About Us

Founded in 2007 thanks to a generous start-up grant from Kaiser Permanente of Southern California, the Los Angeles Schweitzer Fellows Program is dedicated to developing a corps of emerging professionals who enter the workforce with the skills and commitment necessary to address unmet health needs.

To be able to call myself a Fellow for Life is a distinct honor, for it signifies a lifelong commitment to community service. Though completing the Fellowship has bestowed this honor upon me, I know that for the rest of my life, I shall devote myself to earning it.

– Daniel Karlin, 2008-2009 Fellow

Our Impact

Since 2007, more than 100 Schweitzer Fellows have provided over 20,000 hours of service to Los Angeles’s most vulnerable communities. Partnering with area community-based organizations, these Fellows have addressed a wide variety of unmet health needs by creating and carrying out yearlong projects with direct service at their core. Examples include the following initiatives:

  • Establishing an outreach-based syringe exchange program for homeless injection drug users in Los Angeles
  • Launching Los Angeles’s first micro-health clinic for post-incarcerated female youth
  • Developing a program addressing diabetes and obesity in at-risk teens and pre-teens
  • Creating a case management intervention that improves delivery of medical and mental health care to low-income and uninsured patients
  • Implementing Asian Pacific American Health Collaboration Access Resource and Education (APA Health Care) to provide vulnerable populations with screenings for obesity, hypertension, diabetes, and Hepatitis B

Please see Fellows and Projects for a complete listing of Fellows’ service projects, which are made possible by our generous sponsors. When Fellows’ initial year of service ends, they carry their commitment to meeting the health needs of underserved people forward as members of the Schweitzer Fellows for Life alumni network, now more than 2,000 strong.

our fellows speak

“Before the fellowship, I largely focused my academic pursuits and service efforts towards global health issues and patient communities in the developing world. However, serving one of Los Angeles’s most neglected and vulnerable patient populations and growing up in a city with the country’s largest homeless population, I realized that many of the sociopolitical, economic, cultural, and historical inequities that arise in impoverished countries also are realities in my very own backyard.” –Schweitzer Fellow Sonya Soni, Los Angeles

“The Schweitzer Fellowship is an excellent way for students in professional school to really explore ways in which they can work with the community.  It allows students to build skills needed to plan projects because it is good to have a lot of passion, but even better to be able to put that passion into work that can be beneficial to others.” – Schweitzer Fellow Henry Guan, Los Angeles