West Island company and employees donate to fund COVID-19 research

Mackie Vadacchino rises to every challenge. After losing both her parents at the age of 13, she put herself through university—the first in her family to do so—receiving a BCom and an MBA at Concordia University.

“I worked at Browns Shoes during the day and went to school at night,” she says. “Morty Brownstein, the owner, became a mentor to me and was very instrumental in my business education.”

Following graduation, Vadacchino held successive positions at the Bank of Montreal, Teleglobe Canada and Gildan. After five years leading the development of a new health food business, she was offered the position of CEO at Bioforce Canada, a natural health company that distributes the products of Swiss natural health giant A. Vogel. A. Vogel started to develop products in 1923 to help people get healthy and stay healthy, naturally.  Canada, one of its first International markets, was opened in 1955 and today is still thriving, selling products to businesses across Canada. ​

“We are very proud to be associated

with the MUHC and MI4’s research.”

… Mackie Vadacchino

When the COVID-19 pandemic became a global crisis, Vadacchino and the Bioforce Canada team immediately decided they wanted to contribute to efforts to fight the outbreak. Under Vadacchino’ s leadership, A. Vogel donated $100,000 in matching funds to the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) Foundation to support the COVID-19 Emergency Fund, which will fund urgent research into COVID-19, including developing rapid testing, treatments and ultimately a cure.

A. Vogel

Bioforce Canada, located on the West Island, is a Canadian leader in high-quality natural products.

“Our MUHC teams are the hospital heroes on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. They’re caring for patients, leading numerous clinical trials to prevent and cure the virus, and working tirelessly to develop a vaccine,” says Julie Quenneville, MUHC Foundation President. “We are grateful for Mackie’s leadership and the support she and Bioforce are extending to our researchers and health care workers.”

The gift will provide funding for the McGill Interdisciplinary Initiative in Infection and Immunity (MI4), a key priority of the COVID-19 Emergency Fund. MI4 brings together over 250 researchers and 5,000 staff to create one of the largest collaborative and cross-functional teams working to curb infectious and immune threats to human health, including the COVID-19 pandemic.  Building on a partnership between the McGill Faculty of Medicine and the McGill University Health Centre, MI4 reaches across campuses, hospitals, institutes and labs, united by an ambitious plan to solve humanity’s most urgent health challenges.

Right now, MI4 researchers are testing therapeutics to prevent future outbreaks of COVID-19 and running trials with pre-existing drugs. They’re looking at ways to quickly clear health care workers from quarantine, potentially halving their isolation period from 14 to 7 days and getting them back to their urgent work. They’re evaluating public powers and accountability mechanisms in relation to emergency public health decision-making. They’re also working on a vaccine to stop the coronavirus once and for all. More than a dozen other COVID-19 projects have launched and will report findings within six months—unprecedented in research circles.

“Our founder was known as the pioneer of natural health, so we carry that forward by helping organizations pioneer new research,” says Krista Halton, Brand Manager at Bioforce Canada.

A. Vogel’s generous gift will provide matching funds to anyone who donates in support of MI4’s COVID-19 Emergency Research Fund, doubling each gift.

“With the generosity and commitment of our community, our Foundation has been powering the researchers behind MI4 as they work to solve humanity’s greatest health challenges,” says Norman Steinberg, Chairman of the Board of the MUHC Foundation. “Now more than ever before, we need their leadership.”

“A strong immune system is something that we are very passionate about because it is our business,” says Vadacchino. “We try to keep Canadians healthy, and my hope is that MI4 finds the cure, or at least can stave off the consequences of COVID-19.”

As the threat of COVID-19 increases in Canada and around the world, MI4 is ready to take the lead to stop this pandemic and save lives. With 250 experts right here in Montreal, we have the potential to become a world leader in controlling the COVID-19 pandemic.

“MI4 researchers are testing therapeutics to prevent future

outbreaks of COVID-19 and running trials with pre-existing drugs.”

“[The MUHC Foundation] is such a good cause,” says Vadacchino. “If this would have happened at any other time it would be a good cause, but right now I don’t see how anyone wouldn’t want to help. We are very proud to be associated with the MUHC in general, and MI4’s research in particular.”

Please consider making a gift in support of the critical work of MI4. Your donation will help us in the fight to stop COVID-19.

One gift, twice the impact. A. Vogel Echinaforce will match your gift to the COVID-19 Emergency Fund, dollar for dollar, to a maximum of $100,000. Your gift will have double the impact!

Make a gift to the MUHC Foundation today and double your impact at https://muhcf.akaraisin.com/ui/emergency