In the world of medicine, Dr. Albert Schweitzer’s name is synonymous with compassion, selflessness, and humanity – traits that are also the founding principles of Southwestern Medical Foundation.

Southwestern Medical Foundation is proud to celebrate its partnership with The DFW Albert Schweitzer Fellowship (ASF) and its unique connection to the Foundation’s legacy.  

Since its inception, Southwestern Medical Foundation has championed the qualities inherent in all great physicians through its Ho Din Award. The Ho Din Award has recognized the student who best exemplifies the spirit of medical wisdom and human understanding since its inception in 1943.

When Dr. Thomas Heyne, 2012 winner of the Ho Din, moved to Boston for his residency, he discovered the ASF Boston chapter. It was then that he called Foundation Trustee, Caren Prothro, to suggest that Dallas consider starting a local ASF chapter. Caren and Ruth Altshuler, also a Trustee, teamed up to start the DFW ASF Chapter. Consistent with its mission, in 2015, Southwestern Medical Foundation joined with ASF to help in preparing a new generation of medical professionals to create healthier communities and serve our most vulnerable citizens.

“I was inspired particularly by Schweitzer’s ability to bridge various disciplines: medical science, music, and theology, to name a few.  He remains my hero, and I’m very proud of the Foundation’s and UT Southwestern’s role in bringing the Schweitzer Fellowship to DFW,” said Dr. Heyne, who completed his residency in Internal Medicine & Pediatrics at Massachusetts General Hospital. He is currently finishing a one-year fellowship in Emergency Ultrasound at Massachusetts General Hospital.

“It is inspiring to me that the DFW ASF Chapter was suggested by Dr. Thomas Heyne, the 2012 winner of the Ho Din Award.  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,” said Robert B. Rowling, Chairman of Southwestern Medical Foundation.

Southwestern Medical Foundation has joined with civic leaders in Dallas and eight local universities to bring ASF to medical and graduate students in the DFW area who attend 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. The Program is currently housed in Southern Methodist University’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences under the leadership of Program Director, Courtney Roy.

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Caren Prothro

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Ruth Altshuler

The Dallas-Fort Worth chapter of the Schweitzer Fellowship is one of two Texas-based chapters; the Houston-Galveston chapter opened in 2008. Caren Prothro and Ruth Altshuler deserve great praise in shepherding the initial development of the new DFW chapter. 

Both ASF and the Foundation were established during World War II to develop leaders in service and inspire great citizenship through philanthropy. ASF was founded by Helene Bresslau Schweitzer and Albert Schweitzer in 1940. During the same time period, Southwestern Medical Foundation instituted the Ho Din Award. Winners have excelled to levels of distinction that the founders of the Ho Din Award encouraged, including 1966 Ho Din recipient Dr. Joseph L. Goldstein, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1985.

“We are dedicated to helping the DFW Albert Schweitzer Fellowship grow, flourish, and inspire future generations of students to become the humanitarian leaders for which Dr. Schweitzer set the standard,” said Kathleen Gibson, President and CEO of Southwestern Medical Foundation and member of the Advisory Board of the DFW Schweitzer Fellowship Program.