New Hampshire / Vermont
FELLOWS AND PROJECTS
Stephen Barba and William Seefried, Temple University Maurice H. Kornberg School of Dentistry
Seefried and Barba will work to improve oral health in underserved
populations by administering dental educational programming. They will
undertake initiatives to both raise awareness of the importance of oral
health and teach quality practices for oral hygiene.
Community Site: Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission
Kara Cohen, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing
Cohen will address the podiatric concerns of homeless individuals living
in Philadelphia. She will provide foot soaks and evaluations to
homeless consumers, as well as empower participants to take an active
role in their health by providing targeted health information. Cohen
will utilize participant feedback to tailor the services to the needs of
Philadelphia’s homeless population, as well as to create a holistic and
restorative experience for the participants.
Community Site: Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission
Phoebe Dacha and Alicia Howard, Drexel University College of Medicine
Dacha and Howard will serve low-income youth in the West Philadelphia
area through “Foundation to Success” (FTS)—a project that seeks to
assist participants in successfully navigating the pathway to higher
education. FTS will provide math, science, and writing tutoring
sessions; introduce post-secondary resources; conduct public
health-related workshops; and involve youth participants in group
community service initiatives—all aimed at guiding participants toward
higher levels of education and preventing the future development of
general adverse health outcomes.
Community Site: ACHIEVEability
Samantha Davis and Rachel Thomas, Jefferson School of Population Health
Davis and Thomas aim to improve the health, well-being, and self-esteem of 6th- and 7th-grade girls by working with them on topics such as body image, nutrition, life skills and long-term goals.
Community Site: TBD
Roland Dimaya, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Through a project called “The Art of Looking,” Dimaya will work with
intellectually- and physically-disabled individuals to empower their
voices and to strengthen their interpersonal abilities through art.
Through “mobile art galleries” and regular visits to local art
institutions, Dimaya will draw on his background as a gallery teacher at
the Yale University Art Gallery and will adapt art observation lessons
and activities to engage participants in interactive discussion of art
and art concepts. Dimaya will also train other PCOM students to help
lead the project.
Community Site: Special People in Northeast Philadelphia (SPIN); Philadelphia Photo Arts Center
Jill Hersh, Immaculata University Graduate Psychology Program
part of a new initiative at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children,
Hersh will help to increase awareness and educate the community about
corporal punishment. Her project will build upon parents’ existing
strengths and teach ways to diminish parent-child conflicts. Hersh will
provide both on-site, science-based parenting classes and individual
parent guidance. Using a parent training model, she aims to teach
parents to manage stress, reduce aggression, improve parent-child
interactions, and bring about a positive family atmosphere.
Community Site: St. Christophers Hospital for Children
Jason Keiner and Samuel Master, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, School of Osteopathic Medicine
Keiner and Master will work to expand Project REACH (Revitalizing
Education and Advancing Camden's Health), an innovative after-school
program launched by Schweitzer Fellows Hyun Ouk Hong and Farhad Modarai,
to a second location. Taking an integrated, multi-disciplinary
approach, REACH is a unique health education intervention program aimed
at equipping at-risk Camden middle school students with the skills to
take control of their own health—and empower their communities to do the same. Keiner and Master will expand the program to 9th graders and train previous REACH graduates as peer leaders.
Community Site: East Camden Middle School
Jessica Lee, Bryn Mawr College, Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research
Lee will help refugees with high medical needs to navigate the health
care system in Philadelphia. She intends to implement and
institutionalize a medical support services program at the Nationalities
Service Center. The program will provide focused services surrounding
health care education and access, disease management, and connection to
outside support and resources. Refugees with mental health conditions
will be a priority of this initiative. In collaboration with mental
health providers and refugee resettlement agencies, Lee will refine a
refugee mental health screening tool to serve as a standardized tool for
refugee health care providers to use during initial medical screening
Community Site: Nationalities Service Center
Katie Murphy, University of Pennsylvania, Interdisciplinary Studies in Human Development and Public Health
Murphy aims to help strengthen health navigation skills and knowledge
about child development among undocumented Mexican immigrants living in
South Philadelphia. Through ongoing communication with community
members to identify key themes and topics of interest for the mothers,
Murphy will work with Puentes De Salud’s women’s groups to facilitate a
relevant curriculum on child health and development.
Community Site: Puentes De Salud
Alyssa Reiter, University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, Occupational Therapy
Reiter aims to increase healthy living routines for families in
Kensington through the integration of home, preschool, and community
activities and resources. Her project will address nutrition, physical
activity, and social/emotional development for preschool children and
their families. A parent advisory board will guide the process.
