Ray Cheever, Callan Loflin, and Anna Dodson were among 28 graduate students across the state to be selected as North Carolina Albert Schweitzer Fellows.
The North Carolina Albert Schweitzer Fellowship (NCASF) announced the selection of its 2022-23 class of Schweitzer Fellows, including three from the UNC School of Medicine: Ray Cheever, Callan Loflin, and Anna Dodson. They are among twenty-eight graduate students in North Carolina who will spend the next year learning to effectively address the social factors that impact health, and developing lifelong leadership skills. This year’s class represents Fellows from medicine, dental, social work, counseling, public health and law.
“During these shifting days of the pandemic, it is critically important our next generation of health professionals understand the challenges community members face in achieving health and wellness, learn how to develop initiatives which help overcome those challenges, and use their voice to advocate for our most vulnerable,” said Barbara Heffner, Executive Director of the NC Albert Schweitzer Fellowship. “I continue to be impressed and by the innovative approaches the fellows devise to fill the gaps in our health care system to meet the needs of at-risk communities.”
Schweitzer Fellows develop and implement service projects that address the root causes of health disparities in under-resourced communities, while also fulfilling their academic responsibilities. Each project is implemented in collaboration with a community-based organization.
Ray Cheever and Callan Loflin will be working together to provide educational and social support to recently discharged patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI) and their caregivers at the Brain Injury Association of North Carolina (BIANC) and the WakeMed Brain Injury Rehabilitation System. Their academic mentor is Tolu Oyesanya, PhD, RN and site mentor is Laurie Leach, PhD, ABN, Program Director, Brain Injury Rehabilitation System.
Anna Dodson will be addressing food insecurity among North Carolina families by expanding a pay-it-forward meal donation program, assisting North Carolina Medicaid’s Healthy Opportunity Pilots, and developing a socially-driven food sourcing platform in partnership with Equiti Foods. Her academic mentor is Sue Tolleson-Reinhart, PhD, and site mentor is Morghen Philippi, MPH, Chief Operating Operator of Equiti Foods.
The NC Schweitzer Fellowship’s new class of Fellows will lead a multitude of service initiatives offering free food and nutritional services for people experiencing mental illness and homelessness, older adults and other community members who are food insecure; free dentures; free oral health services and oral health education; support for laboring patients and new moms; education and social support for patients with traumatic brain injury; hybrid telehealth/home visitation for low income seniors and people with disabilities; mentoring programs for preteen girls; free eyecare for people experiencing homelessness; and singlng therapy for patients with Parkinson’s. They will be launching their projects in vulnerable communities throughout the state.