Now celebrating its 20th anniversary, the Chicago Area Schweitzer Fellows Program is a program of ASF and Health & Medicine Policy Research Group, an independent policy center that conducts research, educates, and collaborates with other groups to advocate policies and impact health systems to improve the health status of all people. The Chicago Area Schweitzer Fellows Program is dedicated to developing a pipeline of emerging professionals who enter the workforce with the skills and commitment necessary to address unmet health needs.
Since the program’s inception, 20 classes of Schweitzer Fellows in Chicago—competitively chosen from health-focused graduate student applicants in a variety of fields—have worked tirelessly to address health disparities and the social determinants of health throughout the greater Chicago area. For 10 years, the Chicago Fellows for Life Network has provided year-round events and opportunities aimed at helping alumni of the Schweitzer Fellowship continue to develop themselves as leaders in service. To read more about what being a Schweitzer Fellow in Chicago entails and to find out how to apply, please visit the application page. To see some Chicago Fellows in action in the community, click here.
Click here to download an informational brochure about the Chicago Schweitzer Fellows program, which is funded entirely by charitable donations and grants. Make a gift, make a difference!
Since 1996, 524 Schweitzer Fellows have provided over 104,000 hours of service to Chicago’s vulnerable communities. Partnering with area community-based organizations, these Fellows have addressed a wide variety of unmet health needs by creating and carrying out yearlong projects with direct service at their core. Examples include the following initiatives:
- Encouraging academic achievement in south side youth through a new tutoring/mentoring program
- Creating a social network among seniors to help reduce loneliness and isolation
- Teaching health education classes focusing on healthy foods and fitness for underserved groups
- Leading prenatal yoga classes to help expectant mothers combat stress and increase awareness and exploration of the mind-body connection
- Providing preventive dental services and oral health care education to underserved children
- Training hip-hop and spoken word artists to promote awareness of health care issues facing African Americans
Please see Fellows and Projects for a complete listing of Fellows’ service projects. When Fellows’ initial year of service ends, they carry their commitment to meeting the health needs of underserved people forward as members of the Schweitzer Fellows for Life alumni network, now more than 2,000 strong.
Chicago Schweitzer Fellows in the News
Our Fellows Speak
“I have always been interested in community service, but completing the Fellowship has taken that passion to a new level. With hard work, dedication, and help from mentors, I see the things that are possible. I did not have previous extensive experience designing and implementing a project. This year has taught me how to seek help when needed, how to be organized and assess the effectiveness of my outreach. I have grown personally and become more confident in my ability to make a change in the community.” – 2014-15 Schweitzer Fellow Laura Douglas (University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Dentistry)
“This year was one of the most challenging of my life with its share of setbacks and triumphs. The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship, without a doubt, strengthened my belief in myself and my abilities. I learned to push past the boundaries that I had set for myself and achieve more than I thought possible. When things got tough I learned that I had an amazing support system that was there to help me succeed. They taught me that asking for help, instead of giving up, is one of the strongest things a person can do. They also showed me that paying that help forward is one of the best ways to show my gratitude. As I move into my career as a pharmacist I will take all that I’ve learned from this Fellowship with me to be the best health care provider possible.” – 2014-15 Schweitzer Fellow Michael Wilcox (Chicago State University, College of Pharmacy)
Ray Wang, Program Director
Chicago Area Schweitzer Fellows Program
Health & Medicine Policy Research Group
29 E. Madison Street, Suite 602
Chicago, IL 60602-4404
T: 312-372-4292 ex. 24