Tulsa to host latest Albert Schweitzer Fellowship chapter

The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship (ASF) has announced the launch of a program chapter in the Tulsa area. The site will be housed at The University of Tulsa and will also be supported by the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University.

“The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship excels in developing emerging leaders in health who will serve vulnerable populations not just in their Fellowship year, but throughout their career,” said Sylvia Stevens-Edouard, executive director of The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship. “Our individual chapters supplement traditional education with programs focused on supporting emerging professionals’ desire to serve populations in need. Our new program in Tulsa will make important and vital contributions that will improve lives and create positive change.”

Recruiting is under way for the chapter’s first class of Fellows, who will begin their Fellowship year in April 2016.

“The Tulsa Schweitzer Fellowship Program will embrace Albert Schweitzer’s commitment to service and compassion for people in need,” said Rachel Gold, Program Director for the Tulsa Schweitzer Fellowship Program. “Our program will support a range of projects that address health and well-being in multiple and creative ways, in order to reach those with needs that often go unmet in traditional healthcare and social service settings.”

Schweitzer Fellows are graduate students in health care, social work, law, education and other fields who design and implement year-long service projects that address the root causes of health disparities in under-resourced communities, while also fulfilling their academic responsibilities. The process of moving their Fellowship projects from an initial concept to completion teaches Schweitzer Fellows 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.

“We are so pleased to host the Tulsa Schweitzer Fellowship Program,” said Dr. Gerard Clancy, dean of the College of Health Sciences and vice president for health affairs at The University of Tulsa. “The values of The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship align closely with those of The University of Tulsa, which prepares students for leadership in their professions and their communities. We look forward this collaboration.”

Schweitzer Fellows who have successfully completed their yearlong service project are called Fellows for Life. Some of ASF’s Fellows for Life include Rishi Manchanda, MD, author of the TED book The Upstream Doctors: Medical Innovators Track Sickness To Its Source; Jessica Lahey, JD, author of the new bestseller The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn To Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed, and who writes regularly about education and parenting issues for the New York Times and The Atlantic; and Robert Satcher, Jr., MD, PhD, assistant professor, Anderson Cancer Center and NASA mission specialist. Additionally, three Schweitzer Fellows for Life were among those who deployed to West Africa to fight the Ebola outbreak: Meredith Dixon, MD, who is a CDC epidemic intelligence service officer; Nahid Bhadelia, MD, director of infection control at Boston’s National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratory and a hospital epidemiologist at Boston Medical Center; and William Fischer II, MD, a pulmonologist and critical care physician at University of North Carolina Health Care and UNC School of Medicine.

The Tulsa chapter is ASF’s 13th U.S.-based program. The others are in Boston; Chicago; Columbus-Athens; Dallas-Fort Worth; Houston; Los Angeles; New Orleans; New Hampshire/Vermont; North Carolina; Pittsburgh; and San Francisco. A 12th program in Birmingham, Ala., is opening this year. Additionally, ASF also has a program chapter based in Lambaréné, Gabon, at The Albert Schweitzer Hospital.