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Sara DeWitt, a first-year student in the College of Veterinary Medicine, was named a 2013-2014 Columbus-Athens Schweitzer Fellow. Sara takes a non-traditional approach to improving and impacting community health by working with pets. “I think pets play an integral role in our overall well-being and I am really excited to work with other animal lovers in the community,” said Sara. She will be partnering with Life Care Alliance to recruit volunteers and to organize community resources for their Senior Pet Care Program. The Senior Pet Care Program is designed to help older adults take proper care of their pets. Sara says, “I am coordinating a program to support and advocate for pets so that home bound people can remain living independently with joy, purpose, and the companionship of their animals.”
The goal of The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship is to build community leaders who will help improve the health of vulnerable people. Read more. The Columbus-Athens component is one of 13 university-based sites throughout the nation. DeWitt shares this honor with 12 other graduate students, including three from Ohio State health sciences colleges, who will spend the next year learning to effectively address the social factors that impact health, while developing lifelong leadership skills.
Jessica Jolly, a Master of Public Health student and recent Master of Health Administration graduate, will be implementing a project titled "Centering Family Health". The project is a community-based chronic disease prevention program. The purpose of the project is to help balance family health through education, support, and health care. "I am passionate about eliminating health and health care disparities and doing all that I can to improve the lives of those who are undeserved and disadvantaged," Jolly said.
Kriss Petrovskisk, a third-year Doctor of Pharmacy student, is implementing patient education and outreach about blood pressure control for the undeserved and uninsured people of Northland and Greater Columbus. Petrovskisk will be partnering with Helping Hands and Wellness Center. He will be recruitng a team of volunteers that will empower the patients with knowledge, motivation and tools. Ultimately, he said he hopes the project will improve cardiovascular health, reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke. "Regardless of the career path that I choose, I will be prepared to develop community initiatives that address unmet health needs, engage my colleagues to help with these initiatives, and promote service as a core value to my institution and profession," Petrovskisk said.
Ayodele Adesanya, a fourth-year MD/PhD College of Medicine student, will be working to serve the underprivileged youth by addressing the lack of exposure to health care professions. Adesanya will be leading a longitudinal mentorship program with Champion Middle School's Doctor of Science (DiS) project. The project is designed to expose underprivileged students to various aspects of healthcare and to help them develop constructive habits to facilitate their continued academic success and growth. "As a beneficiary of several influential mentors, I am excited to be able to give back to the youth here in Columbus," Adesanya said. "I believe that the program can be of tremendous service and value to the Columbus community in helping to steer a select group of motivated students who are at transitional point of their education toward pathways of success."
These four students will be working on their fellowship for one year where they will learn how to use their skills in real-life situations, become culturally sensitive, and empower communities to improve their health. The fellowship not only includes a service project, but also includes reports, evaluations, monthly meeting, and public outreach.
You can see Sara’s story among the other graduate students’ stories here.
About the College of Veterinary Medicine at Ohio State
Founded in 1885, The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine is ranked fifth in the nation and includes more than 1,000 faculty, staff and students in the Departments of Veterinary Biosciences, Veterinary Clinical Sciences, and Veterinary Preventive Medicine. The Veterinary Medical Center is one of the largest specialty referral centers in the world, with more than 35,000 farm, equine, and companion animal patients each year. A nationally-recognized ambulatory practice and teaching unit in Marysville, Ohio provides farm animal experience to every veterinary student, and the Food Animal Health Research Program in Wooster, OH focuses on detection, control, and prevention of disease. Located on the only campus in the country with a comprehensive medical center offering seven health sciences colleges, we admit up to 162 veterinary students per class, and offer a new comprehensive graduate program in Veterinary and Comparative Medicine as well as a unique Master’s degree in Veterinary Public Health, in partnership with the College of Public Health. http://vet.osu.edu