Hyun Hong and Farhad Modarai have had quite a busy year.
On top of their responsibilities as medical students at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ), the two 2009-10 Schweitzer Fellows launched Project REACH (Revitalizing Education & Advancing Camden’s Health) — an integrated, multi-disciplinary health education intervention program aimed at equipping Camden middle school students with the skills to take control of their own health, and that of their community. (Click here for a press release on Project REACH.)
The payoff has been clear: “Project REACH has made me believe I can do things I could not before,” says 12-year old East Camden Middle School student Eduardo Lazo, adding that after the program’s session on smoking he convinced his uncle to quit.
Two newly-selected Greater Philadelphia Schweitzer Fellows will carry that momentum forward. 2010-11 Schweitzer Fellows Komal Ahuja and Malasa Jois — medical students at UMDNJ — will hit the ground running, working to expand and sustain Project REACH.
Ahuja and Jois are just three members of the newly selected class of 2010-11 Greater Philadelphia Schweitzer Fellows, which also includes Li-Ping Chew and Matthew Miller — the first-ever Schweitzer Fellows from the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine — and Kenny Aristide and Stephanie Do, two Jefferson School of Pharmacy students who aim to address chronic disease risk factors in Philadelphia’s homeless men by implementing and monitoring a health promotion and educational program that assists Ridge Avenue Shelter residents with managing their cardiovascular health.
Over the next year, Ahuja, Jois, Chew, Miller, Aristide, Do, and 10 other professional school students will conceptualize and carry out Schweitzer service projects that address the health needs of underserved individuals and communities in the Greater Philadelphia area.
We’ll keep you posted as these new Fellows address unmet health needs (and develop into Leaders in Service in the process). In the meantime, you can browse the new Greater Philadelphia Schweitzer Fellows’ projects here — we hope you’ll be as excited as we are about the impact they’re aiming to deliver.