TD awards $10 million to 10 health innovators
December 4, 2019
TORONTO – TD Bank has announced the 10 recipients of the second annual TD Ready Challenge. Each organization will receive CDN $1 million to bolster their innovative health solutions and deliver support to underserved and remote communities across Canada and the United States.
“Advances in healthcare are helping many people lead healthier lives, but research has shown that access to care is not experienced equally across all communities,” says Andrea Barrack (pictured), global head, sustainability and corporate citizenship, TD Bank Group. “Race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status and geography play a large part in one’s ability to access care. For this year’s TD Ready Challenge, we wanted to work with organizations that serve and impact patients directly.”
From over 375 submissions, TD shortlisted 15 semi-finalists who presented their solutions on November 5, 2019 in Toronto, Ontario.
These semi-finalists were then judged by a panel composed of TD executives including Greg Braca, group head, U.S. retail, TD Bank Group and president and CEO, TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank, Norie Campbell, group head, customer and colleague experience, Andrea Barrack, global head, sustainability and corporate citizenship, and Dr. Vipan Nikore, chief medical director at TD. The 10 finalists were then chosen by the panel after careful deliberation.
The successful 2019 TD Ready Challenge recipients are:
Montreal Children’s Hospital Foundation, MIPOGG – eHealth on the Front Line of Hereditary Cancer Risk Assessment in Young People – Quebec, Canada:
- An eHealth application intended to help clinicians rapidly identify children with cancer who are at a higher likelihood of having cancer predisposition syndromes (CPS). The app contains over 140 decisional algorithms that use clinical, family history, and tumor features to generate a recommendation for genetic referral and testing.
Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, Early Detection of Cancer in Hereditary Breast, Ovarian Cancer patients and Lynch Syndrome – Ontario, Canada:
- A blood test designed to predict cancer development in carriers of cancer-predisposing genes using circulating DNA and improve early cancer detection.
The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation, Princess Margaret Virtual Testis Cancer Clinic – Ontario, Canada:
- A model for future virtual care in Canada, the project aims to develop a large-scale expansion to the organization’s existing virtual testicular cancer clinic pilot program, with additional tools such as a mobile app, personalized educational resources, secure messaging, and an upgraded user interface to improve accessibility.
University of Manitoba, Kidney Check Manitoba – Manitoba, Canada:
- A new multi-provincial project to screen, triage, and treat Indigenous people living in rural and remote communities for chronic kidney disease (CKD), diabetes and high blood pressure, using portable point-of-care testing equipment.
University of Ottawa Heart Institute (UOHI), A Non-Invasive Acoustic Diagnostic Test for the Early Diagnosis of Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) – Ontario, Canada:
- Improving the early identification of CAD with a new non-invasive, five-minute test that does not require the presence of a physician through sophisticated signal processing and application of artificial intelligence algorithms.
University of Victoria, 3D Printed Prosthetics and Orthotics for Amputees and Children in North America – British Columbia, Canada:
- By utilizing advanced yet cost-effective technology (3D printing, 3D scanning, and web-based data-transfer/communications), the project aims to enable prosthetic/orthotic fabrication directly within underserved or remote communities.
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Precision Cancer Treatment Using Next-Generation Organoid Technology – New York, United States:
- Securing widespread access to precision cancer treatment with next-generation organoid technology, using 3D cell culture systems to reproduce a patient’s tumor in a dish and recapitulate tumor sensitivities to chemotherapy and other drugs.
Baystate Health Foundation, Baystate Health Bus – Massachusetts, United States:
- A mobile medical unit offering at-home health screenings, referrals and education to at-risk individuals with a low-to-moderate income, with the addition of better training of young doctors to serve urban and rural populations.
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Growing Resilience in Teens (GRIT) – Pennsylvania, United States:
- A proactive trauma screening and referral intervention for buffering children against traumatic events to combat the mental health crisis.
Fund for Public Health in New York City, Public Health Laboratory (PHL) Quickie Lab 2 Launch at the Fort Greene Sexual Health Clinic – New York, United States:
- Delivering eight Sexual Health Clinics (SHC), that provide low-to-no cost services and rapid testing to patients without seeing a clinical provider, including results returned in four hours or less through a user-friendly patient portal.
TD Ready Challenge is part of The Ready Commitment, a multi-year program targeting CDN $1 billion (USD $775 million) in total by 2030 towards community giving.
The 2019 TD Ready Challenge
Acting as a springboard for social innovation, TD established the TD Ready Challenge in 2018 to identify and support scalable solutions to a specific issue identified within The Ready Commitment.
In 2019, the problem statement for the TD Ready Challenge was to increase equitable health outcomes that focus on preventative efforts, such as screening, early detection and intervention innovations, aimed at reducing the onset, development and severity of chronic disease and other illnesses.
“A better healthcare system starts with adopting new technologies to create better outcomes,” says Dr. Vipan Nikore, chief medical director, TD Bank Group. “The benefits of initiatives like the TD Ready Challenge include exposure, validation, and of course, funding. This year’s winners will be rewarded with vital capital to help them expand the reach of new healthcare technologies and solutions. It’s truly exciting.”
About TD Bank Group
The Toronto-Dominion Bank and its subsidiaries are collectively known as TD Bank Group (“TD” or the “Bank”). TD is the sixth largest bank in North America by branches and serves more than 25 million customers in three key businesses operating in a number of locations in financial centres around the globe.