The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship
For almost 20 years, Wake Forest School
of Medicine students have improved the quality of life of low-income
North Carolinians, built bridges between the university and community
sites, and developed into powerful role models for their peers through
their work as N.C. Albert Schweitzer Fellows. To date, 56 School of
Medicine Fellows have participated in the Schweitzer program, and the
School of Medicine has been a funding partner since 2006. Of further
note, 2012-13 N.C. Fellow Tracy Cassagnol was awarded a Lambarene
Fellowship to work in Schweitzer’s Hospital in Gabon. To read about the
power of her experience, go to http://tracycassagnol.blogspot.com.
What is the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship (ASF)? The mission of ASF is to help end health disparities by developing “leaders in service.” ASF seeks to:
- Build future leaders in health fields who are skilled in and committed to working with underserved populations.
- Provide communities in North Carolina with needed health services
through the volunteer assistance of graduate students in health-related
professions that includes academic and local mentorship.
- Shift the culture of professional schools so they more effectively address needs of surrounding disadvantaged communities.
- Support Fellowship alumni who continue in lifelong community service and are influential role models for others.
Schweitzer Fellows are selected annually
to undertake this unique, structured experience involving service,
mentorship, fellowship and learning. This experience fosters Fellows’
personal and professional development while serving those most in need.
Schweitzer Fellows are chosen on a competitive basis from graduate
student applicants in a variety of health profession fields, and they
continue their conventional professional training while participating in
the Schweitzer Fellows Program.
ASF is committed to providing
experiential training that helps Fellows learn to develop effective ways
to create, implement and evaluate community-based health interventions
in under-resourced communities.
- Learn through creating, leading and evaluating a service project
that strengthens their skills to work with and influence community
members, organizations and professional schools to embrace a holistic
approach to health.
- Develop skills to help them more fully meet clients’ needs.
- Are exposed to colleagues from many health-related disciplines and
ethnic/socioeconomic backgrounds, whose varying perspectives will help
them understand the many causes of, and available solutions to, health
- Offer new services, at little or no additional cost, to
community-based organizations, and expand the organizations’ number of
volunteers and ways of utilizing them.
- Strengthen their connection among and between students from the other participating universities in North Carolina.
Wake Forest School of Medicine Schweitzer
Fellows have made a profound long-term impact on underserved
communities, especially when considering the service projects they
initiated as Fellows are being continued today with the help of Wake
Forest students and community members.