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MGH Institute of Health Professions physical therapy student Cecelia Jiang is one of ASF’s newly-selected 2010-11 Boston Schweitzer Fellows — and, as a news item posted on MGH Institute’s website illustrates, Jiang is passionate about meeting the health needs of underserved populations:

“People with disabilities are just as important as everyone else,” said Jiang, a first-year student in the entry-level Doctor of Physical Therapy program at the MGH Institute. “I hope to be able to do something that will help them and their families have a better quality of life.”

She will work with Asian families through the non-profit organization Joni and Friends of Greater Boston, for which she already volunteers. Her project aims to connect these families, most of whom live in Chinatown where 30% of residents in that neighborhood live below the poverty line, with suitable respite care resources and connect the mothers with bi-monthly support groups through the non-profit organization.

Jiang is designing her Schweitzer project with an eye towards sustainability:

One thing she wants to ensure is creating something that continues after her year-long fellowship ends, noting that improving health care for people with disabilities is not only cost effective but is a matter of basic civil rights.

“I’ve seen too many programs fall apart after the person behind it leaves,” noted Jiang, who will receive a $3,000 stipend as a Fellow. “I hope to become a physical therapist who will provide quality care to all patients, and that this project will be a small step towards achieving quality and equality in the American health care system.”

Click here for MGH Institute’s full profile.

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