Madison Hartley, a second-year student in Samford University's McWhorter School of Pharmacy, was named to the 2021-2022 class of Alabama Schweitzer Fellows, a chapter of the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship.
This year’s cohort is comprised of 14 graduate students from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, the University of Montevallo and Samford University. The students plan and implement a service project in conjunction with a community partner that addresses health disparities in underserved groups.
Hartley is completing her project with the Changed Lives Christian Center in North Birmingham, and she will be working with the facility through April 2022. The center provides housing and essential care for homeless men in the city. In addition, they offer a medical clinic.
As a part of her project, Hartley will be meeting with residents of the center through a series of three-month sessions, meeting two to three times each month to discuss specific health concerns. The first session is focused on diabetes. “Diabetes creates a lot of obstacles in a person’s life. With their medication, nutrition and exercise, it’s a complex disease state to manage.”
With the second session, Hartley will transition to the topic of hypertension, working with residents who face cardiovascular issues. "There's a lot of patients, especially after coming off drug use, who have hypertensive issues, and many residents are on anti-hypertensive medication," Hartley said. "My goal with this session is to help them reduce their blood pressure and possibly decrease their need for medication by seeing if they can regulate their blood pressure through nutrition and things like that.”
In the final two sessions, Hartley will work to address sleep issues among the center’s residents as well as expanding her sessions to include members of the community.
Hartley became interested in the Alabama Schweitzer Fellowship through faculty mentors, and she was inspired to apply after seeing the need in the community; knowing as a pharmacy student, she could provide outreach.
"There is such a need for medication counseling, just helping patients to understand how their medicine is impacting their health and their body," Hartley said.
Originally from Bloomington, Indiana, Hartley became interested in pharmacy while in high school due to her interest in chemistry and desire to help patients understand their conditions and medications. She began her pharmacy journey as a Samford prepharmacy student, which fast-tracked her into McWhorter School of Pharmacy’s Doctor of Pharmacy program.