Celebrating Service: 2020 Columbus-Athens Schweitzer Fellows

Group photo of the Schweitzer Fellows

Celebrating Service: 2020 Columbus-Athens Schweitzer Fellows

Congratulations to the 2019-20 Columbus-Athens Schweitzer Fellows on making an impact in the community with your year-long service projects!

The Schweitzer Fellows Program supports and trains emerging health-focused graduate and professional students in creating and carrying out service projects to address unmet community needs. The Fellows carry out an April-to-April community service project of at least 200 service hours, with at least 100 hours involving direct client contact. Fellows partner with an existing community agency in the Columbus or Athens area and have both an academic and a community-based mentor.

Please see below for project descriptions, videos and posters from this year's Fellows!

Abby Almomar

The Ohio State University College of Optometry
Community Site: Ethiopian Tewahedo Social Services

Almomar addressed the need for optometric awareness and education in immigrant communities in Columbus, Ohio, specifically the Somalian population. Almomar volunteered at Adult Education classes to teach families about the eye and how systemic diseases can affect vision. She also taught about different ocular diseases and the importance of a yearly eye exam. In the fall, she volunteered at kids after school programs to teach about the eye and vision as well. Throughout the year, she set up vision screenings and help families receive eye exams at the optometry school.

View Abby Almomar's ASF poster

Ana Bell

The Ohio State University College of Education and Human Ecology
Community Site: Black Lotus Wellness (BLW)

Bell addressed the high prevalence of adverse health outcomes among Black women in Columbus, Ohio by implementing a holistic wellness program designed to: encourage Black women to identify barriers and facilitators to their health; provide education about the dimensions of wellness: and equip Black women with skills, tools, and resources that can lead to a more healthful life. Bell also offered family wellness sessions for the women and family members participating in the Black Lotus program.

View Ana' Bell's ASF poster

Abby Block and Emma Siegel

The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy
Community Site: Equitas Health's Safe Point

Siegel and Block addressed the issue of opioid overdose in Franklinton, as well as surrounding areas in the city of Columbus, by designing and providing interactive presentations to community members. These presentations and discussions addressed opioid overdose prevention and recognition, as well as access to and utilization of naloxone. They helped to educate community members about these issues in the hopes of reducing stigma and ultimately reducing the number of deaths from opioid overdose in the area. By partnering with Equitas Health's Safe Point program, as well as doing outreach at other community sites, those in need of further referral or treatment had access to additional resources.

View Abby Block and Emma Siegel's ASF Poster

Christine Chilaka

The Ohio State University College of Medicine
Community Site: Oakland Park Alternative Elementary School

Chilaka addressed health and wellness disparities among youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) in the Columbus area by establishing a health education program for youth with IDD enrolled in the Columbus City School District. This program is called, Rising up Strong and covered the topics of nutrition, exercise, personal hygiene and oral health.

View Christine Chilaka's ASF poster

Princess Emeana

Ohio University - Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine
Community Site: Athens County Public Libraries and OhioHealth O'Bleness Hospital SeniorBEAT Program

Emeana addressed the needs of residents of Athens County, ages 55 and older, by creating a health and wellness project aimed at providing health screenings to improve and promote healthy lifestyle choices. Emeana provided educational workshops aimed at supporting and promoting healthy aging in older adults though low impact fitness and group activities with cardiovascular strengthening exercise classes, health coaching, meditation, blood pressure monitoring, and group selected activities.

View Princess Emeana's ASF Project Poster

Gates Failing

The Ohio State University College of Medicine
Community Site: Franklinton Cycle Works

Failing addressed safe bicycle commuting in Columbus, Ohio by developing a series of community bicycle rides for members of underserved urban populations. He partnered with a nonprofit bicycle shop that provides low-cost bicycle maintenance and repair instruction. Group rides offered practical education on lane positioning, signaling, navigating busy intersections, and other cycling habits for riders of all levels and backgrounds. The program hoped to cultivate a culture of bicycle commuting in order to reduce barriers associated with convenient and affordable transportation.

View Gates Failing's ASF Poster

Jaime Freiburger

Ohio University - Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine
Community Site: Northeast Ohio High Schools

Freiburger is addressing a first aid knowledge gap in high school education by teaching Stop the Bleed courses in Ohio high schools. Project Stop the Bleed, a basic level bleeding control curriculum, teaches bystanders how to assume medical first response in the event of trauma or mass casualty. Freiburger will be partnering with local hospitals, community healthcare, police, and EMS to engage local school districts and teach as many students as possible. This program is ultimately designed to empower students, faculty, and staff to act in the face of imminent danger, and equip them with the skills to save lives, should the need ever present itself.

View Jaime Freiburger's ASF Poster

Julia Mazzarella

The Ohio State University School of Health and Rehabilitation Science
Community Site: Dreams on Horseback

Mazzarella addressed health disparities for children with physical disabilities by integrating physical therapy recommendations into therapeutic riding lessons. She provided participant assessment and staff and volunteer training to better address balance, strength, and mobility needs and goals through therapeutic horseback riding. Additionally, Julia's project served as the building blocks for developing a hippotherapy program at Dreams on Horseback.

View Julia Mazzarella's ASF poster

Erika Niewald

Community Site: Mount Carmel St. Ann's Family Medicine Center

Niewald addressed the effects of chronic stress due to the cycle of poverty in Westerville, Ohio by instituting a program of complementary integrative therapies for the underserved population. Many of these patients have less positive health outcomes due to financial challenges and food insecurity. The program offered integrative therapies that augmented their medical care and aimed to relieve stress, teach coping tools, and help them re-center on wellness and prevention practices in their lives. Additionally, these services as well as educational opportunities were offered to staff members.

View Erika Niewald's ASF Poster

Aiesha Polakampalli and Jennifer Samiec

Ohio University - Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine and The Ohio State University College of Medicine

Community Site: Ohio Reformatory for Women

Samiec and Polakampalli addressed the gaps in health literacy among incarcerated women in Marysville, Ohio at the Ohio Reformatory for Women by facilitating discussion groups focused around various health education topics, including reproductive and mental health. The program provided a clinical background on specific topics and facilitate discussion among small groups of women over several sessions. This led to an increased understanding of health conditions and provided ways to address and cope with these experiences, which will ultimately empower and motivate women to take ownership of their own health and wellness.

View Aiesha Polakampalli and Jennifer Samiec's ASF Poster