Improving Health

Developing Leaders

Creating Change

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Project by 2017-18 Fellows Iman Chaudhry and Ashley Sells, University of Oklahoma

Fitness and wellness for Muslim women struggling with chronic illness

Iman and Ashley launched a project that enabled mainly home-bound women to learn how to take charge of their health, wellness and fitness, in partnership with the YWCA. The project gave Iman and Ashley’s participants the tools, skills and social connections to establish and maintain healthy lifestyles.

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Tulsa Schweitzer Leadership Summit

Tulsa Oklahoma November 2018

70 Schweitzer Fellows and Fellows for Life from across the US gathered in Tulsa for an intensive weekend that showcased Tulsa’s work addressing health disparities, and included peer-led workshops on topics including creating immigrant-friendly institutions, leading with gratitude and systemic advocacy in health care.

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Project by 2016-17 Fellow Vanessa Garcia Luzuriaga, University of Oklahoma

Walk with a Doc and Diabetes Education

Vanessa led a diabetes education project at Community Health Connection and launched a Walk with a Doc series. Participants achieved lower A1C levels and BMIs, and developed tools and confidence to manage their diabetes.

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Project by 2019-2020 Fellow Toni Nigro, Oklahoma State University


Research shows that most girls give up on scientific studies by the age of 12. Toni’s project introduced girls at Daniel Webster and Monroe Middle Schools to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) career paths, through women professionals who facilitated hands-on projects each week to spark their imagination about their own professional goals.

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Project by 2017-2018 Fellows Brooke Tuttle and Ashley Harvey, Oklahoma State University

Family Strengthening Project

Brooke and Ashley developed and implemented Oklahoma’s first juvenile detention facility-housed family resilience program, with a goal of breaking the cycle of intergenerational crime. The project, which continues today, is based at the Tulsa County Family Center for Juvenile Justice. It is rooted in the science that family is among the largest protective factors for kids who are at risk for delinquency.

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Project by 2018-19 Fellow Erin Anderson, University of Tulsa

Little Lighthouse Sibling Support

Erin designed and implemented the first ever sibling support workshop series at The Little Lighthouse, a school that improves quality of life for children with special needs and their families. Erin served 50 children and their families, during her Fellowship year. The project has been sustained at the Little Lighthouse because of its impact.

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What Drives Our Work

Oklahoma ranks 48, 49 or 50 in almost every health indicator there is to measure. Health disparities based on zip code, diet, activity level, food access, rates of diabetes and other chronic illness, mental and physical health care access, childhood obesity, and incarceration rates, are immense in Tulsa and Oklahoma. Addressing the health and social determinants of these disparities drives our work.

The Tulsa Schweitzer Fellowship is one of thirteen Schweitzer program sites across the U.S. The Fellowship incubates solutions to health gaps in the community and develops a pipeline of leaders who have the skills and commitment necessary to address unmet health needs for the long haul.

Tulsa Schweitzer Fellows are competitively chosen from graduate and professional degree programs at any Tulsa-area university and from any discipline. Fellows demonstrate a passion for cultivating positive impact in Tulsa where the need is greatest.

Our Impact

To date, Tulsa Fellows have contributed 15,166 hours to improve the lives of underserved Tulsans.
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Over 70% of Tulsa Schweitzer projects get sustained after the Fellowship year is over.
Tulsa Fellows have touched the lives of 4,999 underserved Tulsans since the Fellowship launched in 2016.
"I am walking away from this experience with a whole new set of skills that will serve me tremendously as I continue working in the mental health field. This was my first opportunity to design and lead a community service project of this scope… My Schweitzer project was very different than past experiences because I was charged with taking the lead on every stage of program creation and implementation…. It stretched me by testing the limits of my relative strengths and required me to address and build upon areas of relative weakness."
Danielle Zanotti, PhD
Fellow, 2016-17

Fellows For Life Spotlight