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Newsletter for August 2014

ASAF Group
Meet the new San Francisco Bay Area Schweitzer Fellows for 2014-15
This is an exciting year for our program as we welcomed our largest class of Fellows ever. Sixteen graduate students from Bay Area Universities will spend 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. The 16 San Francisco Bay Area Fellows have joined approximately 220 2014-15 Schweitzer Fellows working at 12 other program sites, 11 in the US and one in Lambaréné, Gabon at the site of The Albert Schweitzer Hospital, founded by Dr. Schweitzer in 1913.

Jean Calvo, University of California, San Francisco, School of Dentistry.
Calvo is working with the Emeryville Senior Centers to provide seniors with oral health classes, screenings and enrollment in the new State provided dental insurance.

Valetina Zahran, University of California, San Francisco, School of Dentistry.
Zahran is working to provide access to dental care and education on proper oral health habits to survivors of human sex-trafficking in San Francisco

Jamie Yao, University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine.
is leading a group of health professional students to target health literacy and social isolation in patients at San Francisco General Hospital by providing health education and support.

Isabel Fong, University of California, San Francisco, School of Pharmacy.
Fong is partnering with the Over 60 Health Center - LifeLong Medical Care to improve medication adherence for low-income seniors during the care transition from hospitals to the health center.

Eric Larios and Angela Shahbazian, University of California, Berkeley, School
of Optometry.
Larios and Shahbazian are partnering with the American Indian Model schools in Oakland to address common vision problems and provide screening, education and referral services for ocular health issues, as well as free glasses for those who qualify.

Shannon Lee and Michelle Wong, University of California, Berkeley, School of
Lee and Wong are partnering with Monument Crisis Center in Concord to offer vision screenings, plus education about eye health and eye care resources to low income individuals in Contra Costa County.

Ka Yee So, University of California, Berkeley, School of Optometry.
So is working with Self Help for the Elderly at the Lady Shaw Activity Center to address ocular health in low-income residents of San Francisco Chinatown. Patient education and on-site diagnoses will be carried out in English, Cantonese and Mandarin.

Kevin Lee, University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health.
Lee is working with the Asian Health Services in Oakland to conduct community outreach and education for young adults of color to help them navigate the complexities of becoming insured, accessing a health care provider and gaining services that promote health.

Shawna Pharo, Samuel Merritt University, School of Nursing.
Pharo is working with the Homeless Prenatal Program to screen women for postpartum depression and maternal isolation. She will work with women individually to address barriers to follow-up care and access to postpartum resources.

Kelley Robinson, Samuel Merritt University, School of Nursing.
Robinson is working with Berkeley Youth Alternatives to develop a stress reduction and strengths-based program targeting at-risk youth. Her program is designed to empower the teens through yoga, creative expression, mindfulness and health education.

Steve Ko, Stanford University, School of Medicine.
Ko will address the problem of summertime food insecurity in East Palo Alto by partnering with the Ravenswood City School District and the East Palo Alto YMCA to provide healthy meals to the district's students and their families.

Alissa Totman, Stanford University, School of Medicine.
Totman is working with the Rehabilitation Research Center of the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center to establish a peer support group for people in San Mateo County with acquired brain injury.

Jesus Gaeta, San Francisco State University, School of Public Health.
Gaeta will address Latino family acceptance/rejection of adolescents that identify as LGBT. He will also work with Health Initiative of the Americas of the UC Berkeley School of Public Health to produce a guide for promotores to talk with parents about accepting their LGBT children. This guide will be utilized by community health workers throughout the region.

Melissa Belec, Touro University, California, School of Osteopathic Medicine and
Public Health.

Belec is addressing the management of chronic health conditions in transitional housing facilities associated with the Global Center for Success in Vallejo. She will use active education and facilitation support between group members to work towards better health.

Celebration of Service

Passing the Torch

The 2014 Celebration of Service was held on May 9, to honor our outgoing class of Fellows and welcome our 16 new Fellows. It was a gala evening at the Berkeley City Club, featuring Rhonda McClinton Brown, Executive Director of the Stanford University Office of Community Health as a Keynote Speaker. Her talk "Why Service Matters" was highly inspirational and was a great way to begin the celebration.

Orientation Retreat

Thanks to the generosity of our good friends Rob and Meryl Selig, in April, the San Francisco Bay Area Schweitzer Fellows Program was able to hold our weekend Orientation Retreat at a lovely beach house on the Pacific Ocean in Aptos. The new Fellows gathered there for a weekend full of learning about Albert Schweitzer, getting to know one another, listening to an expert on community partnerships, finding out what to expect during the year and eating, relaxing, eating, playing on the beach and eating.


Please help support this program by donating funds for partial travel stipends to the national ASF Leadership Conference in Boston on November 8, 2014.

Schweitzer Fellowships change lives, both of the individual Fellows and the many vulnerable community members they serve through their Fellowship projects. Our Fellows learn to lead and innovate as they tackle complex health needs—skills they will use again and again throughout their professional careers. Each year the national organization of ASF sponsors a Leadership Conference in Boston and this is a wonderful way for our Fellows to make connections with Fellows for Life from around the country and be inspired by a wide variety of speakers. The cost of travel from the Bay Area to Boston often means that only a few of our Fellows are able to attend. Your tax-deductible donation today will help provide partial travel stipends for the Fellows and allow them to take advantage of this great opportunity.

Donate Today
Albert Schweitzer


Since 2007, 80 Schweitzer Fellows have provided over 16,000 hours of service to the Bay Area's most vulnerable communities. Partnering with nearly 90 community-based organizations in six Bay Area counties, these Fellows have addressed a wide variety of unmet health needs by creating and carrying out yearlong projects with direct service at their core.

About ASF Alumni

Some Facts About
Fellows for Life (FFL)

The national network of Schweitzer Fellowship (FFL) alumni includes almost 3,000 physicians, nurses, lawyers, public health specialists, social workers, pharmacists, occupational therapists, and others in health related fields.

According to the most recent nationwide survey of Fellows for Life:

  • 70% of FFL spend at least 75% of their total time in their current training and/or profession conducting clinical or human service, either in direct care or related activities such as teaching.
  • 59% of their patients and clients, on average, are from underserved populations. However, 43% of FFL respondents work with clients and patients that are exclusively from underserved populations.
  • 80% indicated that their Fellowship experience reaffirmed their commitment to pursue a career related to a life of service; 13% said it was crucial in their decision to do so.
  • In the past year, 87% contributed to underserved populations outside of their regular work or training.
  • 99% said they would recommend the Fellowship to prospective applicants.
  • 66% currently stay in touch with other FFL.
Albert Schweitzer

Thank you to our donors, without whom none of this would be possible:

The Bay Area Schweitzer Fellows Program is funded through the generosity of the California Health Care Foundation; Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford; the University of California at Berkeley Schools of Public Health and Optometry; the University of California at San Francisco Schools of Medicine, Nursing, Dentistry and Pharmacy; Samuel Merritt University; Touro University, California, Rob and Meryl Selig, the Clorox Corporation's employee match program and many individual donors.

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San Francisco Bay Area Schweitzer Fellows Program
Contributions to the San Francisco Bay Area Albert Schweitzer Fellowship are tax deductible to the fullest extent permitted by law. San Francisco Bay Area Albert Schweitzer Fellowship is a non-profit charity organization 501(c) (3). Tax ID #38-3912273