The Big Change Roundup & the Power of Community

Written by Candice Wolf '21
I developed an interest in healthcare during middle school when I was in and out of doctor’s appointments due to a medical condition that was difficult to diagnose. Throughout that process I felt alone, and my mother felt helpless, unable to help her child and unable to adequately communicate with the various physicians. I believe that her feelings of inadequacy and my feeling of isolation could have been remedied with a physician who was an effective communicator.

A Change the World Project: From Homeless Shelter Volunteer to Medical Student

Written by Hannah Woodruff '21
This fall, when I found out that I had received the Wilma Rayta Volunteer of the Year award from the Committee on Temporary Shelter (COTS), I was surprised and honored that they had thought of me. My relationship with COTS goes back years, and has been such a meaningful presence in my life as I’ve grown from a shy twelve year-old to a first-year medical student.

Step Up Helps Cancer Survivors Lose Weight & Take Change of their Health

Written by Lauren Donnelly '20 and Kirsten Martin '20
We walked into a room full of 18 cancer survivors one August evening, unsure what to expect. We started the group by asking each of the women what had brought them to the program: a  free weight management group we had created to help women with obesity who had survived cancer to lose weight. As we listened to each of their stories, we started to appreciate the challenges these women had faced. They truly were survivors.

Stand With Me: Designing a Therapeutic Standing Device for Children in Need

Written by Scott Mitchell II '20
For children with physical challenges or special mobility needs, a standing frame can be life-changing both physically and socially. These devices help children participate in daily activities – like eating dinner with family members - that may have been impossible without physical support allowing them to remain upright. The weight-bearing exercises the therapeutic frames allow often help to improve physical function, changing the quality of a child’s life over time.

Easing the transition for transgender Vermonters

Written by Al York '19
When Al York first heard of the Schweitzer Fellowship as a student at University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine, York quickly met with the director of the Pride Center of Vermont (PCVT), an LGBTQ community center, to discuss and design a project to meet the most pressing needs of the local transgender community. After several years spent advocating for transgender people as an undergraduate, York was excited about the prospect about serving the transgender community in a way that would help alleviate the daily struggles transgender people encounter.