18 Graduate Students Will Spend Next Year Improving Community Health and Developing Lifelong Leadership Skills
The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship (ASF) today announced the selection of its 2015-16 class of Albert Schweitzer Fellows from Columbus-Athens—18 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.
“Despite the demands of graduate programs, Albert Schweitzer Fellows are committed to service and to tackling complex health needs,” said Terry “Chip” Bahn, Program Director of the Columbus-Athens Schweitzer Fellows Program. “It is particularly special that this new class of Fellows has been selected during the 75th anniversary year of the founding of The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship. Our program is dedicated to improving the health of communities by preparing health and human service professionals to serve and empower vulnerable people to live healthier lives. We’re very excited to see what these Fellows are able to accomplish not just over the next year, but in the years to come as they establish themselves professionally.”
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 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 transgender health disparities, life and job skills for homeless youth; physical and social well-being in older adults, and the disproportionate rate of obesity-related sickness and death among African American women.
“These Schweitzer Fellows are the next generation of leaders in the health care field and allied disciplines,” said Sylvia Stevens-Edouard, Executive Director of The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship. “Their Fellowship year will help prepare them to successfully face the difficult task of eliminating health inequities and ensure that underserved people have access to quality, comprehensive health care.”
The 18 Fellows from Columbus-Athens will join approximately 220 other 2015-16 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 2015-16 Columbus-Athens 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 2011, the Columbus-Athens Schweitzer Fellows Program has supported Schweitzer Fellows who have delivered service and care to under-resourced populations in the Columbus and Athens areas. The program is funded entirely through charitable donations and grants. Sponsors of the Columbus-Athens Schweitzer Fellows Program include The Ohio State University; Ohio University; Trinity Lutheran Seminary; Nationwide Children’s Hospital; and OhioHealth.
2015-16 Columbus-Athens Fellows and Project Summaries
Veronica Kennedy and Allison Noss, OSU School of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences
Veronica and Allison are addressing youth homelessness in Columbus with the Real Application Mentorship Program (RAMP), in which they will provide life skills and professionalism training to help youths successfully transition to adulthood and independent living. They will provide interventions tailored to the individual needs of youth by offering education and training ranging from meal preparation and budget maintenance to mock interviews and literacy training.
Community Site: Star House
Sarah Kidd, OSU School of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences
Sarah is addressing the physical and social health deficits of seniors in Columbus through dance and movement classes for residents of a local nursing home.
Community site: First Community Village
Ahran Koo, OSU College of Arts & Sciences
Ahran is increasing the cultural understanding of Korean-American elementary school students by working with them to create a visual storybook and a yearbook that will reflect the students’ thoughts, emotions and experiences in a multicultural setting. Ahran will teach Korean language, culture, and art classes that encourage students to think about and express their social and cultural identity in a visual form.
Community Site: Korean-American Community School of Central Ohio
Nathaniel Kralik, Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine
Nathaniel is addressing transgender health disparities by conducting health and wellness webinars relevant to transgender individuals and their families in Central Ohio. He is developing a sustainable, interactive and feedback-oriented curriculum to meet gaps in health knowledge and outcomes for the local transgender community.
Community Site: Stonewall Columbus
Andrea Lee and Godsfavour Umoru, OSU College of Pharmacy
Andrea and Godsfavour are addressing the health of patients in downtown Columbus who have serious and persistent mental illnesses. They aim to improve the use of medications for these patients’ psychiatric and medical needs, and reduce/prevent the occurrence of harmful drug events.
Community Site: Southeast Inc. Health Clinic
LaKeesha Leonard, OSU College of Education & Human Ecology
LaKeesha is addressing the disproportionate rate of obesity-related sickness and death among African American women through a program that will equip and empower African American women to improve their nutritional habits and engage in regular physical activity.
Community site: New Birth Christian Ministries
Sarah Levitt, OSU College of Arts & Sciences
Sarah is addressing the health and wellness of senior citizens in Columbus by creating a dance program for older adults incorporating a variety of movement styles, including hip-hop and social dance. Sarah will also teach participants methods to create their own dances, promoting physical activity as well as artistic expression.
Community site: Clintonville-Beechwold Community Resource Center
Chang Liu, OSU College of Social Work
Chang is addressing the physical, mental, and social health of Asian female human trafficking victims in Columbus by providing art psychotherapies, self-care education, social integration, and cultural adaptation services for this community.
Community Site: Asian American Community Services
Emily Loosli, Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine
Emily is addressing personal hygiene, puberty, wellness, and nutrition in children and adolescents in Athens, Ohio through a series of workshops run in conjunction with an existing youth group at her community site.
Community Site: Good Works, Inc.
Janet Masters, OSU College of Nursing
Janet is addressing infant mortality in the South Side of Columbus through one-on-one health coaching sessions with women of child-bearing age. She is developing sustainable engagement and intervention strategies that will improve the health and wellbeing of women and positively impact the health of their children.
Community Site: Church for All People
Erin McCloskey, Ohio University Gladys W. and David H. Patton College of Education
Erin is addressing the impact of trauma on women and children in Southeastern Ohio through a series of yoga, mindfulness, and meditation classes for individuals residing in a local domestic violence shelter. The classes will assist participants in healing and connecting with one another and provide them with techniques to improve their overall well-being.
Community Site: Eve Incorporated
Jacqueline Mostow, OSU College of Medicine and Brynne Presser, OSU College of Public Health
Jacqueline and Brynne are addressing teen health literacy in the South Side of Columbus by facilitating weekly workshops and producing health-related radio segments for Youth Beat Radio.
Community Site: Barack Community Recreation Center
Meghan O’Brien, OSU College of Public Health
Meghan is addressing the nutrition and wellness needs of underserved residents of Columbus’ historic Franklinton neighborhood. Using the MyPlate dietary guidelines as a framework for her program, Meghan will hold weekly nutrition education and cooking classes that focus on creating simple, healthful meals featuring food pantry staples.
Site: Gladden Community House
Margaret Rusnak and Kimberly Zwissler, OSU School of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences
Margaret and Kimberly are working to improve overall health among men with severe and persistent mental illness who are transitioning to independent living in Columbus. They will create a vegetable garden with residents at their community site, provide them with opportunities for exercise and good nutrition and assist them in developing skills necessary for employment and independent living.
Community agency: Redmond House