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Need to talk to someone? 

Call us at (587) 782-3259 or email us to connect.

WCCHN Presents BoostUp: A Cardiac Pitch Competition

Great ideas deserve a boost.

Do you have an idea about how to help cardiac kids or their families? Is your pediatric heart project ready to take the next step? Stop waiting for the pieces to fall into place – get the boost you need to launch and succeed from WCCHN.

BoostUp is a unique and entirely virtual pediatric cardiac pitch competition designed to give good ideas a leg up. Innovators and change-makers across Western Canada are invited to pitch their ideas for a chance to receive seed funding up to $10,000.

Open to the entire WCCHN community, BoostUp is the embodiment of our commitment to supporting grassroots ideas that can positively impact the lives of cardiac children and families in Western Canada. Whether you’re a clinician, hospital administrator, care provider, parent or member of the public, if you have a good idea, we want to hear it!

The inaugural BoostUp virtual pitch competition took place on February 8, 2022.

The next will be Heart Week February 9, 2023. Applications to pitch open October 1. 

The inaugural WCCHN BoostUp Pitch Competition was an astounding success! 19 applications for funding were submitted, 8 finalists were selected to pitch and 4 judges awarded over $30,000 in seed funding to support important heart projects.


Winning pitches:

Audience Favourite - The 3D Heart Project

By combining their work on 3D printed heart models with an online open education forum, this project will improve teaching and learning for congenital heart disease at all levels - from patients and families to the teams who care for them.


  • Carolina Escudero (Pediatric Cardiologist, Asst. Professor of Pediatrics, Stollery Children's Hospital and University of Alberta)
  • Charles Larson (Pediatric Intensivist, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Program Director for Pediatric Critical Care)
  • Cody Wesley (Designer, University of Alberta, Academic Technologies)
  • Trina Bloemen (Designer, University of Alberta, Academic Technologies)
  • Nicole Pernal (Designer, University of Alberta, Academic Technologies)
  • Patrick von Hauff (Designer, University of Alberta, Academic Technologies)
  • Michael McNally (Associate Professor, Faculty of Education)
  • Michelle Noga (Radiologist, Professor of Radiology and Diagnostic Imaging, MAHI MIC Chair in Cardiac Imaging, Stollery Children’s Hospital and University of Alberta)
  • Jared Sheridan (Pediatric Cardiology Subspecialty Resident, University of Alberta)


  • Brianne Hall (patient partner)
  • Kim Myers (Pediatric Cardiologist, Alberta Children’s Hospital)
  • David Patton (Pediatric Cardiologist, Alberta Children’s Hospital)


  • Robert Hood (Echocardiographer, Royal University Hospital, Saskatoon)


  • Daryl Schantz (Pediatric Cardiologist, Children’s Heart Center, HSC Winnipeg)


  • Kevin Harris (Pediatric Cardiologist, BC Children’s Hospital)


  • Jennifer Graham (Interim President, Canadian Congenital Heart Alliance [CCHA])


Judge's Choice Award - CHAMPS Camp

CHAMPS Camp in Saskatchewan is tried, tested and true. By establishing a formal model, backed by evidence and research, this type of child-focused cardiac rehab could be replicated more easily in other parts of the Network. This means even more kids will benefit from the physical activity, heart health, and mental health supports they need to be able to look after themselves as they grow into adulthood.

Mending Little Hearts Fund of Saskatchewan:

  • Dana Lahti
  • Lynne Telfer
  • Juanita Praksas
  • Anna Maton

Jim Pattison Children's Hospital:

  • Dr. Charissa Pockett
  • Dr. Tim Bradley
  • Dr. Scott Pharis
  • Marie Penner, RN

University of Saskatchewan:

  • Dr. Marta Erlandson
  • Dr. Corey Tomczak

University of Regina:

  • Dr. Kristi Wright


Wildcard - Western Canadian Single Ventricle Registry

By leveraging the existing connection across network sites, this registry will advance the care of infants, children and adolescents with single ventricle forms of congenital heart disease by collecting and analyzing the data. This will lead to innovation in quality improvement, increased research engagement and efficiency, and improved patient outcomes.

Stollery Children’s Hospital:

  • Cardiology: Andrew Mackie, Jennifer Conway, Carolina Escudero, Joseph Atallah, Konstantin Averin, Leanne Meakins, Lisa Hornberger, Luke Eckersley, Michael Khoury, Simon Urschel
  • NICU: Matt Hicks
  • PCICU: Lindsay Ryerson
  • Cardiac Anesthesia: Paula Holinski
  • Cardiac Surgery: Mohammed Al Aklabi

Mazankowski Adult Congenital Cardiology:

  • Isabelle Vonder Muhll

Children’s Heart Center, HSC Winnipeg:

  • Dion Pepelassis

BC Children’s Hospital Pediatric Cardiology: 

  • Steven Rathgeber

Alberta Children’s Hospital Pediatric Cardiology: 

  • Steven Greenway

Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital Pediatric Cardiology: 

  • Tim Bradley

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