SMU’s Dedman College will house DFW chapter of the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship

Albert Schweitzer Fellowship logoThe Albert Schweitzer Fellowship (ASF) is launching a program chapter in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, to be housed in SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. The chapter is supported by a consortium of area universities including Baylor University’s Louise Herrington School of Nursing, Texas Christian University, Texas Woman’s University, the University of Dallas, the University of Texas at Arlington, the University of Texas at Dallas and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

Recruiting is underway for the chapter’s first class of Fellows, who will begin their Fellowship year in April 2015.

“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 Dallas-Fort Worth will make important and vital contributions that will improve lives and create positive change.”

“The Dallas-Fort Worth Schweitzer Fellowship Program will embrace Albert Schweitzer’s commitment to service and compassion for people in need,” said Courtney Roy, program director for the Dallas-Fort Worth 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.”

“We are so pleased to host the Dallas-Fort Worth Schweitzer Fellowship Program,” said Renee McDonald, associate dean for research and professor of psychology in Dedman College. “The values of The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship align closely with those of Southern Methodist University, which is to prepare students for leadership in their professions and their communities. We look forward this collaboration.”

Schweitzer Fellows are graduate students in healthcare fields, 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.

Schweitzer Fellows who have successfully completed their year-long service project are called Fellows for Life. Some of ASF’s Fellows for Life include:

Robert Satcher, Jr., M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor, Anderson Cancer Center and NASA mission specialist; Rishi Manchanda, M.D., author of the TED book The Upstream Doctors: Medical Innovators Track Sickness To Its Source; and Jessica Lahey, J.D., who writes about education and parenting issues for The New York Times, The Atlantic and on her blog, Coming of Age in the Middle.

Additionally, three Schweitzer Fellows for Life are among those currently working in West Africa to fight the Ebola outbreak: Meredith Dixon, M.D., who is a CDC Epidemic Intelligence Service officer; Nahid Bhadelia, M.D., director of infection control at Boston’s National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratory and a hospital epidemiologist at Boston Medical Center; and William Fischer II, M.D., a pulmonologist and critical care physician at UNC Health Care and UNC School of Medicine.

The Dallas-Forth Worth chapter will be the second Texas-based chapter; the Houston-Galveston chapter opened in 2008. The Dallas-Forth Worth chapter is ASF’s 12th US-based program. The others are in Baltimore; Boston; Chicago; Columbus-Athens; Los Angeles; New Orleans; New Hampshire and Vermont; North Carolina; Pittsburgh; and San Francisco.

ASF also has a program chapter based in Lambaréné, Gabon, at The Albert Schweitzer Hospital.

Written by Kimberly Cobb

> Read more from SMU News