Student Corner: Schweitzer Fellows

Student Corner: Schweitzer Fellows

Four Baylor students have been named 2014-15 Houston-Galveston Schweitzer Fellows and will spend the next year on projects aimed at improving community health and developing their leadership skills.

Albert Schweitzer Fellowships are awarded nationally to students to 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. This year’s Fellows will address an array of health issues affecting a range of populations, including oral health awareness among people living with HIV; mindfulness training among people who are homeless; and nutrition classes for people with diabetes.

The Baylor fellow and their projects are:

Raghuveer Puttagunta and Elizabeth Thoyakulathu

Elizabeth and Raghuveer will work to develop a community for young people with HIV to improve health literacy, long-term wellness and personal empowerment through a comprehensive educational program.

Community Site: Thomas St. Clinic and Teen Health Clinic

Jaden Schupp

Jaden will be working in conjunction with Texas Children’s Hospital on a project to improve care coordination for adolescent diabetic mothers during their pregnancy and provide preconception counseling to non-pregnant diabetic adolescents, with the intent to reduce adverse health outcomes for the mother and her child and to reduce the overall incidence of unplanned pregnancy in adolescents with type 1 diabetes.

Community Site: Texas Children’s Hospital

Winnie Zou

Winnie will work with fellow Kristin Tang and take a community-based participatory approach to introduce preventative medicine and social work aspect of healthcare to HOMES Clinic, a student run free clinic for the homeless that operates on Sundays.

Community Site: HOMES Clinic

“These Schweitzer Fellows are living Dr. Albert Schweitzer’s legacy of reverence for life,” said Dr. David Buck, advisory board chair of the Houston-Galveston area chapter of the Schweitzer fellowship program, professor of family and community medicine at Baylor and president of Healthcare for the Homeless-Houston. “Their Fellowship year will help keep them connected to the ideals that led them to study health in the first place even as they are immersed in the demands of intensive course work. It will also leave them well-prepared to successfully face the challenges of serving vulnerable and underserved populations, whose health and medical needs are many and varied.”

The 13 Houston-Galveston Fellows will join approximately 220 other 2014-15 Schweitzer Fellows working at 12 program sites. Upon completion of their fellowship year, the 2014-15 Houston-Galveston Schweitzer Fellows will become Schweitzer Fellows for Life and join a vibrant network of nearly 3,000 Schweitzer alumni who are skilled in, and committed to, addressing the health needs of underserved people throughout their careers. Fellows for Life routinely report that ASF is integral to sustaining their commitment to serving people in need.

Since 2008, the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship – Houston Galveston has supported 61 Schweitzer Fellows. The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship – Houston Galveston is funded through the generosity of the Simmons Foundation; the Houston Endowment; the Frees Foundation; The Lyons Foundation; the John S. Dunn Foundation and many individual donors. They are also funded by the Professional Schools Consortium including Baylor College of Medicine, University of Houston Graduate School of Social Work, University of Houston Law Center, University of Texas Health Science Center, University of Texas Dental School and Rice University.

Nationally, nearly 3,000 Schweitzer Fellows have delivered nearly 500,000 hours of service to nearly 300,000 people in need. Additionally, more than 100 Fellows have provided care at the 100-year-old Schweitzer Hospital in Lambaréné, Africa.