has moved forward plans to connect and grow industry engagement in health research related areas. Highlights to date:

Connect with key players

WE-SPARK now meets bi-monthly with Invest WE and began planning for a commercialization and innovation Think Tank session in Q4.

Completed an environmental scan

To better understand infrastructure needs and possibilities that could align with the new hospital system plans, a scan was completed on research institutes infrastructure and facility needs and how to integrate research space.

Draft a plan for an Innovation Ambassador Program

Initial planning has begun for a program that would help foster an environment of innovation and grow our regional ability to respond to opportunities.

Year 3 – Q3

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Build Capacity Secure the resources needed to achieve our mission


Year 2 Milestones

a) b) c) d)

Support and expand use of data sharing platforms for our researchers Facilitate joint funding plan for large infrastructure grants Explore and evolve infrastructure planning and a capital plan Implement the NUCLEUS plan

HIGHLIGHTS a) Support and expand use of data sharing platforms for our researchers The ability of teams to use REDCap for data collection and sharing continues to grow. In Q3, REDCap was used by research teams for funded projects, administration improvement projects at HDGH and WRH and quality improvement. Kyle Lago, Translational Research Associate has added student trainees to his REDCap team to work directly on research projects providing a unique training opportunity and expanding capacity. Training workshops are on WE-SPARK’s YouTube channel. REDCap accounts can be requested through the WE-SPARK website. MyCap is an App interface that allows researchers to capture participant reported outcomes using a mobile device. MyCap is available for member use. REDCap USE

Training and Support

Driving Research Capacity – NUCLEUS Committee Next Meeting: February, 2022 (committee meets every quarter) Adriana Grande, WE-SPARK Renee Biss, UW Arezoo Emadi, UW Jackie Fong, UW Wendy Foote, SCC

Year 3 – Q3

Phil Karpowicz, UW Kyle Lago, WE-SPARK Krista Naccarato, WRH Michelle Nevett, UWindsor Ken Ng, UW

Ming Pan, WRH Lisa Porter, WE-SPARK Jody Ralph, UW Chad Sutherland, UW Pete Wawrow, SCC TBD, HDGH Page 12

Build Capacity b) Facilitate joint funding plan for large infrastructure grants d) Implement the NUCLEUS plan Adriana Grande, Nucleus Coordinator and Chris Ng-Fletcher, Innovation Research Associate are working together to move the NUCLEUS plan forward:

Year 3 – Q3

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Looking Forward Igniting Discovery, Succeeding Together, Living Better

Reporting Timeline


Below are a few action items you can expect to see in coming months.

Organizational Effectiveness • •

Organize Cheers to Hope fundraising event for April 27, 2022 Map regional health research ecosystem, including institutional partner structures

Research Excellence • •

• •

Launch the 2022 grant competition Increase use and engagement of the WE-SPARK researcher App to better connect our health research community Finalize and share position papers Initiate plans for a Fall 2022 Health Research Conference

Knowledge Translation • • • •

Create a commercialization navigation and resource hub to support health researchers connect with Industry Expand and share the Research Training Hub for students Share results of the latest SWORP competition Create a plan for an Innovation Ambassador Program

Community Engagement


• • •

Implement and expand the Engage Program Roll out WE-SPARK branded merchandise Prepare for our Year 3 Impact Report

Build Capacity • •

Launch revised NUCLEUS section of the website, highlighting infrastructure available within Windsor-Essex Initiate a plan for a regional research data management strategy


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Appendix: Year 2 Budget May 1, 2021 – April 30, 2022 ADMINISTRATION Salaries • Research Director Stipend/Teaching Release • Assistant Director Salary • Translational Research Associate • Administrative Assistant • Nucleus Manager • Medical Student Research Associate • Knowledge Translation Research Associate • Volunteer Network Research Associate Discretionary, Supplies and Consumables (meetings, office equipment, printing, Professional Development, software licenses, etc.) Marketing & Website (including dissemination) WE-Spark Grant Competitions TOTAL Operating Revenue (Partner Contributions) University of Windsor Windsor Regional Hospital Hotel-Dieu Grace St Clair TOTAL

Year 3 – Q3

Proposed 2021-2022 BUDGET $365,500

$40,000 $30,000 $64,500 $500,000 $200,000 $100,000 $100,000 $100,000 $500,000

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