Press ReleaseDate: 06-06-12
Name: Jerry Carey Phone: 856-566-6171
Two UMDNJ Students Selected Greater Philadelphia Schweitzer Fellows
Jason Keiner, of Northfield, and Samuel Master, of Teaneck, are among the 16 graduate students in the Philadelphia/South Jersey area who will spend the next year leading projects that target health disparities in primarily urban communities throughout the region. They will join approximately 230 other 2012-13 Schweitzer Fellows from throughout the United States who, in addition to their ongoing academic responsibilities, will work with local organizations throughout the year to develop and implement health-related service projects in underserved communities.
Keiner and Master will focus their efforts on expanding Project REACH (Revitalizing Education and Advancing Camden�s Health), an innovative after-school program currently in place at East Camden Middle School, to a second location. Project REACH implements youth-initiated community health service projects in Camden using a problem-based learning approach that teaches preventative health and peer leadership skills to at-risk middle school students. It equips the students with the skills to take control of their own health and to empower their communities to do the same.
Earlier this year, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation reported that although 85 percent of primary care physicians and pediatricians say their patients have health concerns caused by unmet social factors, only 20 percent of health professionals feel equipped to help their underserved patients actually address those social factors � including low incomes, environmentally unsafe housing, and lack of access to healthy foods, mental health care services and educational opportunities.
�Established in 1992, our U.S. Schweitzer Fellows Program is a two-pronged means of addressing that gap,� said Albert Schweitzer Fellowship President Lachlan Forrow, MD, director of Ethics and Palliative Care at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. �Fellows deliver immediate impact on the root causes of health inequities by partnering with area community-based organizations to carry out mentored, entrepreneurial, yearlong service projects on issues like early childhood literacy, obesity, and access to health care. But the Fellowship�s leadership development programming also helps them to contextualize this experience � delivering lasting impact by developing health professionals with the capacity and cultural competence to address social factors on an ongoing and effective basis throughout their careers.�
Since 2007, the Greater Philadelphia Schweitzer Fellows Program has supported nearly 70 Schweitzer fellows who have delivered more than 13,000 hours of service. The program is funded entirely through charitable donations and grants and is hosted by the Jefferson School of Population Health. Other generous sponsors include the Barra Foundation; the Cigna Foundation; DentaQuest Foundation; the Edward & Stella Van Houten Foundation; Thomas Jefferson University School of Pharmacy and College of Medicine; and Wells Fargo Advisors.
The UMDNJ-School of Osteopathic Medicine is dedicated to providing excellence in medical education, research and health care for New Jersey and the nation. An emphasis on primary health care and community health services reflects the school�s osteopathic philosophy, with centers of excellence that demonstrate its commitment to developing clinically skillful, compassionate and culturally competent physicians from diverse backgrounds, who are prepared to become leaders in their communities.
The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) is New Jersey�s only health sciences university with more than 6,000 students on five campuses attending the state's three medical schools, its only dental school, a graduate school of biomedical sciences, a school of health related professions, a school of nursing and New Jersey�s only school of public health. UMDNJ operates University Hospital, a Level I Trauma Center in Newark, and University Behavioral HealthCare, which provides a continuum of healthcare services with multiple locations throughout the state.