Last year, ten local graduate students — four from OU-Tulsa — were named as the inaugural Tulsa Schweitzer Fellows, making Tulsa the 14th location for the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship in the US, and the only one in Oklahoma.
These students spent the last year learning to effectively address the social factors that impact health and developed their leadership skills through intensive service projects. In doing so, they will perpetuate the legacy and philosophy of famed physician-humanitarian Dr. Albert Schweitzer, for whom their Fellowship is named.
Each Fellow created their own 200-hour service project, which addressed unmet health needs in their community:
- Vanessa Garcia, a Master of Public Health student, established a chronic disease self-management program for Latinos at Community Health Connection that focused on the patients' central role in managing their health
- Olivia Shadid, a medical student in the OU-TU School of Community Medicine, connected patients at the Educare Family Health Project with community resources, wellness tools, and the healthcare system in order to compel families to be more active participants in their health.
- Meredith Wyatt and Paul Abbey, now graduates of our Masters of Occupational Therapy program, created and taught student leadership workshops and student-identified and directed civic projects in an effort to reduce truancy behaviors, increase conflict avoidance and resolution skills, and enhance well-being among at-risk youth in the Carrera Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Program at Union Public Schools.
Along with the impact they have made in the Tulsa community, the Schweitzer Fellows also gained impressive leadership skills. “The Schweitzer Fellowship has impacted me both professionally and personally by increasing my confidence in my leadership skills, creating a personal network of service-oriented healthcare professionals in the Tulsa community, and promoting the value of advocacy in all aspects of my professional life,” said Wyatt.
“Due to the Schweitzer Fellowship,” said Wyatt, “I feel called to take action and continue to advocate for a more equitable healthcare system for all.” Shadid adds, “I feel invested in as a change-maker and a source of potential for community change.”
The next class of Tulsa Schweitzer Fellows has been named and includes three graduate students from OU-Tulsa. “We are so proud of the accomplishments of our inaugural class of Schweitzer Fellows, and we are thrilled to add 14 Fellows to the Tulsa Schweitzer family,” said Rachel Gold, director of the Tulsa chapter of The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship.
Please join us in congratulating the inaugural class of Tulsa Schweitzer Fellows for the immense impact they have made in our community.