Terry Gao

National 2018 EmPOWERED to Serve Urban Health Accelerator™ Fan Favorite


While making the rounds as a medical student, Terry Gao noticed that most doctors were so busy diagnosing that they didn’t get to know their patients. Terry Gao

“For every five minutes I had control over what to do to help my patients, there were entire lifetimes they’d spend away from me,” she said. 

Gao’s defining moment came while treating a Vietnamese woman for congestive heart failure who didn’t acquire medications due to language barriers and other issues. 

Gao resolved to help her. And so her mission was born. She founded CoLab to engage patients while treating them. 

For her efforts, she was honored as the American Heart Association’s EmPOWERED To Serve Business Accelerator™ – Philadelphia First Place Finalist and received a $30,000 grant. Formerly the Urban Health Accelerator, EmPOWERED To Serve Business Accelerator is a six- to eight-week intensive training and grant that challenges participants to apply innovative, community-based solutions to urgent urban health problems. 

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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania