Melbourne, Florida - February 17, 2016 - The Preeclampsia Foundation announced today the establishment of Preeclampsia Foundation Canada, a designated affiliate of the Preeclampsia Foundation. The new Canadian affiliate shares the Foundation’s mission to reduce maternal and infant illness and death due to preeclampsia, HELLP syndrome, and other hypertensive disorders of pregnancy.

Preeclampsia Foundation Executive Director Eleni Tsigas had this to say about the announcement, “There has been such a strong interest from our Canadian supporters to bring the Foundation’s programs and services to Canada, and with the formation of Preeclampsia Foundation Canada we will be able to do that.

“As part of our Canadian affiliate’s launch, we are pleased to announce that applications are now being accepted for its 2016 Vision Grant program. With this program there is a possibility for two medical research Vision Grants, worth $20,000 each, that will be awarded to researchers in Canada who are studying preeclampsia and related hypertensive disorders of pregnancy.”

Vision Grants are in place to provide initial funding for novel, innovative research by promising investigators in the field. This will help advance progress being made towards detection, prevention, or treatment of preeclampsia, HELLP syndrome, and other hypertensive disorders of pregnancy. Post-Doctoral, Clinical Fellows, or Early Stage Investigators only are eligible to apply. Projects with the potential to alter clinical management and improve patient outcomes will receive priority, but any well-considered research proposal will be accepted for review.

Similar to the inception of the organization in America more than 15 years ago, Preeclampsia Foundation Canada has been formed by a group of committed preeclampsia and HELLP syndrome survivors. These people recognize the need for a national organization to serve as a resource and collective voice for Canadian women and families affected by hypertensive disorders of pregnancy. Preeclampsia Foundation Canada will leverage the brand awareness, visibility, history, and success of the Preeclampsia Foundation in its mission to improve patient education and fund new research.

Preeclampsia Foundation Canada has secured non-profit status under the Canada Revenue Agency (Charity BN/Registration #82296 8566 R0001) and elected its first Board of Directors: Violet Mateljan, Tracey MacCharles, and Eleni Tsigas. These women have all agreed to serve as the affiliate’s first board during this start-up period. Each of these advocates experienced the worst of preeclampsia – Violet lost her first grandchild to the condition, Tracey lost her daughter, and Eleni also lost a daughter – all unbearable losses that drive their passion.

“We look forward to welcoming many others to be part of our efforts,” said Mateljan, a resident of Fonthill, Ontario. “We are also pleased that leading Canadian physicians and researchers in the field have expressed great interest in supporting the creation of this Canadian affiliate.”

Preeclampsia Foundation Canada is advised by a medical board, comprised of top medical and scientific experts in preeclampsia and related fields in Canada. The Medical Advisory Board members of Preeclampsia Foundation Canada are:

  • Dr. Emmanuel Bujold, Universite Laval, Quebec City, Quebec
  • Dr. Isabella Caniggia, Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, Ontario
  • Dr. Sandra Davidge, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta
  • Dr. Michael E. Helewa, St. Boniface Hospital, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba
  • Dr. Michelle Hladunewich, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, Ontario
  • Dr. John Kingdom, Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, Ontario
  • Dr. Graeme Smith, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario

“We’re especially excited to join forces with volunteers who have a passion for the Foundation’s mission,” said Tracey MacCharles, a HELLP syndrome survivor and resident of Halifax, NS. “For families and friends impacted by preeclampsia, volunteering is a great way to make a difference in saving the lives of mothers and their babies.”

Anyone interested in volunteering or fundraising for Preeclampsia Foundation Canada can email Tracey MacCharles at or visit for more information.

The Vision Grant application deadline is May 13, 2016, with award notification on August 19, 2016.  Instructions to apply can be found here.


For more information please contact:

Debbie Helton

(321) 421-6957                       


About the Vision Grant Award program: According to the World Health Organization, preeclampsia is one of the least funded areas of research, especially when considered against Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALYs). The Preeclampsia Foundation’s Vision Grants help to fund medical research pertaining to the pathophysiology, diagnosis, and treatment of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy.


About the Preeclampsia Foundation: The Preeclampsia Foundation is a U.S.-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization established in 2000.  As the nation’s only patient advocacy organization dedicated to hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, the Foundation works to achieve its mission by raising public awareness, providing patient support and education, improving healthcare practices, and catalyzing research.  The Foundation envisions a world where preeclampsia and related hypertensive disorders of pregnancy no longer threaten the lives of mothers and their babies. For more information, visit