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U of IL Dentistry Student Nisha Garg Named Schweitzer Fellow
University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry Student Nisha Garg recently was named an Albert Schweitzer Fellow.
By: UIC College of Dentistry
Schweitzer Fellows spend a year working to address barriers that impact the health of underserved communities and develop lifelong leadership skills. In doing so, they follow the example set by famed physician-humanitarian Albert Schweitzer, for whom the Fellowship is named.
Ray Wang, Program Director of the Schweitzer Fellowship program of Chicago, said, “Our Fellows learn to lead and innovate as they tackle complex health needs—skills they will use again and again throughout their professional careers.”
Garg learned about the program from a talk that Wang gave at UIC. She applied and was accepted, “giving me the opportunity to design a year-long community service project that catered towards an underserved population of my choosing.”
Her goal is to provide oral hygiene information to military veterans who are ineligible for dental health care.
“During one of my urgent care rotations earlier this year, I met a patient who was still suffering from a gunshot wound to the mouth that had occurred during the Vietnam War,” Garg explained. “All of his teeth were damaged from the impact, yet he never received the proper care and rehabilitation.”
Through seminars that she plans to host at the Jesse Brown Veterans Administration (VA) Medical Center, Garg hopes to serve as a resource for veterans deemed ineligible for VA dental care.
“My seminars will provide information on how to properly maintain oral hygiene, along with how oral health directly relates to the health of the entire body,” Garg said.
“I’m open to as much input and suggestions for my Schweitzer project as possible,” she added.
After graduation in 2016, Garg hopes “to always stay involved with community service,” she said. “I believe it is very important to use the knowledge base that I have gained through my education and experiences to make a greater impact in the community.”
“Nisha joins a distinguished group of prior students from the College that have received this honor and have participated in the rich experiences the Fellowship offers,” said Dr. Caswell Evans, Associate Dean for Prevention and Public Health Sciences.
For information about the Schweitzer Fellowships, call (312) 372-4292, ext. 24.
William S. Bike