Inaugural Breakthrough Challenge a Success – See List of Winners

On November 29, Women’s College Hospital (WCH), in partnership with Women’s College Hospital Foundation (WCHF), hosted the first inaugural Breakthrough Challenge, where three teams pitched their research, education and quality improvement ideas to panelists and donors in a bid to win funding for their projects.

Breakthrough Challenge finalists, panelists and senior leadership standing on stairwell smiling at camera.

Dr. Dana Ross secured the top spot, earning the Karen Green Courage Award and $100,000 for her project “Transforming Healthcare Through Trauma-Informed Care Education.” Backed by her fellow mental health team, she will develop, deliver and evaluate an online, self-paced course covering universal principles and skills for delivering trauma-informed care.

Dr. Dana Ross standing alongside George Fisher and Dr. Rulan Parekh while holding up "Karen Green Courage Award" certificate.

The late Karen Green was a member of WCH’s 100Women affinity group, a community of leading women philanthropists committed to driving change for the future of healthcare. Through her estate, she sparked the idea of the Breakthrough Challenge – and through her legacy gift – is funding the first-place prize of $100,000.

“She was a champion of women’s health, wanting to see a world where everyone has access to the care they deserve,” said David Green, Karen’s brother. “We are thrilled her legacy lives on in this hospital, a place she loved so dearly. The creation of the Breakthrough Challenge is the perfect testimony to all that she believed in, and we are so proud that her legacy will continue through this event, and the Karen Green Courage award.”

When 100Women members learned of what she was enabling, they leapt at the opportunity to be a part of it as well, helping to fund an additional prize.

Chandra Farrer and Dr. Andrew Kouri, secured second place, earning the Breakthrough Challenge award and $100,000 for their project, “My Lung Health Coach – A Virtual COPD Self-Management Support Program.” Their team will create a free virtual program that offers self-management and education for patients living with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, a common chronic condition that affects the lungs.

Dr. Andrew Kouri and Chandra Farrer standing alongside George Fisher holding up their "2023 Breakthrough Challenge Award" certificate.

Breaking through barriers and advancing health equity means leveraging technology, innovation, and novel care approaches to not only enhance the patient care experience, but to tackle widespread challenges within the healthcare system. Congratulations to the winning teams and thank you to everyone who participated – especially to our donor community – who made this event possible!

To learn more about the Breakthrough Challenge, visit: