Congratulations to OSU College of Social Work students Tamara Durr and Allison Gibson, who have been selected for the inaugural class of Columbus Schweitzer Fellows—15 multidisciplinary graduate students who will spend the next year addressing Columbus and Athens-area health disparities and developing lifelong leadership skills.
Tamara and Allison will join approximately 260 other 2011-12 Schweitzer Fellows across the country in conceptualizing and carrying out service projects that address the health needs of underserved individuals and communities. They will partner with community-based organizations to develop and implement yearlong, mentored service projects that sustainably address the social determinants of health—all on top of their regular graduate school responsibilities.
Tamara is addressing obesity-related issues among low-income families in Greater Linden through a culturally competent, threefold program that includes healthy eating, physical fitness, and primary care components. She plans to integrate the 5-2-1-0 Healthy Kids Countdown, a health promotion initiative based on evidence-based messaging that emphasizes healthy nutritional choices and behaviors. Tamara’s community site is the St. Stephen’s Community House in Columbus, Ohio.
"My aim is to affectionately serve, unselfishly give, and continuously learn,” said Tamara. “The hope for this project is that it will help to enhance the lives of those involved, and my prayer is that I, too, would be inwardly changed for the better."
Allison is partnering with the Alzheimer’s Association to develop an education and support program for individuals and their families in the early stages of dementia. She is also working to expand Columbus-area support programs for individuals with Young Onset Alzheimer’s disease who have been diagnosed before the age of 65. Allison’s community site is the Alzheimer’s Association.
“I am very excited to be a part of a program that promotes addressing health disparities within our community,” said Allison. “ I am really looking forward to working with the Alzheimer’s Association and the families who are living with this disease.”
Upon completion of their initial year, Tamara and Allison will become Schweitzer Fellows for Life—and join a vibrant network of over 2,000 Schweitzer alumni who are skilled in, and committed to, addressing the health needs of underserved people throughout their careers as professionals. Ninety-nine percent of Fellows for Life say that ASF is integral to sustaining their commitment to serve the underserved.
The Columbus Schweitzer Fellows Program, hosted by The Ohio State University College of Medicine, was launched in 2010 with major funding from Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation and other generous sponsors. A listing of 2011-12 Columbus Schweitzer Fellows, their schools, and their Schweitzer service projects follows. More information is available at www.schweitzerfellowship.org/columbus.
For more information about Tamara and Allison, contact Frankie Jones-Harris, Communications Director, OSU College of Social Work, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 614/292-3540.