Main menu

Previous winners

 2017 undergraduate winner

2017-SBSAL-undergrad-Kristen-BartonDr. Kristen Barton
Dr. Kristen Barton 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.

Dr. Barton has been heavily involved with on-campus student programs including the Leaders in Medicine Executive, the Cumming School of Medicine Faculty Council, the Council of Foothills Departmental Graduate Association, and the Graduate Students’ Association Senior Leadership Team. Further to this, she is the Assistant Coach of the University of Calgary Dinos Women’s Soccer Team and an exercise physiologist for both the University of Calgary Active Living Joint Effort Program and Sport Injury Prevention Centre. Currently, she serves on the Undergraduate Medical Education Student Appeals Committee and the Student Academic Review Committee.

Dr. Barton has been honoured several times for her outstanding academic and leadership skills, most notably the Vanier Canada Gradate Scholarship, the Alberta Innovates Health Solutions MD/PhD Graduate Studentship, the Alberta Graduate Citizenship Award (five times consecutively), and the Dr. Lydia Sikora Memorial Award.

2017 postgraduate winner

2017-SBSAL-postgrad-Hasan MeraliDr. Hasan Merali
Dr. Hasan Merali is a second-year academic fellow at the Centre for Global Child Health, The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), where he also practices paediatric 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 paediatrics at Massachusetts General Hospital and his fellowship in paediatric 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. He has delivered the education in Malawi and will be teaching it in June in Tanzania. A total of 135 frontline health workers will be trained in SNCE through nine rounds of courses, as part of The Canada-Africa Initiative to Address Maternal, Newborn and Child Mortality (CAIA-MNCM). This is a program implemented by a consortium of Canadian organizations funded by Global Affairs Canada.

Dr. Merali also holds an Associate title at the Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, where he works with the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit. His current research focus is examining factors associated with child passenger helmet use in Cambodia. In addition, he holds research funding to utilize novel methods to estimate helmet use in Bangkok, Thailand.

2016 undergraduate winner

Christopher Charles
Christopher Charles, PhD is an epidemiologist with extensive experience in the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of large public health nutrition projects aimed at improving the lives of disadvantaged rural women and children in Asia. Christopher has a PhD in Biomedical Science and Population Medicine from the University of Guelph, Canada and is currently completing a medical degree at the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine, McMaster University, Canada.

Christopher is the inventor of the Lucky Iron Fish™, a novel, in-home iron fortification technique currently in use in over 75,000 households around the world. He has worked as a public health and nutrition consultant for various NGOs and UN agencies in the region, and advises the Cambodian Ministry of Health in the development of national nutrition policy. His research interests are related to healthy equity and social justice, food-based approaches to improving nutrition, maternal and child health, and innovative methods of improving food security. Christopher will begin his residency training in Anesthesiology at the University of Toronto this summer.

Click here to view the press release.

2016 postgraduate winner

Ashley Miller
Ashley Miller is a fourth year resident in General Internal Medicine at Memorial University of Newfoundland, where she completed her core internal medicine residency training. She is a graduate of the MD program at the University of Ottawa, where she was selected as an inaugural participant in the leadership curriculum. Her clinical interests include complex chronic disease and end of life care, and she aspires to cultivate a career that will combine generalist practice with health policy leadership and administration.

Ashley’s journey through medical school and residency has been defined by her multiple contributions to the Canadian medical education and health policy environments. As Vice President of Advocacy for the Canadian Federation of Medical Students, she lobbied for enhanced socioeconomic diversity through medical school admissions. In her various roles on the board of Resident Doctors of Canada, most recently as Vice President, Ashley has been a strong advocate for socially accountable physician resource planning. She is a longstanding member of the Canadian Doctors for Medicare board, where she has been privileged to learn from inspiring champions for evidence based health care reform. She is an active contributor at the local level, as resident board member for the Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association and key contributor in the development of her newly accredited subspecialty training program.

Click here to view the press release.

2015 undergraduate winner


Eve Purdy
Eve Purdy is a graduating fourth-year medical student, soon to be emergency medicine resident, at Queen’s University with a passion for education delivery, scholarship and leadership. Throughout her time at Queen’s she has advocated for her peers on a number of school committees. These efforts have precipitated a focused curriculum on resiliency and she continues to champion an evaluation of the medical student learning environment.

Eve’s inquisitive and collaborative nature contextualize her significant involvement in the world of Free Open Access Medical Education. Online, she has emerged as a leader through her blog, as an advisor to, as a social media coordinator for the CFMS, as a student organizer of the international Social Media and Critical Care Conference, and as an editor for and the MedICs case series. She consistently uses skills and knowledge gained in these roles to shape the educational milieu at her home institution, finding and creating ways to contribute as a lecturer, facilitator, curriculum developer, and mentor. Eve deliberately fosters a positive online space for Queen’s students and faculty to interact. A scholar at heart, she is dedicated to investigating how online resources and environments affect learning and the most important downstream outcome, patient care. To strengthen her ability to perform high-quality research and continue innovating in the domain of education, she intends to complete a Masters in Medical Education to which this award will be applied.

Click here to view the press release.

2015 postgraduate winner


Jesse Kancir
Jesse Kancir is a resident physician at the University of British Columbia in Public Health and Preventive Medicine and a 2014-2015 Chevening Scholar at the University of Cambridge where he is a Masters of Philosophy candidate in Public Policy focusing on innovation and system integration in healthcare. He is a 2014-2015 Action Canada Fellow and also currently serves as a public member on the Board of the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada.

Jesse’s background blends experiences from the public, private, academic, and not-for-profit sectors to shape his interests in health and medicine. His interests in medical education and health policy have their roots in his undergraduate work at the University of Waterloo and his graduate training at the London School of Economics where he was awarded the Brian Abel-Smith Prize for best performance in the International Health Policy (Health Economics) program.

While completing his medical training at the University of Toronto, Jesse was involved with several efforts that increased the presence of medical humanities in undergraduate medical teaching. He also maintained active involvement in student leadership activities at the local, provincial, and national level. He served as the President of the Canadian Federation of Medical Students and as Board Director of the Canadian Medical Association and the Canadian Resident Matching Service.

Click here to view the press release.


Sarah McIsaac

Sarah McIsaac
Sarah is a strong advocate for innovation in healthcare education and continues to work towards fostering an environment of cooperative, collaboration and leadership amongst medical students, residents and staff alike.  Sarah graduated with honours from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland in 2010.

During her medical undergraduate career in Ireland her leadership skills and interest in education expanded through activities such as Sports Union Captain and peer led lecturer. Returning to Canada for her residency training, Sarah is indebted to the mentorship of her program directors Dr. Desiree Persaud and Dr. Rob Anderson. Through a collaborative team approach, Sarah worked on the creation, design and implementation of an innovative e-learning platform for postgraduate anesthesiology trainees at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine.

In addition, Sarah took on many leadership roles during her residency training. She is the current assistant chief resident of the University of Ottawa/NOSM Anesthesiology program. She also takes an active role in provincial leadership and is the current resident representative on the OMA Section of Anesthesiology executive committee.

Click here to view the press release.


Paxton Bach

Paxton Bach
Paxton has a strong interest in global health and health advocacy. He filled various local, national and international leadership positions during his time as a medical student at Queen’s University, including serving as the 2011-12 Vice President Global Health of the Canadian Federation of Medical Students, as well as the President of CFMS-Canada to the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations.

In these roles, he helped support student-run programs, steer advocacy initiatives and foster improved global health opportunities for medical students across the country.

Click here to view the press release.