Chatham News

Two Chatham Grad Students Receive Fellowships to Address Health Disparities in Under-Resourced Communities

PITTSBURGH – Two Chatham University graduate students in the Master of Arts in Food Studies and Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing programs begin the 2014-2015 academic school year named 2014-2015 Albert Schweitzer Fellows. As part of the The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship (ASF) program,  21 Pittsburgh-based graduate students will follow the example set by famed physician-humanitarian Albert Schweitzer (for whom their Fellowship is named), and spend the next year developing and implementing service projects that address the root causes of health disparities in under-resourced communities. The 2014-2015 Chatham University Schweitzer Fellows and their projects are:

Hana Uman, Master of Arts in Food Studies
With Pittsburgh Community Kitchen, Ms. Uman will educate high school and adolescent students about healthy food and food waste. Students will learn about where food comes from and how to empower themselves and their communities through food justice. Community Site: Pittsburgh Community Kitchen

Tess Wilson, Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing
Ms. Wilson will work with patients struggling with eating disorders in UPMC’s Center for Overcoming Problem Eating (COPE) program. Ms. Wilson will provide writing workshops as a vehicle for building self-esteem and reflection. Community Site: UPMC’s Center for Overcoming Problem Eating

“Schweitzer Fellowships change lives, both of the individual Fellows as well as those of the many vulnerable community members they serve through their Fellowship projects,” said Joan Haley, Program Director of the Pittsburgh Schweitzer Fellows Program. “Our Fellows learn to lead and innovate as they tackle complex health needs—skills they will use again and again throughout their professional careers. Meanwhile, their project participants learn information, skills, and behaviors that will assist them in leading healthier lives.”

Schweitzer Fellows develop and implement service projects that address the root causes of health disparities in under-resourced communities, while at the same time fulfilling their academic responsibilities as full time students. Each project is implemented in collaboration with a community-based organization. This year’s Fellows will address an array of health issues affecting a range of populations, including a smoking cessation program for middle school-age boys; assisting uninsured and underinsured refugee and immigrant patients with accessing prescription medicine; and implementing an HIV testing and sexual health program for women who are homeless or at risk for homelessness.

“These Schweitzer Fellows are living Dr. Albert Schweitzer’s legacy of reverence for life,” said Executive Director Sylvia Stevens-Edouard. “Their Fellowship year will leave them well-prepared to successfully face the challenges of serving vulnerable and underserved populations, whose health and medical needs are many and varied.”

The 21 Fellows from Pittsburgh join approximately 220 other 2014-15 Schweitzer Fellows working at 12 program sites, 11 in the US and one in Lambaréné, Gabon at the site of The Albert Schweitzer Hospital, founded by Dr. Schweitzer in 1913. Upon completion of their Fellowship year, the 2014-15 Pittsburgh Schweitzer Fellows will become Schweitzer Fellows for Life and join a vibrant network of nearly 3,000 Schweitzer alumni who are skilled in, and committed to, addressing the health needs of underserved people throughout their careers. Fellows for Life routinely report that ASF is integral to sustaining their commitment to serving people in need.

Since 1997, the Pittsburgh Schweitzer Fellows Program has supported more than 300 Schweitzer Fellows in delivering nearly 50,000 hours of service. In additional to traditional Schweitzer Fellows, the Pittsburgh Schweitzer Program has Environmental Fellows with primary funding from the Heinz Endowments.

A complete listing of the 2014-15 Schweitzer Fellows can be found at