The OSU College of Medicine has been named one of 12 sites in the nation to host an Albert Schweitzer Fellowship (ASF) Program, joining several other prominent institutions around the country including Baylor, Dartmouth, University of California Berkeley and the University of Maryland.
The Columbus Schweitzer Fellows Program will provide community service fellowships for graduate and professional students who are dedicated to addressing unmet health needs and the social determinants of health in the Columbus and Athens, Ohio areas.
The Columbus Program site was launched on Sept. 14 at an Ohio Union event hosted by Catherine R. Lucey, MD, interim dean of the College of Medicine and associate vice dean for Health Sciences Education. Comments were also given by ASF President Lachlan Forrow, MD; Schweitzer Fellow for Life Kim Hammersmith, DDS, MPH; and OSU President E. Gordon Gee.
“The Fellowship is a great fit with one of the goals articulated in the University's and Medical Center's Strategic Plan, which is to ‘commit to our communities in Ohio and across the world and make a difference in the lives of others,” says Dr. Lucey. “Working in concert with other OSU Colleges as well as our colleagues at other Columbus-area universities, the potential community benefit of the program is enormous.”
Beginning this October, students from the College of Medicine, along with other graduate/professional students from around Ohio State and institutions in the Columbus area, will be recruited to apply for year-long Schweitzer Fellowships. Fellows will partner with community-based organizations to identify an unmet health-related need, design a year-long, 200-hour service project with a demonstrable impact on that need, and bring that project from idea to implementation and impact. Each Fellow will receive a receive a $3,000 stipend. When Fellows’ initial year ends, they will carry their commitment to meeting the health-related needs of underserved people forward as members of the Schweitzer Fellows for Life alumni network, now more than 2,000 strong.
“We are delighted and energized by the support we’ve received while getting this program off the ground – there is really a hunger for a program like this here in Columbus,” says Columbus Schweitzer Fellows Program Director Terry Bahn, EdD, who is also Director of Outreach and Engagement at The OSU College of Medicine. Prospective applicants can begin applying now, and we will select our first class of Fellows in early spring of 2011. I can’t wait for them to begin carrying out their Schweitzer projects and impacting the health and lives of the Columbus and Athens communities.”
Ohio University, Ohio Health and Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation are among Ohio State’s current partners in bringing the program to the Columbus and Athens, Ohio, communities.