Published on April 30, 2018 by Sarah Waller  

The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship named Meg Boothe, a Samford University graduate student, as part of the 2018-19 class of Alabama Schweitzer Fellows. She is dually enrolled, pursuing a Doctor of Pharmacy from Samford’s McWhorter School of Pharmacy and a Master of Public Health from the School of Public Health

Boothe is among 15 graduate students in Alabama and approximately 200 in the nation who will spend the next year learning to effectively address the social factors that impact health and developing lifelong leadership skills. 

Schweitzer Fellows develop and implement service projects that address the root causes of health disparities in under-resourced communities while also fulfilling their academic responsibilities. Each project is implemented in collaboration with a community-based health and/or social service organization. 

Boothe is partnering with Shannon Polson, a graduate student at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing, to address a need for medical access and integrated care in Birmingham by providing health and mental health crisis referrals to clients of the South Highlands Outreach Project with South Highlands Presbyterian Church in Birmingham. 

Concurrently, they will develop a strategic plan for a future integrated care clinic to service medically uninsured/underinsured persons with mental health diagnoses. 

This partnered project seeks to solidify existing community partnerships and remove barriers to access. Boothe and Polson are intentional in their interdisciplinary collaboration, planning to work with primary care, mental health, nursing, pharmacy, social work, health systems administration and public health to ensure coordination of diagnosis, treatment, pharmaceuticals, psychosocial therapy and lateral transitions of care as needed. 

“I’m so pleased Meg chose to pursue this opportunity,” said Michael Crouch McWhorter School of Pharmacy dean. “Being a Schweitzer fellow is a life changing event, and this experience—combined with her Doctor of Pharmacy and Master of Public Health degrees—will uniquely prepare her to be a catalyst for change in the community.” 

Schweitzer Fellowships have an intensive leadership component, and the selection of Boothe is a testament of university’s commitment to preparing its students to be servant leaders with confidence, compassion and knowledge. 

Boothe will be joining the third cohort of the Alabama chapter of Schweitzer Fellows, following in the footsteps of Ida Moffett School of Nursing graduates William Gafford and Newton Tinsley,  McWhorter School of Pharmacy student Caitlyn Cleghorn Whitaker and three other Samford graduates who participated in the inaugural cohort.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.