Schweitzer Fellows

Health sciences students devote a year to community service

Nine health sciences students will spend the next year working in communities without adequate health services as 2007-08 Tufts Schweitzer Fellows.

The Tufts Schweitzer Fellows, front row, from left: Laura Hooper, Parita Patel, Allie Quady, Emily Christiansen and Ashiyana Nariani; back row, from left: Pritesh Gandhi, Will Grandin, Allan Pang and Nadia Stegeman.

“By being a Schweitzer Fellow, I will gain fellowship, mentorship, cultural awareness and the opportunity to set up a project that directly aids an underserved community,” said Parita Patel, D08. Patel and Allan Pang, D08, will work through Bridge Over Troubled Water, a Boston organization that serves homeless, high-risk and runaway youth, to develop an oral health education program for Bridge’s residential facilities, perform oral health screenings and provide treatment.

During their year of service, the Tufts Schweitzer Fellows, who were chosen through a competitive selection process from the nation’s top health and human service schools, each will provide more than 200 hours of community service. The program honors the legacy of Dr. Albert Schweitzer.

The other Tufts fellows and their projects are:

Emily Christiansen, V08, and Nadia Stegeman, V08, are developing a list of veterinary care-related resources for animal disaster planning throughout the state. Their project also aims to include veterinarians in local disaster planning.

Pritesh Gandhi, M10, and Laura Hooper, M10, will work to minimize the obstacles families relying on food stamps face in meeting their nutritional needs and maintaining a healthy diet. They will develop a grocery guide, recipe book and resource guide.

Wilson Grandin, M08, is collaborating with the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program to organize a network of resources for homeless patients suffering from the combination of HIV infection, a mental health disorder and substance abuse.

Ashiyana Nariani, M10, will focus on building the emotional fortitude of cancer patients and their families by providing them an outlet for stress relief and social support. She will create and implement a yoga and meditation program for patients and their families.

Allison Quady, N08, serves as the project manager for the Wellness Wheel, a holistic health program of the St. Francis House, a day shelter in Boston. She helps design and implement Wellness Wheel curricula, supervises college interns, coordinates holistic health activities and works on the diet and nutrition aspects of the program.

The story ran in the Tufts Journal in September 2007.