As a life-long public health advocate, Chris Sargent embraced every challenge as an opportunity. Chris served the role as Director with Alberta Health in health policy on a wide range of issues including the opioid crisis and improving health care to Aboriginal communities. Previously, he tackled health systems globally in the non-profit sector as the Managing Director of Health Technology Assessment international (HTAi) that took him around the world. Last year, Chris was diagnosed with cancer, a challenging and difficult disease, but he beat the odds of average median survival since. Unfortunately, he passed away peacefully in August 2019. Chris served as a long term and dedicated volunteer with various organizations including the Students Invested in Health Association (SIHA). SIHA, based out of the University of Alberta, is a community development organization situated in the non-governmental sector in the field of public health. SIHA works locally – in Edmonton and surrounding Alberta – and internationally, in Tanzania. Chris was a SIHA alumnus, former board member serving as Chair, and dedicated countless hours to help this organization grow and for student voices to be heard. To many of us in SIHA who have the privilege to know and work with Chris, he encourages us to be health leaders in the communities we serve whether locally or abroad. Importantly, he listened, and to this day inspires us to tackle public health’s most pressing challenges and give those less fortunate a true voice. A quote from Chris:
“What I love most about SIHA is the experience it provides the students going to Tanzania. I’ve always believed the biggest impact and learning were on us, even though our intentions were to make a difference for others. With this in mind, my hope is that this scholarship will support the continuation of this cycle – to broaden the thinking of those passionate about global health and to provide a unique leadership experience.”
The Chris Sargent Travel Award has been created to assist one student per year who is involved in SIHA’s work in Tanzania to gain international experience and continue SIHA’s legacy, in honor of Chris Sargent. The award is $1,000 and will be provided to one student per year over the next five years and hopefully beyond. The award will serve as financial relief for one of our future alumni traveling to Tanzania, to continue to do work to support grassroots change and the sustainable improvement of health. We are asking you today to be a part of this award and make a donation by supporting this student experience. With your gift, you will help us continue the fight for “Health for All” in Chris’s honor.
Thank you, Your friends at SIHA