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Student Selected as 2011 Schweitzer Fellow

May 27, 2011

The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship recently selected a Drexel University College of Medicine student as a Greater Philadelphia Schweitzer fellow for 2011-12. Victor Cueto, a third-year medical student, will join approximately 260 other Schweitzer fellows from across the country in conceptualizing and carrying out service projects that address the unmet health needs of underserved individuals and communities.

Cueto will address the health disparities associated with chronic and preventable diseases afflicting Philadelphia’s Latino community by expanding the Charlas de Salud/Health Talks program, which improves health literacy and education in the Latino community through bicultural and bilingual health education presentations. In 2009, Cueto co-founded the program, along with fellow student Alejandro Torres-Hernandez, as a community outreach initiative of the Drexel University College of Medicine Latino Medical Student Association. Cueto now aims to expand and replicate the program’s effective and culturally sensitive community health education model at more community sites within the Philadelphia Latino community. His community sites will be ASPIRA Inc. and the Hunting Park Neighborhood Stakeholders Association

Upon completion of his initial year, Cueto will become a Schweitzer Fellow for Life, and join a vibrant network of over 2,000 individuals who are skilled in, and committed to, addressing the health needs of underserved people throughout their careers as professionals.

About The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship (ASF)

Originally founded in 1940 to support Dr. Albert Schweitzer’s medical work in Africa, The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship (ASF) is a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to develop Leaders in Service: individuals who are dedicated and skilled in meeting the health needs of underserved communities, and whose example influences and inspires others.

These fellows — primarily university graduate students — partner with community-based organizations to identify an unmet health need, design a yearlong 200-hour service project with a demonstrable impact on that need, and bring that project from idea to implementation and impact. Rooted in a holistic understanding of health, Schweitzer projects address not only clinical issues, but also the social determinants of health. Annually, approximately 250 Schweitzer fellows deliver more than 40,000 hours of health-related community service at thirteen locations across the U.S. A number of Schweitzer fellows also work at the Schweitzer Hospital in Lambaréné, Africa, collaborating with hospital staff to help provide skilled care through over 35,000 outpatient visits and more than 6,000 hospitalizations annually for patients from all parts of Gabon.

When fellows’ initial year ends, they carry their commitment to meeting the health needs of underserved people forward as members of the Schweitzer Fellows for Life alumni network, a pipeline of Leaders in Service now more than 2,000 strong.

The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship‘s national office is located in Boston, Mass., and hosted by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.