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Photo of Betty A. Schwartz

Betty A. Schwartz

The Betty A. Schwartz Pain Research Award is named in honour of Betty Ann Schwartz, who allocated $50,000 from her estate to be awarded to pain research. Two grants of $25,000 are available to qualified Manitoba pain researchers.

How to apply:

To apply for the Betty A. Schwartz Pain Research Award, applicants must follow the MMSF Operating Grant Guidelines and submit the Operating Grant Application Form. Along with the application form, applicants must include a cover letter clearly indicating the intention to apply for the Betty A. Schwartz Pain Research Award, including an explanation of how the application aligns with pain research.

Applications must be submitted to by 4:00 p.m. on June 15, 2023.

Researchers applying to the Betty A. Schwartz Pain Research Award are not eligible for the Shawn Lamoureux Best Overall or the Kerry Bittner Communication Awards.

About Betty Ann Schwartz

Betty Ann Schwartz was born in 1928 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to parents who had immigrated from Russia and Romania. She was raised in Pittsburgh, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology and psychology. She then pursued a master’s degree in social work at the University of Pennsylvania and became a licensed clinical social worker.

Her professional career took her to Baltimore, Maryland, where she started as a social worker. She was eventually promoted to the role of executive director of the Florence Crittenton Home, a non-profit organization focused on the needs of unwed mothers.

While in Baltimore, she also served on the faculty of the Training Institute of Planned Parenthood and was an advisor to Parents Without Partners. She was a sought-after speaker and workshop leader. In the early 1970s, Betty was recruited to assume the position of executive director of the Children’s Aid Society of Winnipeg. She retired from that role many years later.

Betty was a lifelong champion for children’s and women’s rights. She served on numerous boards, including the boards of Manitoba Blue Cross and the Mount Carmel Clinic.

Betty was the consummate “people person.” She loved conversation with anyone, anywhere, and was known for her wry sense of humor, her progressive political views, and her love of completing the New York Times crossword puzzles. She enjoyed attending plays, operas and the movies. She also loved to travel – her favorite places included Alaska, Greece, Curaçao and Las Cruces, New Mexico. An avid sports fan, Betty was devoted to the Winnipeg Jets and the Baltimore Orioles.

While Betty remained a citizen of the United States, she loved Winnipeg and made it her home for over 40 years. Her greatest joy was her summer home in Gimli on Lake Winnipeg. It was her source of peace, entertainment, and wonderful friendships with her neighbors. It was also the place she considered her “true home.” Betty passed on December 5, 2020, after a series of long illnesses.

Betty was a firm believer in giving back and donated her time as a board member to Manitoba Blue Cross. Her personal journey with illness led her to have a keen interest in medical research and scientific advances, which prompted her commitment to the work of the Manitoba Medical Service Foundation. She often expressed her support for the Foundation to family members, and she had a particular interest in the many projects the MMSF supported.

The nature of Betty’s illnesses, as well as a serious traumatic injury as a child, involved a great deal of personal physical pain. As she navigated her own journey of pain management, she became committed to the exploration and research of novel approaches to managing pain and pain-related illnesses. A trooper to the end, Betty would often share stories of how she used humor to help deflect her own experience of pain. She was known by the nurses and doctors in the hospitals she was frequently in as “the funny woman” on the ward, telling jokes and humorous stories to staff members who attended to her. Even in the midst of great pain, her humor and keen interest in others shone through, and she was a beacon to many about the strength of the human spirit.

To apply, visit our Operating Grant section to access the MMSF Operating Grant Guidelines and Application Form.