Meet the 2023-24 Columbus-Athens Schweitzer Fellows!

Meet the 2023-24 Columbus-Athens Schweitzer Fellows!

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 conduct a one-year 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.

Adebimpe Adelaja

The Ohio State University College of Public Health
Partner: Franklin County Public Health Equity Advisory Board, Lifeline of Ohio

Adebimpe is partnering with Lifeline of Ohio and Franklin County Public Health to address racial disparities that exist in access to organ transplantation. The project will involve developing educational materials and implementing community outreach initiatives aimed at promoting equitable access to organ transplantation. The goal of the project is to reduce disparities in organ donation by raising awareness, sharing powerful stories of those impacted by organ donation, and fostering community engagement. The project aims to address the root causes of these disparities by collaborating with local organizations and healthcare providers to improve their understanding of equity and promote change within their respective organizations.

Julia Barbera and Marilena Wolf

Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine
Partner: The Period Pantry Project

Julia and Marilena are working with the Period P.R.I.D.E. program to improve access to menstruating products for LGBTQIA+ and nonbinary individuals. Their goal is to develop more partners to work with the Period Pantry, help sort and pass out a variety of donated products for those who experience period poverty, participate in community LGBTQIA+ events, and increase menstrual education to mitigate gender dysphoria associated with menstruation.

Noureen Bhuiya

The Ohio State University College of Medicine
Partner: Community Refugee and Immigration Services (CRIS)

Noureen is working with Community Refugee and Immigration Services (CRIS) to address the health literacy gap that refugees face on their road to wellness in the United States. She will assist in organizing and facilitating longitudinal focused groups amongst specific refugee populations. These groups will allow refugees to build relationships with others of their community while learning about navigating the healthcare system and health resources and practices in the United States as well as general health principles. Noureen aims to help refugees work towards self-sufficiency in regards to their health and wellness and address any obstacles they may face on this journey. She also aims to help these refugees feel welcome and supported as they settle into their new lives in the U.S.

Christina Camson and Yifan Shen

The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine
Partner: Asian American Community Services

Christina and Yifan have partnered with Asian American Community Services Healthy Asian Youth Program to develop a project focused on creating educational, wellbeing, and career programming for underserved youth. Access to early educational opportunities play a critical role in breaking cycles of poverty and developing student success in academics, careers, and overall wellbeing. Through inspiring students to excel in their academic and artistic interests, serving as mentors, and providing guidance on potential careers, Christina and Yifan aim to create a positive impact within the underserved youth communities in Columbus.

Lauren Donovan

Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine
Partner: Lima High School, Cornerstone Youth Group

Lauren's project seeks to address disparities in access to well-paying and insured careers, education and healthcare for minority populations in her hometown, Lima, Ohio, through mentorship. The initial goal is to make high schoolers and young adults aware of opportunities available to them for their future. From there we will work together to determine best next steps they can take to achieve their goals, which will ultimately reduce the burden of educational and health disparities in Lima.

Jordan Haber and Safa Salem

The Ohio State University College of Medicine
Partner: Windsor STEM Academy

Safa and Jordan have partnered with the Windsor STEM Academy to implement a novel curriculum, focusing on mental health and nutrition among underserved youth in the Columbus area. Engulfed in social determinants of health, their work hopes to address structural barriers in the health of minority populations. Their project intends to sustainably improve health outcomes and mental health awareness in the Linden community for years to come.

Shital Patel and Ruth Regassa

The Ohio State University College of Optometry
Partner: Ethiopian Tewahedo Social Services (ETSS)

Ruth and Shital plan to collaborate with the Ethiopian Tewahedo Social Services (ETSS) to provide education and awareness about the importance of vision health. They will be attending the various afterschool programs put on by ETSS to directly serve refugee/immigrant youths. The ultimate goal of the presentations is to provide access and minimize healthcare disparity among this underserved community.