Two Public Health Leadership Students Receive NC Schweitzer Scholarships

June 1, 2022

Dr Carrie Alspaugh (left) and Jeannie Salisbury

The North Carolina Albert Schweitzer Fellowship (NCASF) announced the selection of its 2022-2023 class of Schweitzer Fellows, including two students from UNC-Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health: Carrie Alspaugh, MD, and Jeannie Salisbury.

They are among twenty-eight graduate students from North Carolina who will spend the next year learning to effectively address social factors that impact health and developing lifelong leadership skills. This year’s class represents fellows from public health, medicine, dental, social work, counseling and law.

“In these changing days of the pandemic, it is critically important that our next generation of healthcare professionals understand the challenges community members face in achieving health and well-being, learn how to develop initiatives that help overcome these challenges and use their voice to advocate for our most vulnerable,” said Barbara Heffner, executive director of the NC Albert Schweitzer Fellowship. “I continue to be impressed, and with the innovative approaches the Fellows are designing to fill the gaps in our health care system to meet the needs of at-risk communities.”

Schweitzer Scholars develop and implement service projects that address the root causes of health disparities in disadvantaged communities, while fulfilling their academic responsibilities. Each project is implemented in collaboration with a community organization.

Dr. Rachel Wilfert

Dr. Rachel Wilfert

Alspaugh and Salisbury — both master’s of public health students in the Gillings School’s Public Health Leadership Program — received NC Schweitzer Fellowships for a rural public health project that addresses food insecurity. They started working at the beginning of May; the project will run through April 2023 with Rachel Wilfert, MD, MPH, CPH – director of workforce training and education for the North Carolina Institute for Public Health and adjunct assistant professor in the Public Health Leadership from the Gillings School – acting as a faculty mentor.

“We support Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) teams to provide healthy, nutritious meals to people with mental illness and homelessness in Wake County,” Alspaugh said. “Our goal is to strengthen trust and the bond between the teams and their patients. I am excited to serve and learn with this community and to see firsthand what we have learned in class. Rachel has been so supportive, insightful and encouraging.

“We are so lucky to have Thava Mahadevan as our site mentor,” Salisbury added. “He started the ‘Heat and Eat’ program for those suffering from food insecurity and mental illness during the COVID pandemic. We look forward to expanding this program and serving more people.

Anna Dodson, MPH, a UNC Gillings alumnus now studying at UNC School of Medicine, was also named a 2022-23 Schweitzer Fellow. She will tackle food insecurity among North Carolina families by expanding a pay-for-meal donation program, helping Medicaid Healthy Opportunity pilots in North Carolina, and developing a supply platform food with a social vocation in partnership with Equiti Foods. His mentor teacher is Sue Tolleson-Rinehart, PhD, professor at the Gillings Public Health Leadership Program.

Kelly Goo, MPH, currently a medical student at Duke University, is another Gillings alumna who is part of the 2022-23 class of Schweitzer Scholars. She and her partner Dana Rubenstein help low-income seniors and/or disabled people living in Durham, NC by implementing a hybrid telehealth/home visitation program.

Contact the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health communications team at [email protected].

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