2023-2024 Houston Galveston Schweitzer Fellows: Year of Service

HOUSTON (March 2023) – The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship Houston Galveston (ASFHG) has the privilege of mentoring 66 Fellows in the 2023-24 class including four from University of Texas Medical Branch School of Public and Population Health who are immersed in a year of learning to address the unmet health needs of vulnerable communities in our region. This represents the inaugural class of UTMB School of Public and Population Health Fellows who were selected for the Fellowship.

These Fellows from University of Texas Medical Branch School of Public and Population Health join approximately 230 other 2023-24 Schweitzer Fellows at 13 chapters throughout the U.S., partnering with local community-based organizations to develop and implement year long mentored service projects that improve the health and well-being of underserved people.

Students from University of Texas Medical Branch School of Public and Population Health are:

Vivian Tat and Abhijit Rao who are partnering with Galveston County libraries and schools to address the lack of access to credible health information. Their aim is to empower students and members of the community to become public health ambassadors through community discussions, health fairs, art walks, and infographic challenges.

Shilpa Rajagopal who will partner with two UTMB John Sealy School of Medicine students to continue the highly successful legacy project, Connect at UTMB. This project, already in four GSID elementary schools, aims to inspire and empower school aged children in their educational endeavors exploring STEM fields through tutoring and mentoring.

Richard Preble who is partnering with Memorial Hermann- Texas Institute for Rehabilitation and Research to address lack of knowledge of about recognizing and managing episodes of autonomic dysreflexia, a potentially lifethreatening reaction of the nervous system in individuals with spinal cord injuries.

“We are so excited to see the impact the class of 2023-24 will have on our community. From projects that will increase the availability of mammograms for low-income women to projects that address social emotional learning in vulnerable youth, I think we will see transformative change throughout Houston and Galveston,” says Dr. Andrea Link, Executive Director of ASFHG.

Fellows complete these year-long mentored community service projects in partnership with community agencies and schools like Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston and YES Prep while receiving training in leadership, cultural competency, project management, and the social determinants of health. A strong focus is placed on sustainability so that the project can continue beyond their Fellowship year.

Upon completion of their year, Fellows become Fellows for Life and join a vibrant network of Schweitzer alumni who are skilled in and committed to addressing the health needs of underserved people. Fellows for Life report back that ASF is integral to sustaining their commitment to serving people in need.

The Fellowship invites students from UTMB SPPH to consider applying to be a Schweitzer Fellow for the upcoming academic year. Those interested in learning more or exploring the opportunity should contact the ASFHG Program Director, Carol Jacob, directly at Carol.Jacob@asfhg.org. The application deadline is February 4th, 2024, but those interested are encouraged to discuss the proposed project with Carol and learn more about the Year of Service before applying.

Launched in 2008, the ASFHG is funded by private donations, the support of charitable foundations and academic institution sponsorships. More information is available on the website at www.asfhg.org.