Community Site: Ken Crest Head Start
Anjelica Sanders, St. Joseph's University Graduate Health Education Program Ashley Stephens, Drexel University College of Medicine
will provide underserved African-American/Black women in Philadelphia
with health education programming that promotes healthier lifestyles,
raises awareness of health issues, and provides a forum for discussions
about beauty, identity, and self-esteem.
Community Site: Philadelphia Black Women's Health Alliance
Stephens will develop a tutoring and health education program for
pediatric HIV patients at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children. She
will support patients in improving their performance in school as well
as making healthy choices throughout their lives. She will enlist other
Drexel students to serve as volunteers, and will conduct weekly
one-on-one tutoring sessions as well as monthly health education
sessions. Community Site: Dorothy Mann Center for Pediatric and
Adolescent HIV at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children
Community Site: Dorothy Mann Center for Pediatric and Adolescent HIV at St. Christophers Hospital for Children
Jules Chyten-Brennan and Maria Geyman, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, School of Osteopathic Medicine
Geyman and Chyten-Brennan aim to expand the existing Project REACH paradigm of problem based health education to focus on
reproducibility, longevity, and individual student growth. They will
create a distributable manual with REACH philosophy, facilitator
training tools, and learning modules and will add a new case focused on
stress and stress management. They will also initiate a mentorship
program between high school level REACH graduates and Rutgers Camden
college students. Together, these students will create video journals
about health in their communities.
Community Site: East Camden Middle School
Gordon Crabtree, Jefferson Medical College
aims to improve the quality of life of people undergoing cancer
treatment by providing reliable access to home-cooked meals. Crabtree’s
program, MedPact (Meals Delivered to Patients in Cancer Treatment), will
deliver home-cooked, healthy meals to patients in active cancer
treatment and their families when they need the meals most.
Community Site: Jefferson Medical College
Victor Cueto, Drexel University College of Medicine
Cueto will address the health disparities associated with chronic and
preventable diseases afflicting Philadelphia’s Latino community by
expanding the Charlas de Salud/Health Talks program, which improves
health literacy and education in the Latino community through bicultural
and bilingual health education presentations. In 2009, Cueto co-founded
the program along with fellow student Alejandro Torres-Hernandez as a
community outreach initiative of the Drexel University College of
Medicine Latino Medical Student Association. Cueto now aims to expand
and replicate the program’s effective and culturally sensitive community
health education model at more community sites within the Philadelphia
Community Site: ASPIRA Inc & Hunting Park Neighborhood Stakeholders Association
Emily Day, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey School of Nursing
aims to address the sexually transmitted disease (STD) epidemic
affecting youths living in Burlington County by implementing
behavior-modification interventions at the Burlington County’s free STD
clinic. Day will incorporate evidence-based behavioral interventions
into the STD clinic’s practices, partnering with county nurses to
promote education and prevent spread of STD infection among youths.
Community Site: Burlington County Health Department STD Clinic
Tiffany Fu, Jefferson School of Population Health
aims to increase diabetes knowledge and management skills among the
Hispanic population in Northern Philadelphia. The first phase of her
community service project will be spent developing and designing
culturally sensitive, comprehensive, and effective diabetes education
materials and curriculums for print and for the web. The second phase of
her project will utilize the materials to train community health
promoters to teach others in their sphere of influence. She hopes her
program will empower families to live healthier lives through
successfully managing and/or preventing diabetes within their
Community Site: Esperanza Health Center
Franklin Jeng, Jefferson School of Pharmacy
Sarah Nguyen, Jefferson Medical College
and Nguyen aim to increase medication adherence among refugees living
in the Greater Philadelphia area by improving health literacy.
Partnering with experienced educators at the Nationalities Services
Center (NSC) as well as faculty at the Thomas Jefferson schools of
medicine and pharmacy, they will develop an educational program that
includes ESL interactive workshops. These workshops will be integrated
into the ESL curriculum that all newly arrived refugees are able to
access at the NSC’s Center City site. Though the main goal of this
project is to empower refugees to take control of their health and their
care, it will also aim to improve interdisciplinary partnership, as
well as enhance the NSC’s capacity to provide health-centered education
for their clients. Community Site: Nationalities Services Center (NSC)
Lawrence Onishi, Temple University School of Medicine
plans to promote health literacy and awareness in North Philadelphia by
partnering with the Health Ministry of the Zion Baptist Church. Onishi
will utilize this community meeting place (the church) to deliver
relevant and practical tools for promoting health and health management.
