Recipients to be honored at the 8th Annual Celebration of Service Dinner
The Los Angeles chapter of The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship (LA-ASF) announced today that former National Football League player Mike McKenzie will receive the Community Champion Award, and Althea Alexander, Assistant Dean of the Office of Diversity at the USC Keck School of Medicine, will receive the Fellowship Spirit Award at the organization’s Celebration of Service on Friday, April 8, 2016 at the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo near Downtown Los Angeles.
The Community Champion Award recognizes the achievements of an individual who has contributed to efforts to mitigate the social determinants of health, and whose commitment to service has influenced and inspired others. McKenzie, who played for Green Bay Packers and New Orleans Saints before retiring from professional football in 2009, founded the 34 Ways Foundation to serve under-resourced youth. 34 Ways Foundation has established youth scholarships and mentoring programs; organized toy drives and school supply giveaways; and sponsored food banks and educational support programs and community events in Lake Charles, Los Angeles, Memphis, Miami, New Orleans, and Philadelphia.
“Mike McKenzie exemplifies the best of what we hope to see in professional athletes who give back to communities. His personal motto is ‘teaching, reaching, and educating youth for life.’ It’s an ambitious goal and one that he is meeting through the work of his remarkable foundation,” said Dr. Jimmy Hara, Advisory Board Chair of LA-ASF.
The Fellowship Spirit Award recognizes extraordinary achievement by those working to promote the work of LA-ASF, and whose life example has influenced and inspired others. Althea Alexander has served as an active board member of the Los Angeles chapter since its inception in 2007. She has long been a leader in efforts to increase the ranks of minorities in the health care field and is a highly regarded mentor and role model at her alma mater. She serves as a member of various student-focused committees at the USC Keck School of Medicine and as an advisor to several student groups including the Latino Medical Student Association; the Asian Pacific Medical Student Association; the Student National Medical Association; and the Medical Gay and Lesbian Organization (LGBT).
“We are so pleased to honor Althea with our Fellowship Spirit Award,” said John Su, MD, Director of LA-ASF. “She is an inspiration not only to students but to fellow academics and others working to improve the lives of our most vulnerable community members. Our work at the Los Angeles chapter of The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship would not have been possible without her significant and impactful contributions throughout the years.”
The awards ceremony will take place during the Celebration of Service, a graduation dinner held in honor of 15 Fellows graduating the Fellowship program. The event will take place Friday, April 8, 2016 at the Japanese American National Museum, 100 N. Central Ave., Los Angeles. A silent auction will begin at 4pm, and the program will begin at 5pm. The event is free and open to the public; but RSVP is required. Email Rebecca Bravo at Rebecca.Bravo@SchweitzerFellowship.org for more information.
The Los Angeles Schweitzer Fellows Program is one of 14 Schweitzer Fellowship programs throughout the United States and in Lambaréné, Gabon, at the site of The Albert Schweitzer Hospital. Fellows are graduate students who commit to a year of service, learning effective strategies and leadership skills to address the social factors that impact health. In doing so, they model their service after the life example set by pioneering physician-humanitarian and Nobel Peace Laureate Dr. Albert Schweitzer, who was one of the 20th century’s most admired global citizens.
Los Angeles Fellows have contributed more than 20,000 hours of service since 2007 to vulnerable populations in the Los Angeles area. The program sponsored by Kaiser Permanente and The Annenberg Foundation. Other sponsors includeAzusa Pacific University School of Nursing; UCLA School of Dentistry; David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA;USC School of Pharmacy; Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science; and Keck School of Medicine of USC. More information is available at SchweitzerFellowship.org/chapters/la/.