Geisel Students Named 2016-2017 NH/VT Schweitzer Fellows

Ten first-year medical students at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth have been selected as 2016-17 New Hampshire/Vermont Schweitzer Fellows by the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship. The fellows 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.

Physician-humanitarian Dr. Albert Schweitzer

Physician-humanitarian Dr. Albert Schweitzer

“I’m excited to see our students recognized as Schweitzer fellows for their work to support the healthcare needs of our local communities,” said Duane Compton, Interim Dean of the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth.  “Their commitment to reducing health disparities in our communities while being full time students is emblematic of the dedication that will make them outstanding physicians.”

Geisel’s Schweitzer fellows will join the approximately 240 other 2016-2017 Schweitzer Fellows across the nation in developing and implementing service projects that address the root causes of health disparities in under-resourced communities, while at the same time fulfilling their academic responsibilities as full-time students. Each project is implemented in collaboration with a community-based organization.

“We are extremely proud of our incoming class of Schweitzer Fellows, and we are excited to see what our talented students accomplish over the next 12 months,” said Nancy Gabriel, Director of the New Hampshire/Vermont chapter of The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship. “Our program is making a lasting impact on the health of communities in New Hampshire and Vermont as our Fellows first learn to serve and support vulnerable people in living healthier lives, and then take those skills with them when they establish themselves professionally as leaders in their field.”

This year’s Schweitzer Fellows from the Geisel School of Medicine are:

Emily Johnson and Kristen Delwiche
Emily and Kristen will be working with underserved, first time mothers in Claremont, NH.   They will be providing health education and information on early childhood development to build mothers’ confidence and reduce stress through a home visit model.  Community site: TLC Family Resource Center

Salma Dali and Timothy Harris
Salma and Timothy’s project provides health and substance prevention education to middle and high school students in underserved communities in Vermont and New Hampshire. They also aim to train medical students on educational pedagogy to enable them to deliver effective health education to patients and the community. Community site: Several area middle and high schools

Megan Bunnell and Margot Le Neveu
Megan and Margot will implement a self-care initiative for individuals with substance use disorders participating in Drug Court.  Their project will address this need with topics including: the foundation of sustainable, positive relationships with primary care; exposure to healthy lifestyle practices; access to fresh vegetables; and discussion of mental health.  Community site: Grafton County Drug Court

Victoria Charoonratana and Simrun Bal
Simrun and Victoria will interview parents recovering from addiction to explore community support in recovery.  They aim to use these narratives to cultivate a greater understanding of substance dependence and create deeper connections between patients and service providers.  Their project will be incorporated into ongoing efforts to improve community resources.  Community site: Community Health Improvement, Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center

Courtney Hanlon and Hannah Systrom
Partnering with Girls On The Run and Hartford Middle School, Hannah and Courtney will lead a mentorship program designed to promote teamwork, develop self-esteem, and improve health and wellbeing among middle school girls in the Upper Valley. They will create a collaborative space for reflection, empowerment, positive relationships, and personal growth through team-based curriculum and longitudinal mentorship. Community Site: Hartford Middle School

In addition to the 10 Geisel students selected, four students from Dartmouth’s Thayer School of Engineering were also named Schweitzer Fellows:

Rita Tu and Fioleda Prifti
Rita and Fioleda will introduce engineering and health concepts through food science to elementary school students at the Montshire Museum and Dothan Brook Elementary school. The project will explore everyday foods’ texture, packaging, taste, nutrition, and other properties. Community site: Montshire Museum of Science

Andrew Allee and Nick Laws
Andrew and Nick are developing interactive STEM education experiences for people of all ages in rural New England, with a particular focus on low-income families and energy concepts related to health and quality of life. By engaging participants with inventive tinkering activities that provide fun, hands-on experiences, Andrew and Nick’s project aims to familiarize participants with the basic energy principles undergirding nutrition, home energy efficiency, and alternative energy.  Community site: Montshire Museum of Science

Upon completion of their Fellowship year, the 2016-2017 New Hampshire/Vermont Schweitzer Fellows will become Schweitzer Fellows for Life and join a network of more than 3,200 Schweitzer alumni who are skilled in, and committed to, addressing the health needs of underserved people throughout their careers.

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About the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth
Founded in 1797, the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth strives to improve the lives of the communities it serves through excellence in learning, discovery, and healing. The Geisel School of Medicine is renowned for its leadership in medical education, health care policy and delivery science, biomedical research, global health, and in creating innovations that improve lives worldwide. As one of America’s leading medical schools, Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine is committed to training new generations of diverse leaders who will help solve our most vexing challenges in health care.

About The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship
The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship (ASF) is preparing the next generation of professionals who will serve and empower vulnerable people to live healthier lives and create healthier communities. To date, more than 3,200 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 14 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.

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