Nine Geisel School of Medicine students will spend the next year learning to address social factors affecting community health while developing lifelong leadership skills in the process. Selected to be part of the 2019-20 class of New Hampshire/Vermont Schweitzer Fellows, they will follow the example set by famed physician-humanitarian, Nobel Peace Prize recipient, and Fellowship namesake Albert Schweitzer.
The fellows join approximately 240 other 2019-20 Schweitzer Fellows from across the U.S. working to develop and implement service projects that address the root causes of health disparities in under-resourced communities, while also fulfilling their academic responsibilities. Each yearlong project is implemented in collaboration with a community-based health and/or social service organization. Working under the guidance of community and academic mentors, fellows serve as an inspiration to their peers and others to improve the health of those who experience barriers to care.
“This talented and hard-working group of students is passionate about addressing social determinants of health to improve the health and wellbeing of populations that are often overlooked, including people who are incarcerated and their families, single dads, older adults and children, LGBTQ teens, and people with substance use disorder,” said Nancy Gabriel, Director of the New Hampshire/Vermont chapter of The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship (ASF).
Geisel School of Medicine Schweitzer Fellows:
Ramzi Ben-Yelles and Arati Gangadharan
Ben-Yelles and Gangadharan will establish a student-run stroke education program that relies on Dartmouth undergraduates to facilitate awareness among underserved or high-risk communities in the Upper Valley. Students will understand and observe stroke care and will subsequently educate the neighboring community on the highly time-sensitive recognition, treatment, and recovery of strokes. Community Partner: Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center Cerebrovascular Disease and Stroke Program
Sadhana Puri and Jonathan Busam
Puri and Busam are initiating a comprehensive nutrition program for pregnant women with opioid use disorder. The program comprises three components—an initial nutritional assessment, demonstrations of simple recipes, and creation of a cookbook that addresses mothers’ specific needs and the needs of their families. Community Partner: Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center’s Purple Pod
Isabelle Yang and Angie Lee
Yang and Lee’s project—“Qmmunity”—aims to address mental health disparities among LGBTQ teenagers in the Upper Valley by empowering them to become self-advocates for their communities. They will increase visibility of the young queer population in this rural setting by implementing programs that foster leadership, political advocacy, and artistic self-expression skills. Community Partner: Rural Outright at TLC Family Resource Center
Vivien Bazarko and Katherine Gohres
Bazarko and Gohres will lead sex-positive sexual education workshops for teens at the Junction Youth Center. The workshops will be led by trained medical students and will aim to reduce feelings of sexual shame and teach young people about consent, refusal, and sexual pleasure. Community Partner: The Junction Youth Center
Young will offer free prenatal education and postpartum doula services to underserved pregnant women in the Upper Valley, focusing on teenaged mothers. This will provide young women with education and support surrounding pregnancy and new motherhood. The broader aim is to provide a platform of empowerment during pregnancy, birth, and moving forward in life. Community Partner: Women’s Health Resource Center
Upon completion of their Fellowship year, the 2019-20 New Hampshire/Vermont Schweitzer Fellows will become Schweitzer Fellows for Life and join a vibrant network of more than 4,000 Schweitzer alumni who are skilled in, and committed to, addressing the health needs of underserved people.
“Many of our Fellows go on to build impressive professional careers,” said Lachlan Farrow, MD, chairman of the ASF Board of Directors. “The process of moving their Fellowship projects from an initial concept to completion teaches them valuable skills in working with others in allied fields. As Schweitzer Fellows develop professionally, this skill is critical to their ability to effect larger-scale change among vulnerable populations.”