Southwestern Medical Foundation is joining with the Dallas-Fort Worth Schweitzer Fellowship Program, in partnership with longtime civic leaders in Dallas and eight local universities, to bring this innovative service and leadership building fellowship to medical and graduate students in the DFW area.

Open to students from Baylor University, Southern Methodist University, Texas Christian University, Texas Woman’s University, University of Dallas, University of Texas at Arlington, University of Texas at Dallas, and UT Southwestern Medical Center, the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship aims to address local health disparities and the social determinants of health while developing future leaders.

Kathleen Gibson, President and CEO of Southwestern Medical Foundation will join the Advisory Board of the DFW Schweitzer Fellowship Program, helping to steer the direction of the program and grow the Fellowship as its first class of Fellows begins their projects.

Fellows will develop and launch community service projects that address unmet health disparities and the social determinants of health within communities in Dallas and Ft. Worth. Throughout the course of their year-long projects, the Fellows will also receive extensive leadership development and training in how to effectively address health disparities.

“The Dallas-Fort Worth Schweitzer Fellowship Program embraces Albert Schweitzer’s commitment to service and compassion for people in need,” said Courtney Roy, Program Director for the DFW Schweitzer Fellowship Program. “Our program supports a range of projects that address health and wellbeing in multiple and creative ways, in order to reach those with needs that often go unmet in traditional healthcare and social service settings.”

”Our Foundation was created to rally citizens of the state in support of the highest quality health care possible,” said Robert B. Rowling, Chairman of Southwestern Medical Foundation. “Like Albert Schweitzer, our founders embarked on a successful mission to ‘inspire a great citizenship to greater deeds’ and build medicine, while serving our community. From the time that the Foundation started the medical school, the Foundation has emphasized, through the Ho Din Award, recognition of the student who best exemplifies the personal qualities all great physicians must possess: knowledge, understanding, and compassion. This Fellowship Program represents and personifies these important values, while helping lead the way in improving public health in our community. It is inspiring to me that the DFW Schweitzer Fellowship chapter was suggested by Dr. Thomas Heyne, who was the 2012 winner of the Ho Din Award. We are very proud to see it launch and to play an important part.”

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., MD, PhD, Assistant Professor, Anderson Cancer Center and NASA Mission Specialist; Rishi Manchanda, MD, author of the TED Book, The Upstream Doctors: Medical Innovators Track Sickness To Its Source; and Jessica Lahey, JD, 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, 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 UNC Health Care and UNC School of Medicine.

The Dallas-Forth Worth chapter is one of two Texas-based chapters; 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.

About The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship
The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship (ASF) is improving the health of vulnerable people now and for the future by developing a corps of Leaders in Service—professionals skilled in creating positive change with and in our communities, our health and human service systems, and our world.

Through community-based, mentored direct service and a multidisciplinary, reflective leadership development program, ASF is building community capacity and training a professional workforce that is:

• skilled in addressing the underlying causes of health inequities;
• committed to improving the health outcomes of underserved communities; and
• prepared for a life of continued service.

To date, nearly 3,000 Schweitzer Fellows have delivered nearly 500,000 hours of service to nearly 300,000 people in need. Additionally, more than 100 Fellows have provided care at the 100-year-old Schweitzer Hospital in Lambaréné, Africa. Through this work and through the contributions of Fellows whose professional careers serve their communities, ASF perpetuates the legacy and philosophy of physician-humanitarian Dr. Albert Schweitzer. ASF has 12 program locations in the U.S. and one in Lambaréné, Africa. Its national office is located in Boston, MA and hosted by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.