Rush University Medical Center Students Receive Schweitzer Fellowships and Fellows for Life are Honored

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Three Rush University Medical Center students have been accepted to the prestigious Schweitzer Fellowship Program for 2009-2010. Curtis Calvert, Katherine Garlo and Taranee Wangsatorntanakhun join 32 new Fellows from health and human disciplines at the areas’ top schools.

Schweitzer Fellows follow in the footsteps of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning physician and humanitarian Dr. Albert Schweitzer by developing and implementing innovative year-long direct service projects with a lasting impact on the health of underserved communities. Each fellow partners with a local agency and devotes more than 200 hours of service. The program encourages and cultivates fellows to develop leadership skills and to dedicate themselves to lives of community service.

Curtis Calvert, Rush University College of Nursing, will provide type II diabetes self-management education to older adults at Central West Senior Center and other community gathering locations on the west side of Chicago.

Katherine Garlo, Rush University College of Medicine, will implement a program that builds independence and empowers elderly African Americans of Chicago’s West Side. The program will focus on maintaining health and strengthening social support.

Taranee Wangsatorntanakhun, Rush University College of Nursing, will be conducting patient education classes for uninsured residents around the Old Irving Park Free Community Clinic. Her classes will help local residents manage their diabetes and hypertension, and empower them to make educated, informed decisions regarding their health.

Two Rush students, Jermaine McGill of University Park, Ill., and Robert Redwood of St. Joseph, Ill., who have completed their year of service were recently honored and are now Fellows for Life. Prominent civic and community leaders, health and social service professionals and university faculty from throughout Chicago gathered at Northwestern memorial Hospital’s Laurie Research Center on Thursday, April 16 to honor the positive contributions made by the 2008-2009 Fellows.

Jermaine McGill, Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences at Rush University, addressed the obesity and diabetes epidemic through diet and nutrition education and community activities at KIPP/ Ascend Charter School.

Robert Redwood, Rush University Medical College, improved the nutritional habits of low income Latino families by providing nutritional education, healthy recipes, and personal dietary counseling at Pilsen Community Pediatrics and at CommunityHeath.

“This Fellowship provides an expression of the strong altruistic impulse of young people even while they pursue the most demanding professional training programs in the country,” said Dr. Quentin Young, chair of the program. “After 13 years, we’ve found that their experience as Schweitzer Fellows informs and carries into their full professional lives. These remarkable young individuals are the best and the brightest, and they are committed to making a difference.”

Administered by Chicago’s Health and Medicine Policy Research Group, the highly competitive Fellowship is an innovative service-learning program for outstanding students in health and social service professions, representing a wide variety of disciplines at the area’s top universities. The Chicago Area Fellows Program has supported over 340 service projects throughout the city of Chicago and DuPage County, equaling almost 70,000 hours of community service.

Rush University is the academic component of Rush University Medical Center, a leading academic medical center. Rush University was founded in 1972 and has expanded from one college and fewer than 100 students to four colleges and over 1,700 students. It includes Rush Medical College, the College of Nursing, the College of Health Sciences and The Graduate College. The heritage of the College of Nursing dates back to 1885, when the College’s first antecedent, the St. Luke’s Hospital Training School of Nursing, opened to offer diploma education to nurses.


Health and Medicine Policy Research Group is an independent, voluntary policy center with a mission focused on the health of the poor and underserved. Health and Medicine also administers projects on long-term care reform, prison health, women’s health and the health system safety net.

RushUniversity Medical Center includes the 674-bed (staffed) hospital; the Johnston R. Bowman Health Center; and Rush University (Rush Medical College, College of Nursing, College of Health Sciences and the Graduate College).