Stanford Medical students awarded fellowships to support projects in vulnerable communities

January 6th, 2014
Michael Fu leads a Mindfulness Stress Reduction session with students in the Ravenswood School District

Michael Fu leads a mindfulness-based stress reduction session with students in the Ravenswood City School District.

Two Stanford School of Medicine students are among the 11 recipients of this year’s Albert Schweitzer Fellowship – San Francisco Bay Area Chapter. Founded in 2006, the fellowship supports health-focused graduate students in yearlong projects working with vulnerable communities to address health disparities locally.

Michael Fu

Michael Fu

MICHAEL FU and KAREN HONG, both second-year medical students, chose projects that align with their personal values of providing community service and working with youth.

Fu’s project provides a seventh-grade class in the Ravenswood City School District with weekly 30-minute mindfulness-based stress reduction sessions over 10 weeks. He hopes to develop a curriculum, designed to help students cope with stress in positive ways, that can be used throughout the school district.

“Each session is structured around one of four central themes—paying attention to the present moment, paying attention with kindness, paying attention with curiosity, and responding vs. reacting—and involves a combination of formal mindfulness practices and reflection,” he told the SCOPE blog.

Karen Hong

Karen Hong

Hong is working with Prevent Blindness Northern California, a community-based nonprofit that screens preschool children for vision problems using a high-tech screening device.

“[Our project] will be piloted primarily in low-income schools, with great attention given to connecting those who fail the screening with appropriate vision care for full exams and treatment, if indicated,” Hong said. The project is designed to detect vision problems early in an effort to ensure school readiness.

“Vision problems can result in permanent vision loss, or children being mislabeled as inattentive or behavior problems,” Hong said.

Fellows receive a small stipend and are required to attend regular meetings that offer opportunities for skill-building and networking.

Read the full post on the SCOPE blog.