June 1, 2022
The North Carolina Albert Schweitzer Fellowship (NCASF) announced the selection of its 2022-23 class of Schweitzer Fellows, including two students from the UNC-Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health: Carrie Alspaugh, MD, and Jeannie Salisbury.
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 public health, medicine, dental, social work, counseling 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.
Alspaugh and Salisbury — both Master of Public Health students in the MPH@UNC online Leadership concentration — received NC Schweitzer Fellowships for a rural public health project that addresses food insecurity. They started work in early May; the project will run through April 2023 with Rachel Wilfert, MD, MPH, CPH — director of workforce training and education for the North Carolina Institute for Public Health and adjunct assistant professor in the Gillings School’s Public Health Leadership Program — acting as faculty mentor.
“We’re assisting Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) teams in delivering healthy nutritious meals to those experiencing mental illness and homelessness in Wake County,” Alspaugh said. “Our goal is to enhance trust and connection between the teams and their patients. I am excited to serve and learn with this community and to see firsthand what we have been learning about in the classroom. Rachel has been so supportive, insightful and encouraging.”
“We are so fortunate to have Thava Mahadevan as our site mentor,” Salisbury added. “He began the ‘Heat and Eat’ program for those experiencing food insecurity and mental illness during the COVID pandemic. We are looking forward to expanding that program and serving more people.”
Anna Dodson, MPH, a UNC Gillings alum who now studies at the UNC School of Medicine, also was named a 2022-23 Schweitzer Fellow. She will address 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 faculty mentor is Sue Tolleson-Rinehart, PhD, professor in the Gillings Public Health Leadership Program.
Kelly Goo, MPH, currently a medical student at Duke University, is another Gillings alum serving with the 2022-23 class of Schweitzer Fellows. She and partner Dana Rubenstein are helping low-income elderly and/or disabled people living in Durham, N.C., by implementing a hybrid telehealth/home visiting program.
Contact the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health communications team at firstname.lastname@example.org.