29 Graduate Students Will Spend Next Year Improving Community Health and Developing Lifelong Leadership Skills
Hanover, NH, April 21, 2014—The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship (ASF) today announced the selection of its 2014-15 class of Albert Schweitzer Fellows from New Hampshire/Vermont — 29 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 Rebecca Torrey, Program Director of the New Hampshire/Vermont 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 those recently released from incarceration as they transition back to their communities; mentor and empower vulnerable teenagers; assist victims of domestic violence in accessing legal services; provide comprehensive sexuality education to LGBTQ youth; and expand access to health support services for veterans.
“These Schweitzer Fellows are living Dr. Albert Schweitzer’s legacy of reverence for life,” said 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 29 Fellows from New Hampshire/Vermont 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 New Hampshire/Vermont 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 1996, the New Hampshire/Vermont Schweitzer Fellows Program has supported more than 360 Schweitzer Fellows in delivering nearly 72,000 hours of service. The program is funded entirely through charitable donations and grants. Sponsors of the New Hampshire/Vermont Schweitzer Fellowship Program include the Byrne Foundation, the Children’s Fund of the Upper Valley, the Couch Family Foundation, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, the Emily Landecker Foundation, Grafton County Medical Society, Lintilhac Foundation, Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth, University of New Hampshire School of Law, University of Vermont College of Medicine, Vermont Law School.
NH/VT Schweitzer Fellows Program
2014-15 Project Summaries
Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth
Cristina Alcorta, Geisel School of Medicine
Partnering with Dismas House, Cristina will organize a network of medical school volunteers to provide support and advocacy for individuals transitioning back into the community after incarceration.
Community Site: Dismas House, Hartford, VT
Kimberly Betts, Nicole Moraco, Geisel School of Medicine
Kimberly and Nicole will help local seniors to keep healthy and active in body and mind through weekly exercise classes, nutrition workshops, and participation in the Memory Café.
Community Site: Aging Resource Center, Lebanon, NH
Escar Kusema, Jose Porras, Geisel School of Medicine
Working in partnership with the Good Neighbor Health Clinic, Escar and Jose will expand free health clinic services in the Upper Valley. Using the newly established clinic at The Upper Valley Haven as a model, they plan to bring primary care services to other local organizations serving underserved families and individuals.
Community Site: Good Neighbor Health Clinic and Upper Valley Haven, Wilder, VT
TingJia Lorigiano, Emi Manuia, Geisel School of Medicine
TingJia and Emi will create “Girl Power” mentoring program at Indian River School. By establishing peer-mentor relationships between marginalized 6th grade girls and 8th and 10th grade role models, they will empower the girls with skills to develop their confidence, healthy behaviors, and leadership skills.
Community Site: Indian River School, Enfield, NH
Lars Matkin, David Whitehead, Geisel School of Medicine
Lars and David will develop a mentoring program that matches high school boys with 5th/6th grade boys in Lebanon, NH. Designed to develop self-esteem, responsibility and a sense of purpose for the middle schoolers, this program will also foster an appreciation for exercise and the environment.
Community Site: Carter Community Building, Lebanon, NH
Vermont Law School
Alicia Artessa, Vermont Law School
Alicia will provide support, guidance, and friendship to children with special needs and their families, while at the same time increasing community understanding of the issues facing this population.
Community Site: TBD
Rachael Delehanty, Vermont Law School
Rachael will develop and expand the VLS Buddies mentoring program, which matches students at South Royalton School with buddies at VLS.
Community Site: One Planet Afterschool Program, South Royalton, VT
Noura Eltabbakh, Vermont Law School
Working in partnership with the Vermont Superior Court, Noura will provide advocacy and support to survivors of sexual assault who are seeking legal protection.
Community Site: HOPE Works , Burlington, VT
Barbara Fernandez, Vermont Law School
Barbara will provide legal and social support services for victims of domestic violence and their children.
Community Site: Have Justice-Will Travel
Melissa Shapiro, Vermont Law School
Melissa will address hunger and food insecurity in South Royalton. Her project aims to: raise community awareness of hunger and nutrition issues; advocate on a state level for assistance; educate vulnerable populations on the importance of good nutrition; and help families locate the resources that will provide more secure access to nutritious food.
Community Site: Hunger Free Vermont, Burlington, VT
Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth
Rachel Glikin, Thayer School of Engineering
Rachel will help children ages 6 to 9 to develop their interest in engineering and science by introducing the junior FIRST Lego League in area elementary schools.
Community Site: Marion Cross School, Norwich, VT
UNH School of Law
Hilary Cessna, UNH School of Law
Hilary will provide a self-advocacy program for young women designed to empower participants to advocate for themselves in an effective and respectful manner.
Community Site: TBD
Charles Shockley, Penina Wallace, UNH School of Law
Charles and Penina will help individuals experiencing homelessness get back on their feet by addressing one or more of the problems this population may face, including shelter, safety, employment, health care and/or legal assistance.
Community Site: TBD
UVM College of Medicine
Leah Cipri, Matthew Shear, UVM College of Medicine
Leah and Matthew will implement a confidential SMS texting service to disseminate medically accurate reproductive and sexual health information to LGBTQ youth across Vermont.
Community Site: Outright VT, Burlington, VT
Jia Xin Jessica Huang, Alejandro Velez, UVM College of Medicine
Jessica and Alejandro will improve access to health care for Latino migrant farmworkers in Vermont by disseminating preventative health information and connecting the workers to available regional health services.
Community Site: Bridges to Health, Burlington, VT
Mary Ledoux, Laura Leonard, UVM College of Medicine
With the goals of increasing knowledge, changing attitudes, building skills, and empowerment, Mary and Laura will conduct workshops for teen girls in Winooski, VT.
Community Site: Winooski Teen Center, Winooski, VT
Christopher Mayhew, Carl Nunziato, UVM College of Medicine
Christopher and Carl will expand access to support services for VT veterans with trauma, PTSD and other disorders who are not obtaining care through the VA system.
Community Site: VT Veteran’s Services, Jail Diversion/Trauma Recovery Program, Burlington, VT
Erin Pichiotino, UVM College of Medicine
Erin will strengthen and continue to develop “Aging Well,” a pilot program whose aim is to empower seniors to take control of their health and well-being.
Community Site: Support and Services at Home (SASH), Burlington, VT
Amy Schumer, Syed Shehab, UVM College of Medicine
Amy and Syed will promote the health and well being of adults with developmental disabilities by conducting workshops designed to improve their ability to advocate for their health care needs.
Community Site: Howard Center, Burlington, VT
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.