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Nobel Peace Laureate and a pioneering physician-humanitarian Dr. Albert Schweitzer was one of the 20th century’s most admired global citizens.

The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship (ASF) today announced the launch of its Schweitzer Leadership Awards, which will recognize individuals local to ASF’s 13 U.S. Program sites whose life examples have significantly mitigated the social determinants of health in their communities, and whose commitments to service have influenced and inspired others. The award bears the name of Nobel Peace Laureate Dr. Albert Schweitzer, a pioneering physician-humanitarian who was one of the 20th century’s most admired global citizens.

“Especially with the hundred-year anniversary of Dr. Albert Schweitzer’s iconic hospital in Africa approaching in 2013, we are thrilled about this opportunity to honor individuals who are following in his footsteps at a local level,” says ASF President Lachlan Forrow, MD, Director of Ethics and Palliative Care at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. “We look forward to honoring leaders who have taken great strides towards achieving health equity in their communities, and who are inspiring our Schweitzer Fellows and many others as they work to do the same.”

Schweitzer Leadership Award nominations are open to the public. To submit an online nomination, please visit http://svy.mk/SchweitzerLeadershipAward (the nomination period closes on March 1, 2012).

Local ASF program directors and their advisory boards will make final selections. Only individuals who live and/or work in the regions where ASF has program sites (Baltimore, MD; San Francisco Bay Area, CA; Boston/Worcester, MA; Chicago, IL; Columbus/Athens, OH; Greater Philadelphia Area, PA/NJ; Indiana; Los Angeles, CA; New Hampshire/Vermont; New Orleans, LA; North Carolina; and Pittsburgh, PA) are eligible for nomination and selection.

Each year, approximately 250 multidisciplinary graduate student Schweitzer Fellows at 13 ASF program sites throughout the U.S. partner with community-based organizations to develop and implement yearlong, mentored service projects that sustainably address the social determinants of health (including poverty, the environment, and education). That service experience—coupled with ASF’s reflective leadership development programming—equips Fellows with the confidence and skill to address not just the clinical health needs of underserved people, but also the underlying social factors.

The Schweitzer Leadership Award will be presented at each program site’s Celebration of Service (the event marking the culmination of the Fellowship year). Exact details will vary by location, but in general, the Award package will include:

  • The opportunity to deliver a brief keynote speech at the Celebration of Service;
  • Special recognition at ASF’s annual national conference (to be held in Boston on Nov. 2-3, 2012).
  • A physical Schweitzer Leadership Award plaque/trophy;
  • A day of service at the recipient’s chosen nonprofit/charity organized by the local 2012-13 class of Schweitzer Fellows; and
  • Coverage across ASF’s communications platforms.

Please contact info@schweitzerfellowship.org with any questions regarding the Schweitzer Leadership Awards.