Chatham News

Three Chatham University students named to new class of Pittsburgh Albert Schweitzer Fellows

Fellows will carry out service projects addressing social and environmental determinants of health

By: Amanda Leff Ritchie, Senior Public Relations Specialist
June 1, 2011

PITTSBURGH (June 1, 2011)…Three Chatham University graduate students were recently named to The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship’s 2011-12 class of Pittsburgh Schweitzer Fellows. Chatham students Victoria Chang-Mishra, Stephanie Dalness, and Emily Sandfort are three of 22 graduate students who will spend the next year addressing health disparities throughout Pittsburgh.

Joining approximately 240 other 2011-12 Schweitzer Fellows at 13 program sites throughout the United States, the newly selected Pittsburgh Schweitzer Fellows will partner with community-based organizations to develop and implement yearlong, mentored service projects that sustainably address the social determinants of health—in addition to their graduate school responsibilities.

Ms. Chang-Mishra and Ms. Sandfort’s project will focus on improving access and holistic knowledge of preventative gynecological healthcare within underserved populations of women in at least three selected residential centers within Pittsburgh’s South Side. Although their home base will be the Birmingham Free Clinic, Chang-Mishra and Sandfort aim to build lasting bridges between these women and the most convenient clinic for their needs.

Ms. Dalness will work to empower pre-adolescent girls at various Gwen’s Girls facilities throughout Pittsburgh; Gwen’s Girls strives to empower girls and young women to have productive lives through holistic, gender-specific programs, education and experiences. Her project will focus on enabling girls to better understand the connection between their bodies and minds by promoting an understanding of how biological processes influence psychological stability.

Upon completion of their initial year, the 2011-12 Pittsburgh Schweitzer Fellows will become Schweitzer Fellows for Life—joining a network of more than 2,000 Schweitzer alumni who are committed to addressing the health needs of underserved people throughout their careers as professionals.

Since the Pittsburgh Schweitzer Fellows Program’s founding in 1997, its Schweitzer Fellows have delivered more than 45,000 hours of direct service to vulnerable community members. More information on the 2011-12 Pittsburgh Schweitzer Fellows is available at www.schweitzerfellowship.org/pittsburgh .
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About The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship (ASF)

Originally founded in 1940 to support Dr. Albert Schweitzer’s medical work in Africa, ASF is a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to develop leaders in service: individuals who are dedicated and skilled in meeting the health needs of underserved communities, and whose example influences and inspires others.

Schweitzer Fellows—primarily university graduate students—partner with community-based organizations to identify an unmet health need, design a yearlong 200-hour service project with a demonstrable impact on that need, and bring that project from idea to implementation and impact. Rooted in a holistic understanding of health, Schweitzer projects address not only clinical issues, but also the social determinants of health. Annually, approximately 250 Schweitzer Fellows deliver more than 40,000 hours of health-related community service at 13 locations across the United States. A number of Schweitzer Fellows also work at the Schweitzer Hospital in Lambaréné, Africa, collaborating with hospital staff to help provide skilled care through over 35,000 outpatient visits and more than 6,000 hospitalizations annually for patients from Gabon.

ASF’s national office is located in Boston, Mass., and hosted by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

About Chatham University

Chatham University prepares students from around the world to help develop solutions to some of the world’s biggest challenges. Consistently ranked among the top master’s level institutions in the Northeast by U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review, Chatham University is also ranked in the top five percent of graduate-intensive institutions nationally and experienced the fastest-growing enrollment in the Pittsburgh region over the past decade. Founded in 1869, Chatham University includes the Shadyside Campus, with the historic 39-acre Woodland Road arboretum and Chatham Eastside facility; and the 388-acre Eden Hall Campus north of Pittsburgh. For more information, call 800-837-1290 or visit www.chatham.edu.