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Finlay Pilcher, a Class of 2024 medical student at Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont, received a 2022 Excellence in Public Health Award in recognition of her Schweitzer project which focused on improving HPV vaccination in Lamoille County, VT. You can read more about her award here.
Nine students from Geisel School of Medicine's class of 2025 are working on year long projects that confront structural issues that lead to health disparities for marginalized communities in New Hampshire and Vermont. These projects include community building to address mental health concerns in migrant farmworker populations, health education programming for adults with developmental disabilities, mobile food delivery to address food insecurity and transportation barriers, social programming to increase equity in organ transplantation, and increasing the availability of gender-based advocacy resources for immigrant and refugee populations in the Upper Valley. Read more about these projects and the Fellows conducting them here.
Receiving a kidney transplant in New Hampshire or Vermont can involve several years of waiting, and unknown complications that can be exacerbated by structural inequality. Sandra Potter and Eleanor Baughan, '25s at Geisel School of Medicine, and 2021-2022 Schweitzer Fellows, recognize how critical this issue is, and designed their project to address it. They interviewed patients waiting for organs about the barriers they faced, developed educational materials for finding live donors, and planned to create a "donor champion program." Read more about their project here [there is a paywall].
Niveditha Badrinarayanan '23 and Akua Frimpong '23 were presented with the U.S. Public Health Service's 2021 Excellence in Public Health Award. The students were recognized for their Schweitzer project developing the Mentorship Educational Director (MED) program which aims to promote health equity by providing opportunities to youth of color and first-generation college students interested in medicine with access to mentors with whom they can identify (read more here)
In 2020 and 2021, 5 pairs of students from the Larner College of Medicine completed their Schweitzer Fellowship projects, while navigating the COVID-19 pandemic. Projects included combating social isolation in older adults, increasing bystander CPR training, building healthy habits for teens, inspiring young women to consider careers in STEM, and mentoring for high school students. Read more about these projects and the fellows that built and completed them here.
2021-2022 Fellow Finlay Pilcher implemented a school-based health fair, with the goal of improving HPV vaccination in Lamoille County, VT. In this blog post, she writes about the "intangible success[es]," of her year-long project and how it led her to feel a greater connection to her community. Human Vaccines and Immunotherapeutics also published this article that explains the exigence, methodology, and outcomes of her project.
2020-21 NH/VT Schweitzer Fellow Arvind Suresh '23 has been recognized and awarded the competitive U.S. Public Health Service Excellence in Public Health Award, for his Schweitzer project with Arhem Barkatullah that addressed food insecurity in rural Vermont, along with his work organizing community influenza vaccine clinics (read more here)
On September 13, Alabama and New Hampshire/ Vermont Schweitzer Fellows explored rural health during for their first virtual midyear retreat. You can read about the retreat here.
As part of their 2020-21 NH/VT Schweitzer Fellowship project, Arielle King and Jameson Davis have developed an Antiracism Policy and set of procedures for the Hartford, Vt., school district. Hartford is on track to be the first district in Vermont to have an Antiracism Policy (read about their effort here). King and Davis are also working with other school districts and organizations across the country to help them develop an Antiracism Policy (read more about that work here).
Fellows for Life Melissa Cantave, Jacob Perlson, and Chad Lewis are among the authors of a letter to the editor of Academic Medicine, titled "COVID19 Reveals Why We Need Physicians Advocates Now."
Fellow for Life Raghav Goyal co-wrote this blog post about the impact of COVID-19 on Burlington's homeless community. Goyal's Schweitzer project included building relationships with Burlington's vulnerably housed community which put him in a unique position to respond when COVID hit. He created a GoFundMe page to raise money for supplies that also includes updates from Raghav.
2020-21 NH/VT Schweitzer Fellows Niveditha Badrinarayanan and Cyrus Thomas-Walker are part of a group of Larner College of Medicine students who developed the Medical Student COVID-19 Action Network (MSCAN). MSCAN is an online searchable database for all medical student-organized, COVID-19-related service opportunities across the country. As of May 1, 2020, the MSCAN database contained over 530 activities from 104+ schools in 40 states. There are currently 57 team members and 240 additional contributors. The team has also started a video initiative. (Read a blog about the formation of the initiative here.)
Fellow for Life Noorin Damji is part of a group working to get the American Association of Medical Colleges and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education to change their criminal history requirements so that medical students are not intimidated out of participating in social movements and protests (link to the letter in a survey format and a blog post by Noorin's classmate Luke Higgins here).
2020-21 NH/VT Schweitzer Fellows Arvind Suresh and Arhem F. Barkatullah, along with Maureen Boardman, co-authored the article in a COVID-19 Collection of Annals of Family Medicine, titled "Addressing Food Insecurity During COVID-19: A Role for Rural Federally Qualified Health Centers."
2020-21 NH/ VT Schweitzer Fellows Arvind Suresh and Matt Fischer wrote an article, titled "Rethinking Food Insecurity During a Pandemic: An Equity Based Approach" and published in the Jurist. Suresh, a medical student, described the collaboration with Fischer, a law student, as a "very insightful experience and we were both able to learn from each other's perspectives in medicine and law."
Suresh wrote an Op-Ed, published in the Concord Monitor, titled "Lack of proper nutrition could feed the outbreak."
On May 17, 2020, students and faculty gathered via Zoom technology to celebrate Commencement for Larner College of Medicine's Class of 2020 amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The class chose Schweitzer Fellow for Life, Eli Goldberg, M.D.'20 , as Class Speaker. You can read his remarks here.
Schweitzer Fellow Isabelle Yang was one of the winners of the prestigious the U.S. Public Health Service award. The nationally competitive award is given to students who are advancing initiatives to improve social justice. You can read more here.
Schweitzer Fellow Julia MacDonald was the kick off speaker at the Vermont Womxn's 2020 March. You can hear her inspiring speech here. She starts at approximately minute 53.
Schweitzer Fellow Emily Donaldson was featured on Vermont Law School's website here.
Schweitzer Fellows Emi Eakin and Rosie Friedman were featured in a segment about their Schweitzer project, GrandPals that brings together children from the J.J. Flynn Elementary School's after school program and residents of the Elderwood at Burlington Nursing Home. Watch the segment and learn more here. Emil and Rosie were also interviewed on WCAX TV. You can see their interview here.
For their project, Noorin Damji and Kristine Valentine set out for rural Vermont communities in a well-stocked van every Friday afternoon. Read about how these Schweitzer Fellow's mobile syringe service helped with harm reduction here.