May 21, 2013  

2013-14 Los Angeles Schweitzer Fellows Named

20 Graduate Students Will Spend Next Year Improving Community Health and Developing Lifelong Leadership Skills

Los Angeles, April 29, 2013—The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship (ASF) today announced the selection of its 2013-14 class of Los Angeles Schweitzer Fellows —20 graduate students who will spend the next year learning to effectively address the social factors that impact health, and developing lifelong leadership skills. In doing so, they will follow the example set by famed physician-humanitarian Albert Schweitzer, for whom their Fellowship is named.

“Our Fellows are passionate about improving the health of those living in underserved communities, and they are committed to improving their own skills to do so,” said ASF Executive Director Sylvia Stevens-Edouard. “They come from all academic disciplines—medicine, law, art, policy, and research—and they are pursuing work that improves lives. Over the next 12 months, they will also learn how to be effective leaders so they can inspire others to increase the health of those who experience barriers to care. They will carry these lessons into their professional careers, and further promote Dr. Schweitzer’s legacy to show reverence for life.”

“Our Fellows were selected after a competitive process, and they have signed up for a demanding year. They are expected to design and implement projects that will address the root causes of health inequities, and they will be doing this while also fulfilling their academic responsibilities,” said Los Angeles Schweitzer Fellowship Program Director John K. Su, MD, MPH. “Under the close guidance of community mentors, their projects—each of which is set in a community-based organization that serves vulnerable populations— are expected to make measurable differences on issues ranging from childhood literacy to diabetes to behavioral health.”

The 20 Los Angeles Fellows will join approximately 220 other 2013-14 Schweitzer Fellows working at 13 program sites, 12 in the US and one in Lambaréné, Gabon at the site of The Albert Schweitzer Hospital. Upon completion of their Fellowship year, the 2013-14 Los Angeles Schweitzer Fellows will become Schweitzer Fellows for Life and join a vibrant network of nearly 2,700 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 2007, the Los Angeles Schweitzer Fellowship Program has supported nearly 80 Schweitzer Fellows in delivering nearly 15,000 hours of service. The program is funded entirely through charitable donations and grants. Sponsors of the Los Angeles Schweitzer Fellowship Program include Kaiser Permanente of Southern California and the Baxter International Foundation.


2013-14 Los Angeles Schweitzer Fellows

Priya Bhat, University of San Diego/San Diego State Graduate School of Public Health
Priya is creating workshops providing health education about chronic diseases targeting Asian-Indian adults.
Community Site: TBD

Lyndsey Bradley and Hannah Kim, Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science/David Geffen School of Medicine at University of California-Los Angeles

Lyndsey and Hannah are helping students understand the social determinants of health and connecting them to resources that will address these issues.
Community Site: HealthBegins

Ryan Brennan, University of California-Los Angeles School of Dentistry
Ryan is providing oral hygiene information and dental care to the homeless and underserved.
Community Site: MEND (Meet Each Need with Dignity) Dental Clinic & Homeless Not Toothless

Victoria Cho, University of Southern California School of Pharmacy
Victoria is informing older Chinese adults about polypharmacy and how cultural remedies affect medicines prescribed.
Community Site: Allied Physicians of California (APC) Senior Wellness Center

Nicole Coppage, Keck School of Medicine at University of Southern California
Nicole is informing previously gang-involved and incarcerated women and men about chronic diseases, how to access health care, and available community resources.
Community Site: Homeboy Industries

Nicholas Iafe and Negeen Shahandeh, David Geffen School of Medicine at University of California-Los Angeles
Nicholas and Negeen are creating curriculums focused on identifying and preventing common health problems among people with intellectual disabilities.
Community Site: Pathway at UCLA Extension

Kelly Jones and Meghan Ward, Keck School of Medicine at University of Southern California
Kelly and Meghan are addressing the growing problem of body image and eating disorders among young females.
Community Site: Bella Vita Institute

