April 28, 2011 – Five HSPH students have been named to the 2011-12 class of Schweitzer Fellows by The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship. Raymond Deng, Ted Henson, and Mariah Rich have been named Boston Schweitzer Fellows. Sarah Dilley and Sangeeta Sakaria have been selected members of the inaugural class of Indiana Schweitzer Fellows. The students will join approximately 240 other Schweitzer Fellows nationally in conceptualizing and carrying out service projects that address the unmet health needs of underserved individuals and communities.
Deng and Henson will work to increase access to support services for patients of Brookside Community Health Center by developing partnerships with local service providers, and then referring patients to these partner organizations through an established “help desk.” Prior to creating the help desk, Deng and Henson will assess Brookside patients’ unmet housing, food and nutrition, job training, legal aid, and transportation needs. They will conduct weekly workshops on strengthening social services integration and social determinants of health awareness for health center employees. Brookside, a health center licensed by Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, provides care to more than 10,000 residents of Jamaica Plain and the surrounding area.
Rich will focus on reducing obesity risk in early childhood by collaborating with Healthy Waltham and the City of Waltham, Mass., to implement the “Let’s Move Cities and Towns Campaign.” Her projects will include making healthy food affordable and accessible, providing healthy food in schools, and increasing physical activity. She will start community gardens, develop nutrition curriculums, run healthy cooking workshops, and organize citywide exercise programs.
Sakaria and Dilley will carry out their Schweitzer projects in Indiana as Indiana University School of Medicine students. Sakaria will educate Latino adolescents on issues related to nutrition and healthy lifestyles. She plans to integrate the 5-2-1-0 Healthy Kids Countdown, a health promotion initiative based on evidence-based messaging emphasizing healthy nutritional choices and behaviors, at the Pecar Health Center in Indianapolis.
Dilley will implement a comprehensive maternal smoking cessation program at a Wishard Hospital-affiliated community health center.
After completing their initial year, the five students will become Schweitzer Fellows for Life and join a network of over 2,000 Schweitzer alumni who are committed to addressing the health needs of underserved people throughout their careers as professionals.