News Release   May 30, 2012  

Five Charles R. Drew University Students Awarded 2012-2013 Schweitzer Fellowship

Student-led community-based projects will address health disparities throughout Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES- Five Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science (CDU) students enrolled in the joint CDU/University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) Medical Education program were selected for the prestigious Albert Schweitzer Fellowship (ASP).  The five are among 16 graduate students chosen for the 2012-2013 class of Los Angeles Schweitzer Fellows who will spend a year learning to effectively address the social factors that impact health and developing lifelong leadership skills in the name of famed physician and humanitarian, Albert Schweitzer.

CDU awardees will be part of the approximately 230 National Schweitzer Fellows at 12 program sites throughout the United States to partner with local community-based organizations for service projects.

Rebecca Lopez ’15, from Montebello, Calif., and Janelle Rodriguez ‘15, from Los Angeles, plan to develop and implement a health education and parenting curriculum for young, at-risk parents in East Los Angeles at the AltaMed Adolescent Family Life Program

“We are extremely excited and honored to be working as Schweitzer Fellows on a project that we feel will have profound effects on young parents in our community,” said Lopez and Rodriguez. “We feel that our project embodies the spirit of community service and hope that it reflects our desire to contribute to the CDU Mission.”

Wemo Magbegor ‘14, from Dallas, will work alongside The Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program to provide health education and screenings for diabetes and hypertension at local barbershops. 

“Balancing academics, clinical rotations, and family life in medical school is a difficult feat that any medical student can attest to,” said Magbegor. “It is my understanding that African-Americans are being crippled by diabetes, the fifth deadliest disease in the United States. And that it is expected to be an epidemic in the African-American male population by 2050 compels me to take action.”

At the Student Run Homeless Clinic, a community service learning program of the Department of Family Medicine at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, Dharma Sunjaya ‘15, from Fairfield, Calif., will partner with UCLA student, Mark Andre, to develop and implement a diabetic education program for homeless patients.

Kene Ojukwu '13, from Pittsburg, will partner with UCLA student, Molly Diaz to implement a health education program for 5th-graders called Anatomy Academy at the Stella Middle Charter Academy.

After completing their project, these students will become Schweitzer Fellows for Life, a network of 2,500 individuals dedicated to addressing health disparities.

Established in 1992, the mission of The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship is to develop individuals who are dedicated and skilled in addressing the health needs of underserved communities, and whose example influences and inspires others. The Los Angeles Schweitzer Fellows program, founded in 2007, was a collaboration between Kaiser Permanente; Los Angeles Physicians for Social Responsibility; Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County; University of Southern California; and University of California, Los Angeles. Kaiser Permanente of Southern California provides funding.

All students chosen from CDU are in the joint CDU/UCLA Medical Education Program, a four year- community-based medical education program that provides training in the scholarly and humane aspects of medicine and fosters the development of leaders who will advance medical practice and knowledge in underserved areas .

“Similar to the Schweitzer Fellowship, Charles Drew students are selected for their demonstrated commitment to underserved areas and trained to address health through a social lens," said President David M. Carlisle, M.D., Ph. D,, “I am proud of the initiative of these students to pursue the Fellowship and create programs that consciously address the needs of the Los Angeles community.”

Previous CDU Schweitzer Fellows include: Kenneth Kim ’12, Jeffrey Dela Cruz '12 Erica Davenport ‘14 and Sabah R’id ’14.




For more information, please contact:

Jessica Gelzer
323-892-2080 OR 818-399-4088


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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