Announcing the 2024-25 Chicago Area Schweitzer Fellows - Health & Medicine Policy Research Group

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Announcing the 2024-25 Chicago Area Schweitzer Fellows

June 4, 2024

Twenty-six passionate health professions graduate students have been selected for the distinguished Schweitzer Fellowship, a year-long service-learning program that helps Fellows design and implement innovative projects that help address the health needs of underserved Chicago communities. The Fellows include 26 outstanding students representing 11 schools, 9 disciplines, and 10 academic programs. With a commitment to health equity, this cohort will tackle urgent health needs in Chicago’s underserved communities through year-long projects. 

Named in honor of famed humanitarian and Nobel laureate Dr. Albert Schweitzer, the Chicago Area Schweitzer Fellows Program encourages students to become lifelong leaders in service by helping to address unmet health needs among vulnerable Chicagoland residents. In collaboration with existing community organizations, each Schweitzer Fellow will launch a community-based project, providing 200 hours of service. Using a broad public health lens, the new Fellows will work to improve community well-being and target the social determinants of health—the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work, and age that have a profound impact on health and quality of life.

Projects include: 

  • An arts-based zine-making workshop for LGBTQ+ youth to reduce mental health symptoms due to stigma and discrimination 
  • A community-based oral health education program targeting refugees and immigrants in collaboration with the Palos Islamic Center 
  • A series of wellness classes and craft a sustainable guidebook for women and children living in domestic violence shelters in Chicago, and 
  • A community outreach effort that will provide the Latino immigrant population of the South/Southwest side of Chicago with education in Spanish on affordable healthcare.

Utilizing an interdisciplinary approach, the Fellowship exposes students to real-world, inter-professional, collaborative care and aims to develop lifelong leaders in service. The 2024-25 Fellows include students from 11 schools and 18 academic programs, ranging from nursing to art therapy and public policy. The exceptional class of Fellows was selected from a pool of over 100 applicants through a competitive process.

In addition to their service projects, the fellows will also participate in a thirteen-month program that includes monthly meetings, trainings, and ongoing opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration. They will also work with a team of mentors from their schools and project sites, from our alumni network and the Schweitzer Fellowship Advisory Council, which oversees the program.

The new Fellows join a network of over 750 Chicago Program alumni (Fellows for Life) who have provided over 125,000 hours of community service to more than 150 community groups over the course of the program’s twenty-seven-year history.

“Health & Medicine is excited to introduce our 2024-25 Chicago Area Schweitzer Fellows,” says Chicago Area Schweitzer Fellowship Director Karol Dean. “These passionate health professions graduate students are dedicated to addressing health inequities and improving the well-being of disinvested communities in Chicago. Through their innovative projects and commitment to service, they will significantly impact the health of these communities. We are looking forward to watching them grow and develop throughout the year as they become future leaders in health care.”