The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship (ASF) today announced that Ezra Barzilay, MD, has been appointed program director for its Lambaréné Chapter, which recruits and places Fellows in pediatric and medicine rotations at The Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Lambaréné, Gabon, located in West Africa. Dr. Barzilay assumed his duties as Lambaréné Chapter program director this month.
Dr. Barzilay is the Technical Lead for the National Public Health Institute Program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and is a Captain in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. Having served as a Boston Schweitzer Fellow and then as a Lambaréné Fellow while in medical school, Dr. Barzilay is now a Schweitzer Fellow for Life.
“My Lambaréné Fellowship was a career-defining experience. It allowed me to roll up my sleeves and practice medicine in a complex and often challenging environment that opened my eyes to the importance of sound global public health practices and infrastructure,” said Dr. Barzilay. “I am thrilled to now serve as Program Director for ASF’s Lambaréné Chapter, and facilitate similar experiences for future generations of Fellows in a corner of the world where people desperately need healthcare.”
Prior to his tenure at the National Public Health Institute Program, Dr. Barzilay served as the Deputy Incident Manger for the CDC’s response to Ebola, and was the Lead Epidemiologist for the CDC’s Health Systems Reconstruction Office. He also served as the Deputy Incident Manager for Haiti Cholera Response for the CDC. Dr. Barzilay is a graduate of Tufts University School of Medicine. He completed a residency in pediatrics at Emory University School of Medicine and then joined the Epidemic Intelligence Service corps at CDC to train in infectious disease epidemiology. Dr. Barzilay is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Emory University School of Medicine. Fluent in six languages, including American Sign Language, Dr. Barzilay’s field experience includes international public health interventions, foodborne outbreak investigations, and serving as a trainer and expert consultant for the World Health Organization.
“With Dr. Barzilay’s experiences as a Schweitzer Fellow—particularly his time in Lambaréné―and the distinguished public health career he established afterward, I can think of no one more qualified to lead ASF’s Lambaréné Chapter,” said ASF Executive Director Sylvia Stevens-Edouard. “We are excited to see the ways in which he will strengthen and grow our oldest and most prestigious chapter.”
The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship is dedicated to preparing the next generation of professionals who will serve and empower vulnerable people to live healthier lives and create healthier communities. Since 1979, ASF has annually selected four third-year medical students to spend three months working as Fellows at the Albert Schweitzer Hospital, founded by humanitarian-physician Dr. Albert Schweitzer in 1913. Supervised by hospital medical staff, Lambaréné Fellows work as junior physicians in pediatric or medicine rotations. Lambaréné Fellows address major sub-Saharan health issues, including malaria, HIV/AIDS, TB and maternal/child health.