Four Tufts graduate students have been named to the 2012-13 class of Albert Schweitzer Fellows, and will join nearly 250 of their peers working on the health of underserved communities across the U.S.
Fellows will spend the next year addressing health disparities throughout Greater Boston and developing lifelong leadership skills as well as peer relationships with the other 15 Fellows from the Boston area. Fellows will partner with community-based organizations to develop and implement yearlong, mentored service projects that sustainably address the social determinants of health—all on top of their regular graduate school responsibilities. The four Tufts-Schweitzer Fellows are supported by Tisch College and Tufts health sciences schools
The 2012-13 Tufts-Schweitzer Fellows are:
Jenny Citrin, Tufts University School of Dental Medicine
Community Sites: Josiah Quincy Upper and Lower Schools
Citrin is addressing oral health in Boston’s Chinatown by developing iSmile, a program to inspire upstream prevention of dental disease through fun and nontraditional oral health education. With mentoring from dental and nutrition students, high school students will develop an interactive, internet-based education module on dental health with a focus on the dietary causes of cavities, targeting 5-11 year olds. Serving as community and peer educators, these high school students will mentor their lower school counterparts in healthy behaviors and gain insight for game design. Citrin’s Fellowship is supported by the DentaQuest Foundation.
Jeffrey Coots, Tufts School of Medicine, Public Health Program
and Northeastern University School of Law
Community Site: Span, Inc.
Coots is working to increase access to primary care for individuals who have recently returned home from prison, particularly those with pressing and chronic healthcare needs. In addition to assisting individuals register for medical coverage and locate primary care physicians, he will deliver “Healthy Reentry” workshops aimed at building knowledge around common health challenges and introducing strategies for working in collaboration with a primary care provider to mitigate the effects of chronic disease. Coots’ goal is to ensure that those who spend time in prison have the opportunity to return and achieve healthy, productive, and meaningful lives.
Mio Tamanaha, Tufts University School of Medicine
Community Site: Bridge Over Troubled Waters
Tamanaha is addressing youth homelessness in downtown Boston by establishing an empowerment program for homeless populations aged 14-23. The program will create a social network through which these young people can connect with their peers, and will also involve an advocacy project that serves as a forum for the youth to advocate for themselves and their peers as community educators. By creating a sense of belonging and purpose, the program seeks youth empowerment as an outcome, but also as a stepping stone to improved health and educational outcomes.
Mohamed Zeidan, Tufts University School of Medicine
Community Site: Tufts Medical Center Emergency Department
Zeidan is addressing high re-visit rates to Boston emergency rooms by establishing a medical student follow-up program at Tufts Medical Center. Focusing in particular on patients without primary care physicians, students will meet with as many patients as possible to ensure that they understand their conditions and the necessary steps for a full recovery. Students will meet with patients before discharge and the again a week later to monitor their progress. Ultimately, the project aims to provide underserved patients with advocates in the health care system while also educating future physicians on the needs of their community.
Originally published May 2012