Saskatoon hospital foundations offer support to USask’s VIDO

November 25, 2021

SASKATOON – Three of Saskatoon’s hospital foundations have partnered to donate $230,000 in support of Canada’s Centre for Pandemic Research at the University of Saskatchewan’s (USask) Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO).

The foundations’ CEOs — Arla Gustafson of the Royal University Hospital Foundation, Brynn Boback-Lane of the Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital Foundation, and Steve Shannon of the Saskatoon City Hospital Foundation — said the donation is meant to honour the hard work of front-line doctors, nurses, medical, support staff and research initiatives across the hospitals and Saskatchewan.

According to the hospital foundations, contributing to research in the search to save lives for future infectious diseases is one way to honour front-line health-care workers while also creating a safer future for everyone.

Dr. Volker Gerdts (DVM), VIDO’s director and CEO, said he is extremely grateful for this generous support from the community.

“This investment in Canada’s Centre for Pandemic Research will help ensure we are prepared for the next emerging infectious disease, so our health-care system hopefully never has to face a pandemic of this magnitude again,” said Gerdts.

The new gift adds to the support received from other private donors and all levels of government to establish VIDO as Canada’s Centre for Pandemic Research. This funding will help expand VIDO’s infrastructure and support research.

With the addition of global scientific leaders and enhanced training, VIDO will be poised to lead Canada’s response to future pandemic threats.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, USask’s VIDO took a national leadership role. The organization is continuing to move forward with clinical trials and announced positive interim Phase 1 results for COVAC-2, one of VIDO’s COVID-19 vaccine candidates, this past summer.


For more information, contact:

Trenna Brusky
VIDO Marketing Co-ordinator

Victoria Dinh
USask Media Relations

About the Royal University Hospital Foundation: The Royal University Hospital (RUH) Foundation was established in 1983 and has since raised and invested more than $155 million of donor funds into innovative research, education, and patient care priorities for health care advancements at Saskatchewan Health Authority’s Royal University Hospital and the USask College of Medicine. Working together with stakeholders, donors and medical teams, we help to save lives.

About the Saskatoon City Hospital Foundation: Established in 1983, the Saskatoon City Hospital Foundation raises money to enhance care at Saskatoon City Hospital. Donors have raised more than $50 million to equip the hospital in its role as a provincial leader in eye care, gynecology, day surgery, orthopedics, rehabilitation, and breast health-care. The foundation also supports medical teaching and research through programs such as the Cameco MS Neuroscience Research Centre.

About the Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital Foundation: Founded in 1992, the Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital Foundation inspires philanthropy by connecting communities to support the Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital to provide specialized maternal and children’s health care throughout the province and pursue the advancement of innovative research.

About the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization: The University of Saskatchewan’s (USask) Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO) is internationally recognized for its role in vaccine development and is one of Canada’s national science facilities. VIDO has a 45-year history of vaccine development and commercialization—eight of its vaccines have been sold commercially, and six have been described as world-firsts. The ~150-member organization operates using an ISO:9001 certified management system in state-of-the-art containment Level 2 and 3 facilities. VIDO receives operating support from the Canada Foundation for Innovation Major Science Initiatives program and the Government of Saskatchewan through Innovation Saskatchewan and the Ministry of Agriculture.

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