For Release: May 7, 2007
Contact: DMS Communications 603-650-1492

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Schweitzer Fellows Lead Volunteers for Common Good

HANOVER, NH—More than 50 Dartmouth medical and engineering students volunteered in the community for Common Good Day on May 1, a joint venture to serve local social service agencies that was organized by the Dartmouth Medical School and Thayer School of Engineering 2006-07 Schweitzer Fellows.

A team led by DMS Schweitzer Fellow Dan Kaser did trail work for the Upper Valley Trails Alliance (UVTA). From left: Tian Zhou (Thayer), John Taylor (UVTA), Erryn Leinbaugh (DMS), Juan Pablo Fernandez (Thayer).

It was the second time that DMS Schweitzer fellows led classmates into underserved community areas, but the first in collaboration with Thayer students who are now part of the New Hampshire/Vermont Schweitzer Fellows Program, launched at DMS in 1996.

Students chose from 10 different volunteer opportunities that ranged from assisting at the Haven, an emergency shelter for displaced families, to building a bike and walking trail at Romano Circle, a low income housing facility, to cleaning and maintenance at Hannah House, a residence for pregnant and parenting teenagers.

The U.S. Schweitzer Fellows programs provide community service fellowships for graduate students in health-related professions who are dedicated to addressing unmet health needs in their local areas. NH/VT Schweitzer Fellows for 2007-08 announced recently include the Dartmouth students and projects listed below.

Dartmouth Medical School

  • Albie Ackil, Mascoma Clinic: Develop new community outreach programs and streamline clinic operations; compile a clinic handbook and resources for alternative clinic programs, fund-raising activities, and local volunteer opportunities.
  • Jennifer Bentwood and Duncan Meiklejohn, Good Neighbor Health Clinic: Initiate a "food insecurities" screening to help assess and meet nutritional needs; create town-specific food resources pamphlets and provide counseling to better direct needy persons to local resources.
  • Cindy Nu Chai, DHMC: Provide studio art classes elective for DMS students and doctors; create a volunteer service to conduct art projects with children with chronic medical conditions.
  • Nicholas Ellis and Pablo Valdes, a Manchester, NH, high school: encourage inner city adolescents to enter the health care profession, conduct educational conferences and offer relevant health care literature, exposure to health professionals, and mentoring through the DMS Urban Health Scholars Program.
  • Lucinda Leung and Leslie Morris, Good Neighbor Health Clinic: Address mental illness "stigma" by supporting psychiatric health services and enhancing DMS students' fluency in communicating about mental health issues; integrate basic mental health screening into primary care visits at the clinic, and initiate DMS student-run mental health case management service.
  • Emmy Liscord and Abigail Sanders, Hartford Middle School: Continue to develop "Lookout," a mentoring group for girls at the school; provide outlet to discuss difficult issues through group counseling sessions and activities designed to empower young women.

Thayer School

  • Ashifi Gogo, White River Elementary School Vermont: Build educational tools for 4th graders by recycling surplus Thayer machine shop materials; facilitate in-class science demonstrations and help nurture science creativity and interest; develop mentoring between Thayer school students and the young scientists.
  • David Lukovsky and Phillip Perrinez, Mascoma Valley Regional High School: Implement an interdisciplinary project for students to study a local environmental issue (recycling); help students invest in their community through project ownership; expose students to problem solving skills emphasized in engineering, including ethics, creativity and critical thinking.
  • Shreyan Poudyal, Montshire Museum and Rivendell Academy: Facilitate health and nutrition knowledge in middle school kids; identify topics that matter, deliver them in an interesting way, and foster peer-to-peer teaching as well as formal presentations.


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