(Front, l-r) Ellen Mats, Kae Ravichandran, and Hunter Myers; (middle l-r) Shea Bellino, Clara Maxim, Elizabeth Kelley, and Tyler McGuire; (top, l-r) Rachel Thompson, Vennela Pandaraboyina, and Kadi Nguyen. (Photo: NH/VT Schweitzer)
The New Hampshire/Vermont (NH/VT) Schweitzer Fellows Program has selected five teams of Larner College of Medicine Class of 2025 medical students as 2022-23 Schweitzer Fellows. As Schweitzer Fellows, they will spend hundreds of hours over the next year completing their projects, which focus on addressing existing health disparities throughout the region in solidarity with community partners.
Founded in 1996, the NH/VT Schweitzer Fellows Program is one of thirteen currently active Albert Schweitzer Fellowship program sites across the U.S. and is dedicated to developing a pipeline of emerging professionals who enter the workforce with the skills and commitment necessary to address unmet health needs. NH/VT Schweitzer Fellows are chosen competitively from graduate health professional and law student applicants enrolled at institutions in New Hampshire and Vermont.
During the past 26 years, more than 200 Larner students have completed over 25,000 hours of service working with regional community partners as NH/VT Schweitzer Fellows. The following medical Class of 2025 members and projects were selected for the 2022-23 year:
- Hunter Myers and Kae Ravichandran – Working with Outright Vermont, Myers and Ravichandran aim to improve transgender youth’s understanding of clinical interventions and common health risks, as well as empower transgender and gender diverse youth in the healthcare setting. Using a trans health text line, skill-building workshops, and panels with health professionals, they plan to give youth critical skills to navigate the cis-dominated world around them.
- Kadi Nguyen and Ellen Mats – In partnership with Winooski Middle/High School, Nguyen and Mats will bolster and expand the Spartans Advance program – an initiative to help students at the high school navigate life after graduation. Through the maintenance of the Spartans Advance website and creation of summer and after-school workshops for both students and their families, these Schweitzer Fellows will collaborate with community liaisons to give students the tools they need for success and become the most empowered versions of themselves.
- Clara Maxim and Rachel Thompson – Maxim and Thompson will work with Burlington’s unhoused population through the “Here to Help” program, helping individuals gain and maintain jobs while alleviating the Vermont labor shortage. Their programming will address a variety of barriers to employment such as professional attire, childcare, and transportation by providing curated resources and holding events.
- Tyler McGuire and Elizabeth Kelley – McGuire and Kelley are working together with Vermont’s Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation and Abenaki Nation of Missisquoi to improve Abenaki health through outreach clinics focused on screening for chronic health problems. In addition to outreach clinics, they will be facilitating cultural awareness training sessions at UVM’s Larner College of Medicine where Abenaki leaders can talk about their healthcare experiences with doctors and medical students.
- Vennela Pandaraboyina and Shea Bellino – Pandaraboyina and Bellino have teamed up with the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) to develop a program to improve the health literacy of New Americans arriving in Vermont. Their goal is to create low-literacy friendly tools that health care providers, laboratory staff, and case managers can use to promote understanding of complex health issues that are particularly relevant to refugees. They hope to facilitate two-way communication resulting in better access to health information and the health care system for refugees.
Molly Rideout, M.D., professor of pediatrics, serves as faculty leader for the Larner program, assisted by Tim Lahey, M.D., M.M.Sc., professor of medicine. Nancy Gabriel, M.A., is the NH/VT Schweitzer Fellows program director.