15 Graduate Students Will Spend Next Year Improving Community Health and Developing Lifelong Leadership Skills
Los Angeles, CA, June 20, 2014—The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship (ASF) today announced the selection of its 2014-15 class of Albert Schweitzer Fellows from Los Angeles — 15 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 John Su, Program Director of the Los Angeles Schweitzer Fellows Program. “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 at the same time fulfilling their academic responsibilities as full time students. Each project is implemented in collaboration with a community-based organization. This year’s Fellows will address an array of health issues affecting a range of populations, including a program to assist victims of sexual violence achieve healthy mental and physical health through yoga and art therapy; helping young adults with intellectual disabilities take care of their oral health; assisting older adults and ethnic minorities with advanced care planning; and educating parents of young children in South Los Angeles about the importance of oral health.
“These Schweitzer Fellows are living Dr. Albert Schweitzer’s legacy of reverence for life,” said ASF Executive Director Sylvia Stevens-Edouard. “Their Fellowship year will 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 15 Fellows from Los Angeles 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 Los Angeles 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 Los Angeles Fellows Program has supported nearly 100 Schweitzer Fellows who have positively impacted the health of vulnerable communities in the Los Angeles area. The program is funded entirely through charitable donations and grants. Sponsors of the Los Angeles Fellowship Program include Kaiser Permanente, The Annenberg Foundation, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Charles Drew University, Keck School of Medicine at USC, USC School of Pharmacy, UCLA School of Dentistry and Azusa Pacific School of Nursing.
Los Angeles Schweitzer Fellows Program
2014-15 Project Summaries
University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine
Sara Abdelhalim, USC Keck School of Medicine
Sara is creating and implementing a holistic healing program that provides survivors of sexual violence with trauma sensitive yoga while incorporating elements of art and music therapy. This program is designed to allow survivors to regain self-efficacy while encouraging them to maintain healthy mental and physical lifestyles.
Community Site: USC Center for Women and Men and Peace Over Violence
Warren Yamashita, USC Keck School of Medicine
Under Connecting Californians to Care―a collaborative coalition with USC, UCLA, and Charles Drew University―Warren is developing an interdisciplinary network of USC student Covered CA and Medi-Cal insurance counselors to educate and increase enrollment amongst Latinos in Los Angeles.
Community Sites: Saban Community Clinic, Mother and Child Health Access, and Southside Coalition of Community Health Centers.
Lauren Maldonado, USC Keck School of Medicine
Lauren is implementing advanced care planning services for geriatric low income and/or ethnic minority patients in East Los Angeles. Through community education and referral to resources, she hopes to empower patients to comfortably discuss goals of care with their families and physicians, consider end of life directives, and better utilize palliative care or hospice services.
Community Site: LAC+USC Geriatrics Clinic
David Routman, USC Keck School of Medicine
David will partner with Julia Routman of UCLA School of Nursing to improve health outcomes in diabetic adults by promoting lipid-lowering medication prescription, counseling, and follow-up.
Community Site: Northeast Valley Health Corporation
UCLA School of Nursing
Julia Routman, UCLA School of Nursing
Julia will partner with David Routman of USC Keck School of Medicine to improve health outcomes in diabetic adults by promoting lipid-lowering medication prescription, counseling, and follow-up.
Community Site: Northeast Valley Health Corporation
UCLA School of Dentistry
Nicole Bui, UCLA School of Dentistry
Nicole’s project aims to decrease the incidence of Early Childhood Caries in the South Los Angeles Area by educating expectant parents and parents of children 0-5 years old. She will be visiting preschools, parenting workshops, and women’s clinics to emphasize the importance of children’s oral health by interacting with parents on a one-to-one basis, as well as in group workshops.
Community Site: First 5 LA
University of Southern California School of Pharmacy
Halema Buzayan, USC School of Pharmacy
Halema is educating American Muslim women about osteoporosis risk and prevention through group workshops and individual counseling sessions.
Community Site: Islamic Center of Irvine (ICOI)
Karen Tan, USC School of Pharmacy
Karen aims to promote safe medication usage within the geriatric Chinese population by conducting educational seminars as well as medication reconciliation sessions where any identified medication-related problems will be sent to the senior’s primary care physician.
Community Site: APC Senior Wellness Center
David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Lawrance Chung and Marko Spasic, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Marko and Lawrance are incorporating curricula into symposiums that focus on educating students with intellectual disabilities about nutrition and common health problems.
Community Site: Pathway at UCLA Extension
Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science/David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Lyndon Gonzalez, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science/David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Lyndon is developing a running/mentoring program for middle/high school students in the Lennox Unified School District with the hopes of encouraging healthy lifestyles through running, while concomitantly encouraging them to pursue a post-secondary education.
Community Site: Lennox Unified School District
USC Division of Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy
Alyssa Concha, USC Division of Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy
Alyssa is designing and implementing training to supplement Promotores de Salud [promoters of health]/community health workers training program. Promotores address a variety of health issues, including environmental health, lead poisoning prevention, allergies and asthma, prenatal care and early childhood development, and access to health services. The goal behind the supplemental training is to provide Promotores skills and resources to support their peer advocacy and peer education efforts throughout the community.
Community Site: Esperanza Community Housing Corporation
Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC
Allison T. Davis, Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC
Allison is implementing an oral hygiene training program for young adults with intellectual disabilities that is aimed at reducing dental anxiety and preventing dental disease.
Community Site: Almansor Academy
Loma Linda University School of Medicine
Arti Desai, Loma Linda University School of Medicine
Arti is developing and implementing a culturally and linguistically appropriate educational training program that focuses on preconceptional and prenatal care in the hopes of increasing awareness of maternal risk factors that can contribute to adverse pregnancy outcomes.
Community Site: The Perinatal Institute at Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital
Loma Linda University School of Public Health
Ladan Khoddam, Loma Linda University School of Public Health
Ladan is utilizing PhotoVoice and participatory action research to address the needs of HIV positive individuals, specifically youth, to allow for community engagement, as well as provide a space for HIV positive youth to advocate their concerns using their own language and experiences.
Community Site: TBD
About The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship
The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship (ASF) is improving the health of vulnerable people now and for the future by developing a corps of Leaders in Service—professionals skilled in creating positive change with and in our communities, our health and human service systems, and our world.
Through community-based, mentored direct service and a multidisciplinary, reflective leadership development program, ASF is building community capacity and training a professional workforce that is:
• skilled in addressing the underlying causes of health inequities;
• committed to improving the health outcomes of underserved communities; and
• prepared for a life of continued service.
To date, nearly 3,000 Schweitzer Fellows have delivered nearly 500,000 hours of service to nearly 300,000 people in need. Additionally, more than 100 Fellows have provided care at the 100-year-old Schweitzer Hospital in Lambaréné, Africa. Through this work and through the contributions of Fellows whose professional careers serve their communities, ASF perpetuates the legacy and philosophy of physician-humanitarian Dr. Albert Schweitzer. ASF has 12 program locations in the U.S. and one in Lambaréné, Africa. Its national office is located in Boston, MA and hosted by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.