This past Friday, nearly 1,000 Houston-area clinicians heard Mr. G’s story from Don Stader (above), the Schweitzer Fellow who launched the patient education initiative that changed Mr. G’s life.
Stader is just one of over 2,000 Schweitzer Fellows and Fellows for Life (program alumni) across the country making an on-the-ground difference in the health and lives of underserved individuals. At ASF President Dr. Lachlan Forrow’s Pri-Med Southwest keynote Friday morning, clinicians heard from Forrow about the work of those Schweitzer Fellows, and that work’s relationship to their own personal journey towards “finding their own Lambarene” and reuniting medicine, healing, and service in their own lives.
They also heard from the Fellows themselves — Stader, whose Schweitzer project with Mary Weeks we’ve detailed extensively here; Erin Bendure, who with partner Ryan Van Ramshorst reinvigorated an early childhood literacy initiative at a busy Houston hospital; and Bhavika Kaul, whose Community Health Navigator Program aims to improve Houston-area Burmese refugees’ access to health care.
After the keynote, attendees had the chance to attend a meet and greet with Stader, Bendure, and Kaul, as well as have Dr. Forrow sign a copy of Albert Schweitzer’s autobiography, Out of My Life and Thought, for them. (Out of My Life and Thought includes a foreword by Forrow; a $10 donation was suggested for each signed book.)
Attendees’ generosity was staggering: members of the audience donated over $1,000. Those funds will go directly to the Houston-Galveston Schweitzer Fellows Program, where they’ll support the work of Fellows like Stader, Bendure, and Kaul. The Houston-Galveston Program is ASF’s youngest (it launched in 2008) — making Pri-Med audience members’ support even more invaluable.
We are thrilled that our message of addressing health disparities by developing “Leaders in Service” resonated so strongly with the doctors and nurses attending Pri-Med Southwest. We are deeply grateful for these individuals’ support, as well as the generous institutional support provided to us by Pri-Med as a whole. Thank you all so much.
Onward to Pri-Med West on May 5!