The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship (ASF) today announced the selection of its 2014-15 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.

“ASF changes lives, both of the individual Fellows as well as those of the many vulnerable community members they serve through their Fellowship projects,” said Terry “Chip” Bahn, Program Director of the Columbus-Athens 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 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 the health and nutritional needs of under-resourced youth; the mental health of older adults; empowering immigrants to access health care; and increasing awareness of HIV among Hispanic people who are disproportionately impacted by HIV.

“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 18 Fellows from Columbus-Athens 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 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 area. 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.


Columbus-Athens Schweitzer Fellows Program

2014-15 Fellows and Project Summaries


 Elizabeth Brubaker, OSU College of Optometry
Elizabeth is addressing the importance of yearly eye exams in middle school aged kids at LiFE Sports Camp. I will be doing Vision Screenings on the kids to identify vision problems and find ways to the address these”.
Community Site: LiFE Sports Camp


John Curfman, OSU College of Nursing
John is addressing the mental health and nutritional needs of the underprivileged population in Hilltop, a neighborhood in Columbus, OH. I will provide mental health awareness and healthy diet education to the refugee and homeless population around my site. Partnering with The Bridge Community Center, I will mobilize volunteers and community resources in order to empower these individuals and maximize their health.
Community Site: Bridge Community Center

Anne Flower, Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine
Lauren is addressing illiteracy in Athens, Ohio. I am distributing hundreds of new books, organizing volunteer readers and demonstrating read aloud for patients and parents in a pediatrics office with the Reach Out and Read Program.  She is partnering with the Ohio University Area Health Education Center, Patton College of Education, Stevens Literacy Center, and University Medical Associates to create a literacy-rich healthcare environment that serves our Appalachian community.
Community Site: University Medical Associates, Pediatrics Clinic

Matthew Fullen, OSU College of Education & Human Ecology
Matthew is addressing the mental health of underserved older adults in Columbus, Ohio.  I am providing holistic mental health education to those attending an adult day center and their caregivers.  I will partner with National Church Residences to develop a sustainable program that promotes mental health from a strengths and wellness perspective.
Community Site: National Church Residences

Diandra Gordon, OSU College of Education & Human Ecology
Diandra is addressing cultural health issues in the community on the Near East Side of Columbus, Ohio. I am implementing a weekly evening program designed to educate, empower, and strengthen families to make healthier choices by bringing awareness to the richness of local resources and the African Diaspora.  I am partnering with The King Arts Complex and GOREE Drum and Dance to give families a central time and location to spend quality time with each other, build relationships, become culturally aware and to gain knowledge and tools that can be used to live a healthier lifestyle for generations to come within their own community.
Community Site: King Arts Complex

Thomas Hirschauer, OSU College of Medicine
Thomas is addressing the underrepresentation of students from disadvantaged backgrounds in the health sciences.  I’m conducting a health science education and mentorship program for middle school and high school students in Columbus, providing them with the guidance and resources needed to explore and understand the life sciences.  In partnership with KIPP: Journey Academy, I will help teach students about health, nutrition, and biomedical science, and show them what it means to be a healthcare professional.
Community Site: KIPP Journey Academy

Tracy Hoag, Capital University
Tracy is addressing care needs of the geriatric and terminally-ill prison population.  I’m developing a sustainable program with opportunities for staff and volunteers to promote healing for these inmates and their internal and external families.  To this end, I’m partnering with the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction’s Franklin Medical Center to strengthen and expand their palliative care program.
Community Site: Franklin Medical Center

Adam Jara (Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine) and Lauren Volpē (Ohio University Patton College of Education)
Adam and Lauren are addressing health education in Trimble Township, a community in Athens County, Ohio. They are partnering with Live Healthy Appalachia, the Athens City-County Health Department, and the Ohio University Diabetes Institute to design a program that encourages life-long healthy decision making behaviors in young people in rural Appalachia. To accomplish this goal, they are working with a local middle school teacher to develop creative, community-based learning activities that integrate nutrition, physical activity, and health literacy into the core middle school curriculum.
Community Site: Trimble Middle School

Zeenia Kaul, OSU Fisher College of Business
Zeenia is addressing stress management and overall well-being in Columbus Charter Schools. I am doing spiritually based activities through mind-body approaches that will help promote healthier lifestyle. The curriculum is based on principles of Ayurveda, a powerful natural healing system that originated in India 5,000 years ago. I am partnering with Columbus Preparatory Academy to develop a long lasting optimal health curriculum that engages students to achieve wellness by balancing the various aspects of the whole person: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual
Community Site: Columbus Preparatory Academy.

Courtney Maierhofer, OSU College of Public Health
Courtney is addressing barriers in access to Sexual Health services within the Hispanic community in Columbus, Ohio.  I’m conducting HIV/ STI testing and providing educational sessions to reduce the stigma around sexual health.  I’m partnering with Ohio Hispanic Coalition and Columbus Public Health to develop a sustainable program that opens the door to healthy conversations and creates awareness around the importance of prevention and healthy choices.
Community Site: Ohio Hispanic Coalition

McKenzie Maynor, OSU College of Dentistry
McKenzie is addressing the need for dental education in Columbus. I will teach how brushing, flossing, and a balanced daily diet contribute to a healthy smile. I will be partnering with Columbus elementary schools to engage students in learning in an effort to decrease the number of children that suffer from dental cavities, and make learning about dental health fun.
Community Site: TBA

Megan Rose and Robyn Silver, OSU School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
Megan and Robyn are addressing employment for individuals with high functioning autism in Columbus, Ohio. We will be working with individuals in a group setting to develop social skills and professionalism necessary for success in the workplace.
Community Site: Aspirations, OSU Nisonger Center

Colleen Shockling Dent, OSU College of Veterinary Medicine
Colleen is addressing the link between domestic violence and animal abuse in Central Ohio.  I will be raising awareness of the issue and creating a sustainable program promoting the human-animal bond amongst victims at the shelter. I will be partnering with CHOICES to help facilitate temporary housing for pets displaced due to domestic violence. I will also be visiting the shelter with my therapy dog, along with recruiting other therapy dog teams to join us.
Community Site: CHOICES
Abbey Strazar and Mary Vincent, OSU College of Pharmacy
Mary and Abbey are addressing high blood pressure management at free clinics in the Northland and South Linden areas. They are continuing a project for low-income, uninsured adults at risk for heart attack or stroke at Helping Hands Health & Wellness Center and expanding to Grace in the City at the Hardin Clinic. They are engaging patients to make healthy life style changes, including diet, exercise, and smoking cessation, and urging an increase in adherence to their medications. In addition, they are providing access to blood pressure monitors and educational materials. They hope to ultimately empower patients to make changes, improving their cardiovascular health, to help reduce risks of a heart attack or stroke.
Community Site: Helping Hands Health & Wellness Center
Smita Yerramilli, OSU College of Public Health
Smita is addressing chronic disease prevention on the Near East Side of Columbus. I am doing a nutrition, physical activity, health education, oral health and social support program for Elementary-school students and families of the Near East Side neighborhood. I will be implementing the Centering Family Health Initiative to help families gain knowledge and skills to enhance their health and wellness.”
Community Site: TBA



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.




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