The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship (ASF) today announced the selection of its 2014-15 class of Houston-Galveston Albert Schweitzer Fellows — 13 graduate students who will spend the next year learning to effectively address the social factors that impact health, and developing lifelong leadership skills. In doing so, they will follow the example set by famed physician-humanitarian Albert Schweitzer, for whom their Fellowship is named.
“Schweitzer Fellowships change lives, both of the individual Fellows as well as those of the many vulnerable community members they serve through their Fellowship projects,” said Jennifer Cook, Director of the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship – Houston Galveston. “Our Fellows learn to lead and innovate as they tackle complex health needs—skills they will use again and again throughout their professional careers. Meanwhile, their project participants learn information, skills, and behaviors that will assist them in leading healthier lives.”
Schweitzer Fellows develop and implement service projects that address the root causes of health disparities in under-resourced communities, while also fulfilling their academic responsibilities. Each project is implemented in collaboration with a community-based health and/or social service organization. This year’s Fellows will address an array of health issues affecting a range of populations, including oral health awareness among people living with HIV; mindfulness training among people who are homeless; and nutrition classes for people with diabetes.
“These Schweitzer Fellows are living Dr. Albert Schweitzer’s legacy of reverence for life,” said Dr. David S. Buck, Board Chair. “Their Fellowship year will help keep them connected to the ideals that led them to study health in the first place even as they are immersed in the demands of intensive course work. It will also leave them well-prepared to successfully face the challenges of serving vulnerable and underserved populations, whose health and medical needs are many and varied.”
The 13 Houston-Galveston Fellows will join approximately 220 other 2014-15 Schweitzer Fellows working at 12 program sites, 11 in the US and one in Lambaréné, Gabon at the site of The Albert Schweitzer Hospital, founded by Dr. Schweitzer in 1913. Upon completion of their Fellowship year, the 2014-15 Houston-Galveston Schweitzer Fellows will become Schweitzer Fellows for Life and join a vibrant network of nearly 3,000 Schweitzer alumni who are skilled in, and committed to, addressing the health needs of underserved people throughout their careers. Fellows for Life routinely report that ASF is integral to sustaining their commitment to serving people in need.
Since 2008, the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship – Houston Galveston has supported 61 Schweitzer Fellows. The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship – Houston Galveston is funded through the generosity of the Simmons Foundation; the Houston Endowment; the Frees Foundation; The Lyons Foundation; the John S. Dunn Foundation and many individual donors. They are also funded by the Professional Schools Consortium including Baylor College of Medicine, University of Houston Graduate School of Social Work, University of Houston Law Center, University of Texas Health Science Center, University of Texas Dental School and Rice University.
2014-15 Houston-Galveston Schweitzer Fellows
UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS – SCHOOL OF DENTISTRY
Alejandro Barrera and Brittany Gillard
Alex and Brittany will address the issue of dry mouth in patients suffering from HIV/AIDS by providing oral hygiene consultations and facilitating support groups aimed at empowering these patients to take charge of their oral health.
Community Site: Bering Omega
Nick will be instructing children on oral hygiene and nutrition. In conjunction, I hope to stem an interest in math, science, and engineering through the utilization of science fair projects.
Community Site: Ruby L. Thompson Elementary
UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON – LAW CENTER
Jonathan will be working with In-Powered to lead regular yoga and mindfulness training for Houston’s homeless population.
Community Site: In – Powered
UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS MEDICAL SCHOOL
Kemly plans to work with Fellow Elizabeth Frost and a local refugee resettlement agency and utilize a medical, public health, and social work approach to empower refugee women and adolescent girls in fostering their development as an individual and integration into the community at large.
Community Site: TBD
Kristin will work with Fellow Winnie Zou and take a community-based participatory approach to introduce preventative medicine and social work aspect of healthcare to HOMES Clinic, a student run free clinic for the homeless that operates on Sundays.
Community Site: HOMES Clinic
Camille will be working with the Coalition for the Homeless to convert their list of resources for homeless individuals into a digital format that can be accessed via smartphone or computer both by community members and professionals who interact with the homeless on a daily basis. This way the information will be easy to access and up to date, with the end goal of more effectively connecting homeless individuals with the resources they need to get back on their feet.
Community Site: Coalition for the Homeless Houston
UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON – GRADUATE COLLEGE OF SOCIAL WORK
Elizabeth plans to work with Fellow Kemly Philip and a local refugee resettlement agency and utilize a medical, public health, and social work approach to empower refugee women and adolescent girls in fostering their development as an individual and integration into the community at large.
Community Site: TBD
BAYLOR COLLEGE OF MEDICINE
Raghuveer Puttagunta and Elizabeth Thoyakulathu
Elizabeth and Raghuveer will work to develop a community for young people with HIV to improve health literacy, long-term wellness, and personal empowerment through a comprehensive educational program.
Community Site: Thomas St. Clinic and Teen Health Clinic
Jaden will be working in conjunction with Texas Children’s Hospital on a project to improve care coordination for adolescent diabetic mothers during their pregnancy and provide preconception counseling to non-pregnant diabetic adolescents, with the intent to reduce adverse health outcomes for the mother and her child and to reduce the overall incidence of unplanned pregnancy in adolescents with type 1 diabetes.
Community Site: Texas Children’s Hospital
Winnie will work with Fellow Kristin Tang and take a community-based participatory approach to introduce preventative medicine and social work aspect of healthcare to HOMES Clinic, a student run free clinic for the homeless that operates on Sundays.
Community Site: HOMES Clinic
RICE UNIVERSITY – BAKER INSTITUTE
Connie will teach diabetic patients about nutrition, physical fitness, and well-being at San José Clinic in Houston, Texas.
Community Site: San Jose Clinic