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2017 SBSAL winners announced

2017 SBSAL winners announced

Dr. Hasan Merali and Dr. Kristen Barton were recognized on April 30, 2017 for their outstanding leadership skills, as the 2017 recipients of the Sandra Banner Student Award for Leadership. The award, which recognizes the exceptional leadership of one undergraduate medical student and one postgraduate medical trainee, was presented at the Canadian Conference on Medical Education (CCME) on April 30, 2017 in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

The Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS) Board of Directors launched the Sandra Banner Student Award for Leadership (SBSAL) in 2013 with the aim of encouraging the development of future leaders in medicine. Each of this year’s winners will receive up to $3,000 in leadership development funding.

2017-SBSAL-undergrad-Kristen-BartonDr. Kristen Barton, the 2017 undergraduate SBSAL recipient, previously completed the Integrated 4+1 BSc/MSc Program the Faculty in Kinesiology at the University of Calgary, where she completed both degrees within five years. Currently, as a combined MD/PhD student the University of Calgary, she is in the “Leaders in Medicine” program. Dr. Barton successfully defended her PhD thesis in 2016 in joint injury and arthritis research and plans to pursue a career in orthopedic surgery after medical school. Her career goal is to continue to promote health outcomes to improve the lives of Canadians who suffer from chronic conditions, such as osteoarthritis. She has found a passion in educating youth and adults involved with high-level sport on sports injuries and post-traumatic osteoarthritis.

“I would like to express my heartfelt appreciation for your generosity in providing this award. It is an honor to be recognized for my hard work in leadership development and programming, and receiving this scholarship motivates me to continue to strive for excellence,” said Dr. Barton. “Your generosity has made a profound impact on the Leaders in Medicine Executive Leadership Coaching Program at the University of Calgary, and I am truly grateful to be the recipient of the 2017 Sandra Banner Student Award for Leadership.”

2017-SBSAL-postgrad-Hasan MeraliDr. Hasan Merali, the 2017 postgraduate SBSAL recipient, is a second-year academic fellow at the Centre for Global Child Health, The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), where he also practices pediatric emergency medicine. He obtained his undergraduate degree in Middle Eastern Studies from Columbia University and his medical degree from Harvard Medical School. He completed his residency in pediatrics at Massachusetts General Hospital and his fellowship in pediatric emergency medicine at SickKids. In 2015, he was awarded the highest scholarship at Johns Hopkins University, the Sommer Scholarship, to complete his Master’s in Public Health. He is a co-author on 11 peer-reviewed articles and two book chapters, and was awarded a three-year grant from the American Academy of Pediatrics to implement the Helping Babies Breathe program in rural Cambodia. Most recently, he co-developed a three-week Specialized Newborn Care Education (SNCE) program at the SickKids Centre for Global Child Health aimed at reducing neonatal mortality in Malawi, Ethiopia and Tanzania.

“Unfortunately, there are still 2.7 million newborn deaths globally each year, with the majority being preventable. My goal is to continue to assist healthcare providers in low-income countries to build capacity and save newborn lives,” said Dr. Merali. “I am thankful for this award, which will allow me to obtain specialized leadership training in Global Healthcare Delivery that I will use throughout my career.”

For information on the Sandra Banner Student Award for Leadership and full winner bios, please visit