SUKHMEET Singh Sachal, a UBC medical student, was recognized this week for his outstanding leadership skills, as the 2022 recipient of the Sandra Banner Student Award for Leadership (SBSAL).
The Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS) Board of Directors launched the SBSAL in 2013 with the aim of encouraging the development of future leaders in medicine.
The annual award recognizes the exceptional leadership of one undergraduate medical student and one postgraduate medical trainee. Each of this year’s winners will receive up to $3,000 in leadership development funding.
Sachal, the 2022 Undergraduate Winner in Canada, is an award-winning social entrepreneur, speaker, author, and humanitarian. As a medical student, he serves as the Health and Wellness Ambassador for the Canadian Medical Association, and a member of the Council of Health Promotion for Doctors of BC.
He is also the co-founder of Break The Divide Foundation, an international organization which connects youth globally with one another to discuss climate change and mental health, and drive local solutions to global problems.
Sachal is the founder of the Sikh Health Foundation, which aims to improve public health interventions in South Asian communities across Canada.
During the pandemic, this charity made waves globally for creating awareness about COVID-19 in a culturally effective manner. Through his advocacy and innovations, he received $175,000 in funding to help bring an end to COVID-19 and inform policy changes at the national level.
Sachal has been named as one of Canada’s Emerging Leaders, been recognized by Dr. Theresa Tam in helping keep Canadians safe, and recently honored as one of ten COVID-19 Commonwealth Youth Heroes worldwide.
His love for research, medicine, innovation, and his effective leadership skills have resulted in Sachal being named this year’s undergraduate recipient of the Sandra Banner Student Award for Leadership.
IN his acceptance speech, Sukhmeet Singh Sachal said: “I would like to thank CaRMS for naming me as the recipient of the prestigious Sandra Banner Student Award for Leadership. In Sikhism, there is a concept known as Seva, which means selfless service. Throughout my life, I have been fortunate to have many wonderful mentors who have guided me to this path of selfless service.
“Having gone through medical school through a pandemic was challenging to say the least. However, seeing the heroic actions of physicians, allied health workers, and my fellow medical student colleagues inspired me to take action.
“A lot of what I do stems from seeing the problems or barriers around me and trying to find ways to work with community members to enact change. This is how the Sikh Health Foundation was born.
“I am proud that this organization has helped educate over 250,000 people across Canada since the pandemic started. As well, the organization now serves as a hub for youth to get involved with research, knowledge translation, and enacting policy changes.
“I would like to thank the entire CaRMS committee for this honour. I dedicate this award to every single person across Canada who did their part to help bring an end to this pandemic. As we continue into new health challenges, I urge us all to bring out the leaders within us to continue making a difference.”