His project will involve health education talks, screenings, and health
counseling sessions that will be integrated into the existing
ministries of the Zion Baptist Church, such as the Women’s Group, Men’s
Group, and Youth Group. Community Site: Zion Baptist Church
Isata Sesay and Quidest Sheriff, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey School of Osteopathic Medicine
and Sheriff aim to empower high school females in Camden, NJ by
continuing the Strong I Stand: Let Our Voices be Heard Empowerment
Program, with the goal of encouraging participants to reach their full
potential. By listening to and addressing participants’ concerns, Sesay
and Sheriff aim to assist the young ladies in taking active, empowering
roles in their relationships. Each participant will be encouraged to use
her own experiences to make a difference in her community.
Community Site: Camden Academy Charter High School
Sara Shuman, Temple University College of Health Professions and Social Work, Public Health PhD Candidate
project aims to improve the health and quality of life of Latin
American immigrants in South Philadelphia. Working with Puentes de
Salud, Shuman will provide weekly health and education services to
adults and children in the community. She will also help the
organization expand their services to reach more immigrants through
additional programs that address social factors that contribute to poor
Community Site: Puentes de Salud
Kenji Taylor, University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine
will address hypertension in African American males by
coordinating, expanding, and providing blood pressure screenings in
African American barbershops of West Philadelphia through the Cut
Hypertension Program. Taylor aims to identify hypertensive African
American males, educate them on the dangers associated with high blood
pressure, provide preventive lifestyle coaching, and facilitate
connections with local primary care providers.
Community Site: TBD
Charles G. Tyson, University of Pennsylvania, School of Social Policy & Practice
aims to address health disparities and social justice issues among
Young Men of Color Who Have Sex with Men (YMCSM) living in the Greater
Philadelphia area through primary and secondary prevention and outreach
interventions. In addition to co-facilitating a support group for
HIV-positive YMCSM, Tyson will assist his community site with developing
and evaluating programming for YMCSM at an affiliated, newly
established drop-in center.
Community Site: Dorothy Man Center for Adolescent HIV at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, Drexel University College of Medicine
Akhila Vasthare, Temple University School of Medicine
will work to address the “immigrant paradox” (a phenomenon in which
first-generation immigrant youth academically outperform succeeding
generations) amongst immigrant middle school students by promoting
culturally relevant health education. Vasthare’s after-school program
will facilitate discussions and encourage practices that promote the
benefits of culture in maintaining good health in these at-risk
students. Sessions will consist of yoga classes and facilitated
discussions regarding cultural differences on topics including
nutrition, exercise and emotional health.
Community Sites: Public Citizens for Children and Youth; School TBD
Komal Ahuja and Malasa Jois, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, School of Osteopathic Medicine
Ahuja and Jois will work to address the health needs of Camden’s at-risk middle school students by expanding and sustaining Project R.E.A.C.H, an innovative and multifaceted education intervention program launched by 2009-10 Greater Philadelphia Schweitzer Fellows Farhad Modarai and Hyun Hong. For more on Project REACH, click here. Community Site: East Camden Middle School
Kenny Aristide and Stephanie Do, Jefferson School of Pharmacy
Aristide and Do aim to address chronic disease risk factors in Philadelphia’s homeless men by implementing and monitoring a health promotion and educational program that assists homeless shelter residents with managing their cardiovascular health. The program will address issues including hypertension, smoking cessation, physical activity and other cardiovascular-related disease states. Community Site: Ridge Avenue Shelter
Gregory Charak and Chuka Didigu, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Charak and Didigu aim to reduce risk factors for gestational diabetes by developing a risk reduction program for pregnant mothers in West Philadelphia. Community Site: TBD
Magdala Chery, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, School of Osteopathic Medicine
Chery aims to empower preadolescent girls in Camden, NJ by launching the Strong I Stand-Empowering Girls Project, focused on promoting an understanding of mental, emotional, and physical life/body changes. Community Site: Camden Academy Charter High School
Li-Ping Chew and Matthew Miller, University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine Chew and Miller plan to address oral health in vulnerable high school students by implementing Penn Dental Inspire, a project that promotes good oral homecare and raises awareness of dentistry as a career path. Community Site: Penn Dental Medicine
Guensley Delva, Drexel University College of Medicine
Delva aims to address health disparities in Philadelphia’s Haitian community by creating and conducting health education prevention workshops pertaining to breast cancer, diabetes, and depression. Community Site: Haitian Coalition of Philadelphia; Drexel University
Jillian Heck, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, and Melissa Warriner, Jefferson School of Health Professions, Physical Therapy
