When we describe this upcoming weekend as the biggest one of our year, we’re not exaggerating: we’ll welcome a record number of people—about 500 in total—to our Schweitzer Prize event and Schweitzer Leadership Conference on Friday and Saturday.
The excitement will kick off tomorrow night, when we’ll present James (Jim) O’Connell, MD with the Schweitzer Prize for Humanitarianism.
In 1985, O’Connell founded Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program (BHCHP)—now the nation’s largest and most comprehensive health care organization for people experiencing homelessness. Click here to listen to O’Connell’s recent WGBH interview, which references the Schweitzer Prize.
We’re especially pleased to present O’Connell with this year’s prize in light of the rich mutual history between our two organizations: in 1992, a member of the very first class of Schweitzer Fellows partnered with BHCHP to carry out a yearlong service project. Since then, nearly 20 other Schweitzer Fellows have partnered with BHCHP, doing everything from providing bilingual patient advocacy services, to providing hair cuts to patients, to establishing support groups for HIV-positive patients.
In total, more than 200 Schweitzer Fellows in Boston and across the country have carried out service projects that meet the health and social needs of people experiencing homelessness. Tomorrow night, several of them will speak about how O’Connell has inspired them personally and professionally. We can’t wait.
Our programming continues on Saturday with the Schweitzer Leadership Conference—an extraordinary opportunity to learn from the examples set by leaders who are shaping the way we think, talk, and act when it comes to health equity, health care, social change, and public policy. Click here to flip through a PDF of the printed program.
If you’re joining us, you’ll hear from O’Connell—as well as learn about the work being done by Schweitzer Fellows like Rushika Fernandopulle, founder of Iora Health, and Kohar Jones, who directs service-learning at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. You’ll learn from leaders like Don Weaver of the National Association of Community Health Centers and Charlie Homer of the National Initiative for Children’s Healthcare Quality. You’ll engage with trailblazing health communicators like Donna Latson Gittens, Founder and Principal of MORE Advertising. And you’ll be inspired by our extraordinary plenary speakers—including leadership expert Sanjiv Chopra and public health pioneer Adewale Troutman.
You’ll emerge with new strategies and skills for effective leadership in today’s evolving social, economic, technological, and political environment—from building effective community-based coalitions, to exploring new and innovative models for primary care delivery, to addressing the pervasive impact of race, education level, and socioeconomic status on health.
We can’t wait to get started—and to see many of you—very soon!