14 Graduate Students Will Spend Next Year Improving Community Health and Developing Lifelong Leadership Skills
Birmingham, Ala., May 6, 2019—The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship (ASF) of Alabama today announced the selection of its 2019-20 class of Alabama Schweitzer Fellows. Fourteen graduate students from Samford University, The University of Alabama, the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the University of Montevallo will spend the next year learning to effectively address the social factors that impact health and developing lifelong leadership skills. In doing so, they will follow the example set by famed physician-humanitarian Albert Schweitzer, for whom their Fellowship is named.
“This is a diverse group of students who bring a variety of academic disciplines, prior work experiences and personal backgrounds to the program. But what they have in common is a strong desire to improve the health of individuals and communities and a willingness to devote much time and effort to plan a project that addresses an unmet need,” said Kristin Boggs, Executive Director of the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship of Alabama. “Perhaps as a reflection of that diversity, we have projects taking place with small start-up nonprofits, large established hospitals, as well as governmental agencies addressing a range of health disparities and social determinants of health. I’m already inspired by and learning from them, and I know it will be an exciting year as they live out servant leadership.”
Schweitzer Fellows develop and implement service projects that address the root causes of health disparities in under-resourced communities, while also fulfilling their academic responsibilities. Each project is implemented in collaboration with a community-based health and/or social service organization. The Alabama Schweitzer program’s new class of Fellows will address an array of needs including youth mentorship; pediatric mental illness; addiction prevention; chronic health conditions, and more.
Schweitzer Fellowships have an intensive leadership component so that Fellows can go on to inspire others to improve the health of those who experience barriers to care. Fellows work under the close guidance of community and academic mentors during their fellowship year.
“Many of our Fellows go on to inspiring careers of service to vulnerable individuals and populations. Our support for them as they learn how to translate their Fellowship projects from an initial concept to actual, enduring impact is crucial to their future effectiveness in working with the underserved,” said Lachlan Forrow, MD, Chair of The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship Board of Directors. “The rapidly-growing network of our alumni – now thousands of “Schweitzer Fellows for Life” working across the country and the world – is already contributing to major improvements in the care of countless people.”
The 14 Alabama Fellows will join approximately 151 other 2019-20 Schweitzer Fellows working at program sites around the United States. Upon completion of their Fellowship year, the 2019-20 Alabama Schweitzer Fellows will become Schweitzer Fellows for Life and join a vibrant network of more than 3,400 Schweitzer alumni who are skilled in, and committed to, addressing the health needs of underserved people throughout their careers.
Nationally, some of ASF’s Fellows for Life include Dr. Stefan Kertesz, who leads research and education on how to improve the care of people who are homeless and who also serves as Vice-Chair of The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship Board of Directors; Rishi Manchanda, MD, author of the TED book The Upstream Doctors: Medical Innovators Track Sickness To Its Source; Jessica Lahey, JD, author of the bestseller The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn To Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed; and Robert Satcher, Jr., MD, PhD, assistant professor, Anderson Cancer Center and NASA mission specialist.
US-based ASF programs are located not only in Alabama but also in Chicago, Columbus-Athens, Oh.; Dallas-Fort Worth; Detroit; Houston; Los Angeles; New Orleans; New Hampshire/Vermont; North Carolina; Pittsburgh; San Francisco and Tulsa
Read more about the 2019 Fellows here.