2012-13 New Hampshire-Vermont Schweitzer Fellows Named
- By Jennifer Nachbur
The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship (ASF) has announced the selection of its 2012-13 class of New Hampshire-Vermont Schweitzer Fellows. A total of 9 students from the University of Vermont College of Medicine are among 29 graduate students selected to spend the next year learning to effectively address the social factors that impact health, developing lifelong leadership skills, and living famed physician-humanitarian Albert Schweitzer’s message of service.
Joining approximately 220 other 2012-13 Schweitzer Fellows at 12 program sites throughout the U.S., the newly selected New Hampshire-Vermont Schweitzer Fellows will partner with local community-based organizations to develop and implement year-long, mentored service projects that improve the health and well-being of underserved people – all on top of their regular academic responsibilities.
“The Schweitzer Fellowship simultaneously promotes Schweitzer’s legacy and addresses a critical gap in today’s health care landscape by equipping emerging professionals with the tools to address not only clinical health issues, but also the social determinants of health,” says ASF President Lachlan Forrow, M.D., director of ethics and palliative care at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.
UVM College of Medicine 2012-13 Schweitzer Fellows include:
- Zoe Agoos and Ian McDaniels - Agoos and McDaniels will develop and implement a training program to enable Bhutanese refugee elders in Burlington to serve as patient navigators for their community members within the local health care system. Community Site: Community Health Centers of Burlington.
- Benjamin Brown and Laurel Wickberg - Brown and Wickberg will create an enrichment program for individuals suffering from dementia. Community Site: Visiting Nurse Association of Chittenden and Grand Isle Counties.
- Jessie Evangelista and Janet Trang - Evangelista and Trang will develop and implement a neonatal matching program that pairs current NICU families with NICU graduate families. Community Site: Fletcher Allen Health Care.
- Sarah Gardner and Emily Rosen - Through multi-cultural pre-natal classes, Gardner and Rosen will work to bridge the gap between birthing practices in Burlington refugee communities and in American culture. Community Site: Visiting Nurse Association Family Room.
- Tamar Goldberg - Goldberg will create an in-home program to provide respite care for families of children with special medical needs. Community Site: Vermont Family Network.
Earlier this year, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation reported that although 85 percent of primary care physicians and pediatricians say their patients have health concerns caused by unmet social factors, only 20 percent of health professionals feel equipped to help their underserved patients actually address those social factors – including low incomes, environmentally unsafe housing, and lack of access to healthy foods, mental health care services, and educational opportunities.
“Established in 1992, our U.S. Schweitzer Fellows Program is a two-pronged means of addressing that gap,” Forrow says. “Fellows deliver immediate impact on the root causes of health inequities by partnering with area community- based organizations to carry out mentored, entrepreneurial, yearlong service projects on issues like early childhood literacy, obesity, and access to health care. But the Fellowship’s leadership development programming also helps them to contextualize this experience—delivering lasting impact by developing health professionals with the capacity and cultural competence to address social factors on an ongoing and effective basis throughout their careers.”
Upon completion of their initial year, the 2012-13 New Hampshire-Vermont Schweitzer Fellows will become Schweitzer Fellows for Life and join a vibrant network of nearly 2,500 Schweitzer alumni who are skilled in, and committed to, addressing the health needs of underserved people throughout their careers as professionals. Ninety- nine percent of Fellows for Life say that ASF is integral to sustaining their commitment to serving people in need.
Since 1996, the New Hampshire-Vermont Schweitzer Fellows Program has supported more than 350 Schweitzer Fellows in delivering nearly 70,000 hours of service. The program is funded entirely through charitable donations and grants. Sponsors include Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation in New Hampshire, the Byrne Foundation, the Couch Family Foundation, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, the Grafton County Medical Society, Hypertherm, Inc., the Lintilhac Foundation, the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, University of New Hampshire School of Law, Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth, University of Vermont College of Medicine, and Vermont Law School.
Learn more about the NH-VT Schweitzer Fellows program.
(This news release was produced by Patrice Taddoni of The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship.)