Albert Schweitzer Fellowship

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Originally founded by Helene Bresslau Schweitzer and Albert Schweitzer in 1940 to support Albert Schweitzer's hospital in Africa, The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship (ASF) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to develop Leaders in Service: individuals who are dedicated and skilled in meeting the health needs of underserved communities, and whose example influences and inspires others.

ASF supports Schweitzer Fellows (primarily graduate students) as they partner with community-based organizations to develop and implement yearlong, mentored service projects that meet the health needs of underserved populations.

250 Schweitzer Fellows annually:

• Serve at 13 U.S. locations and the Schweitzer Hospital in Lambaréné, Gabon, Africa;

• Provide nearly 50,000 hours of service;

• Serve nearly 25,000 low-to-moderate income clients;

• Partner with nearly 250 community-based organizations;

• Represent more than 100 leading universities.

The Schweitzer Fellows for Life alumni network:

• Supports a pipeline of Leaders in Service more than 2,000 strong and growing;

• 70% spend more than 75% of their professional time in clinical or human service;

• 59% of their patients and clients, on average, are from underserved populations;

• 99% say ASF is integral to sustaining their commitment to serve the underserved.

ASF's central office is hosted at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, the official sister hospital of the Schweitzer Hospital in Africa.

ASF now administers the Albert Schweitzer Prize for Humanitarianism on behalf of its Schweitzer Fellows for Life. Recent recipients have included former U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher (2009) and community health center founder H. Jack Geiger.


Fellowship of the Marks of Pain "Who are the members of this fellowship? Those who have learned by experience what physical pain and bodily anguish mean, belong together all the world over; they are united by a secret bond. One and all they know the horrors of suffering to which man can be exposed, and one and all they know the longing to be free from pain. He who has been delivered from pain must not think he is now free again, and at liberty to take life up just as it was before, entirely forgetful of the past. He is now a “man whose eyes are open” with regard to pain and anguish, and he must help to overcome those two enemies (so far as human power can control them) and to bring to others the deliverance which he has himself enjoyed. The man who, with a doctor’s help, has been pulled through a severe illness, must aid in providing a helper such as he had himself, for those who otherwise could not have one. He who has been saved by an operation from death or torturing pain, must do his part to make it possible for the kindly anesthetic and the helpful knife to begin their work, where death and torturing pain still rule unhindered. The mother who owes it to medical aid that her child still belongs to her, and not to the cold earth, must help, so that the poor mother who has never seen a doctor may be spared what she has been spared. Where a man’s death agony might have been terrible, but could fortunately be made tolerable by a doctor’s skill, those who stood around his deathbed must help, that others, too, may enjoy that same consolation when they lose their dear ones. Such is the Fellowship of those who bear the Mark of Pain."[1]


  1. ^ "Philosophy." Albert Schweitzer Fellowship. Albert Schweitzer Fellowship, n.d. Web. 05 Dec. 2015.