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UIC Nursing students selected for Schweitzer Fellowship

Two UIC Nursing graduate students were selected for the distinguished Schweitzer Fellowship, a yearlong service-learning program that helps address the health needs of underserved Chicago communities.

Elizabeth Rios and Shirley Scott were among 10 students from across the university chosen for the fellowship in 2019. Students from the Colleges of Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Applied Health Sciences, and Social Work were also among those selected.

In collaboration with existing community organizations, each Schweitzer fellow will launch a community-based project, providing 200 hours of service. Using a broad public health lens, the fellows will work to improve community wellbeing and target the social determinants of health.

Rios, BSN ’00 and current PhD student, will work with St. Joseph Church in Harvard, Illinois, where she will initiate educational and interactive workshops to increase awareness of Type 2 diabetes for the Latino community. The classes will provide education on the care, management, and prevention of complications of Type 2 diabetes and keeping families healthy. The final goal is to form a health ministry that will be a resource for improving the health of the congregation and empowering the Latinos in the community.

Scott, a DNP student, plans to initiate life skills and STI classes for volunteer ambassadors to teach participants at the Young Masterbuilders in Motion, Inc. These classes will empower teens, young women, orphans, adoptees, and foster youth alumnae to build resiliency, hope and a bright future.

Named in honor of humanitarian and Nobel laureate Dr. Albert Schweitzer, the Chicago Area Schweitzer Fellows Program, which is a program of the Health & Medicine Policy Research Group, encourages students to become lifelong leaders in service by helping to address unmet health needs among vulnerable Chicagoland residents.

“Every year, our Schweitzer fellows help Health & Medicine live out our mission of addressing health inequities and supporting the next generation of healthcare providers,” said Margie Schaps, executive director of the Health & Medicine Policy Research Group.

In addition to their service projects, these 10 students and their peers will also participate in a 13-month program that includes monthly meetings, trainings and ongoing opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration, as well as support from a team of mentors from their schools, project sites, alumni network and staff.