The Fellows for Life alumni network includes more than 3,000 physicians, nurses, lawyers, public health specialists, social workers, pharmacists, occupational therapists, and other leaders in health-related fields. We are proud to highlight Schweitzer Fellows for Life whose current work exemplifies our mission of improving health by serving and empowering vulnerable people to live healthier lives and create healthier communities. Recent profiles include:
Abdul “Abe” Abdulwaheed, (Boston, 2001-2002).
When deep cuts to MassHealth dental coverage in Massachusetts in 2010 prevented many of Abdulwaheed’s patients from getting care, he went to the Statehouse, and lobbied for the restoration of funding. His efforts to advocate on behalf of his patients led the Massachusetts Dental Society (MDS) to invite him to join their Council on Public Affairs and their Political Action Committee. Abdulwaheed, now chair of the Council on Public Affairs and vice chair of the Political Action Committee, was part of a successful effort in 2015 to finally restore MassHealth coverage for dentures. MDS recently honored Abdulwaheed with its Volunteer Hero Award for his many years of service.
Jennifer Farrell (New Orleans 2011-2012).
Farrell is pioneering an exciting new program to reduce road fatalities in Bangladesh. Road accidents claim between 12,000 and 20,000 lives annually in Bangladesh, largely due to a lack of emergency responders and infrastructure like the 911 system that exists in the United States. Farrell and her colleagues at the newly formed nonprofit CriticalLink are training a network of volunteer responders who can be dispatched to accident scenes via a mobile application. The app allows users to report accidents from their mobile devices―including the ability to send photos of accident scenes that can help doctors assess the extent of victims’ injuries.
Karen Hong (San Francisco Bay Area, 2013-2014).
As a Fellow, Hong collaborated with Prevent Blindness/Northern California to provide vision screening services to underserved preschool students in San Jose and other parts of Santa Clara County. Following her Fellowship, Hong was named a Gates Cambridge Scholar.
Dr. Benjamin Gilmer (North Carolina).
Dr. Gilmer, a native of Charlotte, North Carolina who now lives in Asheville, spent his Fellowship year enrolling uninsured children in Pitt County, North Carolina in free or subsidized insurance programs. The following year, he served as a Lambaréné Fellow, living and working at the Schweitzer Hospital in Lambaréné, Gabon, Africa. In this profile, Gilmer talks about how these experiences have informed his career.
Drs. William Fischer II (Lambaréné, 2003), Nahid Bhadelia (Boston, 2001-2002) , and Meredith Dixon (Pittsburgh, 2006-2007; Lambaréné, 2008).
In 2014, when West Africa was struck with an outbreak of Ebola, these three Fellows for Life traveled to the front lines of the epidemic to help treat those who had become ill, and it halt the spread of the disease.