The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship (ASF) today announced the selection of its inaugural class of Detroit Schweitzer Fellows. Four graduate students from Oakland University William Beaumont Medical School; Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine; Wayne State University School of Medicine, Department of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences; and Wayne State University Sociology Program 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.
“The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship excels in developing emerging leaders in health who will serve vulnerable populations not just in their Fellowship year, but throughout their career,” said Bruce Auerbach, MD, chairman of The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship Board of Directors. “Our individual chapters supplement traditional education with programs focused on supporting emerging professionals’ desire to serve populations in need. Our new program in Detroit will make important and vital contributions that will create positive change and improve the lives of people in Detroit and the surrounding area.”
“The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship will enhance Authority Health’s workforce development and population health programs by helping the region’s most promising health and human service graduate students development their careers and provide valuable community service,” said Chris Allen, president & CEO, of Authority Health. “The values of the Fellowship align closely with those of Authority Health, which is committed to ensuring access to health services for underinsured and underserved populations, as well as promoting population health. We are excited with the possibilities in this collaboration.
Schweitzer Fellows are graduate students in health care, social work, law, education and other fields who design and implement year-long service projects that address the root causes of health disparities in under-resourced communities, while also fulfilling their academic responsibilities. The process of moving their Fellowship projects from an initial concept to completion teaches Schweitzer Fellows valuable skills in collaborating with others in allied fields. As Schweitzer Fellows develop professionally, this skill is critical to their ability to affect larger-scale change among vulnerable populations.
Schweitzer Fellows who have successfully completed their year-long service project are called Fellows for Life. Some of ASF’s Fellows for Life include Rishi Manchanda, MD, author of the TED book The Upstream Doctors: Medical Innovators Track Sickness To Its Source; Jessica Lahey, JD, author of the bestseller The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn To Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed, and who writes regularly about education and parenting issues for the New York Times and The Atlantic; and Robert Satcher, Jr., MD, PhD, assistant professor, Anderson Cancer Center and NASA mission specialist.
The Detroit chapter, sponsored by the Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine, is ASF’s 14th U.S.-based program. The others are in Alabama, Boston, Chicago, Columbus-Athens, Oh.; Dallas-Fort Worth; Houston; Los Angeles; New Orleans; New Hampshire/Vermont; North Carolina; Pittsburgh; San Francisco and Tulsa. Additionally, ASF has a program chapter based in Lambaréné, Gabon, at The Albert Schweitzer Hospital.
2017-18 Schweitzer Fellows
Jonathan Chan, Oakland University William Beaumont Medical School
“Incorporate mindfulness training in the middle school environment for both teachers and students.”
This project will address the stressful environment within the educational environment for both students and teachers. Mr. Chan will incorporate the principles and practice of mindfulness to enhance the educational process and improve job satisfaction for educators. The project will measure the ability of mindfulness to increase the physical, mental, and social health and well-being of teachers and students, thereby enhancing their awareness of themselves and their health, as well as their ability to contribute to a positive school environment. Mr. Chan has selected two middle schools and will work in concert with the Michigan Collaborative for Mindfulness Education.
Brianne Feldpausch, Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine
“Create the Spartan Street Medicine program to serve homeless people in East Lansing.”
This project builds on the experience of street medicine providers in Pittsburgh and Detroit, assessing the physical and psychological needs of homeless people and providing appropriate referrals. Through consistent and direct outreach, Spartan Street Medicine will cultivate relationships built on dignity and respect to bridge the gap in health care for homeless people. Through holistic, multidisciplinary outreach teams, Ms. Feldpausch’s project will treat medical issues, arrange follow-up care, and integrate health literacy and social services into the care plan. Each client of the program will receive a full history and physical by a medical student. The student will discuss each case with a supervising physician before offering any medical advice or needed medication. Spartan Street Medicine will be sustained as a model of street medicine in East Lansing and instill the qualities of trust, empathy, and humility in the next generation of health care providers.
Maliha Ahmed, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Department of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences
“Create an educational program on sexual health literacy in the Muslim community”
This program will provide accurate information on a variety of health topics, ranging from the human papillomavirus vaccine to sexual assault awareness. The information will be presented in a culturally-competent way that considers the unique set of barriers that Muslim women face. It will be catered to all ages, providing resources and tools for parents whose children have limited exposure to sexual health education in their schools or mosques. Ms. Ahmed’s program will incorporate in-person seminars, followed by group and one-to-one discussions. The site partner for this program is Zaman International, which is a humanitarian program located in Inkster, Michigan. The overall goal is to foster a community of women and girls that is better informed and confident about their health, reflecting the goals of Healthy People 2020 in creating “social and physical environments that promote good health for all.”
Lindsay Toman, Wayne State University Sociology Program
“Improve the relationship between medical professionals and the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community (LGBTQ).”
This project will help prepare medical professionals and medical students with the understanding and skills to care for LGBTQ patients, and help the LGBTQ population in the Detroit area better understand the best way to care for them and live healthy lives. Ms. Toman will employ educational seminars and training programs for medical professionals – physicians as well as other health professionals – including discussion of health disparities in this population. The seminars will include relevant topics such as how to appropriately identify transgender patients or address different kinds of gender identity. The program also plans to develop a panel discussion consisting of LGBTQ people who will share their experiences with a live audience. Medical professionals will not only learn about LGBTQ health topics, but how to be more culturally sensitive to this community. A second aspect of the program will involve an outreach to the LGBTQ community through health fairs, including health navigation advice and health information.