Lauren Sweetser, a first year student at the BU School of Medicine, was named an Albert Schweitzer Fellow for the 2014-15 class. She will join approximately 220 other 2014-15 Schweitzer Fellows spending the next year learning to effectively address the social factors that impact health, and developing lifelong leadership skills. In doing so, they will follow the example set by famed physician-humanitarian Albert Schweitzer, for whom their Fellowship is named.
Sweetser’s focus is addressing issues of pediatric homelessness in Roxbury, Mass. with a service-learning project “Resources and Education for Adolescents and their CHildren” (REACH). The mission of REACH is for medical students to work with and learn from homeless teenaged mothers and their young children by actively supporting them through educational workshops, constructive childcare and longitudinal multifaceted mentorship.Ultimately, the goal is for medical students to serve as healthcare liaisons for this often-neglected population while encouraging positive consistent relationships for both mother and infant.
Upon completion of the Fellowship year, the 2014-15 Boston Schweitzer Fellows will become Schweitzer Fellows for Life and join a vibrant network of nearly 3,000 Schweitzer alumni who are skilled in, and committed to, addressing the health needs of underserved people throughout their careers.