OU-COM students selected for Albert Schweitzer Fellowship
Ohio, May 5, 2011)
The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship (ASF) announced the selection of
its inaugural class of Columbus Schweitzer Fellows, two of whom are
students at OU-COM.
During the upcoming year, these OU-COM students will join
approximately 260 other 2011-12 Schweitzer Fellows across the
country in conceptualizing and carrying out service projects that
address the health needs of underserved individuals and communities.
Heather Datsko, OMS I,
will address health disparities in Appalachian Ohio by expanding the
health education programming of Good Works, an organization that
conducts outreach that supports people experiencing poverty. Her
project will add a health day to Good Works’ summer kids’ camp, as
well as launch a Saturday-morning health class that addresses common
health concerns. Datsko hopes to make good health more accessible
for program participants, and to inspire them towards personal
Kimberly Herrmann, OMS I,
will conduct an infectious disease intervention in Athens and
surrounding Appalachian counties. Collaborating with the Athens AIDS
Task Force, she is creating a Hepatitis C health education
curriculum and conducting educational sessions with community
members from underserved and uninsured populations. Herrmann will
implement the curriculum, as well as provide referrals for testing
and other support in prevention and reducing transmission.
Ultimately, Herrmann hopes to expand this health education program
to other agencies to be taught by local high school and medical
students in a health-career mentorship program.
“All congratulations to Heather and Kimberly on earning this
prestigious national award,” said Jack Brose, D.O., dean of OU-COM
and executive dean for health affairs at Ohio University. “They
competed against many talented applicants and worthy projects.”
OU-COM joined the Ohio State University College of Medicine as
academic partners and sponsors in the newest site for the Albert
Schweitzer Fellowship, the 12th such program in the
nation, and which was announced in the fall of 2010. Funding from
Anthem Blue Cross and the Blue Shield Foundation helped make
possible the program's expansion to Columbus and Athens.
“We have long been partners with the Ohio State University School of
Medicine, and this is a great example of a service program that, by
working together, helps strengthen Ohio and its residents,” Brose
said. "Kimberly's and Heather's participation as Schweitzer fellows
fits perfectly with our efforts and our commitment to service in
underserved communities, particularly in rural areas."
Upon completion of their initial year, Datsko and Herrmann will
Schweitzer Fellows for Life—and
join a vibrant network of over 2,000 individuals who are skilled in,
and committed to, addressing the health needs of underserved people
throughout their careers as professionals. Nearly all the Fellows
for Life say that ASF is integral to sustaining their commitment to
serve the underserved.
Originally founded in 1940 to support Dr. Albert Schweitzer’s
medical work in Africa, ASF is a national nonprofit organization
mission is to develop
Leaders in Service: individuals who are dedicated and skilled in
meeting the health needs of underserved communities, and whose
example influences and inspires others.
These Fellows — primarily university graduate students — partner
with community-based organizations to identify an unmet health need,
design a yearlong 200-hour service project with a demonstrable
impact on that need, and bring that project from idea to
implementation and impact. Rooted in a holistic understanding of
health, Schweitzer projects address not only clinical issues, but
also the social determinants of health. Annually, approximately 250
Schweitzer Fellows deliver more than 40,000 hours of health-related
community service at thirteen locations across the U.S.
For information about the Columbus Schweitzer Fellows program, go to