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ECU medical students receive Schweitzer Fellowships

ECU's 2010 Schweitzer Fellows are, from left, Steven Pontickio, Cierrea Roach, Ashley Hink, and Jason Lee. Photo by Dawn Robinson
GREENVILLE, N.C.   (May 25, 2010)   —   Four students from the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University have received Schweitzer Fellowships for 2010.

The students, who have finished their first year of medical school, commit to a year of service with a community agency, devoting more than 800 hours to local communities lacking access to adequate health services.

Below are the students’ names and their service projects:

--Ashley Hink is addressing domestic violence by providing health education classes and one-on-one health education sessions, as well as engaging in advocacy, for people who have left or are in abusive relationships. She is working with the Center for Family Violence Prevention in Pitt County.

--Jason Lee and Steven Pontickio are addressing mental health disparities by establishing a biweekly mental health clinic at the JOY soup kitchen in Greenville. Lee and Pontickio will also provide health services, conduct health literacy education and screen for chronic diseases. For this project, Lee and Pontickio are also working with the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, which funds projects aimed at underserved populations in North Carolina.

--Cierrea Roach will work with underserved elementary and middle school students by providing science- and math-based education and tutoring through the Little Willie Center in Greenville.

ECU’s Schweitzer Fellows are also supported by grants from the Pitt Memorial Hospital Foundation.

Twenty other graduate students from professional schools in North Carolina also received fellowships. Schweitzer Fellows continue their education while participating in the entry-year of the Schweitzer Fellows Program.

The first U.S.-based Schweitzer Fellows Program was founded in Boston in 1991, and the second was in North Carolina in 1994. Other programs are in Baltimore, Chicago, New Hampshire/Vermont, Pittsburgh, the Delaware Valley and San Francisco. Nearly 270 North Carolina Schweitzer Fellows have completed the program.

More information about the Schweitzer Fellowship program is available at

The Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust was established in 1947. Its mission is to improve the quality of life and quality of health for the financially needy of North Carolina. Across its two divisions, the Health Care Division and the Poor and Needy Division, the trust is committed to accelerating positive movement on critical community issues and effecting enduring systemic change. The trust was established by the will of Kate Gertrude Bitting Reynolds, a woman of great vision and compassion whose generosity in life was surpassed only by her philanthropy toward future generations.


Contact: Doug Boyd | 252-744-2482