Stephanie Johnson, who is a second-year student in the Duquesne University School of Law, has been named one of 23 members of the 2012-13 class of Pittsburgh Schweitzer Fellows. This prestigious group of graduate students will work throughout the next year to conceptualize and carry out service projects that address the social and environmental determinants of health in underserved communities while, at the same time, they develop leadership skills and adhere to the message of service advocated by physician-humanitarian Albert Schweitzer.
Joining 240 other 2012-13 Schweitzer Fellows at 12 program sites throughout the U.S., the Pittsburgh Schweitzer Fellows will partner with local community-based organizations to develop and implement yearlong, mentored service projects that improve the health and well being of the underserved.
“The Fellowships simultaneously promote Schweitzer’s legacy and address a critical gap in today’s health care landscape by equipping emerging professionals with the tools to address not only clinical health issues, but also the social determinants of health,” said Dr. Lachlan Forrow, president of the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship (ASF) and director of ethics and palliative care at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.
Johnson, who was selected as an Environmental Fellow for the Pittsburgh group, will work in the Penn Hills, Homewood and Wilkinsburg (where Johnson is from) neighborhoods to develop knowledge of the effects of foreclosures and short sales on affected communities. Her project will include seminars and counseling on the financial and health effects of financial defaults.
Upon completion of her fellowship, Johnson and her co-fellows will each become a Schweitzer Fellow for Life—a network of nearly 2,500 individuals who are skilled in, and committed to, addressing the health needs of underserved people throughout their careers as professionals. Nearly 100 percent of Fellows for Life say that ASF is integral to sustaining their commitment to serving those in need.
The Pittsburgh Schweitzer Fellows Program was founded in 1997 and, to date, more than 200 fellows have provided over 44,500 hours of service to Pittsburgh’s most vulnerable communities.