Newswise — Nine University of Illinois at Chicago students have been awarded Schweitzer fellowships, a service learning program for health professional students committed to helping Chicago’s underserved.

Named in honor of humanitarian and Nobel Laureate Dr. Albert Schweitzer, the fellowship encourages exceptional students in health and human service fields to serve the most vulnerable members of society, including the uninsured, immigrants, the homeless, returning veterans, minorities and the working poor. The UIC students will each design and implement year-long projects to improve health and access to care.

Each Schweitzer Fellow will receive a $2,500 honorarium and will launch a community-based project in collaboration with existing community organizations to provide 200 hours of service.

The UIC Schweitzer Fellows are planning the following community projects:

  • College of Medicine student Nia Fonéy plans to develop an innovative nutrition and cooking program for youth and young adults at the Farm on Ogden through the Lawndale Christian Health Center. The programming will offer an engaging approach toward healthy eating with an additional focus on mental and spiritual health.
  • Dentistry student Evan Fry will conduct health education sessions for seniors with the theme of establishing consistent routines as a way to maintain overall well-being. The sessions will be integrated with screenings for chronic conditions and oral health in order to ensure the seniors’ health needs are being met.
  • Rodney Johnson, a student in the UIC School of Public Health, will develop an asthma awareness presentation for working women who have children diagnosed with asthma. The presentation will address asthma awareness and the health issues of working mothers in Greater Englewood.
  • Bhavik Lakhani proposes to create the “Manu Project,” a series of oral health seminars for the South Asian immigrant population in the Chicago area. Through these seminars, he hopes to raise awareness about the importance of oral health care and address barriers to oral health care services. Lakhani is a student in the UIC College of Dentistry.
  • Andrea LeFlore will partner with Facing Forward to End Homelessness to empower women with disabilities as change agents through the development of targeted programs and interventions that address issues specific to this population. LeFlore is a student in the College of Applied Health Sciences.
  • Medical student Jennifer Moreno will develop an educational health career pipeline program in Little Village to promote careers in health care among low-income, Latino/a students from the South Side of Chicago.
  • Dentistry student Viveka Patel will initiate a holistic wellness and life-skills program for homeless youth at The Crib, The Night Ministry’s overnight youth shelter. The program will strive to encourage academic achievement, increase financial literacy, and provide oral health and systemic health education.
  • Zaheera Shabbir, a student in the College of Pharmacy, will partner with the UI Health’s Mile Square Health Center to implement a series of culturally tailored educational workshops for uninsured/underinsured Hispanic patients with Type 2 diabetes. The program will also provide medication counseling and help improve health literacy.
  • Yue Xu, a student in the UIC College of Applied Health Sciences, will create an educational program for Chinese immigrant caregivers of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities called “Planning for Better Physical and Mental Health of the Whole Family.” This intervention will provide education on service planning and provide resources and peer support for family caregivers.