Heck and Warriner aim to empower middle-school-aged youth by developing and implementing a physical activity and health education program that includes a focus on HIV/AIDS education and prevention. Community Site: TBD
Karen Li, Drexel University College of Medicine
Li aims to improve elderly individuals’ quality of life by developing and implementing a nutrition and chronic disease education program for immigrant and bilingual seniors. Community Site: Nationalities Service Center (NSC)
Ravi Pujara, Jefferson Medical College
Pujara aims to empower at-risk students by developing the Jefferson Pipeline Project, which will promote healthy living and medical knowledge through exercise, weekly lectures, and didactic sessions on the Jefferson Medical College campus. Community Site: Jefferson Medical College
Gabriella Rovito, Temple University College of Health Professions and Social Work, Public Health
Rovito aims to address childhood obesity by developing a program called the Kindergarten Initiative that teaches kindergarten students healthy eating habits. The Initiative will include nutrition lessons, healthy foods taste-testing, and hands-on cooking in the classroom. Community Site: Paul V. Fly Elementary School
Stephanie Wroten, Jefferson School of Population Health
Wroten aims to address the cycle of poverty and homelessness by developing The H.E.A.L.T.H. (Hygiene, Exercise, Academics, Literacy, and Teaching, to Humankind) Initiative in conjunction with the Honickman Center. Community Site: Project H.O.M.E. Community Partnership School
Jennifer Abraczinskas and Tanya Keenan (University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine)
Jen and Tanya are both first year medical students and will be working together on a fellowship project for South Philadelphia’s Mexican immigrant population. The project will be a community-based education initiative that focuses on the prevention of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. It will consist of a community immersion preparatory phase followed by two sessions of a 12-week nutrition workshop. The project will be implemented in partnership with Puentes de Salud, an emerging non-profit organization that has operated in the Hispanic immigrant community as a medical clinic for the past two and a half years.
Nathaniel Amos (University of Pennsylvania Penn School of Social Policy & Practice)
Nathaniel is a Master of Social Work candidate and his community service project focuses on expanding mental health care for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals who have survived or who are surviving intimate partner violence. The overall goal is to develop small therapeutic group sessions for LGBT individuals who have survived or are currently surviving intimate violence in order to expand healing opportunities for this underserved population. I hope to develop a method that modifies traditional therapies used for heterosexual survivors to include population-specific needs, such as internalized homophobia or remaining closeted.
Valencia D. Barnes (University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences)
Valencia is a Master of Biomedical Science candidate and her community based service project implements a dental health education initiative that will target early head start and elementary aged children in the Camden, New Jersey Area. Her goal is to encourage and educate youth about either obtaining or maintaining good oral health.
Carly Chornobil (University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine)
Carly is a Master of Public Health candidate. Her community service project intends to improve the health of clients at the Women Against Abuse (WAA) house, a Shelter for women and children located in Northern Philadelphia, by equipping them with the knowledge and skills they need to be more proactive in managing their own life. The entire proposed community service project is designed to reinforce the importance of self-managed care. Victims of domestic violence suffer from a number of chronic health problems including depression, alcohol and substance abuse, sexually transmitted disease such as HIV/AIDS, and often have difficulty managing other chronic illnesses such as diabetes and hypertension. Carly hopes to address their medical needs by engaging patients in educational sessions in health promotion, disease prevention, and treatment. She will help patients maintain a healthier lifestyle through the promotion of preventative strategies such as diet, exercise, moderation of alcohol intake and promoting strategies for smoking cessation. In addition, Carly plans to address the importance of pre-natal care and the many domains of access to care. Through improvement of patients’ ability to self-manage their own health she hopes so see an increase in their quality of life. Her proposed paradigm sets a framework for clients at the shelter, as well as other members of the Philadelphia community to follow.
Hyun Hong and Farhad Modarai (University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, School of Osteopathic Medicine)
Hyun and Farhad are both first year medical students and will be working on Project REACH (Revitalizing Education & Advancing Camden’s Health). Reach is a multifaceted, innovative approach to addressing the needs of middle school aged at-risk youth in Camden City, NJ. The primary objectives are to 1) facilitate interactive, problem-based learning (PBL) modules to teach preventative health to East Camden Middle School (ECMS) students, and 2) to implement youth-initiated community service projects. Project REACH will not only educate the ECMS students of the health issues prevalent in their community, but will also train them to initiate, organize, troubleshoot, and execute community service projects. Moreover, the sessions will empower at-risk youth to take control of their personal health, as well as the health of their community.
Erica Khan (Thomas Jefferson University, Jefferson College of Medicine) is a third medical student and Philadelphia native. As a Schweitzer fellow, she hopes to gain a deeper understanding of the needs of my community while at the same time-sharing my medical knowledge. She intends to partner with the Health Annex, (a public health clinic located in Southwest Philadelphia that provides medical, dental, and psychiatric services to the community), providing education classes for children, adults, and seniors on type II diabetes, adolescent health, and learning to be ones best advocate when seeing a health care provider. Her future goals are to one-day use the design to create a large-scale patient education model that will enable patients to become active participants in their health care and make the most of valuable time spent with a healthcare provider.
Usha Kumar and Alexander Potashinsky (Drexel University, College of Medicine) Usha and Alex are first year medical students and their community service project includes conducting a wound-care education campaign at Prevention Point Philadelphia (PPP). PPP is Philadelphia’s only needle exchange program and serves an invaluable public health service to the vulnerable populations of injection drug users and sex workers. Their community service project will address this serious issue by creating and implementing a wound care education program. After better assessment of the population, our project will involve a three-tiered approach focusing on wound prevention, treatment, and resource development and dispersal.
Alesia Mitchell (Temple University, Graduate School)
Alesia is a graduate student in the Master of Public Health program and will conduct her community service project entitled S.H.A.P.E.E. (Setting Healthy Attitudes for Positive Eating & Exercise). The S.H.A.P.E.E. project will be used as a means to reverse the effects of childhood obesity, may be of substantial value to parents and youth through promoting, encouraging, and modeling positive attitudes toward healthy eating, and exercise. Proposed activities will include fruit/vegetable taste-a-thons, exercise obstacle courses, and parent education workshops. The S.H.A.P.E.E. Project will lay the foundation for families to lead healthier lifestyles.
Heidi Swan (Thomas Jefferson University Jefferson School of Population Health)
Heidi is a Master of Public Health Student and is very interested in global health and issues of health disparities. Her community service project addresses issues of disparities in health care through health education and literacy. She intends to design and present health education workshops to adult students at the YMCA Education and Technology Center. These workshops explore health issues pertinent them in a supportive learning environment. The goal of the workshops is to enable participants to gain the knowledge and skills needed to make informed choices regarding their health and nutrition.
Kristen Topping (Thomas Jefferson University, Jefferson College of Health Professions)
Kristen is a Doctorate of Physical Therapy student and classifies her community service project as an educational based program to increase awareness and the prevention of diabetes. The project is a continuation of diabetes classes established by a 2008-2009 fellow, called “Taking Charge of Your Sugar” These classes were designed to promote awareness, educate, as well as to describe signs and symptoms associated with diabetes to men residing long term at Ridge homeless shelter. The enhanced vision for the project is to maintain the one-on-one personal assessments and personalizing a treatment plan for each individual, whether it is an exercise program, information on nutrition and diet, foot care and exams, or any combination that may be beneficial to that individual. By providing information about this chronic disorder, she hope to instill techniques and preventive measures to hopefully increase the years of healthy life for the men who reside in the shelter. Overall, her goal is to expand on the strengths of the project already implemented, and too utilize outside sources and other health care professionals.
Manisha Verma, (Thomas Jefferson University, Jefferson School of Population Health)
Manisha is a Master of Public Health student and has already completed her medical degree in India. She is interested in developing a plan and implementing a program to integrate self-management support into a community-based clinical practice, working with a distinct underserved population in Lower North Philadelphia at St .Elizabeth’s Medical Center. The Center’s patients are unable to manage the many chronic diseases they suffer from and with her project. Manisha will be able to provide chronic care management in familiar environment and more effective manner. With her medical background and knowledge, she would like to take this opportunity to provide more effective ways to improve the quality of life and care of the patients who visit the center. Her project plan incorporates an in-depth questionnaire, succeeded by intense education regarding the specific disease(s) they have, and providing step-by-step guidelines to manage their problems in a better manner. Emphasis would be laid on the patients' diet, exercise, and medications. Patients would be followed up regularly and will receive the continuity of care to improve their health.
Cameron Bass & Elizabeth Daly, Thomas Jefferson University, Jefferson Medical College
The Schweitzer fellowship project Cameron Bass and Elizabeth Daly will pursue is the creation of a comprehensive health-counseling program for a target population in based at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center, a clinic operated by Project HOME in North Philadelphia. Their project will target patients with poorly managed chronic conditions, such as diabetes and hypertension, because of economic, social, and educational barriers to healthcare. The patients will be pre-identified by healthcare workers at St. Elizabeth’s. Currently the doctors and nurses do not have the time to sit down and walk the patients through a careful explanation of the disease and corresponding preventative care, while social workers do not necessarily have the medical expertise. This hole in continual care seems like an opportunity for Schweitzer Fellows who are medical students to improve the quality of life of these patients. Elizabeth and Cameron would like to obtain permanent volunteer positions where future Schweitzer Fellows and/or medical students are able to get involved. Through previous experiences’ each fellow has had eye opening situations to the many barriers that individuals can face in gaining access to healthcare and maintaining good health.
The fellows hope that the Schweitzer fellowship will allow them to use both previous experience and their newly acquired medical knowledge to better address these barriers. Because of their ability to dedicate one-on-one time to these patients and to utilize their medical knowledge, Elizabeth and Cameron believe that they will be able to educate patients on how to better manage their conditions, leading to a better quality of life for each patient. Elizabeth and Cameron, are both is looking forward to being a part of the Schweitzer community and to working with other individuals in the Philadelphia area who are dedicated to a path of service in the medical profession.
Christine Chung, Drexel University, School of Medicine
Christine will conduct her project at the Eliza Shirley house, located in central Philadelphia, which provides emergency shelter services to homeless single women as well as to both mothers and fathers with children. Christine’s project is to implement a program of bi-weekly or monthly seminars for the mothers on topics of relevance to them, such as how to make wise decisions regarding diet and nutrition using food stamps, empowerment against intimate partner violence, and ways to stay connected with one’s children while coping with the stresses of homelessness. Education is power, and Christine believe these workshops can help mothers regain some sense of control over certain areas of their lives and increase their awareness of the fact that they do have choices, even within the boundaries of their current financial limitations. It is vitally important to help mothers escape the continuing cycle of deteriorating health and morale because their ability to care for their children will have a profound, reverberating effect throughout society. By teaching mothers to make positive lifestyle changes and take incremental steps out of the cycle of poverty, trauma, and hopelessness, Christine hopes to empower them to pursue greater control over their lives and thus reduce their level of general stress. In order to give mothers a short break and time to themselves during these workshops, I also plan to organize simultaneous activities for the children, such as coloring or playing games.
Ashley Darcy, University of Pennsylvania, School of Nursing
The community service project Ashley envisions will take place at a women and children’s shelter in West Philadelphia, Jane Adams place. Her project will utilize the principles that Healthy Start (a component of the Maternal-Child Health Bureau) has developed including commitment and involvement in community, personal responsibility demonstrated by expected parents, and public education. Ashley’s outreach program will target women of childbearing age and their infants and ultimately involve educational workshops surrounding prenatal health behaviors, basic infant care, infant CPR, and postpartum education and support. Ashley hopes to empower women to make the best health choices for themselves and their families. By empowering these women to seek services and a better quality of life, Ashley hopes to help decrease infant mortality and low birth weight infants in Philadelphia. She is also looking forward to working with others who have a similar commitment to social justice and community service.
Yewah Jung & Anita Yang, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Yewah Jung and Anita Yang have proposed a community service project entitled the "Community Healthy Lifestyle Program" whose aim is to promote healthy living and wellness among the significantly underserved African American community of Northern Philadelphia. Their project will be a collaborative effort between community organizations such as local churches and civic associations and a dedicated team of student volunteers from the PCOM. With its focus on nutrition and exercise, Anita and Yewah hope that “Community Healthy Lifestyle Program” will serve as a powerful vehicle and opportunity for community members to obtain much needed education, counseling, and access to healthy living and wellness. Using health education sessions, small group discussions, and one-on-one health motivation sessions, the Fellows will ultimately anchor personal goal setting and encourage community members to make important lifestyle changes. Their hope is that by creating new channels through which to communicate valuable health education and healthy lifestyle options to the community, the program will ensure a continuing value to the community by way of the example. As such, people in the community will serve as inspiration and motivation to others who might have similar goals and aspirations for their own lives. This will hopefully, contribute to an overall healthier community that will feel empowered to continue to disseminate the message of the many benefits of living a healthier lifestyle focused on a sustainable diet and exercise. Anita and Yewah are enthusiastic that they can promote a sustainable change by being a Schweitzer fellow and continuing to expand and improve their community service project, the "Healthy Lifestyle Program.”
Each Fellow sees the Schweitzer Fellowship as a way to share the love they received from the most special people in their lives, where love was shared unconditionally, and where health care was respected as a basic human right. Both Fellows are extremely excited to be a part of the Schweitzer Fellowship because they believe this fellowship offers me a rare opportunity to combine her love for culture, service, medicine, and people into what they believe will be an all-encompassing, life-changing experience for herself, the fellowship partner, the community, and all involved.
Erin Lewis, Drexel University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
Erin’s project has her working with the Camden Area Health Education Center (AHEC) to develop their syringe exchange program. One of a handful of community-based organizations to initiate programs that take advantage of the NJ Blood borne Disease Harm Reduction Act of 2006, the Camden AHEC has recently begun offering harm reduction services and infectious disease testing and counseling to IDUs in the area. During Erin’s year as a Schweitzer fellow, she hopes to engage in community outreach and service, as well as, informative interviews and specialized focus groups to assess the attitudes, concerns, and needs in the local IDU community. In addition, Erin plans to use her skills in use of quantitative epidemiologic methods to evaluate whether the intervention contributes to any changes in the incidence and prevalence of infectious disease in the community.
Erin is truly honored being selected to participate in the 2008-2009 Schweitzer Fellowship. She has expressed her appreciation of the programs the commitment that the program has made to supporting improvements in the quality of life in the area. Fostering the interests of a community of dedicated professionals, the Schweitzer program offers the tools and support to become leaders and agents of change through the pursuit of projects that offer unique and meaningful solutions to address factors contributing to disparities in health and access to care. I look forward to a productive year and enthusiastically anticipate making life-long connections that will advance my personal and professional goals as an individual and physician.
Noel Ramirez, University of Pennsylvania, School of Social Policy, and Practice
Noel's project will address the trauma of homophobia that Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning (LGBTQ) youth experience in the school systems, the workforce, and their community. He hopes to implement a peer-led, empowerment based group, which will re-engage LGBTQ youth in schools and prepare them for the work force. Through peer-led group work, educational curriculum on self-esteem and character development, field trips to institutions of learning and organizations, and workshops on life skills planning, Noel wants to assist LGBTQ youth find empowerment within themselves to lead healthy lives, make healthy choices, and to build their community. The group will be facilitated in The Attic Youth Center, an LGBTQ youth serving agency in Philadelphia, PA. Noel shares his enthusiasm at being selected to serve as a Schweitzer fellow this year. He hopes to bring his compassion for community, warm spirit, and creative energy to the Schweitzer Fellowship. Noel is looking forward to collaborating and learning from others who are passionate about community service work. He has also expressed his anticipation of participating in the Fellows for Life Program to assist others in crafting projects that aim to assist underserved communities in need.
Megan Riley, Thomas Jefferson University, Jefferson College of Health Professions
Megan’s project is to start a diabetes intervention program called “Taking Charge of Your Sugar” at Ridge Shelter, a local shelter for homeless men. Her project consists of three 10-week programs that will have exercise and educational components as well as nutritional aspects. Megan plans to invite different specialist such as a podiatrist, nutritionist, and dental hygienist to be part of a class. Each program will have 10 sessions through the fall, winter, and spring. A unique dimension of this project is the nutrition component. Many clients at the shelter rely on the food that the shelter provides to them. Megan’s goal is to work with the nutritionist to provide a menu logo, which will indicate foods that are diabetic friendly, as well as to setup a way to provide one glucose reading before mealtime to serve as a check up. Megan thinks that her project will help her explore and challenge her perception of the homeless population and allow her to grow as a professional caregiver.
Stephanie Staples, Temple University, School of Medicine
Whoever said you couldn’t dance your way through life didn’t have any rhythm. –S. Staples
Stephanie’s project consists of a Hip Hop Aerobics dance class that will be offered at a local community center and local events. The goal of the class is not to see weight loss results, but to promote a more positive attitude about physical activity. Stephanie describes the class as extremely fun and high energy, and exemplifies the best part is that a person does not need to have any rhythm in order to participate! She is thrilled to have the opportunity to interact with a multidisciplinary group of students and professionals sharing a common passion for community service.
Betty Chung, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, School of Osteopathic Medicine
Betty worked at providing Hepatitis B Education and Screenings in Asian Communities: Chinatown Clinic. Her project entailed volunteering in immigrant community clinics, which exposed her to the health issues of immigrants, minorities, and the uninsured or underinsured. The second component of her project was to work on implementing hepatitis B screenings throughout the Philadelphia Asian Pacific American community. She sees the Schweitzer fellowship as an opportunity to work with and learn from others who have a similar commitment to community service. She also looks forward to the Fellows for Life component of the fellowship and the opportunity to mentor future leaders in community service as she intends to remain active in community service throughout her lifetime.
Gillian Farrelly & Ivania Quesada, Drexel University: College of Nursing and Health Professions Dance Movement Therapy
Gillian and Ivania used choreography dance that focuses on psychosocial problems of children. They also developed a workshop that addressed the psychosocial problems of adolescents. Their project consisted of working with children who have behavioral problems and utilizing movement as a creative outlet to release tension and anxiety in school settings. They hoped to promote a sense of self, self-esteem, confidence, and coping skills, while instilling discipline and structure into the lives of Philadelphia elementary school students. Ultimately, both Fellows are eager to help children transform their negative behaviors into a positive art form.
Rachel Kadakia & Melissa Yee, Drexel University, School of Medicine
Rachel and Melissa worked in the 11th Street Family Health Clinic of Drexel University. Their project involved educating patients about Comprehensive Health Insurance Enrollment Programs. The clinic is located in an impoverished region of Philadelphia and serves approximately 2,500 patients, most of whom are uninsured or underinsured. At the clinic, their primary goal was to speak with patients individually to fully understand their healthcare needs and determine why they are inadequately insured. The Fellows offered enrollment assistance to each patient into the available programs in order to enhance their access to healthcare. By including the patient in every step of the project, the Fellows hope that the patients will realize that they have the ability to take control of their healthcare access. The Fellows secondary goal was to create patient education programs that focus on the most prevalent health concerns at the clinic. Through the educational component, Melissa and Rachel hoped to teach patients of the 11th Street Clinic about chronic disease management and behavioral changes that they can make in order to improve their quality of life.
Devra Noily, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, Divinity
As a Rabbinical student, Devra provided spiritual/pastorl care to local transgender and intersex individuals living in the Philadelphia area. These people live outside the norms of binary gender are under constant assault in our society. They experience invisibility, discrimination, reduced economic and professional opportunities, and too often, violent assault, solely because of their gender. Devra offered this community of underserved people a safe and affirming place to explore their gender identity, and to support people in their work of discerning their truth and working through spiritual questions and challenges.
SuJung Park, Drexel University, School of Medicine
SuJung is interested in addressing adolescents who reside in Homeless Shelters by developing educational programs involving schoolwork assistance/tutoring, and health education. Although she would have liked to focus on health education/prevention issues, she evaluated the centers educational program need and then developed her project to serve and unmet need at the center. She focused on education because she felt that this is the first step in enhancing health solutions. This population is especially vulnerable due to the instability of their situation, as well as their age, and therefore, SuJung sees a great need amongst this population for intervention and education.
Michael Rovito & Julie Tippens, Temple University, College of Health Professions – Public Health
Michael and Julie’s project derived from the Green Belt Movement: Empowering youth about community health, environmental justice, and neighborhood empowerment. Their project entitled “Cleaning & Greening,” was aimed to give sixth grade students from Emlen Elementary School (in the Germantown section of Philadelphia) the chance to learn outside of their normal classroom environment. It was arranged for Temple University undergraduate students, who are studying Landscape Architecture & Horticulture, to collaborate with the sixth graders to design and implement a “community garden” on the school grounds and work beautify the neighbor that surrounds the school. The Fellows also invited experts in the environmental health professional to engage with the children to work on environmental justice issues in Philadelphia. Julie and Michael hope that by giving students ownership of a project within their community, seeds were planted for prosocial interaction and learning, with the potential for violence reduction and prevention.
Sheila Salvant-Valentine, Widener University, School of Law – Health Law
Sheila’s main interest is in health education, particularly concerning cardiovascular diseases in Delaware Haitian community. Her project involved strengthening the skills necessary for the Haitian immigrant community to become more educated about cardiovascular diseases. Also through cultural and linguistic competency within the health care system in Delaware, she feels we can reach more of this particular population. She feels that the Albert Schweitzer fellowship enabled her to address these issues and will help her identify other relevant needs of this specific minority community. Sheila hopes that her involvement in this community service project has made a difference in the Delaware Haitian community by helping them to enjoy optimal healthcare access and a longer, healthier life.
Behnaz Sarrami, Temple University, School of Podiatry
Behnaz's project focused on a Homeless Shelters population and provided educational podiatric care. Her project included collecting food and sleeping materials to give to the residents of the shelter. Behnaz also offered free podiatry exams to those who normally might not have access to that type of health service. She not only examined and treated this homeless population, but educated them on how to take better care of their overall health.
Alana Wright Benton, St. Joseph's University, Health Administration – Health Education
Alana has a deep concern for the prevalence of SIDS in underserved community. Her project was designed to target community shelters that have a high population of mothers . She developed an education workshop on the prevention of SIDS, which will also include Child CPR. Her project addressed SIDS Prevention with Infants through Education and Safe Sleeping Quarters. Alana worked hands-on at community organizations to secure safe sleeping quarters (e.g. Cribs, bassinets, etc.) and educate low-income minority women on ways they can use the information learned to prevent SIDS.