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2022 – 2023 Schweitzer Fellows Announced

L to R: Paulita Lara Mejia ’25, Jewelia Durant ’25, Sandra Potter ’25, Eleonore Baughan ’25, Omar Sajjad ’25, James Feng ’25. Photo by Jason Romero D’23. Not pictured: Chinmayee Balachandra ’25, Allison Booher ’25, Marisa Diiorio ’25

Nine first-year medical students from the Geisel School of Medicine are among 23 new Schweitzer Fellows from New Hampshire and Vermont who will collaborate with community-based health and/or social service organizations to develop and implement yearlong projects that address the root causes of health disparities in under-resourced communities. Fellows work under the guidance of their community or academic mentor.

The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship, founded in 1940 and named after physician-humanitarian and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Dr. Albert Schweitzer, also provides leadership development, giving fellows an opportunity to serve as an inspiration to their peers, and others, to improve the health of those experiencing barriers to care.

One of thirteen Schweitzer program sites across the U.S., the New Hampshire/Vermont Albert Schweitzer Fellowship was founded in 1996. Fellows are competitively chosen from graduate health professional and law students enrolled at institutions in New Hampshire and Vermont. To date, more than 350 Fellows have dedicated more than 50,000 hours of service to vulnerable communities through partnering with area community-based organizations

Geisel’s 2022-2023 Schweitzer Fellows, service projects, and community partners:

Paulita Lara Mejia

Mejia’s project, SaludableMente, aims to address mental health concerns in the migrant farmworker population by building community between the farmworkers and Latinx/immigrant students at Dartmouth. Through cultural events and monthly group conversations, she will facilitate and participate in conversations about the immigrant experience, how to hold space together, and mental health and well-being.

Community Partner: Project Salud

James Feng and Omar Sajjad

Feng and Sajjad are creating an integrated health education and enrichment program for adults with developmental disabilities. They aim to provide a diverse curriculum centered around personal health and recreational activities to inspire people to lead a healthy and active lifestyle.

Community Partner: Visions for Creative Housing Solutions

Marisa Diiorio and Jewelia Durant

Diiorio and Durant project aims to better characterize and address food insecurity that is compounded by transportation barriers. They will work alongside the community to explore methods and pilot no-cost, mobile food delivery/supply services, which they hope may serve as a model for improving long-term food security and access in rural communities in the Upper Valley and beyond.

Community Partner: Upper Valley Haven

Eleonore Baughan and Sandra Potter

Baughan and Potter will target equity in organ transplantation by increasing access to living kidney donors for under-resourced Upper Valley patients currently waitlisted for transplantation.  Through the development of educational materials and social programming, they aim to increase the success of waitlisted patients finding a suitable kidney, thus greatly improving and lengthening their quality of life.

Community Partner: Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, Transplantation Surgery Team

Chinmayee Balachandra and Allison Booher

Balachandra and Booher seek to improve the availability of gender-based violence advocacy resources to the Upper Valley's foreign-born communities. They will carry out needs assessments, establish culturally competent curriculums for advocates in training, and work with community leaders to address the unique needs of survivors from immigrant and refugee populations.

Community Partner: WISE