Four Schweitzer Fellows are Improving Community Health & Developing Lifelong Service Leadership Skills at Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston
HOUSTON (December 16, 2022) – The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship Houston Galveston (ASFHG) has the privilege of mentoring 78 Fellows in the 2022-23 class including four creating projects at Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston (Interfaith Ministries) who are immersed in a year of learning to address the unmet health needs of vulnerable communities in our region. Interfaith Ministries has hosted ASFHG projects every year since 2018, but the relationship grew with Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston President and CEO, Martin B. Cominsky, joining the ASFGH Board of Directors in 2021. Mr. Cominsky has contributed his time, talent and treasure to the organization and is responsible for several new and exciting partnerships for the Fellowship.
These Fellows at Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston join approximately 250 other 2022-23 Schweitzer Fellows at 13 chapters throughout the U.S., partnering with local community-based organizations to develop and implement yearlong mentored service projects that improve the health and well-being of underserved people.
Students implementing their projects at Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston are:
- Brandon Sarver and Geena May, from McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Houston who aim to improve the overall health, quality of life, and address isolation/depression in the elderly population served by Interfaith Ministries’ Meals on Wheels program with the use of Amazon Echo Show, virtual assistant devices.
- Melissa Cruz from the UTHealth School of Public Health who is working on a project that evaluates the effects of a 12-week home-based exercise program on gait speed and frailty status, nutrition, loneliness, and social isolation in homebound older adults.
- Philip Sanusi from the Texas A&M School of Public Health whose project focuses on health literacy for the Houston refugee community with aims to empower them with essential resources that can help to navigate the American healthcare system while also building a healthier refugee community.
“This year’s class of Fellows reflects the extraordinary diversity we have in Houston. Almost 80% of our Fellows and Scholars are individuals of color and 20% are the first in their families to graduate from college. We are also diverse in educational background with Fellows studying medicine, dentistry, nursing, pharmacy, social work, and public health. We celebrate this diversity and believe it contributes to the success of our Fellows’ projects.” says Dr. Andrea Link, Executive Director of ASFHG.
“We are so fortunate to have the talents of these young health professionals supporting our programs for seniors and for refugees. Their talents and creativity help us address innumerable challenges with these clients,” said Martin B. Cominsky, President and CEO of Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston.
Fellows complete these year-long mentored community service projects in partnership with community agencies, hospitals and schools while receiving training in leadership, cultural competency, project management, and the social determinants of health. A strong focus is placed on sustainability so that the project can continue beyond their Fellowship year.
Upon completion of their year, Fellows become Fellows for Life and join a vibrant network of Schweitzer alumni who are skilled in and committed to addressing the health needs of underserved people. Fellows for Life report back that ASF is integral to sustaining their commitment to serving people in need.
Launched in 2008, the ASFHG is funded by private donations, the support of charitable foundations and academic institution sponsorships. More information is available on the website at www.asfhg.org.