BCM students among 2012-13 Schweitzer Fellows

June 1, 2012

Five Baylor College of Medicine students will spend the next year improving community health and developing lifelong leadership skills as part of the 2012-13 class of Houston-Galveston Schweitzer Fellows.

Named for the famed physician-humanitarian, the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship program was established to give graduate students the tools to effectively address the social factors that impact health, develop leadership skills and perpetuate Schweitzer's message of community service.

The BCM students join approximately 240 other 2012-13 Schweitzer Fellows at 12 program sites throughout the United States. They will partner with local community-based organizations to develop and implement yearlong, mentored service projects that improve the health and well being of underserved people—all on top of their regular academic responsibilities.

The BCM students and their projects are:

2012-13 Houston-Galveston Schweitzer Fellows

Vishwaratn Asthana and Miel Sundararajan

They will address the lack of primary care options for uninsured people by developing a preventive health counseling program for individuals seeking primary care in the emergency center.

Community Site: Ben Taub General Hospital Ginni and Richard Mithoff Trauma Center

Andrew Franco and Akhil Shenoy

The pair will develop a meal program and job-training curriculum that empowers homeless young adults in Houston to lead healthier and more self-sustained lives.

Community Site: The Haven Center at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church

Shehni Nadeem

Nadeem will develop a program (SPEED Team - Skin Protection Education and Empowerment Discharge Team) for newborns and their mothers promoting sun safety and skin cancer prevention.

Community Site: Ben Taub General Hospital

"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 Dr. Lachlan Forrow, director of ethics and palliative care at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. "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 Houston-Galveston Schweitzer Fellows will become Schweitzer Fellows for Life, joining a vibrant network of nearly 2,500 Schweitzer alumni skilled in, and committed to, addressing the health needs of underserved people throughout their careers as professionals.

Vishwaratn Asthana
Vishwaratn Asthana
Miel Sundararajan
Miel Sundararajan
Andrew Franco
Andrew Franco
Akhil Shenoy
Akhil Shenoy
Shehni Nadeem
Shehni Nadeem