Nine students from Harvard Medical School (HMS) and Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) have been selected as 2005-06 Boston Schweitzer Fellows. Honoring the legacy of Dr. Albert Schweitzer by committing to a year of service with a community agency, each Schweitzer Fellow will devote more than 200 hours of service to local communities lacking access to adequate health services.
This year’s Harvard fellows and their projects are as follows:
Olufemi Adegoke, HSPH, is working with the nonprofit organization ROCA, which implements programs that enhance the health and well-being of youth, families, and residents of Chelsea, Lynn, Revere, and East Boston. The goal of his project is to reduce the incidence of sexually transmitted infections including HIV/AIDS, and unintended pregnancy through behavioral change, communication, and promoting condom use.
Deborah Cook, HSPH, is assisting in a newspaper project at the women’s prison in Framingham, Mass. She is working with the women to create a health column in the paper to educate and empower the inmates to make better choices about their health both behind bars and once they re-enter society.
Ana Diaz, HSPH, is assisting with the development of a business that will provide training and jobs for disenfranchised youth. Diaz is also assisting ROCA in planning and research, recruitment of youth, and serving as a role model for young Latinos.
Surbhi Grover, HMS, is continuing the Women Survivors Health Initiative, a project that promotes awareness about health-related issues and encourages community building among women living in the Elizabeth Stone House. The project consists of continuing to develop the women’s prevention and health promotion curriculum, and using it to conduct weekly interactive small group workshops aimed at helping residents develop into peer health educators.
Celeste Lopez, HMS, is leading Bridging the Gap, a refugee/immigrant family advocacy and medical student immigrant health education project. She is organizing and coordinating educational and cultural sessions for students and families to participate in together.
Ashley Morris, HMS, is working at the MGH Revere Youth Zone, which provides a safe place for youth to seek sexual health care, develop life skills, and gain support in dealing with the challenges of adolescence. Her project specifically reaches out to and improves the quality and sensitivity of care provided to gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender youth.
Zachary Morris, HMS, has created MESH (Mentors at Elizabeth Stone House). This program seeks to provide mentorship for the adolescent boys residing with their mothers at the Elizabeth Stone House – a Roxbury shelter for victims of domestic violence.
Stacy Truta, HMS, plans to reorganize the BABIES program at HMS, a mentoring program that pairs medical students with pregnant adolescents. In addition to serving as a mentor and organizing activities for mentors/mentees, she will perform a needs assessment analysis, implement program components, and evaluate the program’s success.
Raymond Tsai, HSPH, is providing assistance and support to families and/or individuals that face cultural barriers to health care in the Boston area. He is focusing on helping immigrant and refugee families get beyond the cultural barriers that have prevented them from acquiring health care.