Chicago Area Schweitzer Fellowship Announces 2024-2024 Named Fellowship Recipients - Health & Medicine Policy Research Group

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Chicago Area Schweitzer Fellowship Announces 2024-2024 Named Fellowship Recipients

June 4, 2024

Four Chicago Area Schweitzer Fellows have been awarded Named Schweitzer Fellowships—distinctions within a year-long service-learning program that helps Fellows design and implement innovative projects that address the health needs of underserved Chicago communities.

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. 

Each year, Health & Medicine recognizes the legacies and investments of Larry Goodman, M.D.; Frank J. Indihar, MD; Leslie Nickels, MEd, PhD; and Bob and Caryle Perlman by designating Named Fellowships opportunity in their honors.

The Larry Goodman, MD Fellowship aims to provide mentorship and support to individuals dedicated to making a difference in health equity in underserved Chicago communities. David Ansell, MD, Senior Vice President for Community Health Equity at Rush University Medical Center, has generously funded this fellowship to honor his friend and colleague. The Larry J. Goodman, MD Fellowship celebrates Dr. Goodman’s remarkable contributions to healthcare, his passion for mentoring, and his enduring commitment to addressing health disparities, particularly on the Westside of Chicago. The 2024-2025 Larry Goodman Fellow is Rush University medical student Sayyida Hasan. Sayyida plans to deliver seminars and workshops on musculoskeletal health for victims of gender-based violence. These sessions will provide education and serve as a support structure for long-term musculoskeletal health outcomes.

Named in honor of Frank Indihar, MD—whose grandniece, Kelly Moore (née Koronkowski), was a 2022-2023 Chicago Area Schweitzer Fellow—the Frank J. Indihar, MD Fellowship was established to provide mentorship and support for those looking to make a difference in underserved Chicago communities, particularly in the fields of nursing, pharmacy, and medicine, and to honor Frank’s work as a physician and delight in mentoring and developing lasting friendships with prospective medical students. Learn more about Dr. Indihar here.

The 2024-2025 Frank J. Indihar Fellow is Rush University nursing student Nicole Walkowiak. Nicole plans to provide wound care education to people with intravenous drug injection wounds. She will work closely with staff and volunteers on outreach teams to enhance their knowledge of wound care and help them identify when to direct a patron to seek medical treatment.  The education she offers focuses on harm reduction, reducing wound infection, and preventing sepsis.

Named by her family and friends, the Leslie Nickels Fellowship honors the rich legacy of service, mentorship, and scholarship of Leslie Nickels, MEd, PhD. Dr. Nickels championed the important role of government in worker health and safety protection, the need to empower workers, and working with the practice community. Learn more about Dr. Nickels here.

The 2024-2025 Leslie Nickels Schweitzer Fellow is Loyola University public health student Sara Ruiz. Sara plans to increase awareness and prevention of intimate partner violence (IPV) for patients at Erie Family Health Center, a federally qualified health center. She will implement a clinical screening questionnaire to initiate dialogue about IPV among patients and providers and lead educational sessions and support groups for people who have survived IPV. 

The Bob and Caryle Perlman Fellowship was established to provide mentorship and support for those looking to make a difference in underserved Chicago communities. Wishing they’d had access to a program like the Schweitzer Fellowship early on in their own careers, Bob and Caryle feel it’s important to give back now to the next generation of service-minded health and human service professionals. Learn more about the Perlmans here.

This year’s Bob and Caryle Perlman Fellow is Northwestern University medicine and public health student Ateh Fonteh. Ateh will partner with Schweitzer Fellow Katie Owens in performing a medical needs assessment and aims to use the results to initiate workshops about topics including chronic diseases, nutrition, and exercise. The workshops focus on increasing health literacy and improving health outcomes for people experiencing homelessness and migrants in Downtown Chicago. 

Utilizing an interdisciplinary approach, the Fellowship exposes students to real-world inter-professional, collaborative care and aims to develop lifelong leaders in service. The 2023-2024 Fellows include students from 11 schools and 19 academic programs, ranging from nursing to disability studies and public health. The exceptional class of Fellows was selected from a pool of almost 100 applicants through a competitive process. Learn more about the Chicago Area Schweitzer Fellows Program here.