On May 15th, the Center for Advancing Neurotechnological Innovation for Application (CRANIA) was launched as a joint initiative between the University Health Network (UHN) and the University of Toronto (UofT). The CRANIA project focuses on research and solutions for medical conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, depression and more.
The CRANIA project came to life when the Walter & Maria Schroeder Foundation gifted the Toronto Rehab Foundation $20 million establishing the Walter & Maria Schroeder Institute for Brain Innovation & Recovery to research innovative solutions for brain disorders.
The CRANIA project centers around Neuromodulation, a rapidly progressing medical practice involving the use of sophisticated devices that can be implanted on a patient’s brain, spinal cord or peripheral nerves. These devices regulate neuronal activity to help alleviate symptoms associated with these diseases. CRANIA involves a unique team of researchers, computer scientists, engineers, mathematicians and physicians all working together under the center’s initiatives.
CRANIA’s diverse team is utilizing the innovative and advanced technology to better map how these diseases affect a person’s brain. Through their efforts, symptoms of these terrible diseases can be better assessed and treated than ever before.
In early 2018, the Walter & Maria Schroeder Foundation pledged $10 million dollars to three underprivileged high schools located in Winnipeg. St. John’s High School, one of the schools to receive the grant, has students who live in a largely single-parent household community where the median income is $40,000. A major issue for students in this community is access to a sustainable and healthy food program.
This year, with the help of the Walter & Maria Schroeder Foundation, St. John’s High School unveiled its brand new Tiger Cafe, an affordable lunch and breakfast program for students. Tiger Cafe offers a communal environment where students can enjoy delicious meals prepared by the school’s new cafeteria. From pancakes and eggs to lemon chicken and lasagna, these meals are prepared in a transformed cafeteria with state-of-the-art cooking and kitchen appliances.
The new affordable lunch program offers students free breakfast and $2.50 lunches – every day of the week for the entire school year. Meals are prepared fresh and emphasize the nutritional needs a busy high school student deserves. The program is a success drawing excited reviews from students who now look forward to eating their school breakfast and lunch with their peers.
The principal of St John’s, Doug Taylor, says the positive effect of the Tiger Cafe is “a game-changer… [The lunch program] is making a difference. Students are staying here, students are eating.”
The program which is estimated to cost $400,000 a year is fully covered by the grant received from the Walter & Maria Schroeder Foundation.