Jared Kenney and Clark Knowlton, University of California-Los Angeles School of Dentistry
Jared and Clark are instructing and motivating preschool parents on the importance of child oral hygiene and implementing an oral hygiene program in preschools.
Community Site: First 5 LA, Breastfeed LA

Lusineh Keshishian, Western University of Health Sciences College of Pharmacy Lusineh is implementing an HPV vaccine educational program to increase knowledge and awareness in the community of Pomona.
Community Site: Pomona Community Health Center

Alyson Kil, Keck School of Medicine at University of Southern California
Alyson will improve access and availability of healthcare screenings available on Skid Row.
Community Site: Young Nak Celebration Church of Los Angeles & Los Angeles Christian Health Centers (LACHC)

Ingrid Leu, University of Southern California Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
Ingrid is designing and implementing a recovery oriented curriculum targeting adults with serious or persistent mental illness, helping them increase their self-sufficiency and improve health and well-being.
Community Site: Kedren Community Mental Health Center

Sonia Morales, Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science/David Geffen School of Medicine at University of California-Los Angeles
Sonia is bringing a Photonovela and a one-on-one education intervention program to families of pediatric cancer survivors in the community setting.
Community Site: PADRES Contra El Cancer

Rebekah Ndinda Ngewa, Loma Linda University School of Public Health
Rebekah Ndinda is creating and implementing a culturally relevant health education program to African American women in the hopes of increasing their knowledge of breast and cervical cancer screening and available resources.
Community Site: Healthy Heritage Cultural and Wellness Center

Michelle Sun, David Geffen School of Medicine at University of California-Los Angeles
Michelle is utilizing technology and education to give patients confidence to take charge of their health through literacy, prevention, and self-management.
Community Site: Pico Aliso & Joshua House Community Clinics from the Los Angeles Christian Health Centers (LACHC)

Nidhi Taneja, University of California-Los Angeles School of Dentistry
Nidhi is improving the oral health of mothers, infants, and children through screenings and education courses and materials.
Community Site: Venice Family Clinic's Simms/Mann Health & Wellness Center

Yun-Ju Yoo, Ostrow School of Dentistry of University of Southern California
Yun-Ju is implementing creative activities aimed at informing Korean elders in nursing homes about the importance of periodontal health and screenings.
Community Site: TBD

For more information, please contact:
  Susan Ryan-Vollmar
The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship / 617.999.5644



  About The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship
The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship (ASF) is improving the health of vulnerable people now and for the future by developing a corps of Leaders in Service—professionals skilled in creating positive change with and in our communities, our health and human service systems, and our world.
Through community-based, mentored direct service and a multidisciplinary, reflective leadership development program, ASF is building community capacity and training a professional workforce that is:
  • skilled in addressing the underlying causes of health inequities;
  • committed to improving the health outcomes of underserved communities; and
  • prepared for a life of continued service.
    To date, nearly 2,500 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. Through this work and through the contributions of Fellows whose professional careers serve their communities, ASF perpetuates the legacy and philosophy of physician-humanitarian Dr. Albert Schweitzer. ASF has 12 program locations in the U.S. and one in Lambaréné, Africa. Its national office is located in Boston, MA and hosted by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

    About Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science
    CDU is a private, nonprofit, nonsectarian, minority-serving medical and health sciences institution.  Located in the Watts-Willowbrook area of South Los Angeles, CDU has graduated more than 550 medical doctors, 2,500 post-graduate physicians, more than 2,000 physician assistants and hundreds of other health professionals.  The only dually designated Historically Black Graduate Institution and Hispanic Serving Health Professions School in the U.S., CDU is recognized as a leader in translational and health inequities research, specifically with respect to heart disease, diabetes, cancer, mental health, and HIV/AIDS.  Recently, the CDU/UCLA medical program was named the “best performer” in the University of California System with respect to producing outstanding underrepresented minority physicians by the Greenlining Institute.  For more information, visit .


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