The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship (ASF) today announced the launch of a program chapter in Birmingham, Alabama. The chapter has its office at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine, with additional support from UAB’s Schools of Dentistry, Health Professions, Nursing, and Public Health. The Chapter invites applications from graduate students across north central Alabama.
Recruiting is underway for the chapter’s first class of Fellows, who will begin their Fellowship year in April, 2016.
“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 Sylvia Stevens-Edouard, Executive Director of The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship. “Our individual chapters supplement traditional education with programs focused on supporting emerging professionals’ desire to serve populations in need. Our new program in Alabama will make important and vital contributions that will improve lives and create positive change.”
“The Alabama Schweitzer Fellowship Program will embrace Albert Schweitzer’s commitment to service and compassion for people in need,” said Kristin Boggs, Program Director for the Alabama Schweitzer Fellowship Program. “Our program will support a range of projects that address health and wellbeing in multiple and creative ways, in order to reach those with needs that often go unmet in traditional healthcare and social service settings.”
“We are so pleased to host the Alabama Schweitzer Fellowship Program,” said Selwyn Vickers, M.D., F.A.C.S., senior vice president and dean of UAB’s School of Medicine. “The values of The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship align closely with those of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, which prepares students for leadership in their professions and their communities. We look forward to this collaboration.”
Schweitzer Fellows are graduate students in healthcare fields, 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 working with others in allied fields. As Schweitzer Fellows develop professionally, this skill is critical to their ability to effect 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 new 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; Additionally, three Schweitzer Fellows for Life were among those who deployed to West Africa to fight the Ebola outbreak: Meredith Dixon, MD, who is a CDC Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer; Nahid Bhadelia, MD, director of infection control at Boston’s National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratory and a hospital epidemiologist at Boston Medical Center; and William Fischer II, MD, a pulmonologist and critical care physician at UNC Health Care and UNC School of Medicine.
The Alabama chapter is ASF’s 13th US-based program. The others are in Boston; Chicago; Columbus-Athens; Dallas-Fort Worth; Houston; Los Angeles; New Orleans; New Hampshire and Vermont; North Carolina; Pittsburgh; and San Francisco. A 12th program in Tulsa, Oklahoma is also opening this year. Additionally, ASF has a program chapter based in Lambaréné, Gabon, at The Albert Schweitzer Hospital.