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.
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.
Tim’s project taught nutrition and wellness to Tulsa elementary school students through play-based activities. By the end of the project, participants had a decrease in sugar intake, an increase fresh fruit and vegetable intake, and reported much more day-to-day physical activity.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Fellows For Life Spotlight
Mayra Salazar Valdivia
Mayra is student at Oklahoma State University Osteopathic Medical School. She is the Director for Health Disparities for the Student Osteopathic Medical Association, where she works with medical schools across the US to reduce and eliminate disparities in access to health care, increase medical school diversity, and represent the voice of marginalized communities.
Leslie, JD, is an Associate Attorney at Smolen & Roytman where she focuses on civil litigation including civil rights, labor and employment, and personal injury, among others.
Jim holds a PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Tulsa and is a postdoctoral fellow at the Boston Veterans Affairs (VA) in the LGBT Health Care track. Jim divides his time between research, direct clinical care, and policy work.
Olivia is a psychiatry resident at the University of New Mexico department of Psychiatry, where she is involved in conducting mental health evaluations of asylum-seekers and family members of deportees. Olivia is involved in research at OU-Tulsa and the Laureate Institute of Brain Research about the intersection of religious communities and mental health adherence, and perfectionism and eating disorders in young children.
Meredith is a board certified occupational therapist, working with patients in an in-patient setting at St. John Hospital in Tulsa.
Chris is a medical student at Oklahoma State University Osteopathic Medical School. He is a volunteer wrestling coach at McLain HS, his Schweitzer project site, and is active with Big Brothers and Big Sisters. Chris has held several leadership roles while in school, including with the Student National Medical Association and the Minority Association of Pre-Medical Students.