Southern Medical Program (SMP) students Alysson Hamilton and Leah Trippell are this year’s recipients of the Reichwald Family Foundation Southern Medical Program award. The annual award acknowledges excellence in academics, leadership, and community service.
Originally from Salmon Arm, Alysson Hamilton studied Biology at Okanagan College, University of Calgary, and Lakehead University while competing in cross-country skiing as part of the National Ski Team. She serves as a volunteer ski coach and the BC representative on the Women’s Committee for the National Sport Organization. Hamilton is passionate about wellness and preventative medicine. During her medical studies, she supports her classmates as the Wellness Initiative Network representative and Year 2 Lead for MIND, the Mental Illness Network for Destigmatization. In addition, she has worked with Small Steps for Big Changes, a community-health research project focused on exercise and diet intervention for people with prediabetes
Leah Trippell completed a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and Anthropology at Vancouver Island University, close to her hometown of Parksville. She was in the midst of completing an accelerated Nursing program at the University of New Brunswick before gaining admission to medical school. Throughout her studies, Trippell has been actively engaged in the community by supporting Narcan distribution with a local outreach team, volunteering with the Sexual Assault Response Team, and serving as President of the local chapter of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. She also helped lead the SMP’s Healthcare Travelling Roadshow, aimed at recruiting the next generation of rural healthcare professionals.
The SMP community was saddened by the passing of Mr. Klaus Reichwald earlier this year. Mr. Reichwald and his wife, Lydia have been ardent supporters of the SMP including the creation of the Reichwald Family UBC Southern Medical Program Chair in Preventive Medicine and the annual award for students. The academic home of the program at UBC Okanagan will forever bear their family name, the Reichwald Health Sciences Centre.