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HSC Foundation Secures $2 Million from MPI to Support Research for Traumatic Brain Injuries

October 5, 2022

New sponsorship from Manitoba Public Insurance along with $1.5 million from the University of Manitoba bring support for TBI research in Manitoba to $5 million

The Health Sciences Centre Foundation, together with Manitoba Public Insurance and the University of Manitoba, announced $3.5M in combined support of world-leading research led by Dr. Frederick Zeiler into severe traumatic brain injuries.( L-R: Dr. Peter Nickerson, UM Vice-Provost (Health Sciences) and Dean, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences; Dr. Frederick Zeiler, Neurotrauma Neurosurgeon, HSC Winnipeg, Clinician-Scientist, UM Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, Professor, MPI’s Professorship Fund; Eric Herbelin, President and CEO, MPI; Tina Jones, O.M., Board Chair, HSC Foundation; Jonathon Lyon, President & CEO, HSC Foundation.)

WINNIPEG, MB—October 5, 2022. Today, the Health Sciences Centre Foundation (HSC Foundation), together with Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) and the University of Manitoba (UM) announced $3.5 million in combined support of world-leading research led by Dr. Frederick Zeiler into severe traumatic brain injuries (TBI/TBIs). This support will help develop more personalized approaches to care in this population, focused on reducing ongoing brain damage during the acute phase. Such discoveries and advancements carry the potential in the long term to lower fatalities, disabilities, and rehabilitation needs.

Beausejour-born Dr. Zeiler, associate professor of surgery in the Max Rady College of Medicine, is a neurotrauma neurosurgeon at HSC Winnipeg, a clinician-scientist at UM, and the current professor of MPI’s Professorship Fund—a fund that advances research and innovation in severe TBIs for Manitobans and Canadians. Dr. Zeiler’s focus is to move away from a one-size-fits-all care model to instead embrace personalized medicine approaches for the reduction of death and disability in severe TBI patients.

Dr. Frederick Zeiler’s focus is to move away from a one-size-fits-all care model to instead embrace personalized medicine approaches for the reduction of death and disability in severe TBI patients.

With these $3.5 million in investments, the fund will be in the $5 million range. Through this fund, the MPI Professorship in Neuroscience can be elevated to a MPI Chair in Neuroscience, which will raise the profile of the work, attract further support, and secure its future. MPI’s dedicated sponsorship will go toward cutting-edge research aimed to help develop more tailored care options, monitoring technology, and a better understanding of the various paths to recovery.

“We are once again witnessing the power of philanthropy to mobilize a community, advance research, and improve care,” said HSC Foundation President and CEO Jonathon Lyon. “Progress in this area has already been made as it relates to building a framework for new drug development, risk reduction by using non-invasive technology, and more. We are thrilled to see what further advancements exist, thanks to the support from MPI and the University of Manitoba.”

HSC Foundation secures $2M from MPI to support research for traumatic brain injuries. “We are once again witnessing the power of philanthropy to mobilize a community, advance research, and improve care,” said HSC Foundation President and CEO Jonathon Lyon.

TBIs are a leading cause of death for those under 35 and are caused by damage to brain tissue due to external force. Motor vehicle collisions and motor-vehicle-related accidents are the leading cause of TBIs locally and worldwide. In Canada, there are approximately 165,000 TBIs annually, with approximately 400 moderate-to-severe TBI patients admitted per year to HSC.

“We know many Manitobans are affected by TBIs, be it themselves directly or the loved ones who support them through their ongoing care. MPI is pleased to support further research into this important area, which we hope will have a significant impact on those living with these injuries in communities throughout the province,” said Eric Herbelin, President and CEO, MPI.

This endowed fund will support costs related to research as well as operations, expansion, and personnel—and positions Manitoba as a global leader in TBI patient research.

“The University of Manitoba Rady Faculty of Health Sciences is delighted to partner with MPI and the HSC Foundation on this vital investment that will advance Dr. Zeiler’s TBI research and ultimately improve patient outcomes,” said Dr. Peter Nickerson, UM Vice-Provost (Health Sciences) and Dean, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences. “This is a great example of recruiting high quality talent to Manitoba and being at the forefront of research excellence. Working together with our health care partners and a community partner will allow us to make a difference in diagnosis, treatment and recovery for those experiencing traumatic brain injuries right here in Manitoba.”

About the Health Sciences Centre Foundation:
The Health Sciences Centre Foundation rallies individual, corporate, and institutional donors in support of HSC Winnipeg—Manitoba’s hospital. By inspiring Manitobans to donate, the HSC Foundation enhances patient care and accelerates innovation at HSC through the acquisition of state-of-the-art technology, the development of new clinical spaces, and the promotion of groundbreaking research. Through specific, timely, and essential investments, the HSC Foundation helps to deliver tomorrow’s health care, today.

About Manitoba Public Insurance:
Manitoba Public Insurance is a Crown corporation that is dedicated to providing exceptional coverage and service, affordable rates and safer roads through public auto insurance. MPI is also the administrator of the Personal Injury Protection Plan, which offers superior coverage for Manitobans injured in motor vehicle collisions both in Canada and the U.S. This program, which features world-class level of coverage for economic losses and rehabilitative requirements, is a key benefit of the public insurance model.

About the University of Manitoba:
The University of Manitoba is the province’s only research-intensive university, educating the majority of professionals in Manitoba. The UM is a trailblazer in many areas of learning, research and discovery, well-placed to encourage debate and discussion around the understanding of human rights, peace and justice. The UM is the repository of the records of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.