Medical student and Schweitzer fellow Reena Patel speaks at a free educational event held at a local maternity store. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

Change Agents

Schweitzer Fellows serve others, gain leadership skills

Ten East Carolina University graduate students will spend the next year making health care more accessible to populations that are often overlooked. 

The students — five from the Brody School of Medicine and five from the School of Dental Medicine — have been named North Carolina Albert Schweitzer Fellows for the 2017-2018 academic year. They represent nearly half of this year’s Schweitzer class, which comprises 23 students from ECU, Duke University, Wake Forest University, North Carolina Central University and the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.

The fellows will partner with community-based organizations to implement service projects that address health disparities. At the same time, they will undergo leadership development training so they can inspire the next generation of health care professionals to improve the well-being of those who experience barriers to care. 

“Many of our fellows go on to build impressive professional careers. The process of moving their fellowship projects from an initial concept to completion teaches them valuable skills in working with others in allied fields,” said Dr. Bruce Auerbach, chair of the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship Board of Directors. “As Schweitzer Fellows develop professionally, this skill is critical to their ability to effect larger-scale change among vulnerable populations.”

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Originally published June 13, 2017. Written by Elizabeth Willy and Peggy Novotny. Photo by Cliff Hollis.

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