Each year, the U.S. Schweitzer Fellows Program® competitively selects students from the nation's top universities to become Schweitzer Fellows. These graduate and professional students partner with community-based organizations to identify an unmet health need, design a yearlong service project with a demonstrable impact on that need, and bring that project from idea to implementation and impact.
This year, 243 multidisciplinary graduate students have been selected in the U.S., 13 of whom are Ohio State University students. Among them are two College of Medicine students and three School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences students.
Sabrina Smith and Sophia Tolliver, both Med I’s at The Ohio State University’s College of Medicine, will be developing and implementing nutrition programs in Columbus -- Smith to establish a diabetes prevention program for the underserved in partnership with the Central Ohio Diabetes Association (CODA) and Sophia Tolliver a nutrition intervention program at the Physicians Care Connection (PCC), a Columbus-based free clinic serving the homeless.
Brittney Cottman, a first-year, Occupation Therapy master’s student in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, will work to improve the quality of life of older adults by mobilizing an activities group comprised of retirement community members. Laura Marx and Kasey Vogel, also students in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, will work as a team to develop a theater-based intervention program for individuals living with mental illness.
Upon completion of their initial year, these 2012-13 Fellows will become Schweitzer Fellows for Life
—and join a network of more than 2,500 Schweitzer alumni who are skilled in, and remain committed to, addressing the health needs of underserved people throughout their careers.
Rooted in Dr. Albert Schweitzer’s commitment and service to others and established in 1992, the U.S. Schweitzer Fellows Program aims to develop leaders in service who are educated, experienced, and committed to addressing unmet health needs by improving community health through direct service to individuals and strengthening the capacity of community-based organizations; expanding educational opportunities in partnering professional schools while raising awareness of the needs of underserved communities; and maintaining a growing and vibrant community of Schweitzer Fellowship alumni committed to lives of service.
“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,” according to ASF President Lachlan Forrow, MD, Director of Ethics and Palliative Care at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. “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,” he states.
The Columbus-Athens Schweitzer Fellows Program
was launched in September 2010 with major funding from Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation and hosted by The Ohio State University College of Medicine. Other contributing partners include Ohio Health, eight other OSU Colleges, the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, and Trinity Lutheran Seminary. The site is one of thirteen U.S. Schweitzer program sites
working to address health disparities by developing Leaders in Service. The Columbus-Athens Schweitzer Fellows Program is now working with its second class of multidisciplinary Schweitzer Fellows.
Pizutti to Receive Schweitzer Leadership Award
Marjory Pizutti, President and CEO of Goodwill Columbus, has been selected to receive an Albert Schweitzer Leadership Award for community service. The award, newly created this year to recognize community health champions whose life examples have significantly mitigated the social determinants of health in their communities, and whose commitments to service have influenced and inspired others, recognizes Pizutti’s work on behalf of vulnerable populations in Franklin County, Ohio.
Since 2005 Margie has been President and CEO of Goodwill Columbus. Each year this organization provides 1.2 million hours of service to its participants with disabilities and other barriers through training, job placement programs, and work programs for individuals with developmental disabilities. Specialized rehabilitation programs reinforce the organization’s commitment to ensuring all individuals with disabilities and other barriers are embraced as valued and dignified members of our community.
Goodwill Columbus was the host organization for Schweitzer Fellow, Tessa Yoder, a graduate student in the College of Medicine, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences.
Pizzuti will be recognized at a May 3 Celebration of Service event to be held in the Ohio Union on Ohio State’s main campus and will receive special recognition at ASF’s annual national conference, which will be held in Boston in early November.