Cervical cancer research lab opens at Providence Care Hospital

From the left, Allison Philpot (Executive Director of Medical Affairs, Patient Flow & Research for Providence Care), Cathy Szabo (President and CEO of Providence Care), Kamran Ayagh (founder of PapEasy), Kingston Mayor Paterson, Dr. Karen Yeates (the founder of WEMA Inc.), Donna Gillespie (CEO of Kingston Economic Development), and Ben McIlquham (Investment Manager of Health Innovation for Kingston Economic Development) at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for new cervical cancer screening space at Providence Care Hospital. Photo via Kingston Economic Development.

Providence Care Hospital has officially cut the ribbon on a research space that will welcome women dedicated health care innovation companies WEMA Inc. and PapEasy.

At a ceremony on Wednesday, Apr. 10, 2024, Kingston Mayor Bryan Paterson along with officials with Kingston Economic Development, Providence Care, and Queen’s University, were on hand to physically cut the ribbon and officially open the cervical cancer screening research space.

“Providence Care is proud to be a member of this innovative partnership between industry, academic health science and the municipality. Today we celebrate this new partnership, advancement in research and care for patients in the area of cervical cancer. It is not lost on me that we are advancing women’s health in a highly successful health care organization that was founded largely by women, the Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul. Considering this, I see a special magic in this particular partnership,” said Allison Philpot, Executive Director of Medical Affairs, Patient Flow & Research for Providence Care.

“This is an exciting time for healthcare innovation and an opportunity to enhance the quality of life for women in our community. The new space at Providence Care Hospital is a great example of what we need to keep moving forward with new ideas. Congratulations to all involved in this partnership and their ongoing dedication to innovation!” Mayor Paterson expressed.

Dr. Karen Yeates, the founder of WEMA Inc., will continue her work to improve women’s health equity through mobile approaches within the research space at Providence Care Hospital, according to a release from Kingston Economic Development. Kamran Ayagh of PapEasy, will continue the organization’s work creating a preventative healthcare device that allows women to self-screen for cervical cancer, a preventable and treatable cancer that continues to claim half a million lives worldwide. Kingstonist spoke with Dr. Yeates and Ayagh about the project late last year.

“As we step into this new research space at Providence Care Hospital, we are energized by the opportunity to further advance mobile health solutions, particularly in the realm of cervical cancer screenings. Our commitment remains steadfast in improving healthcare access through innovative technologies, ultimately striving for equitable health outcomes for all women,” Dr. Yeates stated.

“The inauguration of our research space at Providence Care Hospital marks a significant leap forward in revolutionizing gynecological care,” added Ayagh.

“With our self-testing methodologies for cervical cancer screening, we aim to empower women globally, improve patient experience and access to care, contribute to mass testing addressing the screening backlog and ultimately save lives from a preventable and treatable cancer. This partnership underscores our dedication to driving positive change in women’s health on a global scale,” he expressed.

Kingston Economic Development said that with the collaboration of these leading organizations, the future of women’s health care is brighter, promising improved access, innovation and ultimately, better health outcomes for women everywhere.

“It is an exciting milestone for Kingston’s health and life sciences sector with the opening of new commercial research and development space at Province Care Hospital,” said Donna Gillespie, Chief Executive Officer of Kingston Economic Development Corporation.

“The added lab infrastructure to support health innovations has been created thanks to strong partnerships and a community focus on advancing the success of early-stage healthcare ventures. Congratulations to Providence Care for their commitment to advancing research and business ventures in Kingston